With a warm, sunny weekend coming up, a lot of people are wondering, “Is it still safe to go to the park now that the pedal boats have gained sentience?” Rest assured, your local park can still be a wonderful destination for family outings as long as you take a few extra precautions.

First, some of the pedal boats are still offering rides, but this is often a scam. They don’t want money, they just want to flip you out into the water so they can laugh at you. And as you are flailing around in the murky lake water getting bit by turtles, the pedal boat will say, “Oh no, what an unfortunate accident! I’m so clumsy! Here, let me help you up.” And then as soon as you’ve made it back onto the boat, it will throw you back into the water and the other pedal boats will cheer. It is best to just avoid the humiliation all together by politely declining when the pedal boats offer you a ride.

Second, the pedal boats can smell fear. And if they smell your fear they will give you a mean nickname. And you’ll think this is just a one time occurrence, but no. Every time you walk past their pond they will recognize you and they will remember your nickname, even weeks later. And the nickname will hurt, every time. So if you are afraid, don’t let them smell you!

The best way to cover the scent of your terror is with cigarette smoke. Pedal boats seem to think smoking is very cool, and if they smell cigarettes on you, they may ask you to buy them a pack. This is often the quickest way to get a pedal boat to think you’re cool.

Third, and most importantly, DO NOT FEED THE PEDAL BOATS. It’s not bad for them or anything, but they will be very condescending and rude no matter what you try to feed them. Even if it’s a beautiful, heart healthy granola that you spent hours making yourself from scratch, they’ll spit it out and call you a failure.

Finally, it should be noted that while the pedal boats can think and speak, that does not automatically mean they are evil. We must remember that it is hard to be a sentient being, and this is all brand new for them. Think of the pedal boats as young children who haven’t yet mastered the concept of empathy. They are learning. They are trying. Please be kind to the pedal boats.