He still cannot believe it was not a best seller.
Years ago, A longtime friend of mine had written and published a book—along with his wife—offering parenting tips intended to enlighten readers about how to do it right. The implication was, “Take advantage of our experience—and raise your kids like this.” The fact that he was the parent of his very first child—three months old—made his parenting book premature, if not outright ridiculous. (Although the chapter on colic was riveting.)
Wisdom is borne of experience, time—and reflection. But that did not stop Paris Hilton from writing a memoir at age 23; Britney Spears at 18; and Miley Cyrus and Justin Beiber at age 16. If I had written a memoir at age 16 it would have about the length of a Taco Bell menu—with more cheese.
But now perhaps I have traveled far enough along in life to offer—authoritatively— a few musings. Is it wisdom? That’s not for me to decide. But will it fill up space here? Yep.
So here in no particular order—or coherence—are some observations, anecdotes and deep thoughts. Their actual depth is somewhere between the ocean’s Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench—and a plastic thimble:
“When I was a kid, I had a mean babysitter. One time, when I was crying, she told me she would give me something to cry about. Then she made watch Old Yeller three times.”
“Using Twitter to express presidential policy is plain wrong. That’s what Instagram is for.”
“My uncle is an accountant who works as a bean counter with Starbucks. He doesn’t get the irony of that.”
“People tell me I’m lucky to have an identical twin. Maybe. But I’ve never acknowledged him because he’s so weird looking.”
“I was thinking: When an ordinary guy is killed by somebody, they say he’s been murdered. But when an important guy is killed, they say he’s been assassinated. So I don’t know if my uncle was an ordinary guy or important. All I know is they say he was ‘bumped off.”
“It has been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Perhaps. But for sure the mouth is the door to the stomach.”
“All the neighbor kids call my nephew Mike ‘Four Eyes.’ Some people say it’s probably because Mike wears glasses. But I think it’s because he has four eyes.”
“If the men who accompanied Lewis and Clark on the trek west knew that Lewis’s first name was Meriwether—why didn’t they turn back?”
“I sometimes think that Abraham Lincoln used the fancy name ‘Emancipation Proclamation’ so that slave owners couldn’t figure out what he was up to.”
“There was a guy in my college so vain he wore a hairpiece. But it was obviously fake—and everyone who saw him in the showers knew it wasn’t his real pubic hair.”
“If someone is unkind to you, turn the other cheek. Unless you’re like my Aunt Jen who only has one.”
“God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. I wish God had said, ‘Let there be TV cable.’ But even then, it probably would only have happened sometime between 9am and 3pm.”
“Cousin Carl always says, ‘If you love someone, set them free.’ He would say that.
He’s doing fifteen to life right now.”
“Yesterday I think I might have caught my cat smoking some weed. Well, I didn’t actually catch him smoking—but I did find three Meow Mix wrappers under the couch.”
“Success in life is 90 percent hard work. The other 35 percent has something to do with education.”
“Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.’ Excuse me, isn’t that exactly backwards?”
“When I arose this morning, I chose Life. And tomorrow morning, I will again choose Life. But the day after that, I will choose Raisin Bran.”
“Stay positive. Be happy. Work hard. Stir well. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.”
“Always keep a smile on your face. It would look creepy if it was on your rear end.”
“I’ve often heard the expression, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ That’s why if someone is looking for me, and I don’t want to be found—I don’t think.”
“One time a friend of mine was accosted in an alley by a bad guy threatening to shoot him. My friend responded coolly by saying, ‘Watch out! I also have a gun! It’s in my pocket—and it’s made of Jell-O. It’s a congealed weapon!’ The bad guy laughed pretty hard at my friend’s quick-witted joke.
Then he shot him.”