WASHINGTON—Delivering his weekly address to members of the press Tuesday, acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak advised all Americans to be 19 years old with $100 in their wallets and the rest of their lives still ahead of them.
Lushniak, the nation’s leading public health official, strenuously urged all American adults, regardless of age, race, or income, to be young and in the prime of their life. In addition to having a strong, youthful body and a boundless spirit of spontaneity, the surgeon general stressed that being 19 was exactly what U.S. citizens needed to feel free—truly free—from their responsibilities and to instill in them the confidence that they could do anything they wanted in this world.
“Based on our findings, it is the recommendation of the Office of the Surgeon General that each and every American be in their late teens, without a care in their mind, and with just enough money to get by for the next few days, because when you’re 19 the next few days are all that matter,” said Lushniak, stressing the importance of being old enough to do whatever you want but not old enough to give a damn about the consequences. “We found that every single American would greatly benefit from not having a 9-to-5 keeping them busy or a family at home—just a minimum-wage job they can ditch whenever they want to visit a buddy down in the city or go swimming in the quarry on a nice summer day.”
“We predict that most Americans would enjoy a sharp improvement in their quality of life if they were 19,” Lushniak added. “Especially if they could still hit up their folks for some dough every so often and if they had a decent place with a few cool roommates that wasn’t much, but was nice enough.”
Alleging that the average person’s cares were at a minimum at 19, and that one’s sense of adventure and willingness to “stay up and see where the night takes them” was at its peak, Lushniak advised all American adults to return to their post-adolescent, pre-adult lives as soon as possible. Additionally, Lushniak noted that Americans would experience a profound reduction in stress and fatigue by being 19, explaining that the only worries on a 19-year-old’s mind are “which couch they could crash on for the night” and “where to score a case of beer.”
Though Lushniak stated that being 19 involves a certain level of risk, noting that such individuals were highly susceptible to stupid, reckless decisions, he assured reporters that such mistakes didn’t have serious consequences because you’re only 19 and damned if it doesn’t feel like you’re going to live forever. Moreover, Lushniak emphasized that the potential benefits of getting into a little trouble here and there, from joyriding with some buddies to jumping the state park fence and skinny-dipping after dark, far outweighed any potential negative side effects.
“We found a wide variety of tangible benefits to being 19, from staying out until dawn and watching the sun come up over the lake with friends, to turning up the music as loud as it goes and never feeling more alive,” said Lushniak, who also urged citizens to smoke a few cigarettes or a joint if they wanted, as that’s what being 19 is all about. “It is the opinion of this office that the world is yours when you’re 19. It’s really, truly yours.”
Furthermore, Lushniak stressed that, if possible, Americans should be at an age where they could put their whole paycheck toward an old motorcycle, one they could fix up and take out on the open road whenever they wanted, day or night. According to Lushniak, taking your bike and making your way across the country with no other plan than to have a good time wherever you could find it was associated with overwhelmingly positive outcomes among all subjects.
In addition, Lushniak recommended scoring a fake ID; chasing some tail; feeling the breeze on your face and the sun on your bare shoulders; bonfires; laughing with your friends at 3 a.m. until it hurt; and getting that tattoo you want, because who’s going to tell you no?
“Yes, I can say with utmost confidence that I think all Americans should be 19,” said Lushniak, a faint smile appearing on his lips as he looked off into the middle distance. “And once you’re 19, it is the government’s recommendation that you find yourself a nice, pretty girl and tell her to hold on tight while you point your bike to the west. Then just feel her grip growing tighter around your waist as you ride off wherever the road takes you. It doesn’t get any better than that—no, there’s nothing better than that at all.”
After pausing several seconds, Lushniak added that for many citizens, however, being 19 was no longer a viable possibility, before sighing, noting with visible dismay that some Americans were stuck being 54, and solemnly stepping away from the lectern.