Jim Goldsworthy

As I have observed before, not every great idea is a good idea. You might even say that some great ideas turn out to be stinkers.

Case in point (as the late Rod Serling used to say on “The Twilight Zone”):

The Associated Press has reported that users of the subway in Vienna, Austria, decided they don’t want to breathe scented air on their trains.

Those who run the trains tried four aromas — hints of green tea, grapefruit, sandalwood and melon. Riders were asked to vote online for their favorite. While 16,000 wanted to continue with the scents, 21,000 said they didn’t want them.

AP reported that the atmosphere in Vienna’s subway cars had already been improved by forbidding passengers to eat on trains. (Talk about clearing the air.)

I have no idea what green tea and sandalwood smell like. If you were to give me grapefruit and melon while I was blindfolded, I would have no idea what either of them would be. But then, I lived downwind of a paper mill for more than a quarter of a century and smoked for at least half of my life, so my nose isn’t as sensitive as some people’s.

Neither, for that matter, is my sense of taste. I know what tastes good and smells good and what doesn’t, and that’s all.

One member of The Famous Company of Myrtle Beach Golfers was celebrating a birthday and decided to spring for a jug of Moet et Chandon champagne that big was enough for all eight of us to have two substantial glasses.

He’s dead now, and for as long as he was alive I chose not to tell him that to me, his $100 champagne tasted exactly like the $8 a gallon stuff I bought when I had a taste for white wine, only it had more bubbles. 

As far as aromas and food are concerned, my philosophy is that if you are going to be around somebody for any length of time and they have eaten something like garlic-laced spaghetti or Coney Island hot dogs with chili and onions, you should have some yourself. (Despite what I’ve heard a few of you say, Gino uses real onions — not something out of a can. I have been there and watched him cut them.)

With that in mind, 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. One of them mentions being around someone who has eaten something that has aromatic side effects.

Rule 260: America has always been The Land of Opportunity and will remain that way, unless it falls into the clutches of those who want to turn it into The Land Where Everything Is Given to You At Somebody Else’s Expense. (As in “Tax the rich, feed the poor, ‘til there are no rich no more...” Ten Years After, 1971)

Rule 261: It is futile to argue with a zealot or try to reason with him. If a zealot appears to agree with you, it’s because he thinks it will appease you and make you go away, leaving him unfettered to proceed with what he intended to do all along. (From one of our editorials.)

Rule 262: Life is like a round of golf. You play one hole at a time, when you come to it. The hole you played before is done and you can’t go back to play it again. You have to finish playing the hole you’re on now before you can play the next one.

Rule 263: The secret is to eat as much as you can, but not as much as you could. (Dennis the Menace.)

Rule 264: If there was a monsoon season in the Middle East, would we call it Soggy Arabia? (That’s not really a rule, just one of the things that occasionally pop into my mind to wonder about.)

Rule 265: Beating people half to death with your particular brand of religion is no way to get them to embrace it, particularly if it is more extreme than what they practice. More than likely, you will just make them want to get away from you. Sharing faith should be a pleasant experience ... not like being in the cab of a pickup truck with someone whose most recent meal is having an unpleasant lower-gastrointestinal side effect upon him. I am speaking as someone who knows this to be true.

Rule 266: Life is a series of narrow escapes punctuated by occasional successes, and one may even lead to another. (Decades ago, a woman dumped me because we were “getting too close.” Her words. Two years later I saw her with another guy, and she suggested — in front of him — that I call her. I didn’t do that, and when I was next in their company again two years after that, they were married. She didn’t even look at me. This turned out to be a case of “Any landing you can walk away from is a good one.”)

Rule 267: Further reflection upon past adventures, misadventures and miss-adventures reveals that I find that I miss the dogs — and at least one cat — far more than I miss the women who owned them.

Rule 268: If people want to get a tattoo, that’s their business. When someone asks me what I think about women who have tattoos, I remenber that Yogi Berra once told Hank Aaron he should hold his bat so he could see the label (it keeps wooden bats from breaking). Hank replied, “I didn’t come here to read.”

Rule 269: The sound of one woman laughing can be melodious and comforting to a man, but the sound of more than one women laughing may terrify him.

Rule 270: Run, Forrest, Run! is sometimes the wisest advise a person can heed.

Rule 271: Before you can be at peace with God, the world or anyone else, you have to be at peace with yourself. That peace has to come from inside. If you try to find it outside, it will evade you.

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