Listen, Buster, this is a test of the LAST NERVE Emergency Alert System. This is a test. This is only a test.

Parents in your area, in cooperation with licensed teachers and other authorities, have developed this system to keep you informed about the danger that you’ve really crossed the line this time. In the event of a refusal to abide your nonsense for one more ever-loving second, you will hear this message, “Listen, Buster,” followed by further indications that you are officially on notice.

The purpose of this test is to ensure equipment is functioning properly, notably your ears. During a rough-housing emergency, the broadcasters in your area may not be able to rely on usual means of communication, such as “Buddy? Yoo Hoo. Yo, Bud!”

The alert system will be preceded by two sharp tones — “Hey! HEY!” — followed by “Listen, Buster,” emitted in a pitch that is one to three octaves lower than the speaker’s natural voice. This signal will alert you to specific horseplay disasters for which you will soon be very, very sorry, including furniture earthquakes, bathroom floods, extreme heat conditions, and food tornadoes.

At no other time will this particular phrase be used. Hearing it will be startling to everyone, especially the person saying it, who literally never uttered it once before you came along.

During an especially severe emergency, such as an open freezer squall or a dust storm from Grandma’s ashes, the attention signal could be issued in several languages.

Whenever big changes are about to happen around here, parents or other local authorities will invoke the alert system to ensure your orderly evacuation from very thin ice or other locations where you have absolutely no business. The system will address disasters in real-time, and you will be informed about the precise number of seconds left to seek shelter in your room or in the barn where you were apparently born.

Emergencies often develop rapidly, and phased updates will be shared about the condition of the building, arriving at intervals of several seconds, minutes, or even hours, depending on how long it takes authorities to discover exactly what in the name of everything holy you have been doing.

These messages have no expiration and may be reissued at any time. Always keep supplies on hand to wipe that smile off your face.

It’s possible that the emergency will cause all screens to become unavailable to you for the foreseeable future. In such an event, tune into the AM radio station MyWay for specific directions to the highway.

In an actual grab-ass situation, you had better believe the alert will provide official news, information, and rhetorical threats, such as:

  • GET. OFF.
  • Stop touching that.
  • Electricity comes out of there.
  • Is this how we act indoors?
  • That is a permanent marker.
  • This is why we can’t have nice things.
  • That dog/cat/classroom lizard will bite your face.
  • Look at me. Am I joking?
  • There will be consequences.
  • Do you understand what flammable means?
  • Do not put that in your mouth.
  • I will not say it again.
  • Oh my God, what did I just say?
  • Seriously, I think I blacked out.
  • I mean it.
  • Last chance.
  • Don’t test me.
  • Are you testing me?

This is a test.

This is a test.

This has been a test.

No action is required.

This concludes the test of the LAST NERVE Alert Management System.

If you believe you have received this message in error, please send an email to [email protected] or visit