Friday, March 09, 2007

Only equanimitize

In the spirit of E.M. Forster, Bryan Appleyard invited his readers to share their rules of conduct, learned from bitter experience and humiliation, on how to maintain an even keel, or as he more eloquently put it, maintain a tolerable equanimity. Today Bryan posted the resulting 12 rules, culled from reader submissions and appropriately reworded to suit Bryan's unique tastes. Here is the final list:

1)Do not rely on the good intentions of any cat.
2)Never heckle a man with a microwave.
3)Do not attempt to flush cellophane.
4)Do not interfere with shower controls in the houses of others and do not handcuff a physicist to said shower.
5)The insultee should expend 50 per cent less energy on being insulted than the insulter does on insulting.
6)Starship captains: do not beam aboard strange devices of unknown origin or purpose or anything lizard-like.
7)Walk everywhere, but look where you are going.
8)After 45 do not trouble yourself with people you don't like. Also attempt to do this before 45 but you will fail.
9)Insist you are right at all times except when you are wrong.
10)If right-handed, do not push your right arm through a window.
11)Use latex rather than oil whenever possible.
12)In Germany on Sunday expect nothing.


Of note from the list is the contribution of the Duckian contingent, namely moi and the equanimitous Brit, to three of the final rules. May these rules help all of you to realize the blessings of a tolerable equanimity!

7 Comments:

Blogger Brit said...

Will they help ward off the Discombobulation, do you think?

March 09, 2007 6:19 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

We can hope that they might postpone it, but I fear that the Discombobulatory forces are too strong. Just look at the signs!

March 09, 2007 7:05 AM  
Blogger Oroborous said...

Starship captains: do not beam aboard strange devices of unknown origin or purpose

Truer words were never written.

The comments at the original post are well-worth reading, especially the one about Marx hiding from Mexicans and bicycle pumps.

March 09, 2007 7:30 AM  
Blogger Bryan Appleyard said...

Salut, Duck, quack on!

March 09, 2007 7:43 AM  
Blogger Brit said...

Duck:

The Daily Mail is composed of nothing but (mostly dubious) Signs of the Discombobulation. They should call it the Daily Discombobulator.

March 09, 2007 7:44 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

Truly thy words of sober caution contain much wisdom, brother Brit, for it does no service to mankind to overstate the effects of the Discombobulation, or to point to false signs. For by such overzealous spreading of the word we risk being seen as alarmist, or even crackpots and conspiracy nuts, and of receiving the sorts of calumny and abuse that go with said judgments, and of being told to shut up and cease, and to quit staying up all night on the computer looking for signs and to get to bed and pleasure your wife lest you be served with divorce papers. Your words are well taken.

March 09, 2007 8:14 AM  
Blogger Julia Buckley said...

"8)After 45 do not trouble yourself with people you don't like. Also attempt to do this before 45 but you will fail."

I'm a way off 45 yet, but I think I started this one at the age of about 6. Not sure whether it's a virtue or a vice really.

Great list.

March 12, 2007 1:30 AM  

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