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This is a question Advice from Old People

Sometimes, just sometimes, old people say something worth listening to. Ok, so it's like picking the needle out of a whole haystack of mis-remembered war stories, but those gems should be celebrated.

Tell us something worthwhile an old-type person has told you.

Note, we're leaving the definition of old up to you, you smooth-skinned youngsters.

(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:16)
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This question is now closed.

His sister was a mean old bitty.
At the tender age of 11 (me, not my grandad), after I had dumped a pitcher of milk on my little sister's head, I was told by Grandad, "Don't make enemies of your sisters. One day, they might be all you have left. And if they wanted to, they could make your life miserable."
Nearly thirty years later, I realised how right he was. One of my sisters has done her best to alienate every member of our family (she has adoption issues), but my little sister, with the milky hair, is now one of my best friends and we have such fun when I get to see her (she's in Canadia).
Thanks, Grandad, but how do I get my other sister to smarten up and stop trying to ruin everyone else's life?
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:58, 5 replies)
My Nan
Grandmothers always seem to hold the wisom of the world. Mine is no exception. The one thing she always says to me (as she did to me yesterday when I told he about my unfair dismissal - long story):

"Gir, it happens for a reason. You can't see it now, and it won't happen it for a while, but when it does, you'll know."

The most infuriating thing is that she's right, too. Thanks Nan, you're a star *

My Grandfather on the otherside is as nutty as a squirrel bless him. His advice to me on going for an engineering iinterview was:

"Make sure you have a vernier calliper in your shirt pocket."

as a mate had his had done so and beaten everyone else to the job. I was going for an electrical engineering role, and I didn't have the heart to say no.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:58, Reply)
My first boss, Eggy Bob
when faced with a youngster contemplating marriage, would always ask the same question.

"Do you like them as well as loving them? If you don't, then don't get married."

His point was that the first flush of romantic love doesn't generally last all that long, and if there's nothing else in the relationship it's pretty much doomed. When he asked me, I answered in the affirmative. We must be doing something right because we're still together approaching 20 years later.

His other favourite piece of advice wasn't quite so navel-gazing.

"Never buy cheap shoes."
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:53, 2 replies)
God Squad
One on the serious side now. From my grandmother, who was a devout Protestant for most of her life, and converted to Catholicism a few years before she died.

One of the most wonderful things I've ever heard.

"There's many a good Christian who doesn't go to church, and many more who don't even believe in God. What you do and how you do it is so much more important than what you believe and what you preach."

I'm an atheist, but I agree with the second sentence there one hundred percent. Wonderful woman, knew I was gay and an atheist, and didn't give a damn :)
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:52, 9 replies)
Nan, bless her, always used to tell us that
'slow and steady, wins the race'

I pointed out that most sprinters would challenge that opinion.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:46, Reply)
Don't let 'em bamboozle you, son...
...but don't drink gin before breakfast either.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:44, Reply)
An old person once told me:
"Never confuse correlation with causation. Since I realised that, my life has been so much better."

One day, someone will find this joke funny.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:39, 6 replies)
your hand on your halfpenny was the advice dished out regularly by my Gran...didn't quite understand at the time but too late now!
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:35, Reply)
He didn't expect this....
I don't know if this counts as worthwhile or not, but here goes:

My mate's grandad is an Irish pisshead and has been known to stretch the truth on a number of occasions but this one took the biscuit, or at least I hope he was stretching the truth...

My mate and his grandad were talking at a family do and the subject changed to celebrities for some reason. My mate's grandad piped up and mentioned that Christy Brown (subject of the film 'My Left Foot' starring Daniel Day Lewis) used to live near him and he had met him a few times down the pub. Someone mentioned it must have been great meeting someone who battled through his physical disability to achieve so much. He replied:

"No, he was a wanker. He caused a huge fuss every time he came to the pub. His brothers would sit him down at the bar and pour drink into his mouth, and if he didn't have things his way he'd kick up an almighty fuss. At the end of the night one of his brothers would have to take it in turns to wheel him into the toilet and wank him off to keep him quiet."

Like I said, I hope these were exaggerations....
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:32, 1 reply)
I was sittin' next to what i assume was a tramp
who insisted on saying to himself for 5 minutes
"you see tell him...i spit on his face"

to be honest, I'd want to kno if someone was going
to spit on my face..not bad advice all in all
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:24, Reply)
The only good advice my Mum ever gave me
was, 'if you've got nothing nice to say, you should say nothing at all.'

I wish she'd take her own advice once in a while though, the cantankerous old cunt.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:22, 6 replies)
Always carry spare tights
Aimed more at the ladies, although these days you just can't tell ....

My mum always made sure she (and I when I grew up) had a spare pair of tights (or stockings) in the handbag on a night out.

"If you have them, you won't need them. If you don't have them, you will need them."

Nothing ruins a smart outfit on a night out like a ladder in your tights. My drunken attempts to pull up tights after a few too many sherbets has seen the "spare pair" dragged out of the handbag many a time.

Thanks mum.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:20, 1 reply)
Dearest Father
His advice to me, everytime i went out witrh my girfriends from the age of 15.

Don't make me a Grandfather before I'm 50.

It's his 50th next year, April fools is going to be so much fun.

good times, good times
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:18, 3 replies)
Martin, my stepdad's father is a strict devout catholic widower.
My mum and stepdad threw a party with loads of people turning up (none under the age of 35). I was sat there and Martin came up to me and asked where my friend Andrew was.

I told him it wasn't his thing, and Martin turns round and says "I understand, there's a severe lack of talent at this party. I'd have more chance pulling at church!"

(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:17, Reply)
I once mentioned to my Gran that I thought I was putting on weight and she told me 'Don't worry. As long as your belly doesn't stick out more than your boobs, you're ok'. Very sound advice, I thought.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:15, 2 replies)
A teacher of mine
had this bit of Zen advice to give. These were his exact words:

You hand in crap homework, you get a crap mark.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:13, Reply)
I'm 39
Mu mum still tells me to 'watch crossing the roads and don't speak to any strange men'

Odd given as i now probably qualify as a strange man.

(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:10, 2 replies)
My friend Tess' grandad
dropped her off at Auckland airport, handed her a few dollars and uttered the immortal lines

"That's for some lunch, just don't go buying yourself a bottle of fizz and a couple of slices of cheese"

Never mind that there was probably nowhere in a ten mile radius you could just buy a couple of slices of cheese.

I hope to meet this latent comedic genius someday.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 17:02, 2 replies)
Advice from the Bus
Many moons ago I was sitting on the bus returning from a boring day at 6th form when two old duffers get on the bus.

Now one of these poor old sods had a stinking cold. The other elderly gentleman offered the following advice "All you need to cure a cold is a cup of hot milk and a bottle of Whiskey." Apparently all you have to do is "Drink the bottle of whiskey before the milk gets cold."

Never mind the quality feel the width.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:57, 2 replies)
My gran is losing the plot a bit these days, but she is my hero.
She was a single mother, worked all her life, passionate about politics and the rights of the worker, and has never let anyone make her ashamed of who she is and where she is from.

I love her to bits.

She's given me four very important bits of advice: -

1) Always earn enough to pay your own rent, even if your man is paying it for you - you never know when you will need to be independent, and having a life outside your home stops you becoming a clingy, needy individual.

2) Never let any man talk down to you. Ever.

3) Have as much sex as humanly possible, with no guilt, no shame, and no regrets. She taught me that I should have sex because I wanted to, not because someone forced me into it, but that to deny myself pleasure because of a misguided fear of damaging my reputation was stupid. Her biggest regret is that she didn't put it about more as a young woman.

4) People in power only hold that power because you allow them to. If they abuse that power, you can take it away from them. This applies to relationships, employers, landlords, councils and the Government.

I love my gran I do.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:57, 9 replies)
When i was in my late teens
and started to go to the local pub the advice i used to get most from guys from their 20s to their 80's tended to be "Don't get married".

Of course once i met my future wife and thought as they had thought, that it would be different for us i did.

Now i impart the following advice to any youngsters that may be reading "Don't get married".

Actually that's bollocks, I would starve to death covered in my own filth with my clothes on backwards if i was left on my own.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:55, Reply)
tradesmen are filthy
My wee gran is Welsh, not making excuses she just is. She’s 86, 4'8 and almost a perfect sphere with hair like candy floss - a bit how you might expect Yoda to be if he came from Swansea and liked the odd chocolate éclair. Like many who battle through to the finish line in life she has a few pearls of wisdom but also some opinions that are somewhat unique.

A few years back she advised me to be careful 'in the bin' - turns out there was some broken crockery in there. I asked if she had had an accident whilst eyeing the hammer sitting on the kitchen table.

The story unfolded. ‘The man', i should say this is a coverall term my gran uses to refer to all tradesmen, meter readers, council employees etc - as in "I can't on Tuesday because the man is coming to fix the [washing] machine".

The previous day 'the man' had come to fit some window blinds - hardly a sewage spattered bloke from dyno-rod or pikey tarmac vendor then. I'm told he wore a 'nice suit and tie' and showed her the pictures of his family he kept in his wallet and was by all accounts a 'lovely man'. It was an all day job so she had given him numerous cups of tea and biscuits as small grandmothers are bound by law to do.

When he left she smashed the cup. Not washed it. Not discarded it. Smashed it. With a hammer.

Reason being? Whilst (screwing her wee welsh face up) she told me..
"Well, you never know where he's been"

(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:51, Reply)
I guess I qualify as an old person now...
One of my sayings is "The future is not etched in stone, it's raggedly scrawled in wet concrete."

Another one (somewhat lifted from Calvin & Hobbes) is "Life is unfair- that's a given. The best you can hope for is that sometimes it will be unfair in your favor."

I think I annoy my kids some days.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:50, 4 replies)
My Gran told me that if my poo floated, in the toilet obviously, then I wasn't eating properly. Once my jobbies went under, I could consider myself pretty healthy.

A number of my more elderly relatives told me exactly the same thing over the years (rather worrying in itself) and I'm happy to pass this pearl of wisdom on.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:48, 8 replies)
Sound advice from my old man
As I was leaving for University, my Dad thought it was time to give his youngest son some sage advice. With a slap on the back hid sent me off with the following 3 pearls of wisdom:

Don't do hard drugs
You don't need to look at the fireplace while you are poking the fire
Don't shit on your own doorstep.

I followed all 3 to the letter. Thanks Pop!
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:46, 2 replies)
"Ne'er cast a clout yer vest til May is out"
To which I replied, 'What the fuck are you going on about now Nan?'
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:46, 6 replies)
Don't get your nose broken
The entire time that I lived at my parents and was old enough to go out drinking, my dad would say "Don't get your nose broken" every time as I was walking out the door.

Except once.

Guess what happened....
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:45, 4 replies)
From the same grandmother
"Don't ever take drugs!"

I felt so bad. I was stoned at the time.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:42, Reply)
Dad's little secret...
My old man always advised me that "If you ever get into a scrap, remember his bollocks are just as soft as yours"

How does my dad know how soft everybody’s bollocks are? And more to the point, how does he know how soft MINE are?
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:42, 6 replies)
Asking my dad if he's heard what the film "Species" is like....
"That's the one with the bird, innit."
He should review films for The Sun.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:42, Reply)

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