Perusing through a bookstore one Christmas, I picked up a volume titled The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book. Hoping to find inspiration for the pending New Year, and avoiding the inevitable unloading of my wallet at the checkout counter, I thumbed through it.
I was seeking enlightenment. I thought that perhaps instead of making several lame resolutions that I'd never keep, I'd take some advice:
#2 Have a dog. I would like to add get rid of the cat.
#70 Whistle. But only in the dark and only if I am alone.
#74 Eat prunes. And, while I'm at it, I'll throw caution to the wind and eat some beets too. This is like jumping out of a plane with a parachute or climbing Mt. Everest, I just haven’t lived until I've done it once. And, oh, the stories I will have to tell the grandkids.
#84 Forget the Joneses. Unless, of course, they are kin and have some of those birthdays I'm supposed to remember or, worse, blackmail pictures from my bad-hair years.
#90 Refill ice cube trays. In what decade was this book written?
#95 Never let anyone ever see you tipsy. When I feel tipsy coming on, I'll excuse myself to the bathroom with my bottle of wine and not come out until I'm knee walking, hardly talking drunk.
#110 Never use profanity. Until I've practiced putting the right emphasis on the words in private, first.
#148 Learn to handle a pistol and a rifle safely. No duh. I’d hate to miss my husband and hit the dog.
#210 Observe the speed limit. So that when the officer stops me for lead-footing it and asks if I know what the speed limit is, I know the right answer.
#246 Wave at children on school buses. And say a prayer for the bus driver.
#264 Don’t gamble. With the exception of the prunes and the beets, naturally.
#289 Find some other way of proving your manhood than by shooting defenseless animals and birds. I hate to say it, but I think I’m getting advice for life from a girlie-man.
#401 Don’t ever watch hotdogs or sausage being made. Any excuse to stay out of the kitchen.
#557 Take along two big safety pins when you travel so you can pin the drapes shut in your motel room. Hubba. Hubba.
#582 When asked to play the piano, do it without making excuses or complaining. Well, okay, but only if everyone promises to listen without making excuses or complaining.
#921 Go to donkey basketball games. ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
#1316 Never tell anybody they can’t sing. Think how boring the American Idol auditions would be.
#1392 Don’t force machinery. No means no.
#1449 Share the remote control. No way. If I ever get my hands on it, I’m not giving it back, even if I have to forgo sleep to win.
#1487 Hug a cow. It’s in the book. I swear.
#1546 Talk to your plants. But if anyone sees you hugging the cow or hears you talking to your plants, or you tell others about your meaningful relationships with bovine and flora, brace yourself for a rocky year.