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November, 2010

If I Could Suggest Just One Thing...

by Larry

With each new Thanksgiving holiday, I watch with increased gratitude my passing years. Now that I have reached the august age of 67, not to be confused with the September age of 66 or the October age of 68, I have begun to notice that a distressingly large number of people I have known, admired, or been inspired by are no longer among the living.

This puts quite a stress on our relationships. I am impressed with the claims of folks who like meditation, shamanism, or sťances, but in the main they leave one in the lurch when it comes to carrying on an affair of the heart, or simply a meaningless casual liaison, once one of the parties to the pairing is deceased.

In any case, all of this democratic shuffling off of the mortal coil gives me pause. No telling how much longer I can hold out against the urge to merge with the infinite. All things considered, then, Thanksgiving, chance, and the relentlessly forward movement of existence, it may be high time - interesting that one never hears it could be "low time," except perhaps in connection with the cows coming in, needing imminently to be milked, etc. - for me to bequeath (and is not that a really heavy word? I mean, solid!) to my waiting-with-bated-breath fans and groupies a few parting wise words.

Toward this end, so to speak, I venture to address you on the matter of premier import in leading one's life, the singlemost significant bit of advice I can impart then before I depart.

Others have had their own versions of the magnum opus of pithy wisdom. My wife, Valerie, for instance, suggests: remember to breathe. Douglas Adams, of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe fame, opines that we ought to always carry a towel.

Here, in a nutshell, is my own advice: we cannot take ourselves seriously enough. After all, if we do not, who will?

A variety of corollaries follow naturally from this essential earnestness:

I am sure the reader is already thinking of numerous other appropriate illustrations. Remember, it is far better to be a standup guy or gal, one to whom people naturally defer or else, than a standup comedian. After all, when the fecal material hits those proverbial whirring blades, fear is far more instructive than humor.


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