Random stuff. Part one.

Random Truths. A Collection of Mini-rants. Part the First:

After over 60 years of living, I’ve come to understand a few things that are totally true, whether you believe them or not. I originally meant to collect these things and send ‘em to my kids but who knows- maybe somebody else will either learn something or get a laugh or two. Most of these were not written by me. Wherever I know or remember who originally said any of these things, I will credit the author.

This will be added to from time to time and will probably never be done. The list is literally random. I am the Poster Child for A.D.D. So sue me.

People can and will look you straight in the eye and lie to you anyway.

Whatever you do, do it well. Whether or not it is appreciated is not important. You are, by doing any task, signing your name to it.

Reputation is what others think of you and it’s important. But character is who you really are and it’s more important. It predicts what you’ll do even if nobody will ever know. Cultivate both but guard your character more closely.

Never order the “Special” in any eating establishment after 9 pm.

If you do something stupid or unsafe enough times, it will come back to bite your ass. Like driving drunk. Or texting behind the wheel. Don’t. Just don’t.

Anyone who is nice to you but treats waitresses and waiters poorly does not deserve to be your friend.

If you see someone doing something violently wrong, you have a moral duty to try to stop them. You may not stand idly by while a stranger is being attacked, or someone is beating an animal etc. To Hell with your personal safety, how will you feel afterward if you don’t act? If firearms are involved, get outta there pronto and call 911.

In any situation where you are not certain what the right thing to do is, ask yourself “What would my Mom think if she found out about this?”.

Never lend money that you can’t afford to lose.

On a related note, lending money to a friend can kill a friendship. So can borrowing from one. None of this applies to my own friends, who are without flaws. After all, they put up with me. And they loan me money.

If you borrow anything, including money, return it when you said you would or earlier and make sure it’s in the same or better condition that when you borrowed it. Borrowed your friend’s truck so you could move? Return it. Clean. With a full tank.

When in doubt, always say or do the kind thing.

Most politicians have no interest whatever in you unless you are a rich campaign donor. Vote anyway. Every once in a while, the good guys win one. Don’t vote? Don’t bitch.

People who abuse animals have forfeited any right to be treated as human.

Believe it or not, dogs can detect earthquakes 15 to 90 seconds before they occur. This is absolutely true. The science is kinda complicated but if your dog is going batshit for no reason, you felt a sudden quick “What the Hell was that?” bump, and if you live in a quake zone, it won’t hurt anything to take your dog’s word for it. A ninety-second head start can mean the difference between life or death. No shit.

The words “Hey y’all, watch this!” are often final words.

Stolen from Jim Wright’s superb Stonekettle Station blog- Cats are furry machines created for the purpose of transmuting hundred dollar bills into used cat litter.

Be the person your dog thinks you are.

Another from Jim Wright- Cats are pointy at five ends.

I’ve lived over sixty years and I’ve been to two county fairs and a tobacco-spitting contest but I’ve never seen anything so disgusting that a dog won’t roll in it.

There is only one toy that you can purchase for your cat that it will actually use- a catnip mouse. Costs less than a buck. All other toys will be studiously ignored by the cat, regardless of cost. Do not spend money on cat toys. They’ll amuse themselves with shit you never dreamed they’d like to play with.

Catnip works on all members of the feline family. Remember this if you acquire a feline that is bigger than a house cat. A lynx or a mountain lion that is wired on catnip is gonna be a problem.

Bunnies are superb house pets. They belong inside, not outdoors in a hutch. They are intensely social creatures and suffer greatly if they are alone and only have a tiny hutch to live in. Not enough people know this. Now you do and I expect you to take this light unto the world. Also, they love to chew wires and they only have to hit the wrong combination of wires once. Your kids will not appreciate a fried bunny. Either keep all your wires where the bunny cannot reach (Good luck with that.) or armor them (The wires, not the bunny. Do I have to explain everything?), preferably with metal mesh. The stuff they sell at pet stores as wire armor is plastic and bunnies take to it like it was crack.

Actual, verifiable fact- 80 per cent of people think they are above-average drivers. Consider yourself warned.

A nervous cop is a nasty cop. They have a difficult job. Don’t make cops nervous. If the lights go on behind you, pull over as soon as it is safe. Leave the lights on, turn on the 4-ways. If it is dark, turn on the inside light and roll the driver’s window down. If you have passengers, tell them all to sit still. Put your hands on the steering wheel and leave them there. When the officer comes up, s/he will want to see your license, registration, insurance card, etc. Before you move, tell the officer where these items are and ask if it’s OK to get them. They’ll tell you whether it’s OK to get them or not and when to get them. Remember, you want the officer to feel safe. Being polite won’t hurt either. Don’t ask why you were pulled over, the cop will tell you, assuming they had a real reason to do so. BTW, they don’t need a reason. Don’t argue, don’t tell the cop that the Mayor is your brother-in-law. Shut up, sit still and be patient. Ninety per cent of the time, if you do the above, the cop will let you go even if you’re guilty of a minor violation. If you’re drunk or have drugs in plain sight, you’re going to jail. Deal with it. The cop has zero discretion on stuff like that- if they let you go, they can lose their job. If you are getting arrested, do not resist. Go along quietly- if you try to fight or run, you’re just gonna end up tired and sore and in jail anyway.

Don’t bullshit a cop. They are trained to observe stuff you never thought of, they have computers in their cars and can, in less than five minutes, find out more about you than your Mother knows. If you’re license is revoked, they knew before they pulled your ass over. They hear lies all day and all night long. They hate being lied to. So would you if you had their job. Tell the truth, be cool and polite.

This should go without saying but never, ever, under any circumstances offer a bribe to a cop. Even if you’re trying to be slick and have a hundred dollar bill wrapped around your license. You’re not slick. You’re telling the officer that you think that their honor is up for sale. Bad move.

Same thing applies to PBA cards, etc. If you have one or more in your wallet along with your license, the cop will see them, especially (Hint.) if you keep your driver’s license behind a couple of PBA cards. If you pull a PBA card out, now you’re asking for special treatment. Just leave the card where it is, assume the cop saw it, shut up and don’t be a dick.

Still working the car motif, if you see someone broken down on the side of the road, only you can decide whether to help or not. You’re not legally obligated, unless someone is in clear danger of dying. If you do decide to help, be smart. If you see a woman alone, stop well back from her car, get out slowly and have your cell phone handy. Walk slowly toward the car but stop well short of it. Imagine yourself alone in the dark with a total stranger nearby. Ask, or more probably, if you’ve left sufficient distance between you and the other driver, yell “Are you OK?” or “Do you need help?” or “Have you called for help?”. If you’re told the other person is OK, the final thing you should do is ask if they’d like you to wait in your car until help arrives. Let their answer guide your actions. If they haven’t called for help, ask if they want to borrow your cell phone. If so, tell them to roll the window down slightly, just enough so you can pass the phone in. Stay back from the car as much as possible, this is a stressful situation and you don’t want to add more stress. Imagine your daughter or wife in this situation. It goes without saying that you should mind the passing traffic so that some idiot doesn’t mow you down. If it turns out that the person has a flat but doesn’t know how to change a tire, as long as they have a spare and a jack, you should just volunteer to fix it. Regardless of the weather. Or if you’re wearing your brand new suit. Just do it. You’d want somebody to help your kid or your wife. Without stressing them out. So change that tire and get over it. You’ll feel better when you get home. Trust me.

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