A few words of advice

September 17, 2013

This month, I’ve been blessed with two tiny little nephews.

I’m bowled over by how small and innocent and adorable these little guys are, and how over the moon with joy their exhausted parents seem.

Their arrival into this world has me thinking I ought to do something wise and fitting of an uncle.

So here are a few pieces of advice on some things I’ve come to believe to be true:

Be good to your mother. Even if you’re 16 and are convinced you know infinitely more about real life than she does. Just do it. Trust me. And if that fails, buy her flowers.

Don’t do drugs. People who do drugs never, ever go on to hold important jobs, like becoming premier of Ontario, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, or mayor of the City of Toronto.

And if you’re ever stupid enough to be caught on video using drugs, just deny that the video even exists, and your problems will just go away.

Life’s not fair. It just isn’t. But if it really isn’t fair, call a lawyer.

Always tell the truth. Don’t say you live in Saskatchewan or P.E.I. and claim expense money for it when you really live in Ontario. Unless, of course, you’re appointed to the Senate, in which case the rules don’t apply to you.

If your current girlfriend asks you how many ex-girlfriends you’ve had, never tell the truth.

If you’re ever at the Canadian National Exhibition on a hot summer day and a nice man offers to sell you a cheeseburger nestled between two pieces of a doughnut crossed with a croissant and smothered in maple bacon marmalade, an invention he calls the Cronut, just walk away.

Whatever you chose to do in life, work hard at it and try to do it well. Of course, you can forget this rule if, by some slim chance, you become a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. In that case, you’ll get paid a lot of money and don’t have to be any good at all.

Cheaters never prosper. Except if you’re trying to set a record for home runs hit in a season, win the Tour de France or run faster than everybody else in the Olympics. Then it’s kind of handy.

If you become the leader of a troubled nation in the Middle East, don’t you dare use chemical weapons on your own people. The western world will get very, very mad at you and issue many public condemnations and hold meeting after meeting to discuss the drafting of reports that could, potentially, lead to plans for an eventual, err, possible … oh, never mind. You’ll be fine.

If you become the leader of a troubled nation called North Korea, just do whatever you want to your people. No one will even notice.

If you want to know what life was like when you came into the world, just watch the collection of popular television shows I’ve recorded for you for posterity. Let’s see, we’ve got Here Comes Honey Boo Boo followed by reruns of Jersey Shore.

On second thought, let’s just forget about that.

When you get older, change your bed sheets once in a while. Like, more than once a season. Girls like that kind of stuff.

Read as much as you can, about as many things as you can. This may seem hard to believe by the time you’re a teenager, but people used to read things calls newspapers, a collection of the day’s news that was printed on paper and delivered to their door. I know, it’s crazy.

And if all that fails, just try to be good to others and do what makes you happy.

-Guelph Mercury, Aug. 31

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