So, between my mum, my dad and my step-parent there has been some excellent advice over the year. Though to be honest I’m not entirely sure whether all of these pieces of advice are great or really even advice. Words definitely. And I’m sure they meant well. I think it helps to know where my parents are coming from. My mum has nine brothers and sisters, and she lived in a two bedroom flat with eight other people. My dad is more than a little nuts. Also drunk.
So here goes nothing and okay, this first piece of advice is definitely good advice.
Always Pay Your Rent/Mortgage.
Always. My mum was very serious about this and lived it. She would always tell us that it didn’t matter if there was no food to eat and no power for heat as long as you have a roof over your head. The mortgage was always paid when we were growing up. Always. Not all the other bills were. We didn’t always have a lot of food or a lot of anything. Hell for the longest time we didn’t have a table because word-worm ate it and we couldn;t afford to replace it. My mum worked three jobs. Private Investigator, the night shift at a petrol station and bar work. We have always had a home.
I live this now. I pay my rent the day it’s due. I refuse to see my wife and son out on the street. He will never go cold or hungry or homeless for as long as I’m alive.
Be Good. If you can’t be good be careful. If you can’t be careful don’t give your right name and address.
This is my dad’s catchphrase (as well as, it’ll soon by Christmas). Every time we say goodbye he says this. I say it now. When I leave work or say goodbye to my nephew (not sure if that’s a good thing or not). Given that my dad has never been to prison I’m pretty sure he’s living this life too.
Again, not sure if that’s a good thing.
If you’re going to hit someone, do it in a dark alley where there are no witnesses.
My mother ladies and gentlemen. It’s good advice if you do plan on hitting someone.not that I do. I’m trying to stay out of trouble until my wife is a citizen. Plus I’m really more of a ‘brick through a window’ kinda person. I do not in any way endorse this advice by the way, nor do I actually think you’ll get away with anything. I will not be a character reference in court. I’m obviously saving that for my mother’s trial. *
Don’t Kill Spiders
My mum would tell us this often and actually denies to this day. The full advice comes with a word of warning too. “Don’t kill spiders because their families will come back and seek revenge”. And remember, their families are also spiders. She denies it. She says that she told us not to kill spiders because they have families. This is a lie reader, don’t let my mother fool you. She honestly said this to both my sister and I. A lot. I had nightmares about it.
I still have nightmares about it.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
I first remember my dad saying this to me while he was cleaning out his ear wax with the end of a matchstick. Pretty good advice their dad, I definitely will not sure a match end to clean my ears out. There was a lot of stuff he did that we were not to do. Some big like smoking – we were never to smoke – he was very serious about this. And neither of us smoke. We both tried over the years but it never stuck. There were things like crossing the road without looking, swearing, lots of little things that you could never keep up with. Talking with your mouth full. Picking your nose. Using capital letters in the middle of words in a crossword. How were you supposed to know that?
Don’t Mix Your Drinks
Good advice from my dad that I’ve not always listened to over the years. Especially when I was a teenager before I ruined several shorts for myself (well, all of them). My dad drinks Newcastle Brown. If this is not available he’ll drink another ale. I’ve never known him to drink anything else (except champagne at occasions and a Babycham at Christmas). He never mixes his drinks unless it’s pouring the new bottles of Brown Ale into the glass with the last of the old bottle in it.
And he’s right, You shouldn’t mix your drinks. It’s never going to end well.
Mind The Gap
Lastly, less advice and more my dad’s catchphrase you should always, always mind the gap.
*Joke my mother hasn’t been arrested, recently.