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Posts tagged: advice

The half-life of advice

Not long after I started driving as a teenager, my older brother gave me some advice.

If you ever get pulled over by a cop, he said, take your driver's license and registration to the officer before he ever gets out of his car.

Apparently that had worked for him.

So I tried it. And the first time or two, it actually seemed to help turn the traffic stop in my favor.

But then came a day when I was getting out of my vehicle and the cop, already having emerged from his patrol car, practically freaked. He ordered me to get the hell back in my car. I understood, and I have never done it again.

(By the way, we're talking about a grand total of maybe eight or nine stops in more than 40 years of driving. So it's not a huge sample.)

But here's my question.

Did you ever get some advice that seemed wise at first but then proved to be unreliable? .

If this young man was your ward…

…what advice would you give him?

A) Try to grasp the link between academic achievement and opportunity. B) Stop dressing that way. C) No, really. Stop dressing that way. Now. D) In 2013, people are apt to mock someone referred to as “The Boy Wonder.” E) No, you would not have been man enough for Julie Newmar. F) Other.

Weighing advice from readers

One reader thinks I ought to be campaigning for people to have no more than one child.

I'm sure that would be hugely popular. I could ditch the cute-kid sayings and start scolding grandparents.

“Hey, Lou. It says here that if we care about the environment we should not have any kids.”

“Good advice. Unfortunately for us, it comes about 30 years too late. But I'm glad the paper is telling us how to live our lives.”

“Besides telling us that public-sector unions will be the ruin of society, you mean?”

“Yeah. Besides that.”

Re: Giving advice to newlyweds

Who most enjoys giving advice to newlyweds?

A) People who have had perfect marriages. B) People who think they have had perfect marriages. C) People who have been divorced more than once. D) People who want to share hard-earned insights. E) People who like to say “Plastics” even when the conversation is not about career paths. F) People who have never been married. G) People who sincerely believe that they have learned a few things since their wedding day. H) People who think tricks or tactics are the key to sharing your life with another. I) People who have been to counseling. J) People whose ideas about marital harmony mostly come from comedians appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” K) Other.  

Overwhelmed by a huge project?

This is not a new title. And I'm quite sure the author would rub a lot of people the wrong way.

But this small book contains perhaps the best advice I've ever heard about getting your arms around a challenge that seems out of control.

I could try to summarize it, but it's better if you hear it from her. 

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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