As John recovers from the election, here is a column that ran in 2016. How the world has, and hasn’t, changed:

In these uncertain times, we need the wisdom of proverbs more than ever. For example:

  • The pen is mightier than the sword, but they’re both pretty sharp.
  • When the going gets tough, it’s time to take a nap.
  • You can’t judge a book by its cover but it does account for 20 percent of sales.
  • No man is an island, not even those people living south of Roosevelt.
  • A watched pot never boils — well, actually it does.
  • If it ain’t broke, let me try to fix it.
  • One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, especially in the alleys of Forest Park.
  • If you want something done right, make sure the contractor gets a permit.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder; so does absinthe.
  • As Ogden Nash said, “A penny saved is impossible.”
  • People who live in glass houses must be freezing.
  • Better late than never will not get you out of trouble with your spouse.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words but no one prints pictures anymore.
  • If necessity is the mother of invention, who’s the father?
  • Good things come to those who wait but how many lotto tickets is this guy going to buy?
  • Don’t count your chickens in one basket, or something like that.
  • If you can’t beat ’em, join a health club.
  • Cleanliness is next to dog food in Aisle 4.
  • Easy come, easy go. I just don’t get the “easy come” part.
  • Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, or anyone’s hand for that matter.
  • Too many cooks — use too much salt.
  • A bird in hand is disgusting.
  • There’s no place like home, but I’m sure there are houses with better carpeting.
  • Never look a horse in the mouth, period.
  • Beggars can’t be choosers, but they need to come up with better stories.
  • God helps those who help set up folding chairs.
  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch, which is why we have dollar menus.
  • The squeaky wheel also turns sideways when you’re trying to push the cart.
  • Hope for the steak, but prepare for the wurst.
  • Don’t keep your friends close — or anyone else for that matter.
  • Actions speak louder than words, especially when you’re using a leaf blower.
  • There’s no time like the present to put off painting the porch.
  • Beauty is in the eye of people who obviously don’t own a mirror.
  • Two heads are better than one, but only if they’re both wearing masks.
  • The grass is always greener at marijuana dispensaries.
  • Desperate deadlines call for desperate columns.



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.