I usually just delete chain e-mails, but this one was so chock full of good advice that I felt utterly compelled to share it with you. I have made some minor alterations, in italics, for the sake of complete clarification.
1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully, especially when what they weren’t expecting was an STD
2. Memorise your favourite poem and narrate it at length when management meetings get dull.
3. When you say, “I love you,” mean it. Or, as a courtesy, at least try and look as if you mean it.
4. When you say, “I’m sorry,” look the person in the eye and wink.
5. Believe in love at first sight. Afterwards, consult an optician.
6. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely. Unless you’re shallow, insincere and rich enough not to give a damn.
7. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling. That means YOU, rednose!
8. Don’t judge people by their relatives. Judge them by their dress sense; use their relatives merely as confirmation.
9. Talk slowly but think quickly. After a while you’ll be hopelessly confused.
10. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?” It’s a great way of annoying the barrister for the Prosecution.
11. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk. Which is why it’s best not to think too hard before you do something exceptionally stupid.
12. Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze. From a safe distance, obviously.
13. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. That way you’ll be the best-educated loser on the block.
14. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions. Save the fourth R, “Run Away”, for those occasions when you really fuck up.
15. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship. Use a baseball bat.
16. Smile when picking up the telephone. The caller will hear it in your voice. (N.B. Does not apply to Funeral Directors.)
17. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Especially when the question is: “So, where exactly did you bury your wife?”
18. Read more books and watch less TV. And don’t go spoiling it by reading books about TV.
19. Live a good, honourable life. When you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time. Then do something despicable and go out with a bang.
20. Trust in God but lock your car. God steals laptops.
21. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past. Unless you’re disagreeing about what exactly happened during the Battle of Waterloo.
22. Read between the lines. That way books are much shorter.
23. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality. Not dying is another good way to achieve immortality.
24. Be gentle with the earth and it will take you a long, long time to dig a hole.
25. Mind your own business. Unless you are someone who enjoys thinking up rules for other people to live by.
26. Don’t trust a man/woman who doesn’t close his/her eyes when he/she kisses. Obviously, as he/she/you has/have his/her/your eyes shut, he/she/you will never know this.
27. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon. And learn to love gastro-enteritis.