Rule #46: Exploit Your Kids for Useless Causes

This seems like a really long line, but I can't wait to meet the Jonas Brothers!

This seems like a really long line, but I can't wait to meet the Jonas Brothers!

Dating back to your days as a geeky trombone player in junior high, people have been ignoring you.

There was the time you ran away from home, and then…well, no one noticed. And there was the episode when your “human chain of one” couldn’t stop the 100-year-old elm tree in your neighborhood from being chopped down.

Oh, and the time your parents went on vacation without you (you still can’t watch “Home Alone” without breaking into the hippie shakes and a cold sweat).

Thankfully for you, as a parent, the calvary has already arrived in the form of your kids.

There’s nothing that attracts a crowd quite like dangling a baby out of a window and likewise, bringing your child along to protests and rallies.

Besides, exploiting your child to advance your personal cause is not only noble, but it also has fringe benefits like:

Added dramatic appeal

Let’s face it, your protest for “Computer Programmers Against Office Cubicles” wasn’t exactly the Boston Tea Party, so you need an injection of drama into your uninspired cause by adding your kids.

Do you think “Save the Children” would be half as successful if it was Save the Adults? (Homeless people with kids get more change for a reason.) Toting your kid along to the rally not only shows your commitment, but it also is guaranteed to make people feel really bad for you.

Guaranteed turnout

Say hello to the exact opposite of everything you need at a protest.

Say hello to the exact opposite of everything you need at a protest.

Your friends may humor you in person about your cause.

They’ll feign interest, act like they’re going to start recycling, then regret both your friendship and showing up to your dinner party.

And it’s a fairly good bet they won’t show up Saturday morning when you take to Capitol Hill with your “Mothers Against Premature Puberty” rally.

But your kids? They’ll be there. You’ll lure them into the minivan from a Saturday-morning haze with the promise of a fast-food breakfast. And when they’re too full to run, it’s easy to fasten a picket sign to their chubby fists and send them on their way.

Continue the legacy of being an a-hole

Even if it’s not yet apparent that your children share your gene for being an annoying a-hole, does this mean you shouldn’t help them develop it?

There’s no greater joy than watching your child’s eyes light up when he can mimic your misguided passion and wave a homemade placard that he neither understands nor appreciates…he just knows that, by waving it, he’s being a junior a-hole.


  1. groovy daddy says:

    I’m willing to pay $25 for the woman’s sign in photo 1: “Don’t Spray My Kids!” LOL!

  2. jason says:

    i find it funny when i see kids at pro-choice rallies – it really hammers illustrates for the rest of the point the reason why abortion should be legal

  3. motown joe says:

    everyday, thousands of computer programmers are forced to transcend the gap between binary and reality. office cubicles are responsible for stifling innovation, repressing programming mannerisms, and insulting our genius by caging us like crated factory farm animals. until we can inspire change, we must first promote awareness. your post acts as a conduit to intolerance, and i find your lack of sensitivity to this controversial issue disheartening.

    The Center for Office Cubicle Knowledge and Sympathy

  4. @groovy daddy: I’m sure she’s not going to part with that for any price. Incidentally, I heard they used that photo for their Christmas cards this year.

    @jason: Wow.

    @motown Joe: You might want to look into not taking hallucinogens at work. Just a thought. I never claimed to be a genius but I think that sort of thing can only help.

  5. SuperDad_08 says:


    Maybe its the fact that I work in a world of geekdom, but I find Motown Joe hi-larious!!!!!

  6. Mcfly says:

    Sometimes I like to dress my cat in people clothes and then we have tea parties… Waite, did I miss the point? I’m so lonely.

  7. SillyDad says:

    I take my children to pro-child labor rallies. I really need our 19 mo. old to start paying his way.

  8. @SuperDad_08: You guys could start your own protest. I think the t-shirts would be hilarious: Center for Office Cubicle Knowledge and Sympathy. Nice.

    @Mcfly: No, in fact, that might be the most normal thing going on here.

    @SillyDad: It’s never too early to put your kid to work. It’s cheap, it’s easy and hey, they owe you own.

  9. SillyDad says:

    Appears to be an ongoing theme today. Check the guy out at about 1:34. All kidding aside, now I’m getting irritated.

  10. jason says:

    now i’m just confused. I thought it was all “dogs” go to heaven. apparently, it’s all “roman catholics.” i’m a dumbass.roman catholics go to heaven

  11. SillyDad says:

    Just realized I didn’t include the link to the video. Here it is.

  12. @SillyDad: Thanks for posting the link – it makes a lot more sense now. Originally, I was just sort of indefinitely waiting for a guy to show up at around 1:34. I didn’t know if it was A.M. or P.M. or even what date it was supposed to be. So this clears a lot of things up. Oh yeah, and the guy in the video is actually the most modern definition of “moron” that scholars can find. Nice.

  13. kitty says:

    hallucinogenics make cubicles bearable.

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