Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

More Wise Words To Grow By (Stolen, Without Permission From WL Emery)



It seems like world famous adventurer, author and man about town - WL Emery - seeks to one-up me on counselling the young men that rely on us as role models to emulate. Of course, the wretched novelist didn't even look twice at my scholarly advice to young men - and instead came up with his own:

Rules For My Son1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
I remember my father mentioning a man who was singularly lazy, and wouldn't even go so far as to rise from his chair to shake hands. That's how I learned to stand up when meeting someone.

2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.
I'd just jump in, feet first. I'm not a good diver.

3. The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king.
Which gives me no clue at all as to why I was often chosen to be the grill man.

4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
The expanded version is: He who speaks first, loses.

5. Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.
Something I've never been able to get the hang of.

6. Request the late check-out.
Always, always request late check-out, and make sure the sign on your door is turned to 'Do Not Disturb'; the reverse of this little sign is 'Maid Service Requested'.

7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
Make sure the person who confided in you will never tell anyone else that you knew.  In other words, I won't tell, but do not ever tell anyone else that you told me.

8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
These people are heroes or heroines for a reason. Don't make exceptions, and don't let them get away with anything by saying 'I'm only human'.  Our elected officials fall into this category, as do the police, fire, and EMS personnel. 

9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
This should be obvious to everyone, but it isn't. The first time I did this, the owner of the car acted like I'd given her the moon.  It's also a good idea to run it through the car wash, if that's possible.

10. Don’t fill up on bread.
Even if there isn't anything else to eat.

11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.
Be firm, but be careful.  Never give someone a bone crushing grip, and never shake like a dish rag. Make sure your hands are dry, and be certain you look the other person dead in the eye.

12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
Meaning that morals are important. The people I admire most are my Quaker ancestors, who were a part of the Underground Railroad. They had faith like bedrock and a backbone just as straight as a Winchester barrel.  They put everything on the line to help the runaway slaves.

13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
Being forced to endure someone's radio on the beach ruins the entire experience for everyone. Leave the music at home, or risk losing your radio to the ocean.

14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
Make sure the one in your breast pocket is something you can easily live without - she'll ruin it, but she'll thank you for your kindness and generosity.

15. You marry the girl, you marry her whole family.
Truer words were never spoken, and if you want to know what your wife will look like in 30 years, take a hard look at her mother. Meet the future in-laws over a meal, and go out drinking with the men. Make sure you can get along with all of them, because if you can't, you're looking at an iceberg dead ahead.

16. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
Don't let the other folks know what you're thinking.

17. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
I've done a lot of this, and by a lot I mean a significant portion of my life. Learn to get out and explore, meet new people, try new things. Live a little.  You'd be surprised at the number of people who have never learned to be comfortable inside their own skin.

18. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
Just make sure she isn't in a relationship already.

19. Never turn down a breath mint.
Should be obvious.

20. In a game of HORSE, sometimes a simple free throw will get ’em.
Free throws are never simple.

21. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
So choose your words carefully.

22. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
I've never done this and have no urge to try. I suppose my inscription might read, 'While alive he surely lived'.

23. Thank a veteran. And then make it up to him.
I've always made it a point to thank men in uniform for their service.

24. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
This is another thing I've never done, nor do I intend to. I've enough headaches now, why ask for another?

25. Eat lunch with the new kid.
I ate lunch with the new kid, and it turned out that the new kid was an exceedingly dull introvert who was trying to find a pastime, but who was too young to take up drinking and not smart enough to play chess.  Slapjack was a challenging game for him.

26. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
I've done this several times, mainly because it would serve no useful purpose for the recipient to read the missive.

27. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
We did.  Mom and I invited the Becker family over for dinner, then played a game of Pente afterwards. Mom won twice, out of three games. We all had a great time.

28. See it on the big screen.
Depending on what it is. Star Wars, for certain sure. Annabelle:Creation (2017), not so much.

29. Give credit. Take the blame.
Always give credit where credit is due.  Always include the others who helped.  That said, never tolerate someone who takes credit for your work - such people exist.  As for taking the blame, if you broke it, you make sure it's put right, and don't hesitate to tell the whole story.

30. Write down your dreams.
Go back and read them ten years later, and ask yourself what you mihgt have been thinking about at the time.

To which I will add:
31. Treat everyone you meet with consideration and respect. That means everyone, from the beggar outside on the street to the CEO in the palatial office, from the minister at the pulpit every Sunday to the frantic co-worker who has just made your life more difficult.

32. At least half of communication is listening, yet I observe very little of this in any given meeting. People interrupt, which is rude and inconsiderate.  People raise their voices so that they may be heard above everyone else - who are all talking at the same time.  Instead of talking, listen.

33. Most people think about themselves 90% of the time and other people 10% of the time. Reverse this.  Watch what happens.

34. Learn to say 'Thank you' and 'You're welcome'.  Thank people who help you, such as the waitress when you're being served.  When someone thanks you for any reason at all, say 'You're welcome'; refrain from saying 'No problem' or 'Not a problem'. The implications are different.

35. Be gracious when you win.

Being the contrarian dipchit that I am, I am going to take some exceptions and make some clarifications as I see fit - at least in my world. Your mileage may vary... but all in all, this is a stellar piece of work.


4. Negotiations are all about talking and forging partnerships for mutual advantage. I've been peripherally involved in those, and resolving customer disputes and claims. Like my mentor, Lesiure Suit Larry - there are times while I'll flap my gums at 100 MPH as I feel a client out and try to get a sense of his position. There are no rules in negotiation; both parties will walk away if there is no benefit to them. My best, most profitable customers are those that I can afford to take a hit for, and vice versa. As a team, with certain clients - we've scored projects and jobs that left the big boys scratching their heads and wondering how some little pissants managed to steal their lunch, HAR HAR HAR! I've run into cut-throat negotiators and if possible I will walk away from them. I am here to do business and have fun while doing it - having to watch my back around some shit heel cut-throat usually ends up with two guys with cut throats. Go in with a good attitude, be upbeat and positive ... and see what happens. Sometimes ya just can't make a deal work and you walk away with no hard feelings. Howie Meeker remains correct: Keep your eye on the man, not on the puck.

5. Act like you’ve been there before. Behaviour like can smack of and lead to arrogance. Folks like that dare the fates and the gods at their peril. Accept a win, and try to draw as many friends and adversaries into it to share it with you. See what happens and proceed as required. Many will reciprocate when they win. Be yourself.

15. You marry the girl, you marry her whole family. No. Hell no. Chitf***no. Families aren't icebergs - they're minefields. Or they can be. For 32 years my in laws punished me for daring to get their precious daughter knocked up and for marrying her. They undermined me as a father, and it's debatable whether they had a hand in destroying my daughter. In their senior years my in-laws started chipping away at my marriage. I love my wife with all my heart, but I will not trade my soul for a marriage to people like that.
You shouldn't either. Establish boundaries between yourselves and the in-laws because good fences make for good neighbours. If they won't respect that nice white picket fence - throw up a wall and keep them out. Your family must respect your gal too. If they don't, get in their faces and back them up. YOU are the head of your family.

That's my two bits, from my perspective on life from up here in the peanut gallery.  Otherwise, have yourselves a great Hump Day and be good to your sons.


  1. Your advice to young men? All I saw was a couple goofy looking photos and a quote I can't remember.

    Pay attention to Number 15. You can still marry the girl, but know that you are now the head of household. Your wife is your responsibility, and if you can't take good care of her, you have no business being married - to her or anyone else. And, like Glen pointed out, plan ahead. If you find her parents are diametrically opposed to everything you believe in, here's what you do.

    Invite two or three of your friends out for dinner and drinks. Pick friends that are pretty much okay guys and have qualities you admire. After dinner but before inebriation, ask them if you're okay. Tell 'em you're serious, and tell 'em why. Then listen up, because they'll tell you the truth. If they confirm what you already know, and you're still determined to marry the girl, do so and move to the other side of the world for about five years. When you come back, do not ever hesitate to put your foot down when you know you're right. Do not ever tolerate being undermined by in-laws.

    At the same time, don't be too much of a pigheaded ass.

    1. Well that's the thing isn't it? When we had our shotgun marriage everyone expected a broken family and a messed up single mom. We were very young and kids ourselves and we looked after each other - always have.

      When I was a kid I did precisely as you suggest - I sat down with my friends and asked them what I should do: my girlfriend was pregnant, the economy was in the shitter, and I had no marketable skills yet. Their response was "run". Move to another country! Don't get trapped! I chose to marry my gal, and replaced my friends. At the time they thought I was nuts.

      They were probably right, come to think of it... but I digress. For 32 years my in laws sought to destroy my marriage and just recently my sexually disturbed homosexual daughter piled on too - and failed. I must be doing something right, we've been married 32 years now.

      Different life experiences, eh? And such different perspectives. As always, YOUR perspective is always welcome around here and sincerely appreciated - thanks for stopping by.