I turned 51 years old today. There are two pieces of good news associated with that.
First, I got a birthday card from my parents that informed me Shaquille O’Neal, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, Eminem, Brad Paisley, and Mia Hamm are all my same age. And I’d say we’re not doing too bad, as a group.
Second, for about the past three or four months I thought I was already 51 and turning 52 today, so when I finally did the math, it was like getting a year younger instead of a year older. I highly recommend this method.
On or around my birthday, I have traditionally added one piece of “wisdom” (using that term very loosely) to this list. At 51, however, I am officially changing the format to begin reducing the amount of “wisdom” on this list by one thought per year. Why? Well, let’s face it, when I turn 100, the last thing you want to have to do is read 100 rambling, nonsensical ideas from my no longer functioning brain.
So, here it is – 49 at 51. We’ll be subtracting one each year until the wheels come off. You’re welcome.
1. The clearest evidence that capitalism beats communism is that we have at least three private citizens who own multiple space rockets. Suck it, North Korea.
2. People who are starting with nothing have a great advantage, because they are perfectly willing to risk it all.
3. There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who prefer the toilet paper to come off the top of the roll, and those who are wrong.
4. Things would go a lot smoother out there if everyone just drove while driving.
5. With the circumference of a circle, Pi is always a fixed number. With the circumference of a person, pie is rarely a fixed number.
6. The truth is like poetry, and nobody really likes poetry.
7. Here’s one of the main differences 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. Love is great and all, but the strongest force in the universe is clearly the one that holds 5-gallon buckets together in the stack.
9. Around mid-November each year, my feelings toward the “Christmas lights stay up on the house all year” crowd changes briefly from mild distain to all out jealousy.
10. The three-second rule has a lot of leeway depending on if what you dropped was the last one.
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. You find out a lot about a person by how they deal with airports.
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 never 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. There are very few things in life that can make you feel as special as the phrase, “or current resident.”
23. If you ask any guy to tell you a story about a time he almost died, he will have three 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. We guys are much, much dumber.
24. Nothing says I never want to have a real job quite like a face tattoo.
25. Closing the door to avoid waking someone up but accidentally waking them up by closing the door is irony. If it doesn't fit that pattern then it’s not irony. It's just a coincidence or unfortunate. I’m looking at you, Alanis Morissett.
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. Nothing good has ever happened below 90.1 FM.
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 waterboarded.
30. You can't take bell peppers off a pizza.
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. I’m not saying I did this, and I’m not saying I didn’t do this – I’m just saying you should avoid doing this.
32. It’s hard to 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. The fact that there is such a thing as the American Cemetery Excellence Award is proof that there is no industry that will not self-congratulate.
34. Quantity of repetition does not equal truth.
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. There is a big, and usually obvious, difference between something that was designed and something that was just built.
37. Its not interchangeable. (take all the time you need)
38. When raising boys, there is a fine line between upraising and uprising.
39. If a pest control company has a permanent “now hiring” sign painted on their truck, chances are it might not be a great place to work.
40. Scientists recently discovered that female dragonflies will fake their own death to avoid mating with males. I’ll bet all the married scientists were like, “Yup.”
41. You know when you pull into a parking space next to someone who is parked at a crazy angle, so it forces you to park at that same crazy angle, then you come back to your car and the other car is gone, so it just looks like you chose to park at the crazy angle for no reason? You always hope that the people who saw your car by itself understood that someone else forced you to do it, but you know damned well you yourself never gave the first guy the benefit of that doubt.
42. The challenge with raising independent, free-thinking adults is that you have to live with independent, free-thinking 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’re drunk
44. Be wary of any celebrity’s restaurant endorsements if that same celebrity also endorses an antacid.
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 ruining your perfect bun. I feel your pain.
46. If you are looking to try it, kombucha is an acquired taste. Meaning you have to acquire one of those long skinny cheese graters and completely scrape all the taste buds off your tongue. Then you can drink it.
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.
48. It’s time for text-in radio contests to stop saying, "message and data rates may apply." At this point, if people don't understand how their text and data plans work, they should learn the hard way.
49. You can give a teenager reminders about your departure time every fifteen minutes for hours ahead of time, but they will never start looking for their shoes until you are sitting in the car.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen
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