In the continued interest of improving the quality of your life (because that’s the kind of altruistic give-back soul I am), allow me to share a few of the hard-won lessons of the summer, in no particular order or urgency.
As always, if you find them useful or life-altering (particularly if you find them life-altering), feel free to thank me with a beer and/or the beverage of your choice. Mazal tov!
1. First and foremost, and without hesitation, do not get up and eat a half-dozen cold Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing for breakfast no matter how delicious that might sound. Sure, it seems harmless enough as they’re sliding over the lips and past the tongue but- as you damn well know – now it’s ‘look out stomach, here they come’ time.
And that ain’t good.
What am I trying to tell you?
I’m saying that two hours later when the vinegar, butter, and cayenne-based hot sauce is eating a hole through your stomach lining, you’ll have only yourself to blame.
I would know. I speak from experience…today’s breakfast.
2. When offering to ride along with a friend through unmarked roads in rural Mexico for the sole purpose of preventing her from being maimed or raped or murdered, inquire first as to whether or not there is a map. Or at least some kind of half-baked directions culled from the internet. Or hieroglyphics. Or smoke signals. Or if she has ‘the shining’. Or ANYTHING.
In other words, inquire as to whether or not there is any hope in hell that you will actually get there without being maimed, raped, or murdered yourself.
3. Whenever humanly possible, do not use a port-a-potty/Johnny on the spot/Honey Bucket/*Insert name of portable plastic public restroom brand here* in the complete dark.
Acknowledging that was a lengthy rule, let me highlight the two most important nuances: public and pitch black dark of night.
Whether or not this actually happened to me, let me just say that it’s entirely possible to be at a Michelle Shocked show, wait in a lengthy line to use the portable public bathroom unit, and finally get inside…only to realize that you cannot see a damn thing.
And since it’s a handicapped portable bathroom unit, it’s very large and roomy in there, and thrashing your feet about does not allow you to locate the actual toilet part of the room, you must resort to using your hands to braille your way around. That’s right. Feeling your way around a portable public bathroom in the dark, folks. It’s not for wimps, and if it isn’t cringe-inducing, I don’t know what it.
But then it gets worse.
Well, because you can’t see anything you’re afraid to sit on the seat, so you do your best to crouch over what you suspect is the toilet itself, and when you’re done with your business and come back outside, you realize that your entire left pant leg is wet.
In short: stay out of port-a-potties in the dark.
4. Don’t run with scissors.
Don’t run with scissors while drunk.
Don’t run with scissors while drunk and in a carnival fun house.
Stay out of carnival fun houses even while sober and scissorless, because if you’re old enough to be reading this far, you’re too old for carnival fun houses.
5. When potentially vacationing with a group of women that you don’t particularly know, inquire ahead as to how closely their idea of fun resembles Senior Week Daytona Beach 1991 and approximately how many hours per day they plan to spend buck naked and discussing their (ahem) personal landscaping preferences.
As before, enough said.
6. Editing sucks!!!
If you can, write everything perfectly the first time around, because EDITING SUCKS BALLS!!!
7. Do not date a double-amputee rock star, especially Bret Michaels (should he be involved in a freak accident that causes him to lose both arms and thus become a double-amputee. Not that I’m wishing anything like that on him.)
Once again, I know from experience.
Okay, it was a dream, but it happened to me (in a manner of speaking), and thus I choose to count it as an experience.
So in short, Bret Michaels was a double-amputee, and I was dating him (and whether or not I’d been dating him before the accident/incident/whatever was unclear), and he was a seriously difficult chip-on-his shoulder grouchy bear to deal with.
For instance, I would offer to help him with things that seemed like they would be exceptionally challenging without any arms (and I’m not talking condescending things either, like feeding him with a spoon, although if I should ever become a double-amputee, do not hesitate to offer to feed me with a spoon. Odds are good that I will cheerfully take you up on it.) Okay, so I offered to do something that I felt was truly useful, like button up his shirt, and he WENT OFF on me about patronizing him and don’t try to do things for him that he can do himself, and it was really unnecessary and rather uncalled for to overreact on me like that.
Because I really was just trying to help.
You can talk to me in a normal tone of voice, you know. And maybe after you calm down.
And note to self, if I ever really do find myself in this situation, remember to watch My Left Foot in order to bone up on what one can and cannot manage without arms.
Regardless, like I said in the opening sentence, watch out for romantic entanglements with washed-up hair band rock stars who are now missing limbs as they can be rather prickly and even a touch mean and how can anyone be all that good in bed without any hands anyway?
(And I have to add this because it’s just too stupid, but I all of the sudden remembered at one point I felt kind of bummed out that if I stayed in the relationship I’d never be hugged again [because he had no arms, as you know, but perhaps have forgotten, which is why I’m explaining it yet again. Perhaps you have arms, but your brain isn’t all that functional for reasons I won’t begin to speculate on?], and that I really could go for a good hug, and I thought about asking him if he’d figured out how to hug with his legs.
But then I decided not to because I reasoned that would just piss him off and make him yell at me some more. Figures a rock star would be a prick.)