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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)
Pages: Latest, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Smoking and drinking
My grandfather said "never let anyone tell you what to do. I smoke, and I drink, and I can tell you I've never felt fitter".

He lived well into his 50s.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 13:53, Reply)
Final Words
I'll never forget the final words that were handed down from my grandfather to my young father and then unto me.

He died, tragically in the Dachau concentration camp. It's a painful issue but he remained so resolved in the face of that insanity that his words are still relevant today. The last thing he said to my young Dad before he went away was:

"This Hitler and the rest of his cronies will spend all eternity in Hell.

They spend all this money on these camps and they still skimp on a safety railing for my guard tower. It's an OH&S Issue I tell you! I'll write a report after this shift."

I'm really, really sorry. Hat, Coat. Hull please driver.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 13:49, 2 replies)
Regret something you have done,
not something you haven't done.

*engages in campus slaying*
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 13:34, 15 replies)
Advice from my granny - pearoast
"Never chase after a bus or a girl - another one'll come along soon enough!"

Consequently, a large proportion of my adolescence was spent standing at bus stops in the pissing rain, with a raging hard-on.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 13:30, 3 replies)
my mate norm
he's well into his 80's and smokes 20 a day

he told me other day that wasps exist to stop people mucking about in bushes.

I had wondered what they were for.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 13:17, Reply)
Really Good Advice!
Never do Shakespeare's Hamlet in a Brummy accent!

One of the guys here has been taking the piss out of our boss by doing just that. It just sounds wrong!

Pop. First post, be gentle with me.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 12:38, 13 replies)
My unlce Dave
told me that

"Men should try everything once apart from morris dancing and buggery."

Not very tolerant of gays was Dave. I can't argue with the morris dancing bit though.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 12:37, 1 reply)
always always always
double check your reflection before leaving the house/ladies etc. wise words from my aunt, which have saved me from being seen in public over the years with a variety of mascara smudges, lipstick or red wine stains trapped in my braces or teeth (depending on age!), unsuitable underwear showing through clothes, ladders in tights, unmatching socks or shoes...

and yesterday morning saved me from mass humiliation on a grand scale. i had to give a talk to about 40 lawyers, most of whom were older and much more qualified than i am, and i was very nervous. my hands were shaking as i put on my smart lawyer look - black suit, white shirt.

over the weekend i had bought some new underwear at m&s. i was wearing my new "hoist them up from around your kneecaps and make them look like a 16year old's" bra and the effect was pretty damn impressive. if you like looking like the prow of a ship, anyway. which i don't, but until i can afford harley street, it is what it is. but i digress.... there was something on the bra... something that was showing through the sheer white shirt...... what did that say??!

it was a round black sticker, which for some reason m & s thought it was a good idea to put on their bras. which announced in blaring capital letters:


oh yeah, really the impression i wanted to give, marauding around after the seminar talking about the landlord and tenant act 1954 with that written across my left nipple........ stupid m & s.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 12:35, 30 replies)
From Granny
"Always wear an overcoat and you won't get a snotty nose."

I thought she meant avoiding the common cold. I was a bit slow.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 12:12, Reply)
"Dont make me angry -
You wont like me when I'm angry"

(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 11:49, Reply)
The best piece of advice I ever got
was "You'll thank me when you're older".

I'm older, and I do. Ta Dad.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 11:35, 1 reply)
Advice: a rebuttal
"Don't go out in the winter without yer vest on"
Well, you know what, Granny? I did! And I lived!

"Cars with over 100,000 miles on them aren't worth buying"
Eh, what now, dad? Do they all stop dead when the odometer ticks past 99,999? What about all the rustbucket heaps of shit you drove when I was young? I'm going to get me a MK2 Polo and you can't stop me. Probably because the brakes won't work.

"Don't put new shoes on a table; it's bad luck"
Thanks, Granda. I actually believe this one now since it was told to me repeatedly as a child. I'm an atheist, a scientist and a sceptic but a little part of me inside screams "nooooooooo" when the shop assistant tries to set the shoes on the counter. Don't do it, woman! The skies may open and a plague of bunions may be unleashed upon the land!

"You should consider becoming a teacher"
Oh there's a surprise, Mrs McEvil, career guidance teacher from hell. I told you I'd like to be a) an archaeologist, b) a writer or c) a gardener. You laughed at me and broke my dreams. "Teacher" is your standard reply to everyone. Why the hell would I want to teach? Why would anyone? Why would you even think that? And what do I do now? Oh yes, I'm a lecturer.

"You should learn to compromise"
Um, no. Compromise means two people are unhappy. Not optimal. It's better if I just win all the arguments. I will concede occasionally - if it's someone's birthday or something.

"You should be more secretive with men"
In what way, mother? Sure, I'll shave my legs in private and will close the bathroom door when I pee. Thing is, if the men are worth anything, I should be able to talk to them openly about things. I'm not playing their little reindeer games.
*sits alone at night, not joining all their reindeer games*

"Don't get too excited or it'll all end in tears"
Dammit, that one's often true, if by "tears" you mean "sectioned".

"97% of all advice is useless"
Aye. And 88.3% of Internet statistics are made up on the spot.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 11:24, 13 replies)
I'm four times the age of the little rotters I teach.
Most of my day is spent caring for your mewling, puking offspring.
There are various bits of advice I'm guaranteed to dish out at least once per working day.

These have been taught to me by very dear older folk (teachers, parents, grandparents, and in one case, Judy Blume...), often at Behavioural Modification seminars, which are surprisingly useful. If you're a teacher, I recommend them.

When they fight over favourite toys:
"Sharing is taking equal turns, or dividing into equal parts. Which one will you do this time?"

When they get hurt:
"Put an icepack on it."

When they hurt someone else:
"Say 'Sorry, it was an accident. Are you OK?" If they're not OK, take them to the office, and put an icepack on it."

When someone's being teasing them:
"Stick your hand in their face, say 'WHAT-EVER!' and walk away. I'll be watching to check you're OK."

When they've made a mistake in a precious artwork, or ripped a favourite piece of clothing:
"If you can't hide it, flaunt it. Every fault's a fashion."

And when they're stretching the boundaries, I bring out my all-time favourite:

"Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD."

That one's my universal advice line. It's helped me modify the behaviour of a wide range of people: from the circus enthusiast 7-year-old who wanted to tight-rope walk across the top of the monkeybars, to my Warhammer enthusiast 12-year-olds who wanted to melt styrofoam with superglue in a closed, heated room; to the mingeing, craven little slapper who thought she just couldn't prevent herself humping my monogamous man-pal because It Was True Love. Codswallop. Everyone has choices.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 11:22, 6 replies)
Now it makes sense
As my mum was a paragon of good manners i was told from an early age (when i could understand English)to always hold the door and let a lady enter a building first.I now realise that this is obviously to avoid the dangers of a terrrorist ambush or booby traps.Cheers Ma!
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 10:57, 6 replies)
Mr Whippy
My Grandma told me, in all seriousness, never to buy ice cream from an ice cream van, "Because they put DRUGS in them to get you hooked"

She must have read about this


and got a little confused.

Either that or she was tight as nuns one, and didn't want to buy her grandkids an ice cream.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 10:54, 1 reply)
A nice one from The Sandman
Aussie comic, I have no idea how old he is.

'Remember, if you're drunk, drive home real fast'
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 10:38, Reply)
During the war my Grandad was gainfully employed as an engineer on a Royal Navy frigate. In 1942 while on escort duty in mid-atlantic, the convoy his ship was escorting came under extensive U-boat attack. His ship was torpedoed, stayed afloat but was heavily damaged. There was no working SONAR on board so my Grandad had to come up with a solution fast. He removed the lens and protective glass from the door to the cells (the window a guard could look at prisoners through) and welded this to the hull below the waterline. He was then able to keep a sharp lookout for U-boats, thus saving many lives.
He later wrote a book about it. It was called 'a device from hold peephole'

(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 10:29, 2 replies)
Sound Advice.
When I was 18 or so, I visited my grandparents with my girlfriend at the time, who I had been seeing for about 6 months.

Later on in the day gf was helping my gran in the kitchen, I'm chatting to my grandad and he says, "Aye, she's a bonny looking lassie son but you're too young to settle down, you should be out living a bit, you know what I mean, what the lass doesn't know won't hurt her". I was a bit surprised to hear this until he told me that he had done pretty much the same when he was younger.

When we were about to leave he winked and said "Remember lad, it's not cheating if you don't get caught".

Which at the time was probably the best advice I had heard.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 10:25, Reply)
"Always use some vaseline when screwing"

This prize piece of information was given to me by my dad, whilst putting up a new gate using some particularly hard wood that was resistant to screws.

I was about 8 or 9 at the time, and it seemed a perfectly obvious thing to use if the wood really was that hard to screw into.

It wasn't until many years later that I randomly remembered the advice and found the greater value in the dual meaning.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 10:24, 2 replies)
Not quite advice but more of an opinion on Golf
An old person once told me:

"Golf: It spoils a good walk."

And they were absolutely right!
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 10:22, 12 replies)
My mother once told me "Never speak ill of people, as you never know who's listening." She meant don't bad mouth other people in public places, or at parties, as it always turns out that the person behind you is the sister of the woman you're calling a sad old witch, or something.

One day I was on a teleconference with folk in Europe and America. We were waiting for some people to join and I made a joke about one of them being late because she was recovering from a hangover after a weekend in New Orleans. Turns out that the woman I was referring to was on the call, but silent, so no one knew. Also turns out she had a history of drink problems, although recently she'd straightened herself out. She went straight to HR. HR went straight to my boss. My boss gave me a good slapping for being stupid and I missed out on a rise that year.

So mum, I should have listened harder.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 10:11, Reply)
Only one week late...
I didn't have any good innuendos last week, but last night I was reading about xenotransplantation - the possibility of using organs from GM pigs in humans. One of the worries that has been mooted in relation to this is the possibility of infection from Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses. These things have an acronym.

Thus, some people worry about the danger to human welfare posed by active PERVs.

Oh, yes. The person who wrote about this is probably older than I - so the advice would be to beware of PERVs. I plan to take this into account.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 9:54, 5 replies)
When I was 18 I used to live at my dad's pub, and I spent quite a bit of time behind the bar...
There were loads of people of all ages and varying states of sobriety, all dispensing "wisdom" to me, as you can imagine.

One guy though sticks in my mind. We called him Archie, because his last name was Archer. He was a stockbroker but had taken early retirement after a stress-induced heart attack. He used to come in most days and get steaming drunk, then go home - but unlike a lot of the other punters, he was a lovely bloke, and was always polite and funny.

After a while his doctor told him to give up the booze, so he continued coming in every day but stopped drinking.

Anyway, amongst his pearls of wisdom (my favourite of which wasn't actually advice - "fuck me, there are some ugly birds walking round with prams. Who's getting them pregnant?!") two things stuck in my mind.

The first was "When you get married, make sure you marry a girl with small hands". He wouldn't tell me why and it was ages before I figured it out.

The second was written in a birthday card he gave me one year...

"Remember, be nice to people and treat them well, but above all think dirty thoughts, enjoy yourself, and run around all over the place having lots of fun"

That sounds like a good plan for life!

RIP Archie, I'll have a beer for you!

/genuine apology for length
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 9:35, 3 replies)
Some classic advice from my grandad
...never cough whilst squatting.

Useful gramps, thanks.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 9:34, Reply)
I'm not that old
but my advice, based on recent experience, is that yelling "Oi! Cunt Face" to get the attention of people who almost hit you with their cars twice whilst ignoring clearly labelled one way systems and then walk off across the car park with their earphones in without acknowledging their mistake is surprisingly good fun.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 8:55, 3 replies)
I'd like to share some wise words, points (and prizes) for anyone who knows where they are from
Daddy he once told me son you be hard workin man,
And momma she once told me son you do the best you can,
But, then one day I met a man who came to me and said,
Hard work good, and hard work fine but first take care of head.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 8:35, 9 replies)
George Carlin has passed but these words of wisdom fit any situation.
Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, Tits.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 5:16, 5 replies)
A friend of
my dad's gave me this piece of advice:

Despite what mummy said to you, it was not made for peeing through.
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 1:14, Reply)
I'll never forget my Grandfathers last words,
(, Tue 24 Jun 2008, 1:08, Reply)

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