Cumberland Times-News

Columns

September 15, 2012

Never let on that you did something wrong

It is time for another edition of Goldy’s Rules.

They include Rules I recently thought up or heard about, plus some I have long abided by and only now remembered.

If a few seem familiar, it’s because I’ve already used them in columns that I wrote since the last set of Rules appeared. I included those for the sake of continuity and also for reasons that are explained in Rule 95 and Rule 95a.

Italicized attributions or explanations are added where appropriate.

******

Rule 78: Never argue with women, judges, police officers or anyone else who is more heavily armed than you are. (A lawyer friend of mine once defended a man who actually took a knife to a gunfight.)

Rule 79: The (four-word Anglo-Saxonism) will drive you nuts ... if you let him. (Grandfather Goldsworthy.)

Rule 80: Stop telling God how big the storm is. Instead, tell the storm how big your God is. (Unknown.)

Rule 81: Certain decisions shouldn’t be made until you have to make them. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about them ahead of time. Besides, some decisions will make themselves without any help from you. (An example in my case would be that a woman who was responsible for considerable indecision on my part has moved away, and I’ll probably never hear from her again. Makes life simpler for both of us.)

Rule 82: Beware of the (Anatomical Exit Point) Factor, which says that just about the time you have everything figured out, every contingency has been planned for and nothing can possibly go wrong, some (anatomical exit point) will come along and (threaded wood fastener) everything up. Rule 82a: Sometimes, the (anatomical exit point) is you.

Rule 83: A body in motion will remain in motion, and a body at rest will remain at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force. (Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion.) Goldy’s Corollary A: A man’s body at rest will stay at rest until a woman makes him get up to do something. Corollary B: If a man is in a woman's kitchen, he will be in her way regardless of where he stands or sits. Corollary C: A woman who is a wife, a girlfriend, a mother, a daughter or a daughter-in-law — maybe even a grandmother — is not likely to have much chance to rest in the first place.

Rule 84: One of the injustices associated with growing older is that even though your stomach gets bigger, it can’t hold as much food as it once did.

Rule 85: As you grow older, you tend to repeat yourself.

Rule 86: Pain following an injury is Nature’s way of saying you did something wrong. Rule 86a: Numbness following an injury is Nature’s way of saying you did something really wrong; the pain will begin as the shock wears off.

Rule 87: People who think they’re smarter than other people set traps for themselves. They do this by forgetting that every person they meet knows something they don’t. (After numerous failures, a highly educated former girlfriend went into a fit of rage because she couldn’t beat me at the word game Scrabble. “I can’t understand it,” she said. “I’m smarter than you are!” — which is what she’d told a mutual friend who said she would eventually find out otherwise. I replied, “If you were that smart, you would have realized that this is what I do for a living.” We never played Scrabble again.)

Rule 88: If you want to understand why a dog likes to ride with his head out the car window, go for a ride on a motorcycle.

Rule 89: When something goes wrong in front of an audience, the most important thing to remember is not to say, “Oh, ****!” and stop what you’re doing. Just keep right on going, and they’ll never know the difference.

Rule 90: It takes a mixture of sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter to make gunpowder. A combination of ego, anger and stupidity can be equally explosive; any two of them put together can be survived, but not all three at once.

Rule 91: If there are no cars on the street while you’re walking to your car, the odds are excellent that the first vehicle in a long convoy of traffic will arrive just as you are getting ready to pull out.

Rule 92: It matters not if you remember the number of the Rule, as long as you remember the Rule itself.

Rule 93: He who dies with the most toys is still dead. (Sign in front of a church I pass on my travels to and from work.) Rule 93a: He who dies after spending his last dollar on something he enjoys comes closer to being a winner ... but is still dead.

Rule 94: Sometimes ... you’re wrong. (Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ Rule No. 51.)

Rule 95: As you grow older, you tend to repeat yourself. Only younger people notice this. Older people will understand, even if they don’t realize that they do it themselves. Rule 95a: Repeating yourself gives you the opportunity to say something you forgot to say the first time.

Rule 96: If you go to the well once too often, your bucket will come up filled with mud and rocks. Keep on going to the same well, and you will come up with a $16 trillion-plus deficit.

Rule 97: When you hear people say, “How good can it taste if it doesn’t have any fat in it?” ask them, “How much fat does beer have in it?” (I am told that bacon is responsible for the downfall of more vegetarians than anything else.)

Rule 98: The only thing new is the history you don’t already know. (Harry S Truman.)

Rule 99: There probably has never been a generation of Americans who didn’t think the next generation of Americans was taking the country down the road to ruin. Rule 99a: Each generation of Americans has a core of people whose job it is to pass on to the next generation the values, traditions and other qualities that have made us uniquely American.

Rule 100: If people think it’s stupid, but it works, then it isn’t stupid. (Sarge’s Rule of Combat No. 21.)

Rule 101: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. (Proverbs 3:5)

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