Over the weekend while I was exposing my fear of heights to the entire world, one of the Daily Post’s topic suggestions was Describe the wackiest but most useful advice you’ve ever received.
I was immediately reminded of the advice on Laughykate‘s blog:
‘Kids, don’t drink and drive…..kids, don’t drive when there’s a warrant out for your arrest.’
I am also conscious of the fact that Tilly Bud has been given advice on how to avoid being eaten by a crocodile, so I feel well out of my league here.
Anyway I’ve found that wacky advice generally tends to be just that.
Most wacky advice concerns hiccups. We are told that you can be startled out of it, and often on this basis a friend will suddenly yell into your ear. This just means that you will have a blazing row, and hiccups. Drinking out of the back of a glass just leaves you with a wet shirt, and hiccups, and holding your breath while pinching your nose just leaves you blue in the face and with the feeling that your eardrums are being inflated from inside by a bicycle pump. And hiccups.
There is one piece of advice that has remained with me, although it was not given to me personally. It is GK Chesterton’s “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” Of course the original saying is “anything worth doing is worth doing well,” and for a second you don’t get what he means, but then you realise that he is exactly right. I read the phrase way back in my teens (possibly on vellum, or perhaps on stone tablets) and it has made an enormous impression, which is why I use it as my blog title.
I do have one final piece of advice, though again it wasn’t given to me, and is actually more a statement of fact. On a website I used to read called Holy Moly, there was a section called Trufax, in which people could list supposedly true facts. Much of it was libellous (“such-an-such a celebrity is a ****”), most of it wasn’t funny, but you did get the occasional gem (one of my favourites was “Sheffield Wednesday is not, and never has been, a Bank Holiday“).
And I often wonder about the story behind this heartfelt, oddly touching statement:
“Being chased along a canal path by an angry swan does not lead to a second date.”