The sum total of my knowledge: 12 things that I know

On that momentous day, March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell stood nervously but excited, staring at his invention. Did he know what wonders his telephone would bring to the world? Did he foresee the advances that would appear in the years to come? What thoughts and dreams rushed through his mind at that moment? What hopes did he have for the new era of communication that was to be heralded by this momentous occasion? And then – the telephone rang. Nervously, he reached and picked up the receiver. And he heard those famous words: “Our records indicate that you were involved in a non-blame accident. Our team of experts are available to help you make a claim on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis”.


I wonder how future inventions will enhance our lives. The accumulated wisdom and intelligence of people has brought about much change in the world. And I ask myself what wisdom and intelligence I possess. Is there something I can bequeath to the world? If not an invention, perhaps the knowledge I have accumulated about life might in some small way help someone, somewhere. So I sat down and thought of the things I had learnt. The practical lessons. Maybe there is something here that could be of use to others. So, here I modestly and humbly present the entire accumulated knowledge of my many years upon this planet. Some of this knowledge has been obtained by hard-earned perseverance in the face of toil and hardship. Some I discovered by accident. And some I just made up because, let’s face it, you don’t want to be handed everything on a plate, do you? You want to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and make your own decisions. Here it is then, a list of 12 things that I know. Or think I know…

  • Don’t get emotionally attached to crockery. It will end badly. That favourite mug of yours won’t last forever. Accept it. Move on.
  • When attending a classical music concert and the piece ends, don’t be the first to clap. There’s a good chance that it hasn’t actually finished. Orchestra members get tired and they have to have a rest every now and then. It sounds as if they’re finished but they’re not. They are just getting ready for Part Two. Hold fire. And if the person next to you starts to applaud, you can give them a distainful glare.
  • Any film which has the word “hilarious” in its review probably isn’t.
  • To a single person, the quality and quantity of the advantages of being married are exactly equal to the quality and quantity of the advantages to a married person, of being single, i.e. S(Ql + Qt) = M(Ql + Qt).
  • If you see something you like but then decide to mull over the purchase, when you return to buy it a week later, it’s gone.
  • If you see something you like and buy it immediately, a week later it’ll be in the sale.
  • If you see something you like but then decide to mull over the purchase and a week later you return to buy it and find it’s in the sale, you will buy it but then find you don’t really like it after all.
  • Stainless steel isn’t.
  • Technology is not out to get you. It doesn’t have a personality, it isn’t waiting to trip you up. It doesn’t laugh when you can’t get it to work. But it sure seems that way to me.
  • Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.
  • The opera The Marriage of Figaro does not contain the song Figaro. And even if you shout out from the audience, they will refuse to just add it in.
  • Gluten-free bread is pants (it is literally like eating a pair of pants).

Now. It’s taken me five weeks to get this far. I have searched my little brain. Things are, admittedly, a bit messy in there. Things that should be filed away are strewn all over the floor, there’s no filing system as such. But I have searched and that’s the total sum of my wisdom. 12 things. I am a little disappointed, let’s be honest. That’s not a lot. Admittedly, these nuggets of wisdom are individually priceless but I was hoping for a bit more quantity to go with the quality.

I can hardly write my Magnum Opus based on these 12 things. Although people have probably written books based on fewer ideas. I’ve probably read a few self-help books containing less information.

Time to lie down now. Thinking is tiring. Oh is that another thing I know?

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