Happy Father's Day

I haven't seen my dad in a long time, but I do carry him around in my head. He shaped me a lot when I was a kid, and a lot of what I am is thanks to him. On this Father's Day I'd like to reflect on the many things my father taught me. These are, I think, guidelines to a good life,

  • When driving, all other drivers can be classified as idiot, twat, or maniac. Any driver in front of you is an idiot. Any driver behind you is a twat. Any driver who attempts to pass you is a maniac. Any driver coming the other way is an idiot until they prove they are a twat (by, for exmple, having their full beams on) or a maniac (by, for example, by passing someone in the other lane when they can clearly see you're right there).
  • Never be afraid to take an open-mouth nap in your favourite armchair.
  • Despite the modern fad of everyone looking like they got dressed out of the bargain bin at Oxfam, people still do judge you on your clothes and shoes. Ergo, you should always own a decent suit and a well-polished pair of shoes. Never dress down for weddings, christenings, funerals, interviews, or court appearances.
  • In any possible situation there's a Right Thing to Do and you should do it, even if it's difficult. Sometimes it's hard to see what's the Right Thing to Do, but that doesn't mean there isn't a Right Thing to Do. Mostly the Right Thing and the legal thing are the same thing, but not always. When they are not, see above.
  • Life isn't fair. You must accept this.
  • In a street fight there are no rules, no judges, no points. The aim is to put the other guy on the ground as fast as possible and make sure he stays there. Everything is a weapon, everything is a target.
  • There is a difference between fear and respect. Any idiot can be feared if they hit enough people hard enough and often enough, but it takes character to be respected. Never confuse the two.
  • Never trust anything a politician says in an election year.
  • There comes a time when the discourse has broken down to the point where the only appropriate response is to tell the other person to fuck off. Sometimes this happens very early in the conversation. Sometimes it should be your immediate response.
  • Don't allow others, especially the media or politicians with a vested interest in the outcome, to do your thinking for you. Make up your own mind.
  • Anybody who doesn't reevaluate their position when presented with fresh evidence is an idiot and you should be wary of them.
  • There's nothing wrong with a man being able to cook his own food, wash his own clothes, or do his own ironing. In fact, if he doesn't know how to do these things, he's useless.
  • Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one and most of them stink.
  • Laugh. Laugh a lot. Nobody can take that away from you.
  • Figure out what's important. Only worry about the rest if you have time.
  • It's perfectly acceptable to drink without getting drunk.
  • If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
  • Life is too short for bad friends, bad beer, or bad sex.
  • Most illegal drugs are horribly addictive, do awful damage to you, and cost ridiculous amounts of money. Why would you want to do that?
  • If you don't understand why something happened, you don't understand what happened at all.
  • Never trust the French.
I don't really know what that last one was about, but I've kept it close to my heart.

Happy Father's Day, dad. Later on I'll be lighting the barbeque and grilling some burgers, something else you taught me.