One of the winter survival tips I came across was “Make a List of Lessons Learned.” Here are mine:

  • Wearing a beret adds 10 points to your IQ.
  • Nothing sounds phonier than opera laughter.
  • The Cook County soda tax freed me from years of dependence on diet pop.
  • The merchants of Oak Park, charging a dime for a bag, ended my lifelong addiction to shopping bags.
  • “Two wrongs don’t make a right” was a sacred truth I learned growing up. I couldn’t defend my wrongdoing by pointing out another’s misdeeds. When did that go out the window?
  • Never borrow against your house. Never borrow money from family and friends. It’s OK to borrow a tool from a neighbor, as long as you return it — before they move.
  • It’s all right to put off today what you can do tomorrow, as long as it’s not a sink full of dishes. 
  • Asking questions can be more fun than telling stories.
  • Is there a stupider timeout than the 2-minute warning?
  • Memorizing user names and passwords is the most maddening aspect of modern life.
  • Friends don’t let friends text drunk. 
  • If you’re tired of being cold in Chicago, wear thermal underwear at least six months of the year.
  • If you want to change someone’s mind, start out by agreeing with them.
  • Don’t judge another person’s motives, unless they’ve committed a crime.
  • If you resent your parents, tell them off … while you still have the chance.
  • Do not use the silent treatment on anyone, unless they’re hitting you up for money to take the el.
  • Never read someone else’s email, even if you’re related by marriage.
  • If they had those face guards that infielders wear today, I would have charged every ground ball. 
  • Official reviews may be getting the calls right, but they are ruining sports.
  • Christmas decorations should be down in time for the St. Pat’s Parade. 
  • If something seems too good to be true, it probably involves an undercover cop. 
  • Never tell a lie that can be checked. 
  • People used to want sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. Now they’re content with cuddling, popping an antacid, and listening to Celine Dion. 
  • Teach your kids how to handle money or they’ll be rooming with you the rest of your life.
  • Acting dumb will get you further in life than being a know-it-all. 
  • Don’t leave your car running unattended, unless you’re really sick of it. 
  • If you belch, excuse yourself. Even if there’s no one around to hear it. 
  • When we pass tougher laws to punish criminals, we also erode the rights of the innocent.
  • Ask not what your country can do for you, but what the heck is going on in this country?
  • Buy newspapers, while you still can. 

John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.

John Rice

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.

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