Being More Badass

Rebecca Cardwell has free advice on how you can be harder, better, faster, badass-er.

Illustration by Madeleine Flores

First, you will need to determine your current badass level. Use the following equation:


Once you have your total, enter it into an Excel spreadsheet. Print it off. Put stars around it. This will make it stand out so whenever you look at it, you’ll remember the level of badass you should be striving for.

Post it on the fridge. Unless you are on a diet, in which case post it in your exercise room. If you don’t have an exercise room, put it in your gym bag. If you don’t have a gym bag then you’re probably not that serious about losing weight.

Now that we have that covered, let’s start with the basics.

It’s a known fact that a badasses march to the beat of their own drummer. I suggest your drummer be from a small Mayan village. And that he be seven years old. Some people might think this is young, but trust me when I say that Macuilxochitl’s drumming skills are off the hook.

You and Macuilxochitl Mitnal (“God of Music/Underworld Hell Where the Wicked are Tortured”) will meet in Quetzeltenango. You might think I’m making this place up, but trust me, it exists. What were you doing in Quetzaltenango? Easy. You looked at the map, saw the name and said, “Yeah, that’s where I’m going to go.” Badasses don’t plan their trips. They just fly by the seat of their low-rise dark wash skinny jeans.

Also, get a badass haircut. When the hairdresser asks you what you want, shrug your shoulders like you could care less. Then tell her to give you bangs. Trust me when I say that badasses rock the shit out of bangs.

If you’re invited to a party, don’t go. Or go, but leave early. Do a jump kick as if to say, “Sorry guys, I gotta blow this joint.” Then open a bedroom window and jump out.

When your friends say, “Boy, you sure missed a great party last night!” do a groin chop as if to say, “Did I really? Or did you miss out on a relaxing night at home?”

If you have a Facebook account, get rid of it. Same with Twitter. Badasses don’t have time to look after their neighbor’s farm crops, or come up with lame hashtags that have a one-in-a-million chance of becoming the next Trending Topic. They’re too busy being badass. If you need to social network in order to feel validated, sign up on LinkedIn. Even total badasses need to work.

Shoot a kitten. If someone asks you why you shot that kitten, who cares? You don’t have to justify your actions. You’re a badass. But when you shoot the kitten make sure you use a finger gun and not a real gun. Only an asshole would shoot a kitten with a real gun.

You want to be the kind of badass that keeps people guessing. That way you won’t get stuck babysitting. Parents will be scared to leave their kids with you because you’re unpredictable. Will he take care of my kid? Or will he just ignore it? A good rule of thumb is if the kid is ugly, you should probably just ignore it.

During your therapy sessions (yes, even badasses go to therapy), challenge everything your therapist says. If she accuses you of getting defensive, say, “Am I really? Or are you the one who’s defensive and you’re projecting your defensiveness on to me? Or, maybe I’m so offensive that I’ve reverted back to defensiveness.” Follow up with a jump kick to her head.

A badass lives by his own rules. If you want to eat breakfast cereal for dinner, well, then you’re damn well going to eat breakfast cereal for dinner! And there’s not a damn thing that anyone can do about it!

Though to be honest, I can’t really see a badass doing that.

Illustration by Madeleine Flores

Rebecca Cardwell is a writer from Vancouver, and has appeared in McSweeney's, The Rumpus, The Big Jewel, and more. You can find her at just making convo.