Why oh why can’t the world be a simpler place? Why do so many people seem to have such a difficult time just being kind to one another? It seems to me that we human beings have a tendency to endlessly, needlessly complicate things. If you think about it, all you really need is love, a flattering haircut and an occasional martini (very dry and dirty, with three olives, preferably served by an extraordinarily good-looking waiter). I think that’s all in the Bible somewhere. Or on a Beatles album.
As I was pondering great words of wisdom passed down through the ages, I remembered this song from the seventies. It held great meaning for me when I was a teenager, and as I reflected on the lyrics this morning, I realized how timeless it truly is. This is wonderful advice for everyone, and I believe the world would be much improved if we incorporated at least some of it into our daily lives.
The Grandmother Song
Be courteous, kind and forgiving,
Be gentle and peaceful each day,
Be warm and human and grateful,
And have a good thing to say.
Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike,
Be witty and happy and wise,
Be honest and love all your neighbors,
Be obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant.
Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus,
Be dull, and boring, and omnipresent,
Criticize things you don’t know about,
Be oblong and have your knees removed.
Be tasteless, rude, and offensive,
Live in a swamp and be three dimensional,
Put a live chicken in your underwear,
Get all excited and go to a yawning festival.
–Steve Martin, when he was funny.
If you’d like to hear the tune that accompanies these gorgeous lyrics , here you go:
Speaking of great advice, I received a belated Guest List from my wonderful friend Maxine, who was under the weather during Guest Post week. I hope you enjoy it. When I think of Maxine and his blog (one of the most hilarious on the planet), the descriptions that leap to mind are “politically correct” and “non-controversial.”
Oh wait– that’s someone else.
MAXINE’S TOP 10 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU DROP DEAD
10. Call a member of the Junior League the “c” word to her face, then giggle innocently.
9. Invite several people to a dinner party and serve nothing but Stove Top Stuffing and white bread. Act as if this is perfectly normal.
8. Search flea markets high and low for a pink or avocado green toilet; buy said toilet; buy $50 of ugly plastic flowers at the Wal-Marts; in the dark of the night, place said toilet and plastic flowers in the middle of your best friend’s front yard as a planter. If time permits, set it in concrete, so no one steals it.
7. Buy a bottle of Nyquil; empty said bottle of NyQuil; refill said bottle of NyQuil with vodka and green food coloring and place in your purse. At your next social gathering, pull out the NyQuil and fill a champagne glass with the vodka and continue to sip, as if this, too is perfectly normal.
6. Randomly, throughout conversations with other people, break eye contact, look up at the sky and say, “Yes, Jesus, it shall be done,” then reconnect with their eyes as if nothing happened. Add a small twitch for special
5. Tell your child’s teacher to be extra-kind to him/her because the only reason he/she is in class is because you couldn’t find a coat hanger ___ number of years ago.
4. E-mail your city’s mayor to complain about all of the phallic symbolism in the parks department’s choice of playground equipment. Provide photos.
3. Ask telemarketers odd questions, like what color is his/her shirt? Does he/she like his/her mother? What’s his/her first memory?
2. Any time “Cops” comes on, yell as loud as you can, “Honey! Our episode of Cops is on!!!” This is especially useful in bars and restaurants.
1. Write your partner a love letter. Be sure to address it to someone else.
Dearest Maxine, you’re such a incurable romantic, yet practical too. Thank you for this sage wisdom. Your gentle nature and down-to-earth advice makes my world a better place, although it scares me to think that there’s not one thing on this list that you wouldn’t do (or haven’t done already).