|A portrait of the American writer Mark Twain taken by A. F. Bradley in New York, 1907. "Never pick a fight with a man that buys ink by the barrel." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
But in all truth, if you are a person that can adapt your knowledge, some of those old saws can come in handy. Here are three of my personal favorites:
- Never stand in front of a man swinging an ax. Since the days when this piece of wisdom was very important the ax has gone out of style. Not many people swing axes these day. If you are a city person you probably wonder what I am talking about. If you were to visit a store that caters to wood choppers or lumberjacks you would find that axes can come in two pieces. The handle is often not attached to the head of the tool. When an ax handle breaks, a really handy guy goes to the local hardware store and buys a new handle. The handle is attached using small pieces of wood to wedge it in place and then it is soaked in water to make the wood expand and the theory is the handle will not separate from the ax head until the time comes when the new handle breaks. HOWEVER, many time the ax head and the handle come apart as the ax is being swung over the head of the chopper and flies through the air. My advice to you would be to get out of the way BEFORE that happens. In this day and age I don't stand in the line of fire when a golf club is being swung...I have seen the heads fly off of them too.
- Never learn to clean fish (or chop wood)! Once we learn to do something, we are expected to do it all the time. Sometimes we need to simply refuse to learn a skill that we would never want to do again.
- Never argue with a man that buys ink by the barrel (to paraphrase Mark Twain). My husband was a school administrator for many years in small communities. While we lived in a sort of tentative peace with those around us, once in a while the newspaper would speak out of turn and either embarrass us or make us really mad. I recall a young newspaper reporter using my husbands name in connection with a bar fight in the next town. Needless to say, in our jobs that was not a good thing AND my husband was innocent...I promise. Even though the newspaper was wrong, my husband was very careful of what he said. Those people buy ink by the barrel and there is no fighting with them because you will never win.
Now newspapers have gone the way of the ax and a barrel of ink probably does nobody any good. However, even though the Internet is inkless, it is not harmless. We still need to be very careful of those the hold the power of disseminating information in their hands.
I am sure that 10 more will come to mind as soon as I post this blog. I suppose you have some worthless advice to pass on. I would love to hear it.