Oh my gosh. It’s Saturday already. I missed getting the advice on Friday. My excuses are:
1) Work took longer than expected.
2) I was helping a friend.
3) I dislocated my shoulder. (It popped back in this morning.)
So, I shall once more be dispensing stupendously bad advice. As a bonus, it is untimely as well.
ME asks: Should I focus my efforts on writing, jewelry making, art, accounting, or Amazon prime deliveries by dog sled? What will reap the greatest financial and personal reward?
Dear ME: The markets for writing, jewelry, making, art, and accounting are quite clogged with competition. Brilliant as you are, you must find a niche market that employs all your talents. Simply make artistic jewelry, then etch your novels on them. You will have to write small. Instead of books taking 423 pages, your magnum opuses will require 1,623 rings or 421 bracelets. This endeavor can’t fail to make you millions. Just imagine, a man gives his sweetheart a gold ring, platinum even. She oohs and aahs over the ring’s beauty. The man gets lucky. Next morning, she reads your wring. She becomes entranced, then she gets to the cliffhanger. She must read more. She pesters her man until she gets another of your rings. She loves this ring’s understated elegance and again loves your writing, as who would not? The man gets lucky once more. He sees a pattern. He encourages his love to ask for another ring. She eagerly agrees. Soon he has bought all 1,623 rings and they have 17 kids. You will have grossed $1,623,000 in sales to the energizer-bunny man. Naturally, he will have had to sell cocaine to pay for the rings, but maybe he was tired of his old job. Of course, you will be making so much money that you will need all of your accountant training to keep track. And yes, you should deliver all your novel jewelry by dog sled. The press will love it; you will get free publicity. The public will think the dog-sled delivery so cute that they will order your jewelry just to see the dog sleds come to their doors. These new customers will be hooked by your cliff-hanger writing and will buy and buy and buy. I don’t see a downside to this.
MK states: I can’t… I just… can’t.
Dear MK: Yes you can. You need a chant, a mantra if you will, to give yourself a positive outlook. May I suggest chanting, “I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.” Changing your attitude doesn’t happen immediately. You must chant this mantra all day long no matter whether you find yourself in a stall in a public restroom, or positioning a dentist’s drill towards your patient in your office. Eventually, you’ll feel better. I guarantee it.
MA asks: I can? I have always wondered if one synchronized swimmer drowns, why the other ones don’t too? Please advise…
Dear MA: The other synchronized swimmers better darn well drown as well or the team will receive horrible scores from the judges. How synchronized–gosh, synchronized is hard to spell– is it to have one swimmer drown and not the others? Not at all. It’s an all-or-nothing sort of thing, like the Three Musketeers motto of “All for one and one for all.” Those swordsmen certainly knew how to impress judges with their synchronized sword fighting. And for goodness sake, remember that judges don’t care in the slightest, if the drowning team member is saying “Good bye, cruel world,” having a heart attack, or offing himself for his creative independence. If you don’t immediately synchronize your routine to this extemporaneous event, you will get zeroes from the judges. Then you really will want to kill yourself. You might as well kill yourself in competition and leave this world in a blaze of glory.
BRW asks: Relax . . . We’re all crazy. It’s not a competition. Is this true?
Dear BRW: It is certainly not true. Murders and terrorists thrive on the adrenaline and the notoriety they get from being the craziest. And they surely are crazy. Would they kill people if no one noticed? Heck no. They know the rule, “No style, no attention.” At one time, people considered pie throwers to be the craziest people. The world was at peace, happy even. The motion pictures took over and did the pie-throwing thing to death. Pie throwers were no longer deemed the craziest. People desiring the title of “Mr. Craziest” gravitated to murders. That worked fine for a while. Then other people joined in and just killing someone just wasn’t considered all that crazy anymore. So, people started offing people in larger numbers and more dramatic ways. This is all bad. This is where you step in, BRW. Come up with a non-violent activity that is even crazier than murder and terrorism. The news media will cover only you, the new King of Crazy. Soon those mass killers will seem suddenly so blah. No one will pay them any attention. The masters of mass murders will go home and sulk and stare at their ceiling for years at a time. The world will thank you for this. I see a Nobel Peace Prize in your future.
LHH asks: What’s that crawling through your hair?
Dear LHH: That’s a great lyric for a song. Look what a great lyric and title, “Hey Children, What’s That Sound” did for Buffalo Springfield. He became a hit singer. Your lyric is also so so similar to Bob Dylan’s “the answer is blowing in the wind.” Mr. Dylan became incredibly successful. I’m confident that if you build a song around “What’s that crawling through your hair?” you too will become a superstar singer. Now the only fly in the ointment is that if you suffer from writer’s block and cannot think of additional lyrics. Should this happen to your, simply walk up to as many strangers as possible and ask them, “What’s that crawling through your hair?” I’m positive you’ll garner many rich and lengthy responses. In no time, you’ll have written your hit song. Go platinum, LHH!
WK asks: I’ve submitted questions before but have never received a response. So what’s the point?
Dear WK: I have answered at least one of your questions. Please click on the following link, https://pauldelancey.com/2017/05/20/bad-advice-friday-1-may-20-2017/. Honestly, this question is almost enough to make me give you neutral words of wisdom, if not downright good advice. Be that as it may, you should never give up your quest for bad advice. Acting on bad advice provides the witnesses of your crazed activity with a welcome diversion from their boring existence. You know you haven’t been brightening peoples lives if you’ve never had to occasion to say, “Hey, watch me do this.” And if you haven’t brightened peoples lives, the terrorists win. My job is to provide you with a “watch me do this” activity, but I can only do so when you ask. Oh, and I blame missing any questions from you on plate tectonics.
KGV asks: What is the proper etiquette when entertaining Russian spies in your office?
Dear KGV: I’m glad you used the phrase “proper etiquette” in your question. Good manners are always in style whether you’re holding the door open for your mother or entertaining spies bent on destroying your country’s democracy. Always be courteous. This means saying things like “thanks for coming,” “nice tie,” “what a beautiful dress,” “some caviar, perhaps,” and would you like some alone time in my communications room?” At no time should you broach unpleasant topics such as their invasion of the Ukraine or their support for that brutal dictator in Syria. That would be a faux pas. Word would get around or people would stop coming to your soirees. And wouldn’t that make you feel bad?
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.