As I rapidly approach sixty, I realize that my life has been a learning experience. In the interests of passing on my wealth of accumulated useful knowledge to the next generation, here’s a list of what I’ve learned so far:
* Don’t eat the yellow snow. I think this one goes without saying but for transplanted southerners who’ve never seen snow before, it’s definitely a useful lesson.
* Avoid places with blood on the floor. There may be any number of reasons why it’s there but none is worth risking your safety to explore.
* Always take a nap whenever possible.
* Steer clear (literally) of cars with dents. It may not necessarily mean that the operator is a bad driver but why take a chance? This rule also applies to secondhand car purchases.
* Check that the wipers aren’t frozen to the windshield on cold, icy days. This lesson may be imparted in another fashion but it will likely cost you anywhere from $150 to $300.
* Start drinking decaf after age fifty. If you really need a caffeine-like jolt, just look at yourself in the mirror in the morning before you get started.
* Double-check to make sure the server uses the orange-ringed coffee pot when you order decaf in a restaurant. Otherwise, you may miss your afternoon nap.
* If your wife catches you looking at another woman, just say that she reminded you of her.
* Replacing a toilet is harder than it looks.
* Remember; traffic cops seldom seem to have a sense of humor.
* When a dog continues to bark to be let out, there’s usually a good reason.
* Cold water and vinegar can remove urine stains and odor from a carpet.
* Replacing a faucet is harder than it looks.
* Putting a piece of aluminum foil in a light socket to correct for a loose connection doesn’t work. Don’t ask.
* Locate where your car jack is in your trunk BEFORE you might actually need it.
* Check your flashlight batteries periodically and not just when the lights go out.
* Do not call computer help lines expecting help. If you’re looking for a pleasant, congenial conversation, fine. But if you actually want help, you’re going to have to pay someone.
* Appliance repair is an oxymoron.
* Repairing a light fixture is harder than it looks.
* Baking powder is not the same as baking soda.
* No one will eat chocolate chip cookies made with baking powder.
* Carob chips aren’t as good as real chocolate chips.
* Don’t let your wife throw out your favorite sweatpants/shirt/jeans/hat/slippers. Believe me; you’ll regret it.
* Don’t forget your wife’s birthday, your wedding anniversary and Valentine’s Day.
* Your parents were right: investing in bonds is a better long-term bet than mutual funds.
* Don’t sing in the shower. You’re not Frank Sinatra.
* Duct tape cannot fix all problems. Most, but not all.
* Changing your car’s oil and filter is harder than it looks.
* Never go to bed angry unless, of course, it’s really late and you were in the right and there’s no way in hell you’re going to apologise this time. Except for that, never go to bed angry.