by Sally Kingston
Most good managers know that the first step to succeeding in your task is to clearly define what you are asking for. House Management would like to take this opportunity to review some relevant definitions:
- Quiet: No talking. Not even whispering. No telling management “just one more thing it’s really important I promise PLEASE.” Management knows it’s not important. No muttering under your breath. No sighing heavily. No tapping a stick on the floor. No banging cars together. No kicking the wall. No humming. No singing. No making that popping sound with your lips.
- Still: Do not move your body. Do not swing your legs. Do not bounce up and down. Do not sway back and forth. For love of all that is holy, do not run around in circles until you fall down. Do not balance yourself in a position that not even a professional gymnast could hold for more than thirty seconds then look surprised when you fall and are no longer still.
- Quiet and Still: An advanced direction that involves fulfilling all requirements of the definition of Quiet and all requirements of the definition of Still simultaneously. The best strategy is sleep.
- Touching: Usually seen in the context of “don’t” and/or “your brother.” Includes any part of your body coming into contact with the forbidden object/person, especially: hand, arm, foot, tongue, head, butt. Also includes pretending that any of the previously mentioned body parts are about to come into contact with the forbidden object/person. Additionally, a forbidden object/person is said to have been touched if, by any action on your part, deliberate or accidental, any object within your control touches the forbidden object/person, e.g., throwing a stick at your brother does not count as “not touching,” even if it was a TOTAL ACCIDENT that it hit him right in the face.
- Bite: There are multiple contexts here:
- In the context of food, a “bite” is a portion of food, no less than one (1) cubic centimeter, all of which enters the mouth and is chewed and swallowed. Crumbs are not “bites.” Licking a vegetable, then rejecting it does not count as a bite. House management knows exactly how much broccoli was on your plate to start with and there is NO WAY you have taken three bites already. Try again.
- In the context of physical contact, a “bite” is any situation in which your teeth make contact with your brother’s skin. There is no excuse for that. It was not a kiss. It was not an accident. Management doesn’t buy that for a second.
- No: The opposite of yes. Never. Not even a little. Please stop asking.
- Maybe later: See No, above.
- We’ll see: See No, above.
- Not right now: See No, above.
- Ask Daddy: I’m tired of saying no, but No.