Editor's Comments

Monday, February 10, 2003

Words to sort of live by

My streak appears safe for another year. Once again, I have not been asked to address any graduates this coming spring, anywhere. And with darn good reason. All the bull hockey they will hear about caterpillars blossoming into butterflies and the flowery hopes and dreams prose isn't really my style.

If I were ever asked, God forbid, I would shoot for some more useful advice, the nuts and bolts that those commencement speakers never seem to get to. So, without further ado, completely unsolicited and totally unwarranted, here is my advice to the class of 2003.

* You were right all along. You never will need algebra in real life.

* Unless you figure you're just like everyone else, don't waste your time reading the same books or listening to the same music everybody says you should.

* When you have kids, never tell them to "grow up." They will, and then you'll miss them.

* Cut up your credit cards. You'll never regret it. If you can't afford it, try not to need it.

* Drinking too much isn't all it's cracked up to be. Notice that the people who want you to, are usually drunks in search of company.

* Be nice to kids and old people. Never forget that you've been one, and hopefully, you're going to be the other.

* When your Mom tells you to wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident, pay attention. I've been in accidents, and even with blood pouring out of you the first thing you think of is what the nurse thinks of your tidy whities.

* Smoking is just plain stupid. Spend the cash on a better class of vice, like overpriced gym shoes or pizza.

* Don't let yourself lose track of your friends. Once lost, they are seldom found, and its never the same.

* Climb a mountain. See a sunset in Paris. Shoot the rapids. Steal a kiss. Try checking out in the express lane with 13 items. Always playing it safe leaves you little but regrets.

* Don't live anywhere without a lake, river, ocean or bay. If it hasn't got water, it is just a glorified parking lot.

* When you go to college, don't get so busy learning career stuff that you forget to learn who you are.

* It won't really hurt to listen to the preacher for half an hour. He may be talking about you.

* If you absolutely have to get a job where you are required to wear a suit, get so good at it that you can wear whatever you want and they won't say boo.

* Don't let prejudice go unchallenged. Life's too short.

* Love's better than money, and it isn't taxed.

* Clock out. Nobody's obituary says that they wished they had worked a few more hours.

* Believe it or not, the coolness of the car you drive isn't really all that important in the long run.

* Do something outdoors for a change.

* Even if you get 200 channels on TV, there still won't be anything on.

* Fake hair, fake tans, fake breasts and fake people are a whole lot of bother.

* Say "please" and "thank you" and there will always be someone happy to help you.

* If you are nice to people who are rich and powerful, but not to people who are poor or helpless, you have it all backward. Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

* Don't ever get too old to go to a concert or a ball game.

* Keep your fingers away from the fanbelt.

* Believe it or not, there is life beyond computers. Check out reallife.com

* Violence is never the answer, and if you don't believe it, I'm going to break every bone in you body.

* Don't worry about doing dishes until all the dishes are dirty. Consider buying more dishes.

* Always drink milk straight from the carton.

* Don't get to hung up on diets and weight, at least not until small children start to throw you walleye and shout, "Hey Shamu!"

* Never, ever, forget to buy a roll of toilet paper when you go to the grocery store. Just trust me on this.

* "Be the ball..."

* What you know is not as crucial as what you know about knowing what you don't know you never knew you didn't know. Or something like that.

* Above all things... be yourself. Unless yourself stinks.

I am certain my speaker invitation will arrive any day.