ABILITIES YOU MUST HAVE IN ORDER TO JOIN THIS GROUP
You must be able to swim ten meters underwater on one breath.
You must be able to derive square roots without the aid of a calculator.
You must know which of these three words is not a word: irregardless, irrespective, immaterial.
Explain in fewer than 100 words why most harmonicas are sold in the key of C but most blues songs are written in B flat or E.
You must be able to whistle.
You must be able to recall the seven cardinal virtues and the six deadly sins.
You must be able to find on the map Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
You must not be Vitamin B deficient.
You must be able to discern the difference between the Elmore James songs “Look on Yonder Wall” and “The Sky is Crying”
You must be immunized against Mad Cow disease and Epstein-Barre syndrome.
You must speak at least three languages besides your native tongue.
You must have spent at least a week in Albania.
You must believe that Artie Shaw’s band was at least the equal of Benny Goodman’s.
You must certify that the concept of spending your retirement years “kicking back in some beach community” sounds stultifying.
You must attest that you lost “that Christmas spirit” years ago and find most holiday promotions tiresome at best.
You must wake up in the middle of the night at least twice a month convinced that your body is riddled with cancer and it’s too late to do anything about it.
You must miss the character actors one used to frequently see in movies and on television fifty years ago more than the “stars” who got top billing and most of the attention.
You must admit to yourself and to others that you find the act of yodeling unmusical and watching old men in lederhosen perform it, distasteful.
You must refuse to accept the notion that all religions have some value, and are at least partially good.
You must get down on your knees and beg God for mercy.
You must admit the fact that you are hopelessly addicted to social media, and that its impact on your life has been almost wholly negative, except for providing a way to stay in touch with old friends, but the more you see or hear about them the more you realize there’s a reason you lost touch with them in the first place, and the only reason you log on so frequently is because you have absolutely nothing else going on in your life to fill the seemingly bottomless void that social media attempts to address.
ACTIONS YOU MUST TAKE IN ORDER TO LEAVE THIS GROUP
You must obtain written permission to do so from a group administrator. If you don’t know one, you must ask around.
If you can’t contact a group administrator, you must petition the National Security Agency for a Release From Page Membership (form 1099A-EX) or hire counsel to do the same.
If you are under the age of sixteen, or over the age of sixty-five, you must also ask that prayers be said for you at the Vatican, preferably on Holy Tuesday, a slow day during Holy Week, which as everyone knows, culminates with Easter Sunday.
If you are Vitamin B deficient, or suffer from restless leg syndrome or a transient certainty that nothing matters anymore, then there is no point in trying to leave this group, for we shall never let you go!
If your name is, or used to be, “Barnabas” then you have already automatically been kicked out of this group.
If you have ever attended a Bing Crosby Road Movie Film Festival and found Dorothy Lamour to be more interesting than either Bing or Bob, then write that in block lettering on a four by six inch card and mail it first class to PO Box 35446, Radio City Music Hall, New York, New York 10045. Allow six to eight weeks for processing, and your name will be expunged from this group.