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We’re often getting recommendations about what to try next. A skincare routine, a podcast, a Netflix show, a new restaurant. But sometimes, you try something new, and it’s just plain bad. Sometimes it’s better to advise someone to NOT try something.

So we asked our staff to save us all the trouble… What is one thing you recommend people avoid trying?

Sydney Walters

Something that I’d definitely never recommend, and I didn’t think I’d ever have to say this, is cliff jumping the waterfalls at Scott’s Run Park.

For one, it’s because the falls are only about thirty feet high, and two, the bottom is incredibly shallow and rocky. It’s looks from above are quite deceiving, but that’s because the current is so rapid that you can’t see the bottom. Which brings us to three, those currents will sweep you away faster than I fall in love in a new relationship, which is embarrassingly swift. Finally, number four, every time someone enters the water there, it negatively affects the already fragile ecosystem lying at the bottom of the stream. So stay the hell out and save the fishies.

I hope this dissuades you the way I attempted to dissuade a very stupidly daring friend.

Jillian Conochan

Unless you/your roommate are supremely capable, my advice is to NOT shop for furniture online. This article explains why not, but * Reading Rainbow voice * don’t just take their word for it; take mine.

Our perfect-sized, stylish, walnut and sea foam table and chairs was the exact kitchen set we were in the market for. Its average—not bargain basement—price and 4.5 stars and assuaged any doubts of ordering off the internet. A short time later, the set arrived and we were able to assemble it without any incidents ratcheting the HEMNES into the FLUGHÄFTEN and whatnot.


…The tabletop looked like a prisoner was using it to keep track of his days in captivity, Roomba had nicked 3 out of 4 legs, and the chairs’ material suctioned fur and fine particulates out of the air as if they were a high-end HEPA filter.

So now, I write you from a folding table, and my star-crossed kitchen table is on the porch getting a facelift. The chairs await new upholstery as soon as I can find a suitable new fabric. Turns out buying furniture online is really more like buying a pattern for something you’ll eventually source yourself and DIY.

Kelaine Conochan

Infinite Jest is more infinite than jest. And I ain’t got no time for David Foster Wallace’s exercise of masturbatory intellectualism. It is the quintessential example of tl;dr.

I bought Infinite Jest with every intention of reading it all the way through. I’m no stranger to long books or reading, and I like a challenge. Erudite people—some of whom probably write for The Prompt—seemed to think Infinite Jest was brilliant.

But 350 pages later, and I get it, okay? Like, I see what you’re doing, David Foster Wallace. I “understand” “the message” about “society.” I get it. Okay. Like, we all get it. Do I really need to read the next 829 pages, in which there is no plot, just your opinion on mankind and wealth, manifested through pages and pages of words for the sake of words?

Turns out I prefer my jest like I prefer my novels: finite.

Marybeth McDonough

Ladies, take a tip from your English teacher and avoid reading Sylvia Plath while you’re on your period. And I mean none of it—poems, short stories, The Bell Jar, certainly not letters to her mom or 10th grade boyfriend, and don’t even think about picking up her collected journals (yes, even the abridged versions). My girl Sylvia was wildly talented and precocious beyond her years, but the work is verbose and your likelihood to overanalyze and/or weep goes past 11. It’s heavy, heavy stuff and let’s be honest, we don’t need to be adding any more weight to our bodies or auras at this time, amiright? Instead, keep it light: haikus, angel food cake, DuckTales reruns.

On the contrary: gentlemen with lady partners, mothers, sisters, daughters: get reading. You’re welcome in advance.

Mikael Johnson

The worst book I ever read was Mike Lupica’s The Red Zone. In a previous life, I had to spend a few days in the Arlington Jail, and I did more reading than I had in quite some time. After finishing The Picture of Dorian Gray (which was fine), the next selection in the jail’s eclectic library was Mike Lupica’s book, The Red Zone.

I was excited. It looked like a fun easy type of “beach read.” And I was very familiar with Lupica’s sportswriting and found him interesting on ESPN’s Sports Reporters show hosted by Dick Schapp/John Saunders, where he and Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie… I liked it…) were both regulars.

It was the first time I had ever read a book, where I first questioned my own comprehension and taste rather than the author’s.

It was like when I hear someone say something incredibly stupid, and I’m so stunned, that I end up questioning myself somehow. Like a communicational codependence, somehow I blame myself.

I had never read a book this bad. I didn’t think it was somehow allowed. All books are good right? (except for a few books in the Old Testament and that one by the Fuhrer, etc.).

My final review: I couldn’t put it down, only because I had nothing else to do. I was in jail.

A lot of the reviews on the book feel the same way.

Josh Bard

It seems fun, but I would really encourage anyone and everyone to stay away from betting on sports online. It’s simply not as easy as it looks. I know your friend posted about how he hit his longshot, or your other friend posted about how lucrative her college football parlay was. But they aren’t showing you all the times they lost. You wanna know how I know that? Because I haven’t told you about all the times I lost. If you want to make money on sports gambling, I would suggest staying away from picking a team, and instead investing in the sportsbooks.

Actually, now that I invested in the sportsbooks, I definitely encourage you to bet on sports. Thanks!

Sarah Razner

Of the “classics” stuffed down your throat during high school English classes, the one I would least recommend is Wuthering Heights. I know it’s supposed to be an example of great literature, but, to me, it’s really just a story about angsty, selfish people wanting to torture one another. I can get that in any Bravo show, none of which I have to worry about inspiring multiple (multiple?!) Celine Dion songs. Rather than spending time on the English moors, I’d recommend giving some other classics a try like

To Kill a Mockingbird, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, any Jane Austen novel, and The Fault in our Stars (yes, I know the last one is not technically a classic, but it is in my heart).

Mr. Joe Walker

I love treats, especially frozen Twinkies, cheesecake, warn glazed donuts, and Oreo cookies. But the idea of any those as a breakfast cereal makes my junk-food-loving heart want to barf.

Oreos are advertised as milk’s favorite cookie. I’ve likely dunked thousands of those sinful chocolate sandwiches into a glass of cold, creamy, heavenly cow juice. Oreo cereal, on the other hand, is a gross false advertisement. It does not taste like Oreo cookies. It is not a favorite of my milk.

In fact, Oreo cereal is, dare I say, an abomination! The same goes for Hostess Twinkie cereal and donut cereal and Honey Bun cereal. For starters, who would eat those and think, “I wish these were crunchy so I could pour them in a bowl with milk.”

Of all those aforementioned snacks, the only one I regrettably tasted in cereal form was the Oreos. I recommend you avoid trying them.

Katie Novotny

I don’t recommend being a bridesmaid. It stinks. So many obligations. So much money spent on someone else’s vision. So many activities you MUST ATTEND OR ELSE YOU’RE A BAD FRIEND even though the aforementioned activity is really for aunts that are not your own.

No matter what type of dress you’re allowed to buy, it won’t look good on you. No matter if you just get to pick a color and get whatever you want, it’s money that could’ve been spent on something more practical—like that week’s grocery haul or the latest kicks from Nike that have been in your wish list for three weeks.

Do yourself a favor and stop being a good friend now before it’s too late. Stop answering texts. Don’t you dare pick up the phone to catch up. Avoid outdoor brunch invitations and start canceling other plans last minute. Become impossible to get ahold of. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll even avoid getting the dreaded invite to the bachelorette party.

The Prompt Staff

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