Monday, December 12, 2005
I've received my first fruitcake already. MY WIFE is worried that folks who don't like my blog will be sending me fruitcakes loaded with rat poison, and that I shouldn't have published our address. My response? Pshaw!
(I've always wanted to actually say that. And "Harrumph!", too. I don't think anybody has actually ever said those words, but they seem like the sorts of words to which there really aren't any comeback. However, I digress.)
I feel that publishing our address here isn't that big a deal. First, if someone wants to find out my address, it's not all that hard to do. My real name is public knowledge and so is the town I live in, so it wouldn't be much work to find out the street. Second, though, as much as it pains me to admit it? My readership just isn't that big. It wouldn't be very hard to track down someone who tried to send me a fruitcake loaded with arsenic.
Anyway, MY WIFE says we should buy a canary and feed it little bits of each fruitcake I receive. That's probably sound advice. I'm ignoring it, of course, as I do with most sound advice I receive. Some of you might not be as foolhardy, though, so here's a selection of some of the best advice I've ever received and I hope it helps you to avoid life's poisoned fruitcakes.
Again, I'll point out what should be obvious: I haven't always followed this advice. However, I've never found a time when any of it wasn't correct.
1 - SOONER OR LATER, EVERYTHING HAPPENS.
2 - WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE.
3 - IT IS ALWAYS EASIER TO STAY OUT THAN TO GET OUT.
(For instance, it's much easier to say "No" to someone offering you that first shot of heroin than it will be for you to go cold turkey later.)
4 - THE MONEY YOU LOSE WILL ALWAYS HURT MORE THAN AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU WIN WILL FEEL GOOD, SO NEVER GAMBLE TO THE EXTENT THAT IT WILL HURT TO LOSE.
5 - WHEN EVERYBODY IS SAYING WITH A CERTAINTY THAT SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN, THAT'S THE BEST TIME TO BET THAT IT WON'T.
(Case in point: Y2K.)
6 - PAYING FOR QUALITY WILL, IN THE LONG RUN, COST YOU LESS.
(One pair of really good shoes will last longer than two pair of crappy ones.)
7 - TIME ISN'T ON ANYONE'S SIDE.
(Eat right, exercise, die anyway.)
8 - IF YOU DO WHAT'S RIGHT, YOU'LL GET WHAT'S RIGHT.
9 - EVERYTHING IS ADDICTIVE; IT'S JUST A MATTER OF DEGREE.
10 - IF YOU DID IT, ADMIT IT.
(It is almost always better to tell the truth and be done with it, than to have to remember who you lied to and when. However...)
11 - SOMETIMES A LIE IS HOLY.
(If you can save someone much pain and sorrow by telling a lie, then a lie is morally better than the truth. For instance, if someone is dying, and they ask you if their life insurance is paid up and will take care of their family, but it isn't and won't, will telling them that help them in any way? If you know for sure that nothing can be done about it, tell them that everything is all set and they've got nothing to worry about. Not all situations are that clear cut, but you get the idea.)
12 - NEVER RUN WHEN YOU CAN WALK AND NEVER WALK WHEN YOU CAN RIDE.
NEVER STAND WHEN YOU CAN SIT AND NEVER SIT WHEN YOU CAN LIE DOWN.
AND IF SOMEONE IS PULLING YOUR WAGON, THERE'S NO SENSE IN YOU GETTING OUT TO PUSH.
(Otherwise known as Suldog's Philosophy Of Life...)
13 - WHEN THAT LITTLE VOICE SAYS, "NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO QUIT", IT IS.
14 - IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE YOU CAN WIN, THEN YOU SHOULDN'T BE GAMBLING.
(You wouldn't believe how many people go to Las Vegas firmly expecting to lose more money than they would spend on a comparable vacation elsewhere. For goodness' sakes, people, either go to Disneyworld or go to Las Vegas and DON'T GAMBLE.)
15 - WHEN SOMEBODY TELLS YOU THAT BREAD COST A NICKEL IN THEIR DAY, REMEMBER THAT THEY WERE PROBABLY ONLY MAKING THIRTY CENTS AN HOUR.
(The "Good Old Days" sometimes just seem that way based on incomplete evidence.)
16 - YOU WILL NEVER REGRET HAVING BEEN POLITE AS MUCH AS YOU WILL HAVING BEEN RUDE.
17 - IF SOMETHING NEEDS DOING, THEN DO IT NOW.
18 - AN APOLOGY DOESN'T COST ANYTHING.
19 - WHEN YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO TAKE A PISS, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO GAIN IF YOU DON'T?
20 - THERE'S NOTHING IN THE WORLD THAT A HUG WON'T HELP, AT LEAST A LITTLE.
21 - IF YOU'RE PLAYING FOOTBALL, THEN YOU HAVE TO EXPECT TO FOLLOW FOOTBALL RULES.
(My Dad said this many years ago, concerning the Catholic church, and I agree totally. If you know going in what the rules are, and you join of your own free will, then you really have no right to complain that the rules are oppressive once you're in. Nobody forced you to join and nobody is forcing you to stay.)
(That's why I'm no longer a Catholic.)
22 - FUCK 'EM IF THEY CAN'T TAKE A JOKE.
(Really. Just get the hell out of there while you can. There's nothing more deadly to the spirit than a person [or organization] with no sense of humor.)
And, finally, this isn't really advice, per se, but more a philosophy of life.
23 - I WAS SAD BECAUSE I HAD NO SHOES, UNTIL I MET A MAN WHO HAD NO FEET. SO I ASKED HIM, "HEY, CAN I HAVE YOUR SHOES?"
And, if you've got a problem with that last bit? See number 22.