10-List: Another Serving of Quotidian Quotes (Firewater’s Everyday Wisdom)

a wiseguy, huh?

I know, some of this isn’t necessarily “wisdom” in the classic sense of the word. Some are just observations or wisecracks. Personally, wisdom is as scarce around my house these days as paper products during a pandemic.

  • It’s estimated that 40,000 people a year die in US traffic fatalities. Here’s a stray thought you probably shouldn’t share with anyone: How many of these people deserved it?
  • Back in the 1970s, my dad often said it was getting difficult to tell the difference between teenaged girls and boys, what with all the long hair and sissy-looking clothes. He didn’t live long enough to realize what true gender uncertainty was. There were only two genders to worry about in those days, and pronouns were just something you talked about in English class.
  • Speaking of my father: I was sitting with him in a car once, in the parking lot of a Piggly Wiggly, where my father worked as a janitor for a while. At the same time, we both saw a teenaged boy—this would have been in the late 1970s, I believe—who had long hair and was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the AC/DC logo. My Dad told me that this meant the boy was bisexual. I knew about the Australian rock band AC/DC, of course, but didn’t bother to correct my Dad, who had unknowingly just taught me the concept of bisexuality. It was the only sex talk we ever had.
  • Something else I learned from Dad: the open road belongs to you; never let a car remain in front of you for too long, even if you have to pass on a curve with a double-yellow line—better to die in fiery, twisted wreckage than to let that sumbitch win.
  • There are at least four separate cup holders in the front seat of our Chevy Traverse. Six if you count the two spots on the inside of the glove compartment door. How many people does Chevy think is riding up there? I don’t mind all the extra airbags, but it seems like overkill—maybe even negligence—to encourage certain people by having enough can holders for a six pack.
  • Years have passed in which I have never reversed the direction of my ceiling fans during the winter months. I think I’m supposed to, although I can’t swear that I’ve ever noticed any detrimental effects. Of course, I’ll have to Google whether clockwise or counterclockwise is appropriate. As an easily distracted person, I’ll probably forget after I type this.
  • Arkansas is as serious as any state about the perils of drinking and driving. However, during the summer, many convenience stores will have large barrels keeping tallboy cans of beer on ice, almost as a point-of-purchase display. Oversized cans of beer. Ice cold. I suspect that some of these tallboys are being consumed in the car.
  • Hang on to your childlike sense of wonder. It’s one of your better traits.
  • I don’t believe that our fates are predetermined. It’s not even about free will for me. It’s about storytelling. Stories are required to have some sort of structure. They are required to be logical and make sense. Knowing the end of a person’s story suggests that it’s already been written. By someone. Since reality doesn’t necessarily seem to be always logical, and a person’s life seldom seems to follow a single, coherent script, the evidence suggests that the bulk of our stories are being written as we go along, and the endings exist in a probability cloud, not a definite endpoint. The universe may have a Creator or Creators. But, the stories are made up by humans.
  • On long road trips, I like to point out—to my wife—all the refrigerated trailers being hauled by semis. It could be that I just like saying the word “reefer.” It’s madness.

That’s it. I’m tapped out until next time.

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