Never Teach Your Kids About Lightning

I have a 5-year-old kid. One of my jobs as a parent is to read books to the kid so that the kid can be smart and make lots of money and eventually buy me a big fucking house that I can drunkenly vomit all over, Gloria James-style. One of the things every parent should do before reading a book to a child is read that book in advance before reading it to the kid, to make sure there's nothing shitty in the book. I always forget to do this, and the other day I paid dearly for it.

We have a book about thunderstorms. This is that book. It explains the science behind thunderstorms and what to do in the event of a thunderstorm bringing the wrath of Jesus down on you and your loved ones. It includes the following passage:

Lightning may start fires in houses or barns (NOTE: Who has a barn anymore?). It may start forest fires. Lightning may knock over trees and telephone poles. It may kill cows or horses in a field. It may injure people or kill them.

Now, all this is true. But this booked completely fucking FAILED to explain how rarely that sort of thing occurs. And thus any kid who reads this will believe that lightning is coming to RUIN THEIR SHIT at any given moment, because kids are too young and too stupid to absorb this kind of information properly. But it gets worse.

Stay away from the telephone and TV (during a storm). Their wires could carry lightning into the house. Stay away from sinks, the bathtub, and the shower. Their pipes could also carry lightning into the house.

Jesus H. Fuck! Did you know this? Did you know lightning could sneak into your bathtub while you're jerking it and fry you like a hush puppy? I didn't know this. I didn't NEED to know this, because the odds of it happening are one in a zillion. But again, the book fails to explicitly state that, so now any kid reading this is terrified of going within ten feet or a tub or faucet even when there isn't a cloud in the goddamn sky. You can't give kids this kind of information too early. You can't overeducate them like this. They take it way too seriously. I may as well have told my kid how David Carradine died. Kids aren't prepared for lightning knowledge. And so now I've got a kid who's terrified, at all times, of lightning stalking her and blasting her into oblivion. We were about to go outside the other day, a day with NO FUCKING CLOUDS, and the kid froze in terror.

KID: I'm not going outside! There might be a thunderstorm!

ME: There's not gonna be a thunderstorm. There are no freakin' clouds out there.

KID: But what if a storm comes?

ME: It's not coming.

KID: Will lightning make you die?

ME: You're not gonna get hit by lightning. For the millionth time.

KID: But can it make you die if it hits you?

ME (lying): No.

KID: No?

ME (lying): No. In fact, it totally gives you superpowers if it hits you.

KID: I'm still scared!

ME (distracting): Okay, listen to me: Remember the story I told you about the Prince of Poop?

KID (laughing): He was the Prince of Poop.

ME: That's right. The Prince of Poop took a peepee on a poopy pickle! HAHAHAHA!

KID: HAHAHAHA

ME: So any time you get scared of lightning, just think of the Prince of Poop and you won't be scared anymore. All right?

KID: All right.

ME: Good. Let's go.

KID: I'm scared!!!!

ME: Oh, Goddammit. FOCUS ON THE POOP JOKE.

Anyway, never read to your kids.