Barry Smith: Irrelativity
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
As of this week I’ve been around for 22 fiftieths of a century! Yes, it’s my birthday this week, and with birthdays come wisdom. And what’s the point of wisdom if you can’t force it on others? So, I’ve made a list of all of my wisdom.
As it turns out, I’ve picked up one piece of wisdom every other year. Not bad, not bad…
1. Don’t express your age as a complicated fraction. It’s annoying and not nearly as clever as you think.
2. Always have a pen holder on your desk.
3. All politics aside, “Hickenlooper” is a great word.
4. So is “Higginbotham.”
5. When your last name is “Smith,” you tend to really notice surnames.
6. If you’re over 40, trim your nose hair regularly.
7. “Nose hair,” after all these years, is still funny. To me.
8. Never ask anyone what they think of anything that you’ve said, done or are. If they want to tell you, they will. Oh yes, they will.
9. Try to start as many sentences as possible with “back before there were cell phones.” It makes you seem worldly.
10. Obsession can work to your advantage, just don’t turn your back on it.
11. I can’t eat cheese anymore. That’s not really wisdom, just kind of a drag. Still, it seems worth passing on.
12. “You’re” means “you are.” “Your” means something belongs to someone. Do this: write “You’re correct in your assumption, though you’re overstepping your authority” on your computer screen using a thick black sharpie. Refer to it before posting your next YouTube comment.
13. There’s a difference between “its” and “it’s,” too, but I’m not sure what it is. Feel free to use them interchangeably. Your welcome.
14. Never have Thanksgiving with Breatharians. But if you do, bring Tupperware.
15. You can’t get mad at someone for not teaching you something that they don’t know.
16. Do what you love and the criticism will follow.
17. If you find that mere words can’t express what you’re feeling, try using abbreviations.
18. When you and your friends run out of amusing euphemisms for “going number two,” try using references to your favorite TV show. For example, if you’re a LOST fan, forget about standing up and announcing that you’ve gotta “drop the kids off at the pool.” No, you’ve now “gotta go move the island” or “gotta go join the Dharma Initiative” or “gotta go battle the smoke monster” or “gotta go experience simultaneous parallel realities that are so convoluted that I’m convinced the writers are making it all up as they go along, but since I’ve devoted nearly 100 hours of my life to this show there’s really no way I can’t watch the final season, and I only hope that they reach some sort of…uh-oh…never mind.”
19. Sometimes it’s good to pay attention to that little voice in your head. You know, the one that offers insight and guidance and says things like, “Do NOT make item 19 be about listening to that little voice in your head!”
20. Cats don’t understand feng shui. Well, maybe they understand, but they don’t seem to care. And yes, I’ve tried to make them care.
21. I saw a guy at my gym wearing nothing but a towel, sitting on the big rubber ball in front of the TV, idly curling some tiny dumbbells. “Working out in a towel,” I said to myself. And then I thought, hey, aren’t there parts of my life where I’m doing the same, just going through the motions, giving so little to what I’m doing that I may as well NOT be doing it? Of course. Since then, “working out in a towel” has become my way of checking in with myself. You can use it, too, if you like. It’s easy. Just ask yourself, at any moment, “Am I working out in a towel?” If the answer is yes, then do what you need to do to correct it. And, most important, make sure you wipe off the big rubber ball when you’re done.
22. Soon is the new now. Them is the new us. +]$ is the new :-). When did the chicken cross the road is the new why did the chicken cross the road. Your is the new you’re. You are the new me. I am the new black. There…done.
See you back here in two years.
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Aspen’s summer Sister City, the Hamptons, had its woes summed up in a recent Vanity Fair article, “Rich People of the Hamptons Have a New Headache: Even Richer People.”