You’re a middle school boy in the 6th grade and you still haven’t had your first kiss. You might as well be dead. Well, hold that morbid thought — we’ve got 51 foolproof tips for those virgin lips that’ll turn your fortunes around.
1. Join the Theater Club. I know, I know, but who cares what your jock friends think? Fuck them!
2. Convince your drama teacher, Mr. Caspard, that the troupe should put on Romeo & Juliet. The play with the star-crossed lovers that ends in a passionate kiss…
3. When Mr. Caspard objects, steadfast in his determination to put on an age-appropriate production of Speed the Plow, tell him your dad works for the mayor and the town has agreed to fully finance this fall’s play: Romeo & Juliet.
4. Figure out the dollars and cents of it all with your dad later.
5. Chelsea (the girl you want to kiss) is a shoo-in for the part of Juliet. She’s so pretty and talented.
6. IMPORTANT: Make sure you’re a capable enough dramatic actor to be cast as Romeo. This is crucial. Do not lose sight of the casting process.
7. Do NOT let the part go to Todd.
8. Do you seriously still not know your lines? The audition is tomorrow! You won’t find Todd out by the overpass throwing rocks at trucks. Of course the lines don’t make any sense — they were written 10,000 years ago! Just memorize them and recite them with confidence tomorrow at 3:30 pm. Don’t be late.
9. That wasn’t great. You were three hours late and knew none of your lines. You were dressed like a pirate and kept saying, “Hark, who goes there.” (Chelsea nailed her audition, in case you were wondering)
10. Your parents are arguing about the credit card bill again. Your dad has no explanation for these charges — makeup, dresses, pantaloons. You cannot intercede. It’ll all be worth it when they see you on that stage as Romeo.
11. Todd got the part.
12. How could you let Todd get the fucking part?
13. I just…
14. Okay. Let’s think about this. Todd’s gotta have an understudy, right?
15. Tell Mr. Caspard that you’re grateful but would rather not portray the character of “Assorted Townspeople” and prefer instead to work in the crew while also serving as Todd’s understudy. When he objects, remind Mr. Caspard that your father works for the mayor.
16. Learn Todd’s lines. More important, study him at rehearsal. Look where he stands. The assembly stage is old. Those floorboards look like they could give out any day now.
17. Chelsea and Todd keep requesting to rehearse the kissing scene.
18. Soon. Soon…
19. What’s underneath the stage, anyway? Some sort of storage area. Great! Make sure the drop’s not too steep. We want Todd to break his ankle, not his spine.
20. You killed Todd.
21. Holy shit Todd is dead. Died on impact. You could tell from the sound. Oh, that sickening sound.
22. Your dad is paying $14,000 to put on a middle school play so you can get your first kiss and instead you’ve become a murderer.
23. Vomit. It’s okay. Again. Let it out. Purge the sin.
24. Maybe it’s because you ditched them to join the Theater Club, but your jock friends have zero interest in “hypothetically” helping you move a dead body.
25. Patch the floorboard and leave Todd to rot down there. Forget all about him. By the time some poor janitor uncovers your shameful misdeed, you’ll be sitting comfortably in Kisstown, USA, without a care in the world.
26. It’s Opening Night and Todd is nowhere to be found.
27. IMPORTANT: Talk Mr. Caspard out of this crazy idea to cancel the play. Todd was a devoted champion of the arts. He would want the show to go on.
28. You did it! You’re Romeo. Well done. Push all thoughts of Todd rotting underneath the stage from your mind.
29. Chelsea is too sad about Todd to run lines with you. Girls are so emotional.
30. Mom and Dad are here, sitting on opposite sides of the auditorium. Make them proud. Save their marriage with your acting and reignite their love with your impassioned kiss in the final scene.
31. YOU STILL HAVEN’T LEARNED YOUR LINES?!
32. Nothing to do but fake it.
33. When the other actors look at you after their line, or when there’s an uncomfortably long pause that doesn’t seem like it’s warranted, you can safely assume that it’s your turn to speak.
34. You steered it so now all the characters are at a waterpark. Great. This is going great.
35. For the entirety of Act III, Mr. Caspard shouts at you to open your mouth when it’s time for your lines and then just delivers them himself from offstage. No one is fooled.
36. Chelsea won’t even look at you she’s so mad. She’s pretty when she’s mad.
37. Mom left.
38. The end of the play is here. Finally!
39. Chelsea is playing dead in the prop coffin when you come onstage. Dispense with the soliloquies (you don’t know them anyway) and go for the smooch.
40. She keeps turning away when you swoop in, which is unprofessional at worst and a completely unconvincing portrayal of a dead person at best.
41. You’ve got her cornered now. Lip is almost in direct contact with lip when a cry breaks the silence of the scene. “Help! I’m down here!”
42. Todd is alive.
43. How is Todd still alive?! You did the thing from the movies and checked his pulse and everything.
44. The fire department arrives with an ax. Chelsea calls down to Todd through the cracks in the floorboards.
45. Todd does not have much of a sense of humor about this whole thing.
46. So this is what the back of a police car looks like.
47. Time passes.
48. Dad visits sometimes. Turns out his job working for the mayor is less administrative and more janitorial so he can’t put in a good word for you. It’s no wonder Mom left him.
49. Also, Dad’s broke. Apparently, the town would not reimburse him for funding the play so he will not be paying for your legal defense. Get comfortable.
50. Dad brings his new girlfriend Teri to visit today. She’s 23 but not the “way to go, Dad!” kind of 23. She smells like cigarettes.
51. Dad says goodbye by managing to make eye contact with you for a full three seconds! Teri comes in for a full embrace. As you squirm, you accidentally move into the path of the kiss meant for your cheek and catch her flush on the lips. It’s like kissing an ashtray filled with margarita mixer.
Congratulations! You’re a certified kisser, champ. You were worried there for a second, weren’t you? Just try to keep the ladies away now. (Of course, this will have to wait a while as you are at an all-boys facility.)