Saturday, February 1, 2014


                Old people love to give advice, and since I turn age 76 tomorrow, and thus qualify firmly as old, I am indulging myself with what follows.  Stick with me and your life will improve, or your money back.

--Smile when another car passes you on the road because you never want to be the fastest guy out there.

--When someone is tailgating you slow down gradually by taking your foot off the accelerator. The jerk will go around you and bother someone else.

--In your first visit to any Italian restaurant, order lasagna. If it’s not good don’t return because it’s unlikely that the place will make anything else well, either.

--If you’re writing anything that could get you into trouble, hold it overnight before sending.

--Be grateful if you’re happy in the water because swimming is the best exercise. It provides a full-body workout without stressing your frame.

--Netflix is the best company. It offers 100,000-odd movie or TV titles, its delivery system is seamless and you can keep the discs as long as you like. Plus, when you need to call, an American will answer.

--If I had my life to live over I’d pay more attention in foreign-language classes and take better care of my teeth.

--Wear as few clothes as possible. I like Arizona because I can get away with shorts, t-shirts and sandals nine months of the year.

--When your wife calls you “sweetheart” you can be pretty sure something else is coming.

--The only way to know what’s going on is to read the New York Times. You may not agree with its editorials but it’s the only U.S. newspaper that covers the world.

--Playing the horses makes you an expert on your own failings, but the knowledge does you little good.

--If you have a choice, get in the line with the fewest women.

--Don’t expect star athletes to be outstanding (or even upstanding) human beings. Most have been spoiled since early childhood and behave accordingly.

--Professional sports teams are businesses and make most decisions with an eye to the bottom line. Remember that before you give one your heart.

--Credit cards are a great deal if you can pay your balances in full every month. That way you get a free loan with every purchase. Otherwise you might as well be borrowing from the Mafia.

--The more any program strives for “fairness” the more complicated and less workable it becomes. I’m thinking specifically of Obamacare and the NFL’s TV-review system.

--When someone prefaces a remark with “with all due respect” or “no offense meant,” you know you’re going to be dissed.

-- Anyone who holds up big companies as efficiency models for government probably never worked in a big company.

--I don’t carry a cell phone and don’t feel a lack. Very few calls can’t be returned an hour or even a day later.  (Yes, I’m retired, but I worked without one for close to 50 years.)

--The best seats in any baseball park are behind home plate, from where the action spreads out before you and you can see what the pitchers are throwing. Surprisingly, they’re often among the cheapest and easiest to get. My favorite ones in the upper deck at Chase Field in Phoenix usually sell for $16 per, about one-fifth of what some people downstairs are paying for inferior views.

--The best seat for any football game is in front of your TV set.

--If one of your elected representatives does something you really don’t like, let him or her know about it. It probably won’t make a difference but will make you feel better.

--I rarely sign up for anything where I pay up front and must hustle to receive the benefits. Disneyland makes big money from that system.

--Brussel sprouts are the best vegetables. If you don’t like them you probably aren’t cooking them right; cut in half and fried in butter is one good way.

--If you can see retirement coming, line up a few things to keep you busy when the days arrive. Just vegging out can get old fast.

--Relatedly, if you’re retired and have two errands to run, don’t do both the same day.

--Try to enjoy whatever you do because that’s the only reward you’re likely to get.

--Advice is much easier to give than to take.


andrew said...

Awesome article. I can't believe you used the word "dissed".

Here's a good one
1.) Don't expect thoughtful birthday presents from your children on your birthday. They are usually way too self-possessed, poor, and busy to even get a lame Hallmark card in the mail. You will just have to trust that they love you and are immensely appreciative you for all you have done for them.

Mike Levy said...

Oh great sage, a happy birthday to a hundred and twenty, P. G. I rarely agree with all that you say, but this instance is surely the exception. All the very best,

Your friend,
Mike Levy

Mike Klein said...

Appreciate the advice, though I'll beg off on the lasagna because I've never liked the stuff and can't tell the good f rom the bad. Hope you got the card from Barnes and Noble, as I don't currently share Andrew's poverty excuse. :)

Mike Klein said...

Appreciate the advice, though I'll beg off on the lasagna because I've never liked the stuff and can't tell the good f rom the bad. Hope you got the card from Barnes and Noble, as I don't currently share Andrew's poverty excuse. :)

Michael Smith said...

An excellent compendium of wisdom to which I may have to refer more often than I'd like.5