I am turning 47 years old in a couple days, which is hard for my brain to accept, since it regularly tells my body I’m still 25. My knees, my back, and my hamstrings, however, agree with the calendar.
They say with age, comes wisdom. I wish that were more true. Nonetheless, in honor of living through another trip around the sun, I have added to my list of thoughts, observations, and acquired “wisdom.”
Here it is - one for each year. You’re welcome, America.
1. There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who prefer the toilet paper to come off the top of the roll, and those who are wrong.
2. If beds were advertised the same way as tents, a queen-size mattress would “sleep nine adults comfortably.”
3. The three-second rule has a lot of leeway depending on if what you dropped was the last one.
4. People who say things like, “We’re going to cross-functionalize and parallel task your mission-critical bandwidth,” don’t understand what they’re saying any more than you do.
5. And I don’t understand why disappointed is not the opposite of appointed.
6. Pi and the circumference of a circle have a similar relationship to pie and the circumference of a person.
7. Here’s the main difference between men and women: Men can look at an ad for women's underwear and get excited. I’m not talking about women in underwear, just the underwear itself. Women do not get excited looking at pictures of boxer shorts.
8. You are wholeheartedly fooling yourself if you think the government is efficient at anything except taking your money.
9. The clearest evidence that capitalism beats communism is that the Red Bull beverage company put a man in space. Take that, North Korea. Anheuser-Busch can probably shoot down your nukes.
10. If you give enough money to the right charities, you will never have to buy address labels again.
11. Owning a pool in the winter is like making payments on your new snowmobiles all summer.
12. You cannot use the phrase, “To be honest with you...” without giving the listener the impression you aren’t always being honest.
13. When pulling out a stump with your truck, make sure the roots don’t have ahold of your water main. Trust me.
14. When packing thirteen suitcases into the car for your wife, is it impossible to have ten of them be “on top” so she can get to them easily.
15. If one of my boys saw their brother in a fight, I'm certain they would jump in and help. I'm just not sure which side they'd be on.
16. You can ask someone to do something, or you can tell them how you want it done, but you can’t do both.
17. A good indicator of where you are in life is this: Does the advertisement of free food still affect your decision making?
18. Fabric softener sheets go in the dryer, not the washer. Just FYI. I’m not saying I didn’t know that.
19. There is no “t” or “t” sound in the word across. There is no “b” or “b” sound in the word supposedly. Please pronounce accordingly.
20. Men are far more likely to clean things with spit than women are.
21. Money and toilet paper have something in common – They’re both easy to take for granted until you run out. Also, in totally opposite, but equally dire situations, they can be substituted for each other.
22. Drive while driving. Always.
23. If you ask any guy to tell you a story about a time he almost died, he will have four stories just off the top of his head, and one will be from this year. If you ask women the same question, most of them will look at you like you’re crazy.
24. One sure sign of getting old – When you start sitting down to put on your pants.
25. Children and ceiling fans are simply incompatible. It’s science.
26. In life, it is very important to remember where you are and why you're there. That way, when your podiatrist tells you to drop your shorts, you’ll ask some questions first.
27. Your dog thinks it has saved you from being murdered at least a thousand times by barking at the front window, yet you remain completely ungrateful.
28. Hold out as long as you can before putting on your first pair of magnifying “reader” glasses. The second you do, your eyes give up like a marathoner crossing the finish line.
29. People who don’t use their cruise control on the freeway should be pulled over and water-boarded.
30. There are 21 words in the English language that need to be used more. They are: bailiwick, hootenanny, skullduggery, scofflaw, ballyhoo, shenanigans, donnybrook, catawampus, chicanery, cajoled, hullabaloo, besmirch, boondoggle, haberdashery, melee, befuddled, flummoxed, hoosegow, wiseacre, tomfoolery, and kerfuffle. Please begin immediately.
31. Pointing out that Van Gogh’s “girlfriend” was actually a prostitute during a fifth-grade art docent lesson is not helpful for anyone involved. Again, I’m not saying I did this; I just want you to know.
32. You cannot claim to be a grown woman, fully capable of taking care of yourself, and also claim that you do not know how to operate a toilet seat.
33. We, as humans, all share a universal reaction – the automatic flinch when the driver hits the button and starts rolling up the car window under your arm.
34. Don’t waste your time trying to have a logical conversation with a teenager. Their brains are physically incapable of sustained logic. Instead, just give them healthy food in large quantities and cross your fingers that they leave your house at some point in your lifetime.
35. To be or not to be is not the question. The real question is, which towel in the guest bathroom am I allowed to use to dry my hands?
36. Give a boy enough time with any object, whether it be a stale Cheerio, a bouncy ball, a doll, or a book, and he will eventually turn it into a weapon.
37. Getting passport photos taken at Walmart seems ironic.
38. In order to properly keep up with the hair from a shedding dog, you should own enough Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners to equal the dog’s weight. For instance, a seventy-pound Lab requires six Roombas (running twenty-four hours a day).
39. The idiots who wear their pants down below their butts and have to waddle with their legs spread to keep their pants from simply falling to the ground are also the idiots who are most likely to try to run from the police at some point. That makes me smile.
40. The people of Earth can be easily divided into two categories: People you would let watch your kids for five minutes, and people you wouldn’t.
41. The person who invented the hotel shower curtain rod that curves out away from the tub so the shower curtain doesn’t stick to your arm should receive the Nobel prize.
42. The problem with trying to raise independent, strong-willed children is that if you are succeeding, you have to live with independent, strong-willed children.
43. Guys, do you ever have trouble figuring out if you’ve had too much to drink? Here’s a handy guideline:
“There is no way I can scratch that itch on my ankle while I’m standing here peeing, so I will not try.” – You’re still OK
“I can totally do it without peeing on myself.” – You are drunk
44. A kid’s definition of “pool toy” is different than an adult’s. We think of pool toys as something designed to be played with in a pool. They define “pool toy” as anything they own, if it happens to be brought into the pool. Like a bike or a sandwich.
45. No matter who you are, no matter where you're from, there is one shared experience that binds us all together as one people: The sheer horror of the ketchup or mustard water falling from the unshaken bottle and contaminating your food forever. I feel your pain.
46. I just said, “I don’t want you two on top of each other on the couch. Find something else to do,” to two of my sons. I guess I should be grateful, because it probably won’t be too long before I’ll need to say that to one of them and his girlfriend.
47. If you have to choose, it makes more sense to become a strong swimmer than a strong runner. You don’t automatically die when you stop running.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2019 Marc Schmatjen
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