Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Sage Advice Will Turn Your Sad Life Around

 

I know how you can be happy without your usual vain efforts to boost your spirits with Prozac and chocolate chip cookies…

1. Adopt a Dog: Hurry to the nearest humane society and adopt a medium-sized, non-barking mutt. You’re going to want to post a lot of photos of your dog on Facebook (or, if you’re a certain dog lover who shall remain nameless, on Ricochet), so don’t get a black one. They don’t show up well in photos. A mutt with its shots, an embedded ID microchip, and a city license will set you back about $200.

Dogs soothe one’s soul. In fact, petting and playing with a dog increases the level of oxytocin (the calming chemical) in your brain and dopamine in the dog’s brain. I laugh at my dog Bob (photo to the right) at least 15 times a day.

Even if you’re a lout who no one likes, your mutt will love you more than he loves himself. When you return from an errand, your dog will greet you at the door with paroxysms of joy. When we first got Bob, still not much more than a pup, he would get so excited when we returned that he would pee a little. He can now hold it in, but he still greets us with squeaks, leaps, and circles.

Your daily walk with your dog will keep you in shape and help you make friends with your neighbors. Dog walkers love to greet one another to talk about their dogs. In the evenings, you and your dog can curl up and watch television. With a good dog and a good spouse, you’re finally sitting in the catbird seat.

God never made a better creature than a dog. You need one.

2. Buy a Hot Tub: It will soothe your sore muscles after a hard day’s work. Even better, in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep, you can go out and soak in the 102-degree water. Now you can go back to bed and sleep like a baby.

But the best thing about hot tubs is this: As you and your spouse luxuriate in the hot water — sans vêtements, of course — your bonds will grow deeper while you talk away your problems.

You’re going to be tempted to play footsie in your hot tub —but you ought to resist going above one another’s little piggies onto ankles and beyond. You’re here to talk and relax, after all. Of course, while you talk, if your big toe wanders over and gently massages your partner’s little piggies, I think your partner will appreciate that. Anyone would.

3. Guys Only: Marry a Sturdy Farm Girl Who Can Milk a Cow.

Here’s how to make sure you get a good farm girl: Check her hands. They should be calloused and muscular. Here’s me and my farm girl on our wedding day in 1962.

Here’s why her ability to milk a cow is important: If she can soothe an occasional agitated cow in order to milk it, she can soothe your troubled soul. Besides, her strong hands mean she’ll be able to open up her own pickle jars.

4. Ladies Only: Marry an Ugly Guy. He will be appreciative and less likely to stray. Also, before marriage, pay less attention to how your boyfriend treats you than how he treats others, because that’s how he’ll treat you a year after you’re married. And for heaven’s sake, don’t smash the wedding cake in his face at the reception as a sign of your devilish good humor. It’s merely a sign of your boorishness. Keep that part of your personality hidden, for a while at least.

If you follow my advice, you’ll be as happy as a dog with two tails.

Postscript: I dropped by Powell’s Book Store yesterday in downtown Portland. When I started to walk into the men’s restroom, I noticed this ominous sign on the door: “USE THE RESTROOM YOU FEEL MOST COMFORTABLE IN.”

When I entered, there was a female, I think, drying her hands on the blower. Damned if I was going to use the urinal with a female standing a few feet away, so I tried to wait her out. Unhappily, those darned blowers take forever to dry a person’s hands. So there I was, standing in the middle of the room, an old man whose bladder was crying out for attention, while some pushy female-like person was taking her time drying her hands on the blower. This modern age can go to hell.

There are 46 comments.

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  1. Housebroken Thatcher

    This post has been up for five minutes and still doesn’t have twelve likes!

     

    • #1
    • February 3, 2020, at 6:46 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Housebroken Thatcher

    BTW, your placement of the word boorishness was in exactly the right context.

    • #2
    • February 3, 2020, at 6:48 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):

    This post has been up for five minutes and still doesn’t have twelve likes!

    Mr Slow, I know. I’m becoming anxious.

    • #3
    • February 3, 2020, at 6:54 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thank you for your wisdom @kentforrester – especially since you live in the Portland area. The only tweak I would make is for us ladies to marry a ‘not handsome’ man v. and ugly one. I think my dude is very presentable but probably would not be labeled great looking.

    • #4
    • February 3, 2020, at 7:16 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. Front Seat Cat Member

    Sage advice for sure – but now we need some for these wacky bathroom gender issues…..?

    • #5
    • February 3, 2020, at 7:43 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Henry Racette Contributor

    My dog*, Lucy, looks very much like the one in the picture, though closer to white. When we got her from the shelter, we were told that “her parents are labs.” I’m pretty sure that one of her parents — or at least one of her grandparents — was a corgi. We’ve since discovered that the cross has a name: Lucy is a Corgidor. Wonderful little dog, albeit with an unfathomable facility for losing or destroying tennis balls.

    * Well, technically she’s my daughter’s dog, but Darling Daughter is away at college, so Lucy stays close to me.

    • #6
    • February 3, 2020, at 8:00 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):

    BTW, your placement of the word boorishness was in exactly the right context.

    But “paroxysms” is too fine a word for most dogs I know. It stinks of veggie snacks. 

    KentForrester: Your daily walk with your dog will keep you in shape and help you make friends with your neighbors. Dog walkers love to greet one another to talk about their dogs.

    I sometimes walk a neighbor’s dog. It’s a pound pup, so maybe there’s a reason it hates other dogs. But I can’t quite forgive it for snarling at the cute redhead with the huskies. 

    • #7
    • February 3, 2020, at 8:02 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  8. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    My dog*, Lucy, looks very much like the one in the picture, though closer to white. When we got her from the shelter, we were told that “her parents are labs.” I’m pretty sure that one of her parents — or at least one of her grandparents — was a corgi. We’ve since discovered that the cross has a name: Lucy is a Corgidor. Wonderful little dog, albeit with an unfathomable facility for losing or destroying tennis balls.

    * Well, technically she’s my daughter’s dog, but Darling Daughter is away at college, so Lucy stays close to me.

    Henry, we thought for certain that Bob, because of his short legs, was part corgi. Then we had his DNA tested. It turns out that he’s half chihuahua, a quarter American bulldog, and a quarter other stuff.

    • #8
    • February 3, 2020, at 8:08 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):

    BTW, your placement of the word boorishness was in exactly the right context.

    But “paroxysms” is too fine a word for most dogs I know. It stinks of veggie snacks.

    KentForrester: Your daily walk with your dog will keep you in shape and help you make friends with your neighbors. Dog walkers love to greet one another to talk about their dogs.

    I sometimes walk a neighbor’s dog. It’s a pound pup, so maybe there’s a reason it hates other dogs. But I can’t quite forgive it for snarling at the cute redhead with the huskies.

    Aaron, I don’t understand your first sentence. “Stinks of veggie snacks”? Is it an oblique comment on my vegetarianism? Or what? Tell me. I need to know.

    I totally understand your second sentence. Young women who would never give me a second glance now smile and want to talk about our dogs.

    • #9
    • February 3, 2020, at 8:13 AM PST
    • 1 like
  10. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Thank you for your wisdom @kentforrester – especially since you live in the Portland area. The only tweak I would make is for us ladies to marry a ‘not handsome’ man v. and ugly one. I think my dude is very presentable but probably would not be labeled great looking.

    Colleen, you can make him uglier by telling him that he would look good in a mullet.

    • #10
    • February 3, 2020, at 8:17 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A classic, @kentforrester. And thanks for the photo of Bob.

    • #11
    • February 3, 2020, at 8:53 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Aaron, I don’t understand your first sentence. “Stinks of veggie snacks”? Is it an oblique comment on my vegetarianism? Or what? Tell me. I need to know.

    Dogs are carnivores. But there’s an awful lot of veggie-based dogfood and treats these days.

    Honestly, I can’t object if my neighbors dog likes the taste of carrots. The vet even got my neighbor to mix human baby food in with the dogfood while recovering from some sort of allergy-based ear infection. The dog loves it.

    But c’mon, people! Throw a dog a bone.

    • #12
    • February 3, 2020, at 8:55 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. Vectorman Thatcher

    KentForrester: Also, before marriage, pay less attention to how your boyfriend treats you than how he treats others, because that’s how he’ll treat you a year after you’re married. And for heaven’s sake, don’t smash the wedding cake in his face at the reception as a sign of your devilish good humor. It’s merely a sign of your boorishness.

    Total agreement. And the same items work for the guy.

    • #13
    • February 3, 2020, at 9:30 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Thank you for your wisdom @kentforrester – especially since you live in the Portland area. The only tweak I would make is for us ladies to marry a ‘not handsome’ man v. and ugly one. I think my dude is very presentable but probably would not be labeled great looking.

    Colleen, you can make him uglier by telling him that he would look good in a mullet.

    Now where was that eye bleach? I know I have it somewhere around here.

    • #14
    • February 3, 2020, at 10:58 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Arahant Member

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Thank you for your wisdom @kentforrester – especially since you live in the Portland area. The only tweak I would make is for us ladies to marry a ‘not handsome’ man v. and ugly one. I think my dude is very presentable but probably would not be labeled great looking.

    • #15
    • February 3, 2020, at 11:10 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. GrannyDude Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    My dog*, Lucy, looks very much like the one in the picture, though closer to white. When we got her from the shelter, we were told that “her parents are labs.” I’m pretty sure that one of her parents — or at least one of her grandparents — was a corgi. We’ve since discovered that the cross has a name: Lucy is a Corgidor. Wonderful little dog, albeit with an unfathomable facility for losing or destroying tennis balls.

    * Well, technically she’s my daughter’s dog, but Darling Daughter is away at college, so Lucy stays close to me.

    Henry, we thought for certain that Bob, because of his short legs, was part corgi. Then we had his DNA tested. It turns out that he’s half chihuahua, a quarter American bulldog, and a quarter other stuff.

    Dog DNA is squirrelly stuff. (Literally, for some). Our dog strongly resembles the dog belonging to a young woman who works at the vet. We’ve often exclaimed over this, and agreed that our dogs are obviously Australian Blue Heelers (though both are rescues from two separate dog pounds).

    Last time I was at the vet, the young woman burst into the waiting room already laughing and holding up her phone. She’d had her dog’s DNA “done,” and the phone displayed the result: a bit of poodle, a smidge of cocker spaniel, some lab, some schnauzer and ma-y-y-y-y-beee a droplet of Australian shepherd. 

    So God knows what our dog is, other than a wonderful family friend.

    • #16
    • February 3, 2020, at 11:53 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  17. Arahant Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    So God knows what our dog is, other than a wonderful family friend.

    A Canardly. You can ‘ardly tell what his antecedents are.

    • #17
    • February 3, 2020, at 1:57 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    “USE THE RESTROOM YOU FEEL WILL MAKE OTHERS MOST UNCOMFORTABLE.”

     

    • #18
    • February 3, 2020, at 3:52 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    I brought my third basset rescue home the weekend after Christmas. Our previous basset, Juliet, was as sweet a dog as you could ever want. We had to put her to sleep in October as she had a cancer of the rectum and could not poop. I still miss her. I have had five bassets, two raised from puppies. I’ve had dogs all my life but labs are too energetic in their early uyears and have terrible separation anxiety. They just cannot be left alone when they are young. A chocolate lab named Cookie, chewed her way through the wall of the laundry room into the garage when left alone one day. I gave her to my ex-wife who was home all day and she was a wonderful dog.

    Both of my basssets raised from pups died of cancer. My golden retriever, probably my most beloved dog, also died of cancer. The basset we lost in October was sweet and passive.

    The new basset turns out to have a bit of Jeckyl and Hyde. She is sweet and loving with us but aggressive toward strangers. I had not anticipated this and will have to find a solution. She is smaller than the last one and a bit younger, about 5. I am consulting the vet about tranquilizers and others ways to avoid trouble, I have not boarded a dog in 25 years, since I lived in New Hampshire, but will have to board this one when we have visitors or travel. She bit my dog sitter who was over for a get acquainted session yesterday.

    She looks innocent.

    • #19
    • February 3, 2020, at 3:56 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    But c’mon, people! Throw a dog a bone.

    This old man came rolling home.

    • #20
    • February 3, 2020, at 4:05 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Skyler Coolidge

    I hate to say it, but you give the worst advice I’ve ever heard.

    The lifetime cost of a dog outweighs the initial purchase cost. Buy a well bred dog that you know will be free of most genetic maladies.

    Hot tubs just let you stew in germy filth: yours and everyone else’s.

    As for seeking out women with calloused hands: Are you nuts?

    • #21
    • February 3, 2020, at 4:06 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    TBA (View Comment):

    “USE THE RESTROOM YOU FEEL WILL MAKE OTHERS MOST UNCOMFORTABLE.”

     

    Good one, TBA.

    • #22
    • February 3, 2020, at 4:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Lois Lane Coolidge

    Delightful.

    Since you talked about women who milk cows, I’ll add for women that a man also needs cow milking hands, even if he’s never stepped foot on a farm. Even if he’s an accountant. Even if his blisters come from swinging a golf club.

    There is nothing worse than a guy who would need his wife to open his pickle jar. (Opening her own is fine.) A man’s hands should suggest strength. Competence. Skills with a wrench.

    A man with too soft hands makes me think he might belong in the bathroom that the girl at the hand dryer found so uncomfortable she needed to be in front of Kent… And that isn’t good for the long haul.

    Weak hands on a man engender contempt.

     

    • #23
    • February 3, 2020, at 4:17 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    A man’s hands should suggest strength. Competence. Skills with a wrench.

    Or a wench?

    • #24
    • February 3, 2020, at 4:22 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  25. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I hate to say it, but you give the worst advice I’ve ever heard.

    The lifetime cost of a dog car outweighs the initial purchase cost. Buy a well bred dog that you know will be free of most genetic maladies.

    Hot tubs just let you stew in germy filth: yours and everyone else’s.

    As for seeking out women with calloused hands: Are you nuts?

    Hey, the water in my hot tub, used only by my wife and me, circulates through an effective filer and contains just the right chemicals to keep it germ free. The water is clear, clean, and hot. 

    Your other objections are, well, just picky, picky. Yes, that’s two pickies. 

    • #25
    • February 3, 2020, at 4:25 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    Michael, man, you are a dog person. I was a cat person for 54 years. Now I’m a crazy dog person. Bassets are cute! I wouldn’t mind having one. They’re the size I like. 

    • #26
    • February 3, 2020, at 4:29 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. E. Kent Golding Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

     

    Henry, we thought for certain that Bob, because of his short legs, was part corgi. Then we had his DNA tested. It turns out that he’s half chihuahua, a quarter American bulldog, and a quarter other stuff.

    I hope Bob isn’t more than 1/1024 related to Liz Warren . Also, where do you find the mythical non-barking dogs? Removing the vocal cords is way too cruel ( although I guess I would rather have my vocal cords removed than be “fixed”).

    • #27
    • February 3, 2020, at 5:20 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. E. Kent Golding Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    The lifetime cost of a dog outweighs the initial purchase cost. Buy a well bred dog that you know will be free of most genetic maladies.

    Agreed. We had a rescue dog that cost a car payment each month in medical bills. When my daughter told me she wanted her own mutt puppy I told her “NO”, I couldn’t afford it. I did let her pick a AKC purebred because I thought it would be long term cheaper. Her purebred Corgi is a really nice dog, and has been generally healthy.

    • #28
    • February 3, 2020, at 5:27 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

     

    Henry, we thought for certain that Bob, because of his short legs, was part corgi. Then we had his DNA tested. It turns out that he’s half chihuahua, a quarter American bulldog, and a quarter other stuff.

    I hope Bob isn’t more than 1/1024 related to Liz Warren . Also, where do you find the mythical non-barking dogs? Removing the vocal cords is way too cruel ( although I guess I would rather have my vocal cords removed than be “fixed”).

    Kent, some breeds bark a lot, some bark some, and some bark very little. My dog Bob hardly ever barks, unless the UPS man makes too much noise on the front porch. Then Bob barks just a few times.

    I’ve never heard of removing vocal cords.

    • #29
    • February 3, 2020, at 5:30 PM PST
    • 1 like
  30. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    he lifetime cost of a dog outweighs the initial purchase cost. Buy a well bred dog that you know will be free of most genetic maladies.

     

    Agreed. We had a rescue dog that cost a car payment each month in medical bills. When my daughter told me she wanted her own mutt puppy I told her “NO”, I couldn’t afford it. I did let her pick a AKC purebred because I thought it would be long term cheaper. Her purebred Corgi is a really nice dog, and has been generally healthy.

    I’ve always been under the impression that purebred dogs have more physical problems than mutts. But I don’t know this for certain. Just “under the impression.” I do think, however, that I read it somewhere. Now I’m too lazy to Google it.

    • #30
    • February 3, 2020, at 5:32 PM PST
    • 2 likes

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