I want to thank everyone who suggested titles for my upcoming book of parental mythbusting. I feel bad that I can’t use all of them at the same time, but that would be a crazy long book title, like if Fiona Apple was working on a book of parental mythbusting. (Wait, she’s not, is she? Thank goodness, we would have been dead in the water.)
What makes it especially hard is that many, many of the unsuccessful submissions were the funniest. The art of book-title-choosing is very different from joke-writing. You don’t want the biggest laugh or the cleverest discovery. You want the lowest risk, the one that makes sense to the broadest swath of the bookstore-browsing public. All five of our finalists were comparatively straightforward compared to the manic genius of the rest of the list.
Here’s a bunch of our favorites that didn’t make the cut. Thanks to all who submitted.
Sit Up Straight While You Read This Book
Don’t Cross Your Eyes While You Read This Book (or They’ll Stay That Way)
You Don’t Know Where That’s Been
If All Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge
Ken Jennings Is Smarter Than Your Mom
Father Knows Less
Your Mom’s a Liar
Hairy Palms: Your Momma Don’t Know Jack
Parental Wisdom & Other Fairy Tales
That’s All Right Momma
(Don’t) Listen to Your Mother
Told You So
Necessities: The Inventions of Mother
If You Crack Your Knuckles, Your Face Will Freeze That Way and Won’t Digest for Seven Years
Your Mother Was Wrong
Ken Jennings Is a Stranger with Candy
Take That, Mom
Facts Only a Mother Could Love
Who Told You That?
Mother, May I?
“Your Face Wil Freeze Like That” and Other Mom-strosities
Mom-isms: True or False?
Wait One Half Hour Before Reading
Nagging the Naggers
The Parent Trap: Antiquated Adages
Yo Mama So Misinformed
Don’t Sit So Close To This Book
Don’t Read This Book in Dim Light: You May Not Go Blind, But Your Mother Will Yell at You
Mombusters!: When Mother Doesn’t Know Best
Your Face Will Freeze Like That!: The Book Mom Warned You About
If You Read This, You’ll Go Blind!
(Don’t) Do What Your Mother Says
Wait 30 Minutes After Eating This Book To Go Outside With Wet Hair
Keep Making That Face
Mommy, Are You a Dirty Liar?
Ken Knows Best
If You Fall Out of That Tree and Break Your Leg, Don’t Come Running to Me!
Ken Jennings Is Smarter Than Your Mom
You Should Have a Child Just Like You Someday
Parental Discretion Advised
Parental Guidance Not Suggested
Mother THINKS She Knows Best
You’ll Go Blind If You Do! (and other parental threats)
Why My Face Is Stuck Like This
How to Confuse Your Children
A Child’s Guide to Eating, Swimming, and Other Deceptively Difficult Tasks
Mom and Dad Isms and Aren’ts
I Love You, Mom (But You Are Such a Liar)
You’ll Get Worms
Lies Our Parents Told Us
Gum Swallowing, TV Staring, Swimming After Meals, and Other Things Mom Was Wrong About
The Seven-Year Gum
I Ran With Scissors
Mom-ent of Truth
Shit Your Dad Said
What To, What Not To, and Whatnot
That’s What Mom Always Said
It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Lied To
Parents Say the Darndest Things
Lies Ken Jennings’s Mother Told Him
Don’t Read This Book, You’ll Strain Your Eyes!
Trust Me, I’m a Parent
Mom Is Always Right, Sometimes
Mom and Pop Quiz
The Mother of All Trivia Books
Your Parents Were Wrong and So Are You
Put on a Sweater, I’m Cold
Momma Said There’d Be Cliches Like This
Whizdumb: The Silly Things Otherwise Smart People Tell Their Children
Don’t Put Beans Up Your Nose
An Apple a Day, But Not Before Swimming
With a Grain of Salt
Don’t Read Books By Strangers
How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?
Things Your Mom Told You About (But You Did Them Anyway)
If I Told You Once, I Told You a Thousand Times
Mark My Words!
You’ll Kvetch Your Death
Lies My Mother Told Me
Liars, Damned Liars, and Parents
Old Wives’ Fails
Pop (and Mom) Culture
Arch Debunker’s Place
If I’ve Told You Once…
Stunting Your Growth
Do You Know Where This Book Has Been?
Mom vs. Science
When I Was Your Age…
Trust the Wise, or Roll the Eyes?
The Bible 2
Bitch Been Lying 2 U