The guy who said, “We’ve met the enemy — and it’s us.”’ may not have
been grammatical, but I feel he was right on the button!
The self-destructiveness of the human animal far outdoes that of the
lemming — the only other animal I know of that destroys itself with
habitual suicidal compulsion.
To substantiate this point, you don’t need to read Freud, Adler, or
Jung — the high priests of shrinkdom.
Just open any history book.
A history of Europe, Asia, the United States — or the world — will serve
equally well to illustrate that the human race perennially pulls the
plug on itself. Erase human self-destructive impulses from our history
books and you won’t have much left to read. Students could then learn
the true history of the world in one summer-school course, and have
time left over to go to camp. That we dig our own graves non-stop is in
neon all about us.
The smokers, the boozers and other drug addicts, the overeaters — all
bear public witness to our hurry to get our lives over with.
But even the most self-protective of us does stupid things that screw up
his or her days. Mess up enough of your days and you’ve messed up your
Here is a helpful list of things I suggest you not do.
Read Russian literature when you’re depressed.
Peddle earthquake insurance in California.
Take a job on the late shift in an all-night convenience store.
Play your electric-guitar in the bathtub.
Hunt grizzly bears with a bow and arrow.
Ask an opera singer to show you his reviews.
Major in English as a way to make a living after you leave college
Tell a Women’s Libber that she needs a real man to slap some sense
Go “water-tasting” in Mexico.
Volunteer to convey “employee demands” to his boss.
Underestimate the length of your Bungee cord.
Go to Seattle in winter when you’re down in the dumps.
Tell your boyfriend it’s either you or televised sports.
Go to an Irish soccer game and sit in the bleachers.
Work in the same office with someone you were once engaged to.
Move back in your “old room” in your parents’ house.
Tell your bride all the juiciest details of your past love life.
Offer to be the first person on Mars.
Join a religious cult because of the charisma of its “leader.”
Fall in love with a married person, believing he or she’s going to leave
a mate for you.
Don’t take up golf if you have to ask, “Is it expensive?”
Give any politician the“ benefit of the doubt.”
Buy a condominium with the idea of selling it at a profit.
Buy a boat with the idea of selling it at a profit.
Get tattooed with your lover’s name.
Play the lottery to enhance your financial future.
Sign a pre-nuptial agreement if you’re homely but very well-off.
Try to reason with a three-year old.
Go skinny-dipping in the Amazon.
Exchange dollars for rubles.
Throw away receipts because the IRS will never audit you.
Remain in your hometown after you’ve graduated from high school.
Volunteer to water somebody’s favorite plants while they’re gone.
Go on a blind date with someone described only as “having a good sense
Hire anyone who has neglected his teeth.
Check the “Yes” box on a mail-order piece to receive “new product
Agree to chaperone teenagers on a camping trip.
Write “Poet” as your “last job” on a resume.
Tell your spouse you have been having an affair to “strengthen our marriage.”
Give up working to become a “consultant.”
Try to get closer to your child by taking him to a “heavy-metal” concert.
Win the Lottery while you’re negotiating your divorce settlement.
Learn to play the accordion to make yourself popular.
Buy clothes a size smaller because you’re “going to lose weight.”
Hire an anorexic chef for your restaurant.
Wonder why all the girls smile and speak to you on the street in Juarez.
Believe a shoe salesman who swears that “leather will stretch.”
Buy a kid a baby alligator because he said he’d “take care of it.”
Fool yourself that you’re a “winner” because you finished a foot-race.
Take a “compatibility test” with your spouse.
Join the Navy to “see the world.”
Say something pleasant about Toronto in Montreal.
Give lingerie on Secretaries Day.
Go to a dental school for “free dentistry.”
Date a person you met in the unemployment office.
Buy a used computer, because the “new” technology is “years away.”
Wear white clothes to a cookout.
Encourage your son to date your boss’ daughter.
Advise your teenage daughter to use her own judgment.
Say to your hairdresser, “Just surprise me!”
Ask a new father if he has any photos of the baby.
Leave a blank check with an auto mechanic.
Tell a National Enquirer reporter, “This is off the record.”
Ask road directions of a South Georgia farmer.
Pose for nude photos anywhere.
Marry a famous divorce lawyer.
Remember that a red light should go on in your head when you think of
doing something that’s against your own best interests.
Have I covered enough possibilities?
Don’t ask me how I know ...