The Journal of Provincial Thought
jptArchive Issue 19
lilDiamond1-19Adviceluminancelil diamond2-19Advice Pigasus19Advice
She has counseled kings for kicks and tutored tyrants too. Guys, it's quite a prize that she'd advise the likes of you.
Martha Q. Schafer
Third Course
Hope you’ve all been following my advice and you aren’t in jail. No causal connection, just my usual good wishes to all I know.
Radiator Placement
Never install radiators or electric baseboard units behind or to the sides of toilets. The male animal considers adventurous and imaginative peeing just about the most interesting activity known to man. The very shy ones sort of aim, close their eyes and think of mother. The athletes try bank shots and two-handed long shots. Add your own similies from your experience. The point is that radiators get sprayed along with everything else. Walls can be repainted, tiles washed but radiators turn nasty colors, smell bad and eventually rust. And don’t rely on a portable electric heater at the other end of the room. The challenge is just too attractive for some.
Unshattered Ice Cubes
If you are still relying on ice cube trays, you probably have to bang them and twist them, and get a mixture of ice pieces. Dry out the trays. Once they're empty, set them aside to drain and air dry. Fill without splashing. If possible, place directly on the cold surface. They’ll come out intact with one twist (more or less).
Recent Quotes I've Liked
My grandson William at age six was trying to figure out human death. The concept of “FOREVER” is difficult. If you are a child it is a bit confusing for everyone to be so upset while insisting you shouldn’t worry or be too sad. He and I were talking about plans for things we would do together the next time he came to visit me. He began his list of activities with the phrase “If you are still alive . . .”
William’s younger brother Fred, age 3 ½, is more of a Viking-raider type. I found Fred angrily reprimanding lions on TV for killing antelope. “No, no, no. Noooo! That’s BAD!” I explained that the lions weren’t bad. It was perfectly natural for them to kill and eat antelope. It was we humans who called it bad. Of course, lions are dangerous and you shouldn’t go near them. Fred’s forehead crinkled and he thought hard for two minutes and then carefully announced, “I’m bad but I’m not dangerous.”
How to Decide What to Throw Out
First, pretend you are dead. No need to ponder this epistemologically. We’re talking practical affairs here. Now survey the items in question, including contents of closet, attic or house. What would your children throw away? Forget what your partner would do, since he or she already wishes you’d throw away everything you own. If you still suffer from the idea that these things are useful, valuable or sentimental, give them away. If you give them to the children they can throw them away right now. You are allowed to save wheelchairs, Zimmer frames and the contents of the liquor cabinet.
Volunteer Expenses
Volunteers should always be reimbursed for their expenses: travel and gas, meals, phone, special equipment and so forth. In fact, many volunteers don’t want to be reimbursed or don’t want to go to the trouble.
If you are in charge of finances for a not-for-profit organization, explain this to your volunteers: 1) They will submit request for reimbursement with proper documentation. 2) They will get a check. 3) They can immediately sign the check back over to the organization with a note indicating it is a donation. 4) This means the organization can show a lot more donations on their books, which helps in matching for grants and helps with public perception of support. 5) If you want tax info on this, ask your financial advisor, accountant, lawyer. I’d tell you myself but Charlie wouldn’t let me.*
Taking Baby for a Walk
Obviously, babies love being pushed or carried around any busy social situation from supermarkets to playgrounds to city streets. But do parents enjoy this very much? Another place to try is an old cemetery. Choose one with lots of shade, perhaps benches and as few plastic flowers as possible. There will be birds, squirrels and rabbits to point out and some wonderful sculptures. Most of the time it will be just you and the kid, and you can talk in a normal voice to your little one, explaining all the sights and your philosophy of life. This plan works nicely for fathers.**
Thwarting Grocery Store Thieves
Watching your purse while shopping is a pain in the shoulder, at least. Try this:
1) Take out your list and a pen. 2) Put the purse in the bottom of the cart. 3) Put all items on top of purse. Start shopping with bulky stuff first if possible. Fairly quickly the purse won’t even be visible. You won’t need your purse again until you unload at checkout and have to pay.
Excuse for a Kind Deed
Take a piece of cake or whatever to someone who is sad. Put it on a beautiful plate. The person will either return the dish and visit you or you’ll have an excuse to visit again. That’s for a her.***
For a him, put the cake on a paper napkin. Men don’t notice dishes and probably couldn’t find it later. If he returns the napkin, you have a real admirer.
* We rather doubt any Vietcong reprisals. --ed.
** Especially Herman Munster. --ed.
*** She'll flip for a pile of jerky on that plate and a cold six-pack . --ed.
jptArchive Issue 19
Copyright 2011- WJ Schafer & WC Smith - All Rights Reserved