How to Be a Good Parent

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Also, there've been some additions over at the Basic Instructions store. They are as follows:

Infini-Tees are back!

There are now links to my Android and iPhone apps!

There is a direct link to buy my calendar!

There is also a direct link to pre-order my 3rd book!

You can now order a signed framed print of any Basic Instructions comic!

And finally, I've added a mug and a t-shirt bearing the sentence "I'm doing something pointless, but at least I'm doing something."

Please go check it out when you have a minute.

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Reader Comments (28)

I swear...when it comes to humor you're my older, skinnier, beardier, shaved headier twin!

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarru

Love panel 3 ,safety at everyone else expense

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBen K

Is that a new Scott face in panel 2?!

...Still waiting for that +1 button, by the way...

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfilsmyth


November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNever Actually First

Scurvy lasses. Scurvy lasses. Scurvy lasses.

That phrase just... isn't right.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChaon

My god, third panel is pure genius! :D

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBen

Amazing! Yesterday I bought a bunch of Pirate stuff (at post-Halloween 50% off) for an upcoming Pirate themed birthday party. Had I seen this last week, I would have raided my own daughter's princess party for treasure!

Wonderful advice thoughout. Remember, September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

I don't get the SUV joke.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDT

@DT - That's probably because you drive an SUV....

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

@DT: SUV's are stereotypically seen as gas-guzzling overkill for most people's needs, so getting an SUV is like saying "I don't care about the planet or pollution or the fact that if you get in front of me with your tiny little Festiva I'll crush you and probably won't even notice." If you drive a little car, an SUV on your tail can look quite menacing.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob

DT - I think I do get the SUV joke, but don't find it particularly clever. I believe that the SUV joke is a reference to the fact that if an SUV is ever involved in an accident with a non-SUV, the occupants of the non-SUV are much more likely to be injured or killed than the occupants of the SUV. This fact has often been used to attempt to dissuade people from buying SUVs (if you buy an SUV, you will kill people). To me, though, it sounds more like an SUV sales pitch. Who in their right mind would not want to buy the vehicle that puts themselves and their family in the least amount of danger? I realize that there are many other factors to consider in buying a vehicle, but the relative safety of the SUV is a factor for, not against, choosing an SUV. To use this argument against SUVs is akin to saying that driving a Yugo keeps you safer than being a pedestrian, and that this safety comes at the pedestrian's expense. It's ridiculous.

Another possibility is that the joke is a reference to the relatively low gas mileage of SUVs, which some argue contributes significantly to global warming and other environmental disasters. This is even worse than the "you will kill people" argument, because at least the relative safety factor between vehicles can be measured with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

Full disclosure: I own an SUV (Chevy Suburban). I did not purchase my SUV for the relative safety factor; rather, I wanted something that fit my family and that was not a van. That being said, if you ask me whether I care more about my safety and my family's safety than I do about the safety of everybody else, the answer is, "Hell, yes."

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Thanks for the idea for my kids birthday. :)
Seriously the most awesome idea ever. Wish I could pull it off without going to jail. Maybe... go to a city where I'm unknown? We'd all be in disguise anyway!

Of course I do not endorse the cool crime of robbery.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVaughn

The key here is to have a family that's friends with yours and that has a little girl near the same age as your child. Then, when it's close to both kids' birthdays, you have the pirate themed party crash the princess themed party--I bet both groups would love it!

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThatJeff

I think Panel 2 is recycled from How to Disguise a Yawn. I keep waiting to see how he'll reuse the closed-mouth "Scott, are you having a stroke?" yawn face.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

@ DT: SUV joke = If you crash in an SUV... you are fine, but the guy you crashed into is toast. Safety at someone else's expense.

If princess parties were a more common practice, all princesses would fear me.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterslizz

For those of you who want a more realistic... realistic approach (dang, even when typing it out i can't make things sound not awkward) my cousin went a party where they just had a load of pennies instead of the fake coins. Then they let kids keep the treasure they found during a scavenger hunt type activity.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

@Steve "I believe that the SUV joke is a reference to the fact that if an SUV is ever involved in an accident with a non-SUV, the occupants of the non-SUV are much more likely to be injured or killed than the occupants of the SUV. This fact has often been used to attempt to dissuade people from buying SUVs (if you buy an SUV, you will kill people). To me, though, it sounds more like an SUV sales pitch"

You know, nobody has a problem with you being safe. It's the killing others part that other people might be worried about. Obviously, whether or not the other car is an SUV itself or not, you're always better off if you sit in an SUV. But both involved parties together would be better off if neither drove an SUV (prisoner's dilemma).

But I like how you dismiss the environmental argument. Hey, this car just harms the earth and all of its inhabitants a little, but it's also safer for me! Woo!

Anyway, I found panel 3 the most amusing one, followed by panel 1 (the last one looked a bit too familiar, unfortunately).

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLerkistan

you'd be right, except that many SUVs are too heavy for their frames, so in a rollover, you'd be crushed flat.
Unless you checked carefully about your year-make-model's history, safety tests, and frame design, you may well be in the least-safe vehicle on the road ( and to run me down, you'd have to catch me first; my fuel-effiicient old two-door is fast and agile enough to dodge your behemoth if you drive unsafely)
...I'm just saying...

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Thanks for the link about the Infinitees. I've been wanting one ever since I saw Wil Wheaton wearing one. I'm especially pleased that you got mine done so quickly. Buying 2 of these is my birthday present to myself.

I don't mean to burden you with work, but as soon as mine shows up, I'm posting it on Facebook and I'm sure you'll get plenty of requests for them.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRon

I'm not sure who the new guy is, but if he doesn't have a name, let's call him Ferguson. He just LOOKS like a Ferguson.

November 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMoon

The "new guy" has been around before.
Panel 1: I. Laughed. So. Hard.

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNick

You just need to find a kid who's having a Spanish merchant-themed party. Firstly, more historically accurate, and secondly, any kid who asks for a Spanish merchant-themed party -deserves- to be traumatised.

An image of Martin Prince from the Simpsons springs unbidden to my mind.

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

New guy is clearly Stacy Peralta. I expect to see an amusing documentary with a killer soundtrack in the near future.

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave

OMG... then the Superman themed party could swoop in to save the princesses, who are then thwarted by the Joker party. Then the Transformer party arrives... assisted by the Thomas the tank engine party...

Too... Much... Awesomeness.... [head explodes]

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVaughn

for what it's worth I read panel 3 as referencing a big stinkin carbon footprint. Either way, I love the way Scott is keeping mum on the subject, and letting posters argue over his intended meaning

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGassy Mac

Really? I dunno what all this whining and fuss is over - I thought the SUV joke was just about their poor fuel economy.

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranon

@Lerkistan: It's not quite the same as the prisoner's dilemma. In this case, my decision to drive an SUV makes me more safe in the case of a collision regardless of what the other guy is driving. I'm still more safe in an SUV than I am in something smaller. In the prisoner's dilemma,your decision is either better or worse for you depending on what the other guy chooses.

And I still dismiss the "you're killing people with your SUV" argument as ridiculous. If I drive an SUV into a solid brick wall, I am less likely to die than if I drive a Fiero into a brick wall. If it makes sense to accuse SUV drivers of endangering others simply by owning and driving an SUV, then it makes absolutely as much sense to accuse builders of brick or concrete walls of endangering drivers, since you could have used a more pliable material for your wall (My uncle would still be alive if that murdering bastard had built his house of bamboo instead of bricks - it's all his fault!). Never mind that a more solid wall increases the safety of the people inside the building. Your brick wall kills drunk drivers! At the risk of unnecessarily repeating myself, this is exactly the same logic that says that SUVs are killer vehicles.

The reason I dismiss the environmental argument is that after years of research, there is still no reasonable scientific evidence tying the burning of gasoline to significant environmental impacts. So it's not that I don't care about the environment (which I do - live here too, you know). It's simply that I don't believe that driving a Suburban causes a measurable increase in harm to the environment over driving a Yugo. Show me some credible data to the contrary and I will reconsider this position.

@Dee, thank you for pointing out the fallacy of a claim that I never made. I said, "... if an SUV is ever involved in an accident with a non-SUV,..." I never said anything about roll-overs. I was referring to a very specific situation. I did not address roll-overs because you can roll a vehicle without ever coming near anyone else, so it's not relevant to the "safety at the expense of others" discussion.

Worse than bringing up an irrelevant tangent is your unkind characterization of me in your parenthetical statement. Let me be clear that I do not want to run *anyone* down. Not even rude drivers who cut me off. My only goal while driving is to arrive at my destination without incident. Just because I am not likely to die in a collision with a fuel-efficient two-door does not mean that I want to hit one.

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Ahhhh... so it was Insert...

November 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCornh

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