Short Lessons My
Uncle Luis Taught Me

(in alphabetical order)

·       Basketball: Why was Cinderella such a lousy basketball player? Because her coach was a pumpkin.

·       Birthdays: I’d rather be 40 than pregnant.

·       Emotions: Love and hate are two horns on the same goat.

Who is Uncle Luis, you might ask?

 That’s pronounced Loo-EEss, in the Spanish fashion, with emphasis on the second syllable.

I never saw much of my tough Uncle Luis, but when I was a kid, he used to send me messages from various places around the planet. Sometimes he would enclose some cash from the country he was visiting, but I could never spend it because the bank near my house always told me that kind of money was no good here.

One time I remember he came to our house near Chicago and invited me out to our backyard where we had a six-foot-high wall by the back alley. He picked me up and sat me on the wall and told me a story about some adventure he had in Argentina.  Then he asked if I could stand up on the wall, and of course, I could since I was a fairly athletic youngster. He told me to jump off the wall, but I didn’t want to because it was kind of high and I didn’t want to break my leg.

He said not to worry, “I’ll catch you.” I resisted this suggestion, not really believing him.

He taunted me, “Come on kid, don’t be a wimp, if you never take a risk you won’t amount to anything.”  Still, I hesitated. 

He said, “ What’s-a-matter, you don’t trust me? I’m right here. I’ll catch you.”

I took a few moments to mentally analyze the distance and decided I could probably do it.

When I jumped, he adroitly stepped aside and let me hit the dirt. I landed on my feet, but the momentum knocked me on my butt. With tears welling in my eyes, I glared at my Uncle Luis. 

“Never trust anybody,” he said.

  • Employee Evaluations: If you want loyalty, get a dog. Employees work for money.
  • High School Chemistry Lab: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cool glass.
  • Knowledge: People who think they know everything are an annoyance for those of us who do.
  • Lawyers: How come you never see lawyers sunbathing on the beach? The neighborhood cats keep trying to bury them.
  • Life: Life is hard. Life is harder when you’re stupid.
  • Life: (continued): Life is too important to be taken seriously.
  • Life: (continued): Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
  • Lottery: Your odds of winning the lottery are the same, whether you buy a ticket or not.
  • Math: A pun is the shortest distance between two straight lines.
  • Music: Jazz washes away the dust of everyday living.
  • Pain: Pain is instructive.
  • Politics: I looked up the word “politics” on the Internet and found out it is a compound word, made up of two other words. The first part comes from “poly,” which means many, or a lot of. The second part is from “ticks,” which means bloodsuckers.
  • Power: When you get to thinking you’re a man of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
  • Responsibility: The world will continue to turn without your hand on the crank.
  • Second Law of Thermodynamics: If you want to clean something, you must make something else dirty.
  • Second Law of Thermodynamics: (continued) There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL)
  • Talk vs. Action: When all is said and done, more has been said than done.
  • Time: Time flies like a bird. Fruit flies like a banana.
  • Tools: When your only tool is a hammer, all your problems start to look like nails.
  • Truth: All the ultimate truths are to be found in science fiction.
  • Violence: Violence is the last resort of a weak mind.
  • War: If you’re not taking flak, you’re not over the target.