1. Having a Very Loud Motorcycle or Very Loud Car Is Not Impressive.
If your goal is to get attention, then mission accomplished! If your goal is to get positive attention, then you’re a colossal failure. I could teach a blind monkey how to adjust a carburetor so the engine makes extra noise. All you’re doing on your motorcycle is moving your wrist around on the handlebar, the exact same motion a little girl makes while twirling her yo-yo. All you’re doing in your car is pushing down on the gas pedal, the exact same motion my mother-in-law makes when using the sustain pedal on her piano. The only reason to have a really loud vehicle? Your parole officer is really lazy and needs to hear when you’re coming and going.
2. An Argument Should Never Last More Than Two Minutes.
That’s a generous one-minute for each party to state his case. If it takes any longer than sixty seconds to explain your side of an issue, you either don’t have a good argument or you’re just repeating the same points over and over. It doesn’t matter if the topic is politics, sports, food, art, movies or the best kind of soap. Get your ideas together in your head before your tongue starts rattling around. Sample argument: Which team is better, Mets or Yankees? Even if you speak slowly, this should take all of nine seconds. The Yankees have better pitching, better hitting, a better record and play in a tougher division. The Mets don’t spend as much money as the Yankees but if they did they might have better players and be more competitive. Yankees better. Please don’t argue with me. And if you do, I’m bringing my egg timer.
3. Boxing Is Stupid as a Form of Self-Defense.
If you truly need to defend yourself, you’re much better off with something that also uses your legs (like Tae Kwon Do), your elbows (Krav Maga) or twisting and gravity (Aikido). Still disagree? Try this experiment. Take your hand, make a fist, and then punch yourself in the jaw as hard as you can. Your jaw won, right? No? They both hurt? Well I just did it and my hand hurts a lot more. Not that my jaw doesn’t hurt. It does. Just not as much as my hand.
4. No Matter How Talented a Whistler You Are, Nobody Wants to Hear it.
No, not your best friend, not your wife, not the people you work with, not even your dog… which is why as soon as he hears you whistle he immediately runs to you so you’ll stop. Okay, let me break it down for you. Whistling is not that hard. Most five year-olds can do it. In fact, I think every one of the Little Rascals was awesome at it. Whistling must have been pretty avant-garde and neato in the 1840s when people were working on railroads or in coal mines and needed to take their minds off their sorry lot in life, but after Edison and his little phonograph came out, it became a socially unacceptable ear irritant. So cut it out already.
5. Telling People About Your 65-inch Plasma Is Irrelevant Without Providing More Information.
A 65-inch plasma seems awesome and gigantic and legitimately brag-worthy—but not until you let others know the dimensions of the room it’s in and how far away from it you sit. If you keep that 65” behemoth in your cavernous, ostentatious 2,000 square foot living room and sit in your $9,000 chinchilla recliner (with the Bose speakers built into the headrest) 13 feet away from the screen, the picture will actually seem smaller than if you watched a 14” plasma in a storage closet. Which is how I always watch the Super Bowl and it’s majestic.
6. You’re Not Doing Anyone Any Favors With That Expandable Leash.
All it does is confuse your dog. “Do I have three feet of freedom… or eight feet… or four feet… or twelve feet… or three feet?” Bottom line: Your Doberman’s still on a leash and attached to your hand. He can’t do the things he wants to do like kill a squirrel or chase a Volkswagen EOS to see the prick who bought the overpriced Jetta. On your stupid expandable leash your dog thinks that he’s a yo-yo and you think he’s a trout and meanwhile you’re just getting that cord tangled around kids’ ankles, other dogs’ tails and other owners’ waists and burning permanent indentations into everyone’s skin because skin isn’t as durable as the steel cables that are embedded underneath the hardened plastic of that dreadful tether of death! Oh, and yes you, the owner of said leash could also get tangled and then trip and break your clavicle so just trust me, use a regular leash. Your dog will be a lot better behaved, a lot less confused, and you won’t have anybody suing you because your leash ripped the calf off his four-year-old.
7. If the Only Thing You Have in Common With a Friend is Knowing Him for Years, Drop Him.
First of all, as you get older the more your friends will bug you. Doesn’t matter who the friend is or what your personality is: time + time spent with people = a little side dish of misery. As the human brain ages, it burns more and more unique pathways in the neurons that enable you to not like someone in a multitude of new ways. Quirks that were once tolerated (such as splitting the check five ways when there’s only three of you or wearing two different sneakers) are no longer considered eccentric and now appear at the top of your own personal Hierarchy of Annoyances. Plus, as you get older you realize just how limited your time is and that maybe it’s better to actually spend the balance of it with people you like now, not in 1993.
8. There are Tons of Better Places to Give Money to Than Your Alma Mater.
It’s amazing that institutions that charge upwards of $50,000 a year have the nerve to call/e-mail/mail/call you again/beg you for more cash! That’s like your BMW dealer knocking on your door with a tip jar after you just paid cash for a quartet of 325s! You’ve bled me for over 200k? What more do you leechy maggot-leeches want from me? Here! Take the keys to my house and just stop by and grab my computer or vintage wines whenever you feel like it. There are a few exceptions where it’s okay to give to your institute of higher learning.
1. If you give them so much money that they name a building after you. On the other hand, if you’re that needy and desperate that you need your name on a building, just buy a can of Krylon, set your alarm clock for 3:30 a.m. and spray-paint your John Hancock onto the façade of your local mall.
2. If you got a full scholarship and if you now have tons of disposable income, be my guest and go ahead and send Yale a check or money order for $100.
3. If you still haven’t even come close to making a dent in all your student loans, write that $5,000,000 check to the University of Wisconsin and then pay your bank the $25 overdraft fee when it bounces. What’s an extra $25 when you’re drowning in debt? Don’t cave into your university’s little Ponzi scheme! And, yes, I realize that some of the donations go towards scholarships for needy kids, but most of it goes into a giant bank account that the Dean can brag to other Deans about.
9. Less Than Three Percent of the People You Send Photos of Your Kid to Give a Crap.
And that figure includes your family. Oh yes, people will pretend to be amazed at the picture of your six-year-old wearing his Cub Scout hat and eating pizza (“Wow! He’s simultaneously wearing a hat and holding a triangular piece of bread coated in cheese! Amazing!!! That must’ve been PhotoShopped!”), but in reality, NOBODY BUT YOU CARES. People care about their own kids and their own pets and their own lives. Besides, there are seven billion people on the planet, and probably three or four billion of them are children, so yours aren’t that unique. In case you forgot, it’s really not that tough to reproduce. Unless you’re a giant panda.
10. Anything Can Be a Bookmark.
So you should never spend money on one. No, not even that adorable laminated strip with the zebra hologram on it. You can use a pen, a toothpick, a stick of gum, a paperclip, a tube of Neosporin, a leaf, a bar of soap, a can of soup, a Crest Whitestrip, a rock, an iPhone, a steak knife, some foreign currency that you never spent in Ecuador, a broom, a slice of turkey, a whiffle ball bat, another book, a sleeping hamster, a top hat or a spelling-bee trophy. Or just dog-ear the pages, provided it’s not a library book. Or just dog-ear the pages even if it is a library book and just pretend that it was all dog-eared when you got it. Or tear out the pages as you’re done reading them and then fold them up into bookmark shapes and give them out as gifts to your friends on their birthdays. Everybody wins!