Over the years, I’ve worked on several helplines. Part of the brief is that we can suggest things, but should not give advice.
This means that I have simply a cornfield full of advice – some mine, some given to me, some I’ve read – just bursting like popcorn to come out. So here, in absolutely no order of importance, it is:
1) “Never eat anything larger than your head” – Anon.
Think about it.
2) “Don’t eat yellow snow.” – Frank Zappa.
3) “Don’t eat the blue food.” – my husband. This does make sense, actually, once explained. (1)
4) Don’t drink the blue milk.
Did you, like me, go to the pictures back when the original “Star Wars” first came out, in 1977? Remember the collective groan when Aunt Beru was preparing breakfast, and poured some blue milk?
Don’t drink it. Not unless your surname is Skywalker, and you have “Daddy issues”. In which case, drink the milk. It may Build Strong Bodies 12 Ways. (2)
5) Specific to those who work in mental health, make free yet honest use of the following reply: “I don’t know.”
It can be surprising how well it goes down.
6) “It’s better to be judged by 12 men than carried out by six.” – My father-in-law.
The man had a point.
7) “Watch out for the loonies and fookwits.” – Tom Cox’s (3) father’s standard advice, whenever Tom is heading home from his parents.
I’m taking “loony” to mean “strange, random person who approaches you without you asking them to”.
8) “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.” – Pretty sound advice, given it comes from a fridge magnet.
9) “You shall not serve both cod and gammon.” – “Old Leviticus Himself”. Found on a sticker on the side of a recycling bin in a Donny car park, many years ago.
10) “Flush.” This should go without saying. However, as anyone who has ever used a public toilet knows, this does need saying.
11) “Now wash your hands.” As above.
12) “Cookies and milk are good for you.” – from “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindgergarten”, by Robert Fulghum
13) ” Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.” Substitute for “Allah” the deity/being/Universe of your choice.
14) “There is nothing new under the sun.” – The Book of Ecclesiastes. Largely true, unless the item in question is technology, or a new flavour of ice cream, or Hershey bar. (4)
15) “Use black ink only.” Please, do use the black ink. It photocopies much better than the other colours.
16) “Close cover before striking.”
If you don’t, let me know. I’ll be outside putting my trainers on.
17) “A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points…but it is by no means the most interesting.” The Fourth Doctor, speaking to the Brigadier, in “Terror of the Zygons”. (5)
18) “Read and improve your mind, my son.” – from “Eight Cousins”, by Louisa May Alcott. I believe the speaker was Archie Campbell, the eldest cousin.
19) “If you build it, they will come.” – from the film “Field of Dreams” (1989), starring Kevin Costner.
Hey, it’s your cornfield.
1) But I’m not going to.
2) Anyone else remember those “Wonder Bread” adverts?
3) Author of “Under the Paw”, “Talk to the Tail”, and “The Good, the Bad, and the Furry”.
4) Why, oh why, do my local corner shops only sell Hershey’s “Cookies ‘n Cream”? What’s wrong with a plain Hershey bar?
5) Obligatory “Doctor Who” reference. It could just as easily been: “Time will tell. It usually does,” a quote from the too-often-underrated Seventh Doctor.