FUNNY WOMEN #122: Five Disturbing Teen Trends Every Parent Should Know


Has your teen been spending an unusual amount of time at their neighborhood craft emporium? Discoballs are the new teen danger drug of choice. Teens across America are snorting this mixture of powdered caffeine and glitter that was first popularized by hip-hop musician KR4FT*Z. The glitter irritates sensitive nasal membranes while increasing uptake of caffeine, a powerful and unregulated stimulant. The first warning sign is sparkly or iridescent nosebleeds, followed by coughing up shimmery phlegm, or, as teens call it, “dazzle.” Kids who start on discoballs (or “discoballz,” depending on your edition of Urban Dictionary) may progress to harder drugs like fermenzo, a mixture of kombucha, Altoids, PCP, and glitter glue sticks.

Beware of what you can’t see! Micrograffiti, or µgraf as it is sometimes known underground, is the practice of tagging public buildings with graffiti written so small that it cannot be seen with the naked eye. Practiced by latch-key kids with poor role models and unsupervised access to a jeweler’s loupe, these tiny tags are popping up literally everywhere in certain gentrified neighborhoods. Get out your magnifying glass and you’ll find every overpass, bus stop, and bike rack is a minefield of messages that may condone promiscuity, gang violence, or not-voting (though it’s hard to know for certain as they are extremely hard to read). Dangers include callouses, carpal tunnel syndrome, awl jabs, confusion, and extreme eyestrain.

Often considered little more than “harmless fun,” lumberjacking is in fact a dangerous, even lethal, stunt. A car full of teens with recently divorced parents and dressed in thick flannel pulls up to the tallest tree or light pole in their neighborhood and cuts it down with a chainsaw before speeding recklessly away. While this may sound like the kind of innocent “pruning” we remember from our childhoods, today’s lumberjacking is far more risky and whimsical, often involving targets up to 60 feet tall and 4,000 pounds. unnamed-1Teens upload videos of their lumberjacking conquests, which are then “liked” by other teens, fueling an underground YouTube phenomenon that triggers Internet addiction, “indoorness, and the inability to use human voices. The solution? Keep your chainsaw cabinet locked.

You might think that kids learning about history is a good thing, but a breeching party is no study hall. Parents from coast to coast have reported mysterious charges showing up on their credit card statements for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars worth of painstakingly accurate reproduction Edwardian clothing. Once confined to prison culture, now innocent young people are donning the fashions of 1901-1910, cutting out the crotches, and showing off their smutty sack coats at breeching parties held in old factories and warehouses. Take the time to notice how your son or daughter is dressed when they leave for the day: is your son wearing a Homburg or a waistcoat? Is your daughter in a Gibson Girl carrying a slosh bucket? Are their genitals exposed?

In parks and sports fields across the country, kids as young as 11 are experimenting with a form of asexual reproduction known as budding. First reported in the United Kingdom, now American teens are also gathering in groups of up to 50,000, linking together, and then splitting apart into smaller groups, or “colonies.” At first this may appear like little more than kids holding hands in the park. But look carefully—the word “sexual” is right there in the word “asexual.” Don’t rely on public schools or Internetting to teach your kids about the birds and the bacilli—talk to your kids about endodyogeny today.


Rumpus original art by Annie Daly.


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Summer Block's work has appeared in McSweeneys, The Toast, The Rumpus, PANK, The Nervous Breakdown, and many other publications. More from this author →