Rule #59: Vacation in a Third World Country

Weren't you the one complaining about taking a bath? That tub doesn't seem so bad now, does it, hot shot?

Weren't you the one complaining about taking a bath? That tub doesn't seem so bad now, does it, hot shot?

Your kid, like most American children, is spoiled shitless.

He’s got an iPod, a television in his room – which he shares with no one – and you even let him have his own seat at your dining room table.

Clearly, the rod has been spared and the child has been royally spoiled. And his entitled perspective has his expectations as high as his Uncle Leroy, who, incidentally, was never invited to the dining room table.

To combat the social retardation which will be the result of this spoilage, you should, at some time in your child’s adolescence, vacation to a third world country (no, flipping on Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t count.)

Your probably thinking that there’s no way this could improve anything, and you’re probably worried about getting your Manolo Blahnik’s stolen – or worse – dirty, and you may be right.

But you never joined the Peacecorps and you mildly regret this, so pack your bags, head to Somalia and get ready to improve the shit out of yourself and your kid:

Freedom Isn’t Free

Getting a taste of the local culture at most third world countries will allow your child to appreciate what they already have. And if you’re really clever, you can pit your child against one of the locals to compete for their room and board back in the states.

This is a healthy competition and it will help your child realize all the hard work that goes in to…being rich. And, even if they lose out to an Ethipoian distance-runner in the competition, you’ll have a track star to show off to your ultra-competitive suburban friends when you come back home.

Happiness is a Warm Bun

Little Jonathan probably complains a lot. His Pop-Tarts are cold in the center, his skim milk is too “milky” and he doesn’t believe enough effort went in to the preparation of his foie gras. However, after the continental breakfast at the Hotel Rwanda, he’ll be more appreciative next time he opens his mouth to be fed.

When you get home, and make his PB & J with the crusts cut off, he won’t care that you’re using the generic, store-brand bread. He’ll just be happy he doesn’t have to contend with festering maggots eating more than their fair share.

And if all else fails, leave him there. You’ll never have to worry about him not coming home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. He’ll literally be dying to see you. He’ll just have to hope he’s clever enough to sweet-talk immigration officials – or be skinny enough to squeeze through the bars (he will be).

(It wouldn’t be right not to give a special thanks to Gutsy Writer and the accompanying comment that inspired this rule)


  1. ChattyCat says:

    Love it….Bonus: The sand will make a great exfoliator…they’re skin will be spittin’ polished when they get back!

  2. @ChattyCat: And that’ll really be beneficial when you inform them that you’ll no longer be springing for expensive, unnecessary “footwear.”

  3. jason says:

    Does New Jersey count?

  4. Mad Woman says:

    Can I also make them fly economy while I fly first class? There’s no sense torturing myself in the process is there?

  5. SillyDad says:

    I’m with Mad Woman. In fact, I hear there’s this really nice resort in Grenada and right outside the walls are these horrible slums. I say, make reservations for Mom and Dad at the resort and arrange to pay a family outside the resort $1 a day to take your 3 children for the duration. You’ll get a great vacation, your kids will learn they better keep their mouth’s shut when their personal chef over cooks the prime rib AND you’ll be quadrupling one lucky family’s annual income. Now that’s a Win/Win/Win if I ever heard one!

  6. Kidgarbage says:

    Try Paraguay, but only for fathers and sons. The local Guarani Indian women are cute, never get angry, dont practice monogamy, or speak English. Their language sounds like chirping birds, so even when they do talk, it is actually pleasant. For some reason they will only be romantic outdoors, but thats OK because they have absolutely no modesty. Believe me, your kids will learn a lot.

  7. Kelly says:

    I’m sure there might be some hesitation regarding the following suggestion, what with “Travel Warnings” and the whole “War Zone” issue, but……………Afghanistan might be an exciting place to visit right about now. Especially if your children are into those shoot-em-up and World of Warcraft-type games and all. Kabul would be an excellent choice for all involved. If gratitude is the emotion you’re seeking from your children, this would be an adventure most appreciated by your female children. I would recommend that you pack plenty of bottled water, and of course, Kevlar.

  8. Anon says:

    This was so much cooler before I glanced at the site name. I hate when satire gives itself away! Anyway, I don’t see why you make bringing your kid to a third world country sound so horrible. When I visited India in my teens, it really put perspective on everything for me. It wasn’t damaging in any way.


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