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HIGH LIFE : In Real Life, Algebra Simply Doesn't Exist

February 27, 1988

From the "Tips for Teen" section of her book "Social Studies," author Fran Lebowitz offers the following advice for teen-agers:

- Wearing dark glasses at the breakfast table is socially acceptable only if you are legally blind or partaking of your morning meal out of doors during a total eclipse of the sun.

- Try to derive some comfort from the knowledge that if your guidance counselor was working up to his potential, he wouldn't still be in high school.

- Should your political opinions be at extreme variance with those of your parents, keep in mind that while it is indeed your constitutional right to express these sentiments verbally, it is unseemly to do so with your mouth full--particularly when it is full of the oppressor's standing rib roast.

- Should you be a teen-ager blessed with uncommon good looks, document this state of affairs by the taking of photographs. It is the only way anyone will ever believe you in years to come.

- Think before you speak. Read before you think. This will give you something to think about that you didn't make up yourself--a wise move at any age, but most especially at 17, when you are in the greatest danger of coming to annoying conclusions.

- Remember that as a teen-ager you are at the last stage in your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.

- Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.

"Start off every day with a smile and get it over with."

--W.C. Fields (1880-1946)

"It's all right letting yourself go as long as you can let yourself back."

--Mick Jagger

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