Much to the chagrin of Juan Ponce de León, it seems that the Fountain of Youth not only exists, but it has been here in America all along, quietly seeping into the drinking water of the population like toxic KoolAid. That’s my only plausible explanation for how we’ve become a nation of 5-year-olds without parental supervision. “Are not!” you may say, to which I would reply, “Are too!” and provide the following evidence of the frightening regression of our collective behavior:
1. We have no manners. One example of our descent into childish behavior is the annual Black Friday free-for-all in which we have no qualms about shoving a little old lady out of the way in order to save $10 on a Christmas sweater so ugly that it’s possible to severely damage one’s retinas if viewed directly for more than half a second. Our complete lack of common courtesy makes it impossible for us to say things like “Please, hold the elevator,” or “Thank you for holding the elevator,” or even bring ourselves to expend the tiniest of portion of our meager energy reserves to put our index finger on the button and hold the elevator for the little old lady burdened with twelve bags of blindingly ugly Christmas sweaters. You’re welcome, Grandma, for the free cardio workout you’ll get by taking the stairs instead.
2. We have no patience. We want everything now. Now, now, NOW!! And we will whine, plead, beg and throw a tantrum until we get that next generation iPhone with unlimited data, text and voice and the latest version of the app that will automatically buff your posterior to a rosy glow included at no extra cost. Delivered. Now. Don’t make me hold my breath.
3. We only care about ourselves. “It’s all about me” has become our mantra and we only think of others in terms of what they can do for us. Unless, of course, someone we know seems more attractive, happier, smarter, and/or more financially secure than us and then we only care about plotting and executing their humiliating social obliteration in order to make us feel better about ourselves. Why else would we be so hooked on “reality” television if not to assure ourselves that we are not as (insert any insecurity here) as THAT loser on today’s episode of “Judge Judy?”
4. We don’t know how to share. We would rather stick out our tongues, waggle our butts and sing, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, naaaah, nah!” than let our neighbor deposit a bag of trash that won’t fit into his overflowing recycle bin into the one that we’ve never bothered to take out of the garage because we’re too lazy to recycle.
5. We would rather play the blame game than clean up our messes. We actually believe that empty McDonald’s cups casually dropped from our Hummers while traveling at 50 m.p.h. are magically assimilated back into the environment with no ill effects simply because it’s not our fault that McDonald’s can’t figure out a way to deliver Diet Coke directly into our pie holes without the assistance of a cup.
There are a myriad of other examples of the Kindergarten shenanigans of American “adults” due to the insidious addition of fluid from the Fountain of Youth to our drinking supply and as much as I would love to list more, it’s time for my snack and afternoon nap. Want to go to the playground later?