Okay, another little thing popped in, and I had to get it out. It's a little corny, and I probably didn't keep everyone in character, but oh well... Let me know what you think! :)

Don't own, make no money.


Jack Mercer's Rules to Live By:

The best rules to live by, and the most important (that I have found) are pretty simple, really. If you need money for a date, you go to Bobby, but for God's sake, don't tell him what you want it for. If you need advice on the best places to take a date, you go to Jerry, but never ask him advice on women, and make sure you don't give him any details about your plans. If you want an older woman to take out on a date, and don't want a lecture about how you are spending someone else's money on someone five years older than you are, or that you're too young to be taking a twenty year old out, go to Angel.

Once you have accomplished arranging a date with this older woman, and you have the money to spend on her, and know the best place in town to spend that money, don't ever let any of your brothers know your plans, especially not the one that you finagled into getting you the date.

"Why?" you might ask. Simple, the one who got you the woman has a big mouth and goes all over the house, telling everyone, including your MOTHER, how he managed to get you a date with some hot twenty year old babe, when you are only fifteen years old. If you have been foolish enough to let that happen, be prepared for the worst, because once the news is out, Bobby will start looking for the keys to his car (the one you have borrowed, without a license) and once he figures out his car is missing, he will mumble something about killing the cradle robber and the fifteen year old car theif who was, as far as he was concerned only trying to impress someone by acting older than his age. Your Mother, (that's right, good ole' Mom), decides to go along for the ride to keep her oldest son from killing anyone, including the youngest of her four wonderful boys, and of course that means Jerry has to go as well, because first of all, he has to drive everyone in his car, and second, he's the one who told the youngest son the best place to go to show a girl a good time, and besides, he feels the youngest son needs a good talking to about the age of the date he has chosen to take out; as well as how wrong it is for an underaged driver to steal his older brother's car. And then there is Angel, who is the only person who knows what this woman looks like, so he has to ride along so that he can point and yell, "There they are!"

Now, if you have been unlucky enough to have not figured the rules out ahead of time, and you make the above mistakes, don't be too surprised when you are helping your date onto a ride at the carnival, and you hear that yell rise above the roar of the crowd around you, "There they are!" You will not have time to turn to see if that voice was indeed the same brother that had set you up with your date. You will feel a hard pinch on your right ear, and you will swear that you have been stung by the biggest freaking bee ever in this world. That pinching sensation will pull you backwards, and before you have the chance to turn to see her face, your mother's voice will sound in your smarting ear. "Jack Mercer, I cannot believe you of all of my sons would do something this foolish!"

Your date, that sweet thing with the pink, fuzzy, tight sweater, and blond hair and blue eyes, will look completely horrified when Bobby grabs her arm and pulls her out of the Tilt-A-Whirl car, guiding her away from that wonderful ride that would have slid her across the seat, pressing her right into you. You will see it all, right on the edge of your sites, while your mother is pulling you, still by the ear, towards the end of the grounds, where the police are arriving, their bright red and blue lights flashing against the already brightly lit booths full of food and games. (The police are there, by the way, because Angel has informed the gate attendant that a runaway car thief is on their grounds with a known drug dealer so they could all get into the carnival without having to pay.)

You will hear Jerry's voice somewhere from behind you, talking about how a fifteen year old boy should be smart enough to know better than to try to take a grown woman out on a date in his brother's car which had been borrowed without any permission. Angel's laughing will also drift through the air from behind you, and you can be certain you will hear Bobby making a pass at your date, telling her how you are really nothing but a little fairy and you are only trying to impress your school friends by taking out someone older. Your mother will talk about how you are grounded for a month, and she plans on having 'the' talk with you, again, because she's sure that somewhere in the first one she must have missed the important message she'd been trying to get across; about how sex was for someone special, and you just aren't old enough for the responsibility that it requires to have a relationship that serious. Somewhere in the voices you will hear someone say you aren't going to get your driver's license until you're eighteen, but you won't be sure if it was your mother or Bobby, because by then your ear is burning hot and ringing from the pinch that still has a hold of it.

All the while, you will feel your face burning with embarrassment; you will know that your color has turned a bright crimson, because sex, though it had been on your mind, was the last thing you had ever planned on with this date. You will swear that you will never leave the house again for fear of how the entire neighborhood will have either seen this public display, or heard about it. You will mentally make plans on becoming best friends with a guitar, and you will write a song about this whole thing one day, a song full of angst and misery.

In the end, you are grounded for taking Bobby's money under false pretenses,'borrowing' his car without a license, and trying to take a twenty year old woman out for a good time, Jerry lectures you every time he has the chance for the next month and since you are stuck at home (you are grounded, remember?) he has lots of chances for administering the lectures. Angel looks at you and laughs at every meal, and Bobby takes your date out for the next three months.

As for your mother, she will go out and buy you a book titled 'STD's, What Every Teenager Should Know', and she will want to read it WITH you, to be sure you actually do read it and understand it. Believe me, once you have lived through that kind of humiliation, you will definitely learn the rules that I have come to live by.

Not that any of this ever actually happened, I'm just saying that these are rules that everyone should know, especially if you have three brothers named Bobby, Jeremiah and Angel, and your mother has no issues with making you read that that book…