I give advice on how a Mary Poppins can become more of a bad-ass. Because @AnnaKaling asked #DearVashti and I’m helpful like that.
Some time ago, @AnnaKaling tweeted #DearVashti a question:
#DearVashti I have a friend who really wants to be seen as a bad ass but is in fact Mary Poppins without the strictness. What do you advise?
— Anna Kaling (@AnnaKaling) August 18, 2017
Although I’m not Vashti, I consider myself a helpful sort and took it upon myself to answer. (I’m also rather scary myself.)
Recruit an army of flying monkeys, arm them with spatulas, and whenever someone says she’s nice set the flying monkeys on them.
— A.S. Akkalon (@AkkalonAS) August 18, 2017
However, the quality of advice that can be given in a tweet is limited, so I’m taking this opportunity to expand on my answer.
What is a Mary Poppins?
To answer Anna’s question we must first analyse exactly what the question is. This requires research.
I have watched many wonderful movies, but I confess I’ve never seen Mary Poppins. Fortunately it has permeated popular culture enough that I’m not entirely clueless.
So let’s start with what I know about Mary Poppins.
1. She can fly
2. She carries an umbrella
3. She is some kind of childcare professional
4. Dancing penguins?
Okay, I don’t actually know very much.
Fortunately, YouTube knows a whole lot more.
5. She can single-handedly defeat a terrifying jack-in-the-box
6. She glides rather than walking and spins like something from The Exorcist (which I also haven’t seen)
7. She looks out the window and makes the neighbours blow away
8. You don’t want her anywhere near your children
How can Anna’s friend be seen as more bad-ass?
Let’s address these points one by one.
She can already fly, so the question is, what’s more bad-ass than being able to fly?
The only possible answer is not being able to fly.
This Mary ain’t flying in your front door. Nope, she’s falling. And if you don’t watch where you walk she might fall right on you.
Are you scared? I am.
What’s more bad-ass to carry than an umbrella?
An umbrella has a certain wussiness to it. It says, “I don’t want to get wet.”
You know what says the exact opposite? A swimsuit or a fire hose. To be safe, the friend should carry both.
I can think of only one thing more bad-ass than being a childcare professional: being a parent.
You can’t give the kids back and you can’t quit.
Fortunately Anna’s friend is already a parent. Check.
4. Dancing penguins
Penguins are frightening creatures. You never know when they’re going to fall over, and they can pop up out of the ice at any time. Plus their beaks are hard.
Dancing penguins are pretty bad-ass already, especially if they’re tap dancing.
To take it up a notch, Anna’s friend should upgrade to rapping penguins.
5. Defeater of jack-in-the-box
Jacks in boxes are among the more horrifying denizens of the toy cupboard. I don’t know why parents get them for their kids. It’s probably a life lesson. If you can get this creature out of your wardrobe without screaming, you can take anything life might throw at you.
Only one thing is scarier than a jack-in-the-box.
To prove she’s a bad-ass, Anna’s friend needs to defeat a clown.
6. Gliding and spinning
What do ice skaters, zombies, and centipedes have in common? They all move kinda funny and it scares me.
Gliding and spinning are already in the weird-moving class, so the friend is going to have to go weirder. I recommend she takes up walking on her hands.
7. Blow-away neighbours
Being blown away is only one step from flying, and everyone knows flying is cool.
A more bad-ass person would set hundreds of flesh-eating snails on the neighbours. And then sit in the window to drink tea and watch the carnage.
Anna’s friend, start collecting killer snails.
8. Hazardous to children
Anyone can be hazardous to children. They’re so short you can step on them without seeing them, and everything is dangerous for them, including water and buttons.
To be more bad-ass, be the one who protects children from clowns, crows, spiders, and bogeymen under the bed.
Finally, I stand by my statement on the flying monkeys with spatulas.
So, did I get Mary Poppins right? Do you have any additional advice for Anna’s friend?
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