Retorts: Truth, lies and other wisdom

WISDOM for the ages … or at least until the weekend (Shutterstock).

At my deceptively youthful age, I have collected a brain-full of witticisms, wisdom, old wives tales, brilliance, foolishness and head-scratching memories I have still yet to parse.

You’ve seen these paperback books at Barnes & Noble with titles like “Stuff My Dad Used to Say,” or “All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from My Kitten.” I’m not so certain that the gems therein saved any lives, but they appeared to sell some copies, so here goes my own eternal insights, as garnered from family members, associates, TV shows and graffiti.

  • No one is ever as glad to see you as your dog.
  • The phone always rings when you’re in the shower.
  • At the precise moment you realize you forgot to save your file on a computer, the devilish device crashes.
  • After love, the most sacred thing you can offer is labor.
  • People get married for what the other person can do for them.
  • Things are always darkest before they turn pitch black.
  • If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?
  • The most dangerous thing in the army is a second lieutenant with a map.
  • By the time you get enough money to do what you want, you’re too old to do it.
  • Today’s music is garbage.
  • If it’s too loud, you’re too old.
  • This is the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Coming upon a car with a flat tire, the Republican knows how to change the tire, but won’t stop to help. A Democrat stops to help, but doesn’t know how to change a tire (Don’t blame me! Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dave Barry wrote that!).
  • Men are impressed by what they see; women are impressed by what they hear.
  • The decisions you make determine how you live.
  • The “one who got away” wasn’t right for you anyway.
  • Fear tells lies.
  • If it ain’t broke, break it.
  • Nothing is constant except change.
  • The good old days weren’t all that great.
  • Stories you hear of people’s past glories should be treated like a sale at the Dollar Tree: discount by 50 percent.
  • You are the safest driver in the world; it’s everyone else who is an idiot.
  • He who hesitates is sometimes saved.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others; they might be quietly undergoing trials and agonies you couldn’t bear.
  • There’s always someone cleverer than yourself.
  • Buying the wedding cake is like getting married; until you’ve sampled it, what do you really know?
  • Believe half of what you see, none of what you hear (and less than that of what you see on Facebook).
  • The past can’t be changed, except for how you think of it.
  • If dogs don’t go to heaven, I want to go where they went (Mark Twain, of course).
  • Planning is essential, but plans are worthless.
  • Algebra is an employment program for math majors.

And finally …

  • It’s more important to understand the question than to know the answer.

Jim Tortolano’s Retorts is posted on alternate Wednesdays.

Categories: Opinion

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