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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.

It's not so much what she says as what she does.
My mum is disabled and has been, to varying degrees, most of her life. She survived polio as a child and has slowly become weaker as she's aged. Now in her sixties (though she'd deny that if asked!), she needs a wheelchair to get around and can only walk very short distances (as in from her chair to her bed) with the aid of crutches.

Despite all that, she lives on her own, still teaches full-time, does her own shopping and cleaning and gardening and then some!

So how does this make me a better person?

Whenever I'm feeling lazy, I think of her and tell myself 'Fuck it! If Mum can do it, so can I and I can be grateful for a fully functioning body while I'm at it!'

I worry that she won't be able to care for herself completely much longer, as her weak legs lead to falls and injuries, but I did plenty of caring for her when I was young and I can do it now, too. I just don't think she'll let me!
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 20:44, Reply)
Chelsea Royal Army Hospital
I was buzzing around London looking for some prints of a Victorian artist who did loads of British military paintings. So I am walking around and I see this old codget shuffling along and I ask him if he can point me in the direction of the nearest ATM. (ATM = Cash Machine)

He was not only kind enough to tell me, he shuffled me all the way there. Delightful fellow, he shared with me that he was a WWII veteran and that he was retired and lived in the Chelsea Royal Army Hospital. So, he was a Chelsea Pensioner.

He regaled me with tales of Dunkirk and Operation Market Garden and I thoroughly enjoyed the walk. I think he enjoyed sharing those stories and he invited me to go back to the hospital with him to meet some other pensioners...

So back we go. I spent an hour and a half, just meeting all these old fellas and hearing their stories. Absolutely brilliant!

As he was walking me to the door, he shook my hand and thanked me for stopping by as it always cheers the lads up to talk with someone interested in their experiences. I said it was MY pleasure.

He invited me back and said "Those old bastards are dying off! So you better come back quick!"

It's true you know. Our WWII vets are dying off too fast. And I lost both my Grandfathers who served, so if you've got one in your family, ask them about the war and remember their stories so your subsequent generations will know of their heroic days.

(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 20:36, 19 replies)
My gran
after I showed her how to operate her microwave for the umpteenth time said to me "You learn something every day" then paused and followed it up with "and then forget it every night"
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 20:27, 2 replies)
helpful drink advice ...
Long time lurker etc. etc. ...
As my grandad took his time over dying last year it was decided that he should probably meet my little brothers missus while he still could so him, her and me headed oop north for a respectful visit and introduction.
He was obviously keen to make a good impression and having always been a very hospitable chap offered us all a wide range of drinks when we arrived he was also a big drinker so wine, beer and lager were what was offered and after a moments hesitation, tonic water as a soft alternative. The polite image was ruined almost instantly by the sound of my grandmothers voice shouting from the kitchen
"Tonic water? Why in the hell would you drink that?"
to be honest, sound advice grannie it tastes like shite ...
and of course it makes a nice change from her usual advice to lose some weight aimed at me and the 12 year old as we're looking "a bit chubby" ho hum
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 20:22, Reply)
Surfing with the porcelain browser
From my dad:

There is always more than one vomit to come out.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 20:05, Reply)
My nan once said to me
dont grow old.

Short, succinct and to the point.

I remember her advice often, and, nan, I'm trying!!
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:57, Reply)
When my oldest brother had reached the age of...
about 16, he started running around with his mate(who we shall call Steve)a lot more at night and started going to pubs, drinking and of course chasing women.

Now me and my brothers lived a sheltered life and had quite restrictive parents, so did Steve and eventually his dad came over to see my dad about the whole 'running around town' scenario as he called it. Now Steve's dad said something along the lines of:

"You know Mr Bamboo Steamer I am not to happy the way you let your son run all over the town with Steve to all hours of the night and this chasing girls thing...I don't want him making any 'mistakes', if you know what I mean"

To which my dad replied with the best advice ever:

"Oh I agree but look at it this least we havn't raised a couple of poofs now have we?"

Steve's dad:

"You know, I had never thought of it that way before, all the best...bye!" and promptly left and never complained again.

Heh heh, even now 20 years later it makes me laugh.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:39, 3 replies)
I don't normally post in here, but heres my story.
My grandad was one of those people who you either loved, or hated. Luckily for me, we shared a lot more than any normal family, I had the same first name as him, and we shared a lot of common interests (even if he didn't want to talk about them all the time).

During the times we spent together, he imparted on me all sorts of advice, and always seemed to take great care to make sure that it got across to me.

The last time I saw him would be about 6 weeks before he died, and he gave me the piece of advice that would stick with me until the day my time on this planet ends. He was sat in his chair, this once great hulk of a man, and we just got talking, he seemed to feel more comfortable reminiscing about things he'd done wrong in his life, and he just came out with it.
He said 'Don't spend the rest of your life going out to impress everyone. It'll only make them think that you're up to something. As long as achieve everything you set out to, you'll be the happiest person in the world'.

Its almost 2 years since he died, and I've tried my hardest to live up to that advice (even if it is slightly ironic to follow it given the nature of it). I've not achieved everything I've set out to just yet, but I'm on my way to doing it.

Apologies for length. I swear it was shorter when I started.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:33, 1 reply)
My Grandad the philosopher
"You can't get happier than happy."

Geeeeenious. Like some kind of zen monk.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:29, 3 replies)
My grandad
When I was a nipper in the 80's playing on one of those legendary/shite Commodore64 light gun games, my Grandad was in the room and came out with this gem of advice:

"Three in the head and you know they're dead".

He used to be in the original Special Air Service out in Africa in WW2.

Don't know if that's a motto of theirs or not but, I'm sure I'll come in handy if I ever need to shoot someone to death.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:26, 2 replies)
"If you can't stand the heat, stay out of Miami."
"What kind of metaphor is that?"

"What metaphor? You ever been down there in August? Your balls stick to your leg like crazy glue."
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:24, 3 replies)
Nan didn't like Charles in Charge
"Them bloody Americans would clap if they had shit in their hands" said she.

Thankfully she passed on well before the internets would bring us 2 girls 1 cup.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:18, Reply)
My Gran
The champion baker once said "Good manners are priceless, because they cost nothing".
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:13, Reply)
He's got a point
My client told me last week some advice his old dad once gave him:

He said "If you have a son, you have to worry about just one pecker. But if you end up having a daughter you have to worry about EVERY pecker."
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:05, 1 reply)
While out with a lesbian couple I know....
...a very old man was heard from across the street yelling "Bloody lesbians, get a cock!"

I laughed til I fell down in the street.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 19:04, 1 reply)
Not exactly advice, just memorable
My grannie lived to be 93 and spent the last ten years of her life trying to ensure that everyone around her was as miserable as she was. One quote, though, was priceless. She was notorious for criticising gifts, loudly, in front of the giver. When my mum told her I'd given her a book for Christmas grannie piped up "A book? What do you want a book for? You've got a book!"
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:53, 1 reply)
my granddad...
My old Granddad... Ah, what a guy. Whilst most of the stuff that came out of his mouth was nothing more than bigoted tripe, he did occasionally give me some sage advice.

Like once, when I was off to meet my then-girlfriend, he asked me if I had my 'kit' ready. Puzzled, I asked him to elaborate. He explained that he meant a groundsheet, some kneepads and a packet of jubber rays, for the purposes of having a little al-fresco intercourse with my young lady.

I didn't, as I was 12 at the time, but hey - good advice nontheless.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:50, Reply)
When I started smoking
my step dad swiftly pointed out the folly of my newest hobby with the question "would you have unprotected sex with a woman if you knew she had aids?" which certainly made me think about it.

However, I'd also been told that was doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. Given that I'd smoke numerous cigarettes by this point and hadn't found myself even a bit dead, I ignored my step dad and worked hard on developing a good old habit.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:43, Reply)
I just remembered.
On being caught smoking weed at school, my dad bought me a bottle of whisky and a packet of fags, accompanied with the advice 'This is all I've ever needed, so it should be all you ever need'.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:42, Reply)
I'll never forget my mad old great aunt...
...who mercifully shuffled off this mortal coil several years ago.

Brought up in India, she had strongly-held convictions on all things that could be neatly summarised in any Daily Express editorial, and once called the police out in Southsea because "someone scruffy walked past my house".

The last time we had her to stay (for a month!), she was tolerated through gritted teeth, a visit which climaxed with her accidentally watching Top of the Pops.

Dumbfounded at what she saw that evening, she could only manage one comment: "There's far too many darkies on TV these days."

Then, turning to my sister, she said: "Be a good girl. Don't marry a nig-nog."

Worthwhile advice, you say?

Hang on, I'm 42 and officially old. So: "Turn your headphones down. You'll go deaf."
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:34, 2 replies)
My Dad's Dad
My Grandfather, who we all call "Pop" for reasons I don't know, is pretty much all together for his 81 years. Typicaly to be found talking about "THE war" or his days as captain of a ship, spending time with him is usualy enjoyable, which made this gem all the more shocking.
"Never trust short people or cripples, they have a nasty temper on them."

At 5'11" I'm one of the shortest in my family, so I guess it's just elitism.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:28, Reply)
my own advice to younger relatives and / or mates...
Since I am coming up to the dreaded 40th this year, I suppose I qualify as old to some of these young whippersnappers... - and so I have formulated some advice of my own that I like to give out to 'em...

Never, ever, EVER do a drug involving a needle. Full stop.

If you are doing a new drug, then make damn sure there is a "spirit guide" there with you: someone who has taken the drug before and can guide you through the many wonderful stages of intoxication, and can keep you supplied with water or whatever it is that you need to stay safe.

If you are going out on a bender, make sure there is a mate there with you to get you home - and by the same token, make damn sure your mates get home OK when it is THEIR turn to get out of their tree.

Never do any sex - EVER - that hurts, either physically or emotionally. Apart from that - go for it!

Unless you literally intend to marry the person you are currently shagging then ALWAYS use a condom.

And that's it: kept me safe, sane and disease free through five very debauched years at Uni!
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:21, 4 replies)
64 yr old man at work once told me..

"Don't get old. It's fucking shit."
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:15, Reply)
My grandad told me...
... tobacco is a colleague to a working man, and a woman to a lonely man. As I sit here coughing and wheezing after walking up the stairs, I can't help thinking he might have mentioned it's also early death to a healthy man.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:09, Reply)
Old people, wise?
Quoting the words of my grandmother,
"I don't want any of this foreign muck, let's get a curry!"

Sometimes, just sometimes, old people should be avoided at all costs.
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:05, Reply)
Never trust a man in a blue trench coat
Never drive a car when you're dead.

Tom Waits is pretty old, after all...
(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 18:01, 1 reply)

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