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Fair-Weather Fans Have More Fun
A Partial Observer Exclusive: An entire book in one column!

by James Leroy Wilson
April 18, 2001

Fair-Weather Fans Have More Fun_James Leroy Wilson-A Partial Observer Exclusive: An entire book in one column! Scanning through one of those cute little proverb/advice books, I thought, I could do this! What convinced me was this little gem: "Skip your vitamins and see what happens." Huh? Is this one of those jokes only women get? Skip your vitamins for a day, or longer? How inane can publishable material be?

So I decided to try writing my own book of cute wisdom. I admit that it took a little longer writing 100 proverbs than I expected, but I consciously avoided direct plagiarism, like the brilliant "Never turn down a breath mint." After a solid start, it took a long time, sometimes two minutes, to think up a new one. With some editing and funny illustrations, I think I'd be sitting on a little paperback that can sell for $5.95 at the airport gift shop. Instead, I'm posting it on the Internet for free!


1. Fair-weather fans have more fun.

2. Any chore you must do, anyone you must call or meet, any item you have to buy but may forget, write it down!

3. One day of the week must be a day of rest. That includes no household projects or chores beyond bare necessities like cooking and dishwashing, if that. Plan your week to get things done on other days.

4. Accept compliments with a thank you, even if you think it's unearned.

5. Don't quarrel over matters of fact that can be looked up.

6. Time, like money, must be treated as a tool only. Don't let your age or income affect your self-esteem.

7. If you're truly overworked, the appropriate remedy is not increased wages.

8. Don't talk about yourself unless asked.

9. When at play, do what you like, even if you don't think you're good at it.

10. Embarrassing moments are best learned from, shrugged off, and forgotten.

11. Hold your tongue if you disagree with the tastes of another person.

12. Not everyone will pick up that you're being ironic.

13. Mastery of trivia doesn't make you intelligent.

14. Other people's mastery of trivia doesn't mean they don't "have a life."

15. Don't make fun of other people's hobbies.

16. If you're complimented for a group achievement, spread the credit around.

17. The smile on your face is your best physical asset. Use it often.

18. Invent new words for things you don't know the name of. If you don't remember the word "spoon," say "food scooper."

19. If your companion encounters people you don't know, introduce yourself, because your companion may not remember their names.

20. Remember that two friends of yours from different circles may not have met each other before.

21. Don't assume that everyone will follow along with your plans.

22. Hate isn't worth the time and trouble.

23. Bitterness and grudges aren't worth the time and trouble.

24. If you're going on a trip, make sure both close friends and family know where you're going.

25. It's okay to relax by watching tv, but don't make any program a top priority.

26. Just because a movie is critically acclaimed doesn't mean it's worth watching.

27. Luxury cars are for those who can afford more than one.

28. Embrace diversity: conduct your ATM transactions in Spanish.

29. If it's within a mile, and you're in decent physical condition and in no hurry, it's walking distance.

30. Your character isn't tested by the insults or challenges of others.

31. Keep your word and honor your contracts.

32. Don't look at yourself as a victim. You are always free and responsible.

33. Recognize that waste, abuse, and mismanagement are a large part of every organization, even businesses, especially non-profit organizations, and most especially government.

34. You may call it honestly as you see it, but you never "tell it like it is." You probably have no idea.

35. Many people will not run their lives very well. That doesn't qualify you or your favorite politicians to run their lives for them.

36. Intelligent people possess certain superior mental skills, but not moral authority.

37. Don't turn your back on your family, or your church, or your country just because you're not getting your way.

38. Remember that unsolicited advice can be a back-handed insult.

39. It is not unfair that lots of people make more money than you do.

40. Remember that the only purpose of every news story from the mainstream media is to make you think of yourself as a consumer of the products they advertise.

41. That's true. Don't kid yourself.

42. Remember that biology does not recognize different human races.

43. Remember the company you're with when you tell a joke.

44. Not all of your friends' friends should be your friends.

45. Idealism, by seeking the perfect society, forgets that nobody's perfect.

46. The feminine and masculine genders are grammatical concepts distinct from the male and female sexes. Don't let other people's choice of words bother you.

47. People who wouldn't dream of being their own doctor or lawyer seem to think they're well-qualified to be their own stock broker and spiritual counselor.

48. Memorize only what you believe is absolutely necessary. Know where to look up the rest.

49. Variety does not mean complexity. Neither does bigness.

50. Don't pay for wisdom you can get for free.

51. Not all proverbs are helpful.

52. If you have people with superior talent working for you, don't view them as a threat but as an asset.

53. If someone says, "I love you, man!" embrace that person, even if they are drunk.

54. If you view yourself as superior to your boyfriend or girlfriend, with the ability to change the other person, then do you both a favor and break off the relationship.

55. People who you don't perceive as having a sense of humor may yet show themselves to be joyful and happy if you give them a chance.

56. Procrastination is an art form, and you're probably no Michelangelo.

57. Many adults are not married. Don't assume there's something wrong with them.

58. If any professional sports league's games were ever fixed by the referees, we would have found out by now.

59. Conspiracy theories are hard to believe because most of the government's evils are done in broad daylight with the people's consent.

60. Don't underestimate your importance to your friends and family.

61. Don't overestimate your importance to anyone else, especially your employer.

62. Family is not the single most important thing.

63. Your children do not rule the family and shouldn't decide your career or where the family lives.

64. Not everyone knows the limits of their ability, and not everyone recognizes their potential. But with God anything is possible.

65. Bad leadership is refusing to do the humblest or most dangerous tasks that you expect followers to do.

66. Generals may decide the outcome of battles, but it is the country that wins the war.

67. Gambling is for entertainment purposes only. Don't do it if you can't afford it.

68. If you depend on your friends or family for certain things, be generous to them with things you can provide.

69. Don't judge members of the opposite sex on standards that you would fail yourself.

70. Maintain your self-respect. Don't compromise on matters of faith or ethics.

71. Regret is not forgiving yourself. If God has forgiven you, you must forgive yourself and move on.

72. If you're not there for your children, you better be doing something that makes the world a better place.

73. Cats are there to remind us that the world is quieter and calmer than we think.

74. If two of your friends don't like each other, it's not your problem.

75. Don't move in with someone you already know is self-centered or temperamental.

76. If you are responsible for remembering dates, buy a calendar, mark the days, and consult it regularly.

77. PG-13 means little children shouldn't see it.

78. Don't hit people.

79. A friend who asks you to commit perjury is not really your friend.

80. Playing it safe carries its own risks.

81. Keep pennies in circulation.

82. Take the gimme points.

83. If you're behind, do what it takes to stay in the game until the last play - don't let one play decide the outcome unless its the last one.

84. You can never have too many fans.

85. "You have really improved," might not always be interpreted as a compliment.

86. If alcohol will be served, there will be drunks. Think about that before you take your kids.

87. Most breaches of proper etiquette are unintentional. Few are boorish on purpose.

88. It should be "I couldn't care less." It doesn't make any sense to say "I could care less."

89. If something is run by committee, it is not the top priority of anyone.

90. Don't lie to people you know, no matter how good you think your intentions are.

91. But don't be blunt either. You don't have to hurt people's feelings.

92. It is better to break your diet for an evening than to refuse to eat what your host has prepared for you.

93. Don't have ambitions for your children.

94. If you can tell the caller is a telemarketer, you can always just say you're not home.

95. You don't think critically if you refuse to think hypothetically.

96. Don't let commercials persuade you that you want something you don't need.

97. Sometimes good enough really is good enough. Not every task has to be done 100%.

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