When I was kid, old people always started their stories with “When I was your age …” and then they’d ramble on for awhile until one of us got bored. They meant well, like a strange dog licking your face, but, since I had no idea what — uh — life experiences their tongues had been through, wagging them at me about life, love and the logistics of adolescent sex was kinda icky. Fast forward 50 years, and now I’m the guy telling the stories. Luckily, these days, young people aren’t forced to be as polite as we were, so most of my tales remain untold, thank God! However, on occasion I do feel the need to bore the hell out of people with some free old man advice.
Never drink Tequila on an empty stomach. Unlike most alcohol, tequila is unforgiving, and whereas you’re probably going to do something stupid with whiskey, beer and even red wine, tequila will turn you into the Mad Hatter, escaped from Wonderland. One time, in a border town called Sierra Vista — well — let’s just say nearby Fort Huachuca is a CIA listening post, and even though they’re awfully busy. sometimes they’re very interested in listening to a loudmouth Canadian.
Don’t waste your breath telling people to “Calm down!” (Does this ever work?) Once, through no fault of my own, I made a rude hand gesture to a biker, his girlfriend and his somewhat larger companion. And believe me, telling them to “calm down” was not as useful as the cops who showed up in the nick of time.
Definitely, sweat the details! It’s never the big stuff that does you in, but forget one condom (twice) at the Alpha Phi Sorority’s Hayride-Under-The-Stars, and you’re in for four weeks of protracted anxiety.
Unless your doctor has absolutely no sense of humour, never listen to your inner child — ’cause when you try to explain how you burned your private parts with chocolate sauce and get your foot caught in the toaster, it’ll be a lot easier if she doesn’t burst out laughing halfway through.
And that’s the problem with old people telling stories — even though they might offer some sage advice, they’re normally pretty boring.