What "Rules for Life" should I pass on to my 15 year old brother?
May 28, 2007 7:40 PM   Subscribe

So I'm putting together a collection of "Rules for Life" as a gift for my 15 year old little brother, that I'll likely put together on one of those one-off vanity book publishery things... and I'm looking for some suggestions as to some good rules. Looking for real advice for obscure situations one might find themselves in, great quotes that can inspire someone to live their life better, serious thoughts that people have realized later in their life that they wish someone had told them previously, and a good dose of humor. Cliche as it is, Mary Schmich's "Wear Sunscreen" column gives a decent examples of the general tone I want for most of it. So.... What else should I put in the book?

Excerpt Examples (I expand on each of them more in the book so far, but to give the general tone of what I'm looking for:)
  • Rule #34: "The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard.
  • Rule #833: If you're pulled over in your car, turn on the inside light, place your hands on the wheel, and don't give the officer any reason to think he is in danger.
  • Rule #256: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. All progress, therefore, depends upon the unreasonable man." — George Bernard Shaw
  • Rule #44: Much of your life will be spent, at work, doing work. Try to find a job you love to do -- As long as you can pay your bills, a job you love is far more important than having a high paying job that you hate.
  • Rule #728: If you find yourself back in time -- for the love of God, whatever you do, DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher to Human Relations (83 answers total) 142 users marked this as a favorite
Carpe Diem! (Seize The Day!)

The experiences of your life are always in the present moment. Dwelling on the past and anticipating the future, in the myriad forms these actions can take, may cause you to miss this present. Your true home is in the here and the now.

The cover should read:

Don't Panic!

And I've heard good things about Lulu.
posted by phrontist at 7:53 PM on May 28, 2007

Best answer: "Don't listen to your older brother"
posted by unSane at 7:58 PM on May 28, 2007 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Don't worry about fucking up -- everybody fucks up. It's how you deal with fucking up that matters.
posted by kmennie at 8:00 PM on May 28, 2007 [3 favorites]

"To thine own self be true." It sounds stupid and cliche, but there is a reason these things are repeated over and over again, and in this case, it's because you will find people in your life who actually like you for who you are. So even though it's really difficult sometimes, don't be afraid to be yourself. 'Cause it's only going to take longer to find your groove, find your tribe, and find out what it takes to make you happy if you spend a lot of time pretending. (That's Act 1, Scene III of Hamlet if I recall correctly, btw.)

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” ~ TE Lawrence (later, TE Shaw). The lesson here? Be dangerous. You can have and do what you want, it's just a matter of figuring out how.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:06 PM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

You can't make anyone do anything. You can only choose your own actions.

People do what they want to do.

It's good to learn from your mistakes. It's better to learn from someone else's mistakes.

Never say "I can't." Say, "How can I?"

All the power to do anything you want is already within you.

You can't choose your emotions, you can only control how to react to them.
posted by The Deej at 8:08 PM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects!
posted by frogan at 8:10 PM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

Never buy more than one box of staples at a time.
posted by Monday at 8:12 PM on May 28, 2007

It's almost never about you (unless it is).
posted by biscotti at 8:16 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's not about you.

People who act nasty, petty and unpleasant are nasty, petty and unpleasant and it has nothing to do with you. I wish I knew this when I was 15- it would have saved me a lot of time and trouble in trying to impress the "mean girls" of my high school.
posted by dogmom at 8:20 PM on May 28, 2007 [6 favorites]

Check out Material's Words of Advice for Young People, with William Burroughs giving helpful hints like: When dealing with a religious son-of-a-bitch, get it in writing. His word's not worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him to fuck you over.
posted by klangklangston at 8:25 PM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have - Rabbi Hyman Schachtel

I always loved that quote, and I always will.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:32 PM on May 28, 2007

A smile costs exactly nothing, so you can afford to give them away liberally.

Bearing the above in mind, there's almost nothing worse than a smile that's insincere.
posted by rob511 at 8:35 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

This previous AskMe question asked something similar, but for a high school graduate. Some of them aren't appropriate for a 15-year-old, but many of them are.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:36 PM on May 28, 2007

It's been cited on MetaFilter before, but the Advice to Young Men From an Old Man has some nuggets amongst the dross. (via Craigslist).
posted by mosk at 8:36 PM on May 28, 2007

Best answer: I"ve been keeping one of these for more than ten years - here are some of the things that made their way in. Please do leave room for your bro to make his own notes, both on the page with the saying, and at the end.

The cognitive distortions.

no matter what you do in life, someone important to you isn'tn going to like it.
Every choice means giving up something else.
There are no quick fixes taht can permanently change your life.
Some problems can not be solved but you can make your peace with them.
G Kettelhack

You don't regret what you've done, you regret the things you haven't done.

The 12 steps.

I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more icecream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over,I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go on more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies---- attributed to Nadine Stair

Delay gratification.

Simplistic thinking, relying on labels, assumptions and stereotypes will lead us down blind alleys.

Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues

Do what needs to be done whether you feel like it or not.

Instead of saying "I can't" say "How can I?"

Mefi advice to college freshman

Mefi Lifeskills
posted by b33j at 8:37 PM on May 28, 2007 [10 favorites]

Everything you need to know about someone you can learn by eating in a restaurant.

After ten punches, a punch is just a punch. After a thousand punches, a punch is more than a punch. After 10,000 punches a punch is just a punch.

(I can't really explain it here, but I think that's one of the most important life lessons there is)
posted by Bookhouse at 8:38 PM on May 28, 2007

Two more Mefi Advice threads

Advice for 18 year olds
advice for 21 year olds
posted by b33j at 8:41 PM on May 28, 2007

last one, i promise: desiderata
posted by b33j at 8:43 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Always give people the benefit of doubt.
posted by dhruva at 8:49 PM on May 28, 2007

Choose your close friends as carefully as you would a romantic partner.

Be aware that you can't fix people.

Measure six times, cut once.

Live as simply as you comfortably and happily can, rather than as well as you think you deserve, because no one can ever afford that.

Don't wait until you feel like doing something you should do to do it. Begin, and the appropriate feelings will follow.

Learn how to behave well. Learn how to effectively deal with those who behave poorly.

Take time to be kind.
posted by orange swan at 8:50 PM on May 28, 2007

Best answer: F. Scott Fitzgerald's advice to his (11 year old) daughter. Might be somewhat applicable.

Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship...

Things not to worry about:
Don't worry about popular opinion
Don't worry about dolls
Don't worry about the past
Don't worry about the future
Don't worry about growing up
Don't worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don't worry about triumph
Don't worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don't worry about mosquitoes
Don't worry about flies
Don't worry about insects in general
Don't worry about parents
Don't worry about boys
Don't worry about disappointments
Don't worry about pleasures
Don't worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful intrument or am I neglecting it?
posted by jessamyn at 8:53 PM on May 28, 2007 [19 favorites]

You will never be able to control other people. All you can control in life is how you react to them.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:01 PM on May 28, 2007

“Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.” Douglas Bader
posted by perpetualstroll at 9:03 PM on May 28, 2007

Best answer: Have a lot of sex.
posted by justgary at 9:16 PM on May 28, 2007

I made the following into a card for my little brother-in-law when he turned 16

It's a Homer Simpson quote

"I want to share something with you -- the three sentences that will get you through life. Number one, "Cover for me." Number two, "Oh, good idea, boss." Number three, "It was like that when I got here."

and I think I added "No Dad, everyone else was drinking. I was there to make sure they didn't do anything stupid."
posted by Mozzie at 9:21 PM on May 28, 2007

The precepts of semi-divinity:

1) Mind thine own business. (Note this means pay close attention to your own affairs as well as keeping your nose out of others' private affairs.)

2) Don't worry about it. (This doesn't mean that you shouldn't do anything about it, it just means that worry rarely helps.)

From Daniel Keys Moran's fantastic novel The Armageddon Blues, which you should definitely read track down and give to your brother.
posted by kindall at 9:37 PM on May 28, 2007

Always speak the truth, and be honest. (my schools got problems w/ cheaters right now so this one on all of our minds)
posted by uncballzer at 9:47 PM on May 28, 2007

1. Don't be a jerk. (You know when you're being a jerk. Stop there -- don't be one. Rise above it. Be the better man.)

2. Don't stay friends with, or stay romantically involved with, people who are jerks (this goes whether they are jerks to you or to others -- if they're jerks to others, it's only a matter of time before they come around to you).
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:52 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Never drink gin while lying down.
posted by tim_in_oz at 9:58 PM on May 28, 2007

Response by poster: I'm sure that having the advice of a random group of internet users will be very much appreciated by him.

How about passing on some of your own wisdom to him, and if you don't have any, how about a nice gift certificate.

um... yeah.

ANYWAY, it's already quite a substantial list. Since he was very, very, very little I used to tell him, "well, remember John's Rule of Life #xxx: 'blah blah blah'". And keeping track of those. So it's already prety well complete, (though I would like to flesh it out with a few more, obviously, especially of the "in this situation? do xxx" type.)

In fact, it is the very point that my "rules for life" have long been a sort of running/inside thing for us that will likely make this something enjoyable for us both.

Don't be a jerk. (You know when you're being a jerk. Stop there -- don't be one. Rise above it. Be the better man.)

Very true. Which is why I removed the last sentence there in my response to voxpop. :-)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:00 PM on May 28, 2007

For helping with the humour side of it, take a page out of House's book such that when quoting music lyrics or similarly non-authoritive source, throw in some pseudo-authority by taking liberties with the name/title/attribution:

"As the philosopher Jagger once said, 'You can't always get what you want.'"
posted by -harlequin- at 10:02 PM on May 28, 2007

Never eat anything bigger than your head.

Don't tell the cop about the body in your trunk unless you got pulled over in your pickup and have a winning smile. A valid license is also a plus.

Hearts can't really break.

Sometimes you get your best light from a burning bridge. (Don Henley)

Chop wood. Carry water.

In the beginning there were seventeen commandments and an incompetent scribe. So it's mostly up to you. Again. Duh.
posted by elmaddog at 10:17 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fucked up?

Own up.


Ladies come first.


Don't turn down an invitation unless you have a really good reason.


Smile. If you have nothing else to contribute, don't be a sourpuss puckered asshole.
posted by porpoise at 10:19 PM on May 28, 2007

No one lay on his deathbed wishing he had spent more time at work.
Life is not a dress rehearsal
Save money.
posted by Iron Rat at 10:27 PM on May 28, 2007

"to be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

-e.e. cummings
posted by wayward vagabond at 11:14 PM on May 28, 2007 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Nobody has any more idea what they're doing than you do. Only super villains have master plans.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:26 PM on May 28, 2007 [9 favorites]

Never bother reading a list with more than seven entries. Beyond that, it will all turn into mental mush.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:30 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Don't paint brick.
posted by procrastination at 12:16 AM on May 29, 2007

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." (Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night)

"There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese." (Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf)

The journey is the destination.

Be wary of the things that come easy, because most of the lasting rewards in life take a lot of work, and that's a big part of what makes them rewarding.
posted by gompa at 12:58 AM on May 29, 2007

Have a look at Life 101 - Everything We Wish We Had Learned About Life In School -- But Didn't. It's online, in full, for free. There are a few other books in the series, too, such as Love 101 or Wealth 101.
posted by Solomon at 1:10 AM on May 29, 2007

When you need to buy condoms buy in bulk. Condoms are like a quarter each if you buy them 100 at a time and over a dollar each if you buy them just a few at a time. 100 condoms seems like an awful lot but having sex 100 times in the two years isn't all that much. And it's good not to have a psychology of scarcity about these things.
posted by I Foody at 4:22 AM on May 29, 2007

Best answer: Occasionally the question "How hard can it be?" will pop into your head. This is not an invitation. It is a warning.
posted by Killick at 4:38 AM on May 29, 2007 [3 favorites]

Primo Levi said something like behind every problem in life lies another, perfectly concealed by the one in front of it, so that if one is removed, another appears, in infinite succession. Therefore it is our response to these problems, rather than the solution to them, that is the key to living.
posted by atchafalaya at 5:08 AM on May 29, 2007

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans” --- John Lennon

And something that I always tell my kids:

Surround yourself with people that uplift you; walk away from those that bring you down.

We teach other people how to treat us.
posted by Flakypastry at 5:10 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

“Never break two laws at once.”

In other words, if you have weed or alcohol in the car, for god’s sake stay under the speed limit.
posted by bondcliff at 5:50 AM on May 29, 2007 [3 favorites]

Do the hard stuff first.

It's just as easy to do a favor as it is to say no.

The bolt will always roll under the center of the engine block.
posted by bonehead at 5:53 AM on May 29, 2007

A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.

You should not confuse your career with your life.

When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
posted by EarBucket at 5:57 AM on May 29, 2007 [3 favorites]

It doesn't actually matter how you load the dishwasher or fold the towels, as long as they get done.
posted by headspace at 5:57 AM on May 29, 2007

No matter where you go, there you are.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:11 AM on May 29, 2007

In the saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place", the first part is probably more important than the second.

Courage in small things is more important than bravado in large things.

If people seem unreasonable, try to figure out what they're afraid of.

If you're unsure of how much to communicate about a given situation, err on the side of communicating more. This unit of advice was passed to me by someone who learned it from his boss when he was an Amazon.com customer service rep. It served him well, he said, and it's served me very well.
posted by amtho at 6:11 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

"Love with your mouth shut, help without breaking your ass or publicizing it, keep cool but care."

--Thomas Pynchon, V
posted by jimfl at 6:26 AM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

* Never interfere in a boy-girl fight
* Beware of whores who say they don't want money. What they mean is they want more money. Much more.

-- William S. Burroughs, Words of Advice for Young People
posted by jimfl at 6:30 AM on May 29, 2007

My daughter has a list of her own. The only one I remember is:
'Always smell the milk!'
posted by MtDewd at 6:56 AM on May 29, 2007

You're dealing with a mad person. Smile and wave.
posted by flabdablet at 7:17 AM on May 29, 2007

You can have my personal motto, too, for free:

If I knew what I was doing, why would I bother?
posted by flabdablet at 7:17 AM on May 29, 2007

That "special situation" which you think will work out differently/better than it ever has in the past isn't special, and the outcome will be the same or worse than expected.

Lending money to friends.
Long distance relationships.
Helping that stranded Nigerian prince/astronaut.
Druggie friend who wants to crash for a day or two.
posted by Classic Diner at 7:39 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Le voyage n'est pas la carte.

The journey is not the roadmap.
posted by NekulturnY at 7:55 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Back issues of Esquire will have life advice from wacky older celebrities. Some of it is funny.
posted by mecran01 at 8:11 AM on May 29, 2007

Never take advice from a man who is missing fingers.

If you sense she is going to dump you, dump her first so you retain bragging rights.
posted by mecran01 at 8:12 AM on May 29, 2007

If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

If something is worth doing, it is worth doing poorly.
posted by shothotbot at 8:33 AM on May 29, 2007

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
posted by KneeDeep at 8:49 AM on May 29, 2007

Don't sweat the petty things. Don't pet the sweaty things.
posted by OneOliveShort at 9:15 AM on May 29, 2007

Nearly forgot one of my favorites:

". . .the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about 'the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.'"

~David Foster Wallace
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:18 AM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: (kneedeep: Harrison for teh win)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:35 AM on May 29, 2007

Have to include this one which I learned from painful personal experience: Never work for a family business unless it's your family.
posted by agatha_magatha at 10:14 AM on May 29, 2007

Man, there are so many! Here are a few:

Be the change that you want to see in the world. -- Gandhi

We come into this world crying while all around us are smiling. May we so live that we go out of this world smiling while everybody around us is weeping. -- Persian proverb

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. -- Lao Tzu

Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think you were put here for something less? -- Chief Arvol Looking Horse (I love this one!)

Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must first be overcome. -- Samuel Johnson

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle. -- John Watson

A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. -- Alexander Pope

You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do. -- Olin Miller

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right. -- Henry Ford

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. -- Mother Teresa

If you have made mistakes...there is always another chance for you...you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. -- Mary Pickford

Life is no brief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. -- George Bernard Shaw

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. -- Mark Twain

When you get to the end of all the light you know, it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown. Faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly. -- Edward Teller

No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work. -- Mother Teresa

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. -- Harold B. Melchart

The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for. -- Joseph Addison

Aim at the sun and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if you had aimed at an object on a level with yourself. -- F. Hawes
posted by widdershins at 10:50 AM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

And one more - too long for your purposes, I'm assuming, but I love it - and Nelson Mandela quoted it at his inauguration:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. -- Marianne Williamson
posted by widdershins at 10:51 AM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

"If you're going through hell, keep going." - William Churchill
posted by Jaie at 11:21 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

I learned both of these lessons the hard way:

1. When travelling use the ATM only during banking hours in case the machine eats your card.

2. In the event of a building evacuation at work, take your bag and coat with you. You might not be able to get back into the building.
posted by Soda-Da at 11:24 AM on May 29, 2007

High school does NOT count.
posted by clh at 11:27 AM on May 29, 2007

Work like you don't need the money. Dance like nobody's watching. Love like you've never been hurt.
posted by rdc at 11:30 AM on May 29, 2007

I live by these:

* Never mess with a man's hat, woman or dog.

* Yeah, the truth shall set you free, but its going to piss off a bunch of people so be strong.

* Remember, that Pontius Pilate and Herod Antipas were team players

* Never tip your hand to the Man
posted by jadepearl at 12:17 PM on May 29, 2007

Best answer: You could throw in some tricks of the trade.
posted by AceRock at 2:44 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ralph Waldo Emerson was the king of these:

"The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one."

"Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy."

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

"Shallow men believe in luck."

"Self-trust is the first secret of success."

"A great man is always willing to be little."

I'm serious, god, there are so many.
posted by mckenney at 4:28 PM on May 29, 2007

Here's a few from my (much longer) list of faves:

Work is good but its not that important.

Never pet a burning dog.

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

All generalizations are false.

There is no such thing as government money, only taxpayer money.

T.V. - Why do you think they call it programming?

Defeat isn't bitter if you don't swallow it.

Even the boldest zebra fears the hungry lion.

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Who gossips to you will gossip of you.

It is better to sleep on what you intend doing than to stay awake over what you've done.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered. - G. K. Chesterton

A man may make many mistakes, but is not a failure until he starts blaming someone else for them.

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Learning from your mistakes is smart, learning from the mistakes of others is wise.

In three words I can sum up all I've learned about life: It goes on... -- Robert Frost

One is successful when they can lay a firm foundation with bricks thrown at them by others.

Sheep don't fly so much as plummet.

You cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

You don't have to attend every argument you're invited to.

Don't let a win get to your head or a loss to your heart. – Public Enemy

Life breaks us all, but afterwards, many of us are strongest at the broken places. -- Ernest Hemingway

They have the right to criticize who have the heart to help. -- Abraham Lincoln

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony." -- William Henry Channing

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. -- John Steinbeck

The one law that does not change is that everything changes, and the hardship I was bearing today was only a breath away from the pleasures I would have tomorrow, and those pleasures would be all the richer because of the memories of this I was enduring. -- Louis L'Amour

When you come to the edge of all the light you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.

No matter how many years pass teachers will always use the word obviously, without ever knowing what it means.

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. -- Agatha Christie

Trust in God, but row away from the rock.

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities. An optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. -- Reginald Mansell

Hope is the thing left to us in a bad time. -- Irish Proverb

Thomas Jefferson was so convicted that the pursuit of happiness was an inalienable human right that he wrote it into the Declaration of Independence and called it a self-evident truth. But Christians have this to add: those who pursue happiness never find it. Because joy and peace are extremely elusive, happiness is a will-o'-the-wisp, a phantom, and even if we reach out our hand to grasp it, it vanishes into thin air. God gives joy and peace not to those who pursue them but to those who pursue Him and strive to love. Joy and peace are found in loving and nowhere else. -- John Stott

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. -- High school girl afflicted from Spina Bifada

Men should be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown proposed as things forgot. -- Alexander Pope

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generation. -- George Bernard Shaw

People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
But they won't forget the way you made them feel.

Sympathy sees and says, 'I'm sorry.' Compassion sees and says, 'I'll help.'

Perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking. -- Mary Poppins

You can complain because roses have thorns or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.

The next time you feel like complaining, remember that your garbage disposal probably eats better than thirty percent of the people in this world. - Bob Orben

If it's very painful to you to criticize your friends -- you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it -- that's the time to hold your tongue. ~ Alice Duer Miller

People living fully have no fear of death. ~ Anais Nin

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. -- Kimberly Johnson

You don't have to outrun the tiger, you just have to outrun your buddy.

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. -- Harper Lee "To Kill a Mockingbird"

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for. -- William Shedd

Every day in Africa, a gazelle wakes up and knows it must outrun the fastest lion to live. Every day in Africa, a lion also wakes up and knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle to live. Either way, you'd better wake up running. -- Hugh McColl

Watch out when you're getting all you want. Fattening hogs ain't in luck. -- Joel Chandler Harris

When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. -- Corrie Ten Boom

We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them. -- Seneca

"I can forgive, but I cannot forget," is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." Forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note -- torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one. -- Henry Ward Beecher

You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone. -- Al Capone

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -- Dr. Seuss

What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Learn to say no. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin." -- Charles Spurgeon

Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. – Omar Bradley

The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and Godlike. It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. – Helen Keller

A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of ones heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. – Arabian Proverb

Zen Buddhist saying:
Before enlightenment - chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment - chop wood, carry water.

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein

"Death, and its ever-present possibility makes love, passionate love, more possible. I wonder if we could love passionately, if ecstasy would be possible at all, if we knew we'd never die." --Dr. Abraham Maslow

Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing. Good taste is the enemy of creativity. -- Pablo Picasso

I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. -- Booker T. Washington

"The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing." - Blaise Pascal

If you hear a voice within you saying, "You are not a painter," then by all means paint...and that voice will be silenced. -- Vincent Van Gogh

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid. -- Soren Kierkegaard

Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travelers. -- C.S. Lewis

Cats aren't clean, they're covered with cat spit.

A Man should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders,
cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. --Robert Heinlein
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:08 PM on May 29, 2007 [3 favorites]

Hit the middle, work the sides.

When Jagermeister sounds like a good idea, that's actually God telling you it's time to go home.

The ages of 16-25 will be the most fun and exhilarating years of your life. Try to remember them.

Take your hat off indoors.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:42 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. -- Agatha Christie

That brings to mind Woody Allen's opening story in Annie Hall:
There's an old joke ... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." Well, that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly.
posted by The Deej at 9:53 PM on May 29, 2007

Best answer: I meant to say this yesterday: look around the site for practical tips about grooming, laundry, household cleaners, basic cooking, basic first-aid, how to check out a rental property, what to do if your car breaks down, how to secure things to the top of your car, what to do if you get pulled over, and so on. These things will make the book more likely to stick with him in a top desk drawer, rather than in a place with the photo albums.

One thought along these lines is: if possible he should get a credit card only once he's out of college (they will be plentifully offered at that point, and he will be past some of the spendy temptations of college life), and he should understand how they work -- ie, he should pay the full balance, on time, every month.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:05 PM on May 29, 2007

Always know the rules! If you must break rules, it is best done with full knowledge, only one at a time.
posted by Goofyy at 11:04 PM on May 29, 2007

Best answer: WELCOME!

200 Amazing Secrets is available free of charge. Wait until you can see the entire document then use the 'save as' command in the file menu to save to hard disk.

200 Amazing Secrets!

1. Remove a broken key from a lock.

Put some super glue on broken off part, insert, hold a few seconds and pull.

2. Remove a broken light bulb.

Stick a bar of soap into jagged edges, use soap as handle.

3. Remove a stubborn screw.

Heat with a soldering iron for a few seconds first.

4. Protect children from sockets.

Keep a piece of electrical tape over them when not in use.

5. Good glass door safety tip.

Put a BIG decal on the glass and patio doors.

6. Keep nails from splitting wood.

Blunt sharp end of nail before you use by hitting with hammer.

7. Repair small holes in screen.

Plug holes with clear nail polish, let dry, repeat until filled.

8. Straighten warped phono records.

Place record between two sheets of glass, let sit in sun for a while.

9. Best way to clean phono records.

Dip in solution of detergent and water, rinse and wipe dry.

10. Make your own fireplace logs.

Roll newspapers up tightly in shape of logs.

11. How to remove oil from a driveway.

Cover with sand let stand for a few days, then sweep off.

12. Keep fish hooks from rusting.

Stick them in a cork and submerge in some baking soda.

13. Make sandpaper last longer.

Back sandpaper with masking tape.

14. How to revive old razor blades.

Rub them back and forth inside a drinking glass.

15. Remove road tar from cars.

Sodium bicarbonate on a damp cloth.

16. Remove labels from bottles and jars.

17. Cut glass without a glass cutter.

Use tin snips and cut under water, smooth rough edges off with knife blade.

18. Easy to unglue stamps and envelopes.

Put in freezer for a few hours then flip off with knife blade.

19. Get water out of your watch.

Strap watch to light bulb, turn on for a few minutes. Water drops will form

on glass. Open up and wipe off.

20. Prevent snow sticking to shovel.

Coat shovel with car wax.

21. Tighten your hammer handle.

Soak in used engine oil for a day.

22. Low cost laminating -EASY.

Cover article with clear contact (cling film) paper.

23. Open that stuck zip.

Spray the stuck zip with shaving foam.

24. Remove paint from auto.

The product to clean paint from your car is Benzol.

25. Increase your petrol mileage.

Put 4oz of benzol to each ten gallons of petrol to increase mpg.

26. How to renew car batteries.

Dissolve 1oz of epsom salts in warm water and add to each cell.

27. Easily untie a knot in a chain.

cover the knot generously with cold cream.

28. Loosen those tight shoes.

Wad some damp newspapers into shoes and leave for a few days.

29. Make shoes slip proof.

Take scissors and scratch crisscrosses on the soles.

30. The ideal pin cushion.

Use a bar of soap, makes sewing easier, needle just slides through.

31. Make your own metal polisher.

Take blackboard chalk and rub into cloth, then rub on metal.

32. Good dog and cat repellent.

Place mothballs in areas. They will avoid it. Animals hate mothball odour.

33. When your pet has no appetite.

Try a saucer of beer. It's known to perk up the appetite.

34. Easy to rid pets of fleas.

Put a foam rubber bed in the pet's bed - fleas hate it.

35. Quick ways to press ties.

Hang in bath while you take a shower - steam takes wrinkles out.

36. How to remove staples.

An old nail clipper works fine for removing staples.

37. Eliminate odours from disposal.

Throw a lemon in it and let it be ground up.

38. Keep salt moisture free.

Put pieces of blotting paper in shaker. It will absorb moisture.

39. Simple eye glass cleaner.

Vinegar diluted in water makes fine eyeglass cleaner.

40. Easy clean glass doors and mirrors.

Just rub with damp newspaper - they will shine.

41. Easily reduce ashtray smell.

Keep a small amount of baking soda in ashtrays at all times.

42. Messless painting from a bucket.

Punch several holes around rim of can with small nail.

43. Take lumps out of paint.

Cut a piece of screen to fit inside of can or bucket, it will float to bottom

taking lumps with it.

44. Keep bugs out of paint.

Pour a little insect repellent into the can - it does the trick.

45. Prevent flowers from fading.

Use a few drops of chlorine bleach in water, add an aspirin for life.

46. A simple roach formula - IT WORKS!

Crumble cigarette butts in water, let dry then spread in roach areas.

47. Save painting clean up time.

Cover roller tray with aluminium foil then just throw away.

48. A novel paint can cover.

Use plastic lid from a coffee can.

49. Keep piano keys looking new.

Keep cover open, ivory turns dark if exposed to darkness.

50. How to remove grease from rugs.

Pour ample amount of baking soda on it, brush in, let stand for a day and vacuum off.

51. Destroy desire for nicotine.

Take before breakfast, a half teaspoon of rochelle salts and cream of tartar.

52. Destroy desire for alcohol.

Mix goldthread with gold seal in a tea. It creates a violent taste for alcohol.

53. Excellent insomnia formula.

One tbs powdered milk, 2 tbs honey, 1 tbs brewers yeast, stir into cup of warm milk

and take before retiring.

54. Famous diet formula plan.

Mix 1 tbs safflower oil to 2 tbs grapefruit juice, take before meals.

55. The $25 beauty facial.

Spread milk of magnesia over face, let dry, cover again, let dry, remove with damp

cloth, then apply some warm olive oil, then apply some ice cold witch hazel.

56. How to improve your IQ.

Hydrocotyle asiatica teas are a noted brain food.

57. Make pantyhose last longer.

One tbs alum, 1 quart water, rinse, let dry, then wash with soap, rinse and dry.

58. Remove blood stains from carpet.

Sponge immediately with cold water, then use a bit of soap, rinse and dry.

59. Make your guitar really shine.

Rub some toothpaste on, let dry then buff it. It will shine!

60. Keep a burn from blistering.

Apply ice cubes to the burn immediately.

61. Remove ink stains from carpet.

Apply a paste of milk and cornstarch, let stand a few hours and brush off.

62. Dry shampoo your pet.

Rub baking soda into fur and brush out. Will smell great.

63. Put a shine on your windows.

Brush with nylon stocking, use blackboard eraser to shine.

64. Unwrinkling plastic materials.

Heat ironing board with iron, lay materials on, smooth with hands.

65. Easy needle threading.

Dip tip of needle into clear nail polish and let dry.

66. How to clean your ties.

Put tie in jar with some carbon tetrachloride, shake, take out and let dry.

67. Easy clean your nail file.

Press apiece of tape onto file, pull off. Removes all dirt.

68. How to remove scorches.

Wet scorched area and cover with cornstarch, brush off when dry.

69. What to do if you oversalt food.

Drop a potato or two into it. Absorbs the oversalt.

70. Watermelon ripeness test.

Look for a creamy surface underneath the melon.

71. How to freshen stale nuts.

Stick them in the oven for 15 minutes at 250 degrees.

72. How to destroy fish smells.

Rub butter on your hands or wherever smell is to be removed.

73. How to destroy onion smells.

Dampen hands and rub bicarbonate of soda over them.

74. Keep and use overripe bananas.

Mash and freeze for making cakes and biscuits.

75. How to boil a cracked egg.

Add a dash of vinegar to the water.

76. How to make mocha coffee.

Instead of milk or cream try some chocolate milk.

77. Easy boiled egg peeling.

Keep lid on for a few minutes after boiling, pressure causes shell to fall off.

78. Eliminate popcorn duds -fast.

Freeze it first then it will all pop.

79. Easy clean kitchen windows.

Add starch to water and clean with a piece of newspaper.

80. Easy clean silverware - the best.

Use baking soda and damp cloth, clean, rinse and let dry.

81. Vegetable for liver and prostrate.


82. Fruit soothes intestinal tract.


83. A fruit for arthritic gout.


84. An appetiser fruit - GOOD


85. Fruit for stomach.


86. A fruit for constipation.

Raw apples.

87. A fruit high in iron.


88. Fruit for neutralising acid.


89. A fruit healthful for kidneys.


90. A fruit fine for the nerves.


91. Two fruits thought anti-tobacco.

Apples and grapes eaten raw.

92. A fruit thought anti-cancer.


93. Vegetable good for the kidneys.


94. Vegetable that's antibiotic.


95. Fruit to tune blood vessels.


96. Vegetable for fresh breath.


97. Ingredient good for the heart.


98. A vegetable good for the eyes.


99. A good source of iodine.


100. A vegetable with high vitamin C .

Green peppers.

101. How to shine your refrigerator.

Use bicarbonate of soda on a wet sponge.

102. How to remove a hot cake pan.

Use clothes pins.

103. Keep windshields frost free.

Apply solution 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water over windshield.

104. Make dry cell batteries last longer.

Seal in plastic bags, wrap in aluminium foil, keep in refrigerator.

105. Remove wax from candle holders.

Freeze holders in refrigerator and it will just peel off.

106. Prevent kitchen stools from slipping.

Put rubber tips from crutches on bottom of legs.

107. Rid scratches from plastic watches.

Use cotton bud dipped in nail polish remover, rub over face, scratch disappears.

108. Excellent lubricant for appliances.

Put a drop of glycerine in gears - makes an excellent lubricant!

109. Keep garbage bags from slipping.

Use 3 or 4 clothes pins, keeps them from slipping.

110. How to clean glassware.

Clean with stale tea. If they spot, soak in buttermilk, let dry and wipe off.

111. How to clean carved furniture.

Use an old tooth brush to clean then use furniture polish on brush.

112. Remove ink from varnished furniture.

Rub with soft cloth filled with equal parts vinegar and linseed oil.

113. Remove mildew smell from luggage.

Put a bar of soap in luggage before storing.

114. Remove smoke, grease from woodwork.

Paint wood with solution of starch and water, when dry rub off.

115. Really shine your kitchen floor.

Add some sour milk to your rinse water, it will shine!

116. How to clean rust from chrome.

Rub it with aluminium foil.

117. How to really clean enamel.

Use a paste of salt and vinegar then wipe off.

118. Remove shoe polish from clothing.

Use carbon tetrachloride or rubbing alcohol.

119. Remove cigarette stains from china.

Rub it with a cork that has been dipped in salt.

120. Make your own ink eradicator.

Mix one part liquid bleach to ten parts water. Works great!

121. Make your appliances really shine.

Rub them over with rubbing alcohol, they will stay shining.

122. Remove stains from coffee cups.

Rub with salt and vinegar.

123. Make your own furniture polish.

Use two parts olive oil to one part vinegar. Have it warm while using.

124. Make your own silver polish,

Tooth paste or baking soda makes an excellent silver polish.

125. A really good copper cleaner.

Use a paste of salt and vinegar.

126. To clean your diamond rings.

Use toothpaste with an old tooth brush, rub rinse and let dry.

127. Clean tarnished gold and silver.

Rub with paste of water and baking soda, rinse and let dry.

128. How to make good jewellery cleaner.

Clean with a solution of one teaspoon ammonia and one cup of water.

129. Reset stone in your jewellery.

Put clear nail varnish in the base, set the stone in and let dry.

130. Prevent costume jewellery from tarnishing.

Put a thin coat of transparent nail polish over it.

131. Good cleaning aid for dishwashers.

Add some vinegar to the dishwasher.

132. Cure scratches on your furniture.

Use machine oil or some colour shoe polish.

133. Make a good fingernail brush.

Cut down the bristles of an old tooth brush.

134. Food for the whole litter (HOW).

Use a muffin pan so the runts can have some.

135. Lengthen life of wooden clothespins.

Boil then in salt solution.

136. Make a neat string dispenser.

Nail a funnel to wall and pull string out of bottom of funnel.

137. Tips on storing plastic curtains.

Sprinkle talcum powder between the layers as you go.

138. Basting made real easy (NEAT!).

Just tape and sew around the pieces of tape.

139. How to revive old clothing.

Shave those little fluffs off with a safety razor.

140. Make an emergency clothes brush.

Wrap a piece of tape around the hand, sticky side out.

141. Stop clothes catching on hangers.

Put a coat of clear nail polish over splinters and rough edges.

142. A needle sharpening pin cushion.

Use a steel wool to fill your cushion, keeps needles sharp.

143. Make a good yarn preserver.

Wrap yarn around a moth ball for storage.

144. Handy tips on cutting fur.

Use a razor blade on back of fur when cutting, you won't cut any hair.

145. Tips on sewing slippery material.

Stick a piece of waxed paper in seam, pull away when finished.

146. Easy pick up of needle spills.

Use a small magnet to pick up any needle spill.

147. Excellent knitting tips.

Keep ball of yarn in nylon stocking, will flow out free of tangles.

148. How to get rid of shiny trousers.

Make a solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water, soak a cloth in it, wring out

cloth put over trousers and press slightly.

149. When you need heavy duty thread.

Use dental floss.

150. Make a handy tape measure.

Just put tape around an old adhesive tape spool.

151. Prevent nylon from yellowing.

Add some baking soda to wash and rinse water.

152. Make a perfect sock darner.

Pull socks over a light bulb, makes it easy.

153. How to restore velvet like new.

Brush good and then hang in steamy bathroom.

154. Get rid of knots on sweaters.

Just rub a piece of sandpaper over sweater.

155. How to remove lint from wool.

Use a damp sponge and touch lightly.

156. Caring for leather upholstery.

Brush with skim milk every three months.

157. Repair scuffed patent leather.

Cover with same colour polish, let dry then cover with clear nail polish.

158. Prevent patent leather cracking.

Before each wearing, rub briskly with your hand, then a soft cloth.

159. Repair scuffed baby shoes.

Rub shoe with white of an egg.

160. Tips on buying shoes

Buy shoes in afternoon, feet tend to swell in the morning.

161. What to do when shoes get stiff

Cut a raw potato and rub all over. They will come back to life.

162. Black suede shoes last longer.

Wash with warm water then rub castor oil into leather.

163. How to soften leather shoes.

Sponge with black coffee.

164. Remove salt rings from shoes.

Brush with solution of vinegar and water.

165. Keep vegetables green while cooking.

Lift the lid of the cooking vessel from time to time while cooking.

166. Get juice from dried up lemon.

Boil it for a few minutes.

167. Quick onion rings.

Onions slice more easily, if you leave skins on while slicing.

168. How to kill taste of olive oil.

Add a touch of salt.

169. Good bread crumb substitute.

Potato chips, corn chips or pretzels.

170. How to keep your berries fresh.

Don't wash until ready to use and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

171. How to cut a soft pie.

Use a buttered knife to cut through a soft pie.

172. How to cut a frosted cake.

Rinse knife in hot water first each time you cut a slice.

173. How to make fluffy egg omelette.

Add a teaspoon of corn starch when mixing eggs.

174. Keep dressing from going rancid.

Put a spoon of sugar in it.

175. How to stop cabbage odours.

Throw a couple of walnut kernels in pot while cooking.

176. When you need soft butter quick..

If your butter is frozen, grate it, it's the same as soft butter.

177. How to keep cauliflower white.

Pour a little milk in the water when boiling cauliflower.

178. When is the omelette done.

When you press it lightly and it springs back.

179. Keep milk from scorching.

Add a pinch of sugar while cooking and do not stir.

180. Cheese cutting tips.

A dull knife is more successful than a sharp one.

181. When you need an extra egg.

When you need an extra egg for a recipe add a little corn starch.

182. Peel onions without tears.

Let water run over them while peeling.

183. The proper way to ripen fruit.

Keep it out in open at room temperature.

184. How to pick fresh eggs.

Old eggs are shin, fresh eggs are rough and have bumps.

185. How to cut acidity in coffee.

Add a pinch of salt.

186. Good refrigerator deodoriser.

Keep an open box of baking soda in it at all times.

187. What to do about grease spills.

Pour ice water over it, it will lift off before it can soak in.

188. Make a good egg separator.

Crack egg, put in small funnel, white will come through separated from yoke.

189. Reduce wilting of root vegetables.

Cut off the tops as soon as you get them.

190. Keep vegetables fresh longer.

Put paper towels in bottom of bin. It will absorb moisture which causes decay.

191. How to keep meat fresh looking.

Cover the cut side with leaves of lettuce.

192. How to perk up wilted lettuce.

Soak in cold water with a dash of lemon juice, cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

193. Make frozen vegetables fresh.

Pour boiling water over them. Restores fresh taste.

194. The best way to slice onions.

Freezing them first.

195. Keep beets and cabbage red.

Add lemon juice or vinegar to the water.

196. Keep potatoes from sprouting.

Store apples with them.

197. Get rid of cooking odours.

Boil hand full of cloves in water for 30 minutes. All odours will disappear.

198. Truss poultry so it will stay.

Use dental floss, it will not burn.

199. Tell when custard is done.

Stick knife into custard, if it comes out clean, it is done

200. Tips for cutting hot cake.

Use a thread, hold both ends tightly and lower through slowly.

posted by ohshenandoah at 9:46 PM on May 30, 2007 [19 favorites]

I'll throw one in from a mentor of mine. I have no idea if it's original or adapted from somewhere else:

Lie like hell and then work like hell.
posted by Alterscape at 2:59 AM on May 31, 2007

What the heck! I MUST know how to remove labels from jars. You hint-tease.
posted by The Deej at 5:31 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Not the Sunscreen Song - John Safran

If you're unsure about what you're going to do with your life, Try to remember, some of the most interesting people didn't know what they were going to do at age twenty-two or even at forty, and nearly all of them are unemployed drug addicts forced to live on cat food.

Also understand that friends will come and go, this is because of your irritating personality, nobody likes you.

So if the only thing getting you thought the day is the misconception that people like you, end it now. (bang)

Learn how to smoke Whinny Blues [redneck Aussie cigarettes], if you're under aged, get an older kid to buy them for you.

Get to really know your parents, they're good for money,
milk them, then put them in an old people's home.

Travel as often as you can, live in New York City once,
live in Northern California once, never live in Adelaide,
It's a hole.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have
children, maybe you won't, if you do have children,
lock them under the stairs.

Do one thing each day that scares you, sing, dance,
jump in front of a car.

Do not trust anyone who tries to update Sheakespeare
for the kids, and if you see Quindon Tarver in the street,
punch him in the face for me.


If you're worried about the way you look, try to remember,
you're probably fatter than you think, maybe you should consider an eating disorder.

Don't worry too much about the future. If you're nervous about an exam, ring up your school to schedule time, and make a bomb threat.

If you're a girl, lie about period pains to get out of anything you don't want to do.

Cheat if you think you can get away with it. Remember, someone with richer parents is getting private tuition.

Shop-lift as often as you can, Shopping Centres factor shop-lifting into their prices, so if you don't do it, it's like
they're getting money for free.

When you're on work experience, steal a cab-charge, and take a Taxi to Perth.

Wear sunscreen, but only if it's that coconut oil that gives you cancer.

Keep your old love letters, if you see an old lover in the street, try to run them over in your car.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or else by the time you're thirty-five, you'll look like Greg Matthews.

Remember you can wear your underwear four times without washing them, Forwards, Backwards, inside-out Forwards, inside-out Backwards.

Congregate in gangs around train stations and shopping centres, it's a free country, It's public space. Skateboard on War Memorials.

Smoke in your School uniform.

Set off car alarms.

Plant Drugs on a teacher.

Join a cult.

Spike Drinks.

Don't flush public toilets.

Remember, only you will truly take care of you, so carry a concealed weapon.

Don't wear your 'P' plates.

Walk around with your eye lids rolled back.

Touch your tongue on the tip of batteries.

Be open to new love.

Remember, you can't get pregnant the first time you have sex.

Expect others to support you, it's easy to get the dole
and still do cash in hand work.

Respect your elders, when your grandma dies, have her stuffed.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when you're knee
capped by a loan shark.

Get revenge, don't forgive anyone for anything, But most of all, don't aim too high, you're probably only suited to an office or factory job.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:42 PM on June 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

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