What am I missing?
September 15, 2019 4:16 PM   Subscribe

According to his friends, Walter Cronkite had three rules for aging: 1) Never trust a fart; 2) Never pass up a drink; 3) Never ignore an erection. Numbers 1 and 3 seem pretty self-explanatory, but I can't make sense of number 2. Assuming he's not advocating for geriatric alcoholism, what did he mean by that?
posted by joedan to Human Relations (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I suspect it was about maintaining social relationships - never pass up opportunities to interact with your people.
posted by janell at 4:23 PM on September 15, 2019 [22 favorites]

Yes, I'd interpret it that way too. "When someone invites you out for coffee, say yes" would be getting at a similar sentiment with an alcohol-free metaphor.
posted by mark k at 4:27 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: An interview with Cronkite in Wine Enthusiast may explain: "I’m not advocating any alcoholic dipping back into their habits by going into wine, of course. But moderate consumption of wine is an adjunct of a civil life."
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:36 PM on September 15, 2019 [12 favorites]

Best answer: You never know when your last social interaction with a friend (while you're both in good health) will be. So, never say no to the chance to spend time with them.
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 4:37 PM on September 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

Spoiler alert: he was advocating geriatric alcoholism. The man was not teetotal.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:48 PM on September 15, 2019 [8 favorites]

You can be not teetotal and not alcoholic at the same time. I concur with others it's about maintaining social connections and also I am so confused about trusting a fart.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:48 PM on September 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

When someone says "Let's have a drink," accept the offer rather than saying no, sorry, I've got an early day. Having a few drinks doesn't suddenly turn you into an alcoholic.
posted by Umami Dearest at 6:55 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

As a 'Clearly-in-Denial' Old Bloke, I would like to point out that the correct version of No3 is "Never let an erection go to waste", though for the life of me I can't remember what this means ...
posted by GeeEmm at 1:45 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

I learned not to trust a fart in my freakin' 20s!

I'm puzzled on how these are mysterious since I've been hearing them for decades but here is a breakdown. They are about Expectations, Connection, Health in that order.

1.) Just because a thing always goes one way, be aware that it could go DISASTROUSLY wrong just once. Like you fart but oh you sharted/just straight up pooped.
2.) Bids to connect are important and also a free thing is nice and lubricates social connections back and forth (not necessarily about booze).
3.) This could be the last time you are healthy. Enjoy it. It can all end very suddenly so savor life.

People are taking these kind of too literally, though I agree with all of them in their literal form as well. Seriously, if you haven't sharted, that's good but y'know it can happen now.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 6:46 AM on September 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

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