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60 With a Bullet

TODAY IS my birthday and what have I got to show for myself after six decades of this cosmic joke called life? Receding hairline, expanding waistline, infrequent byline, recurring punch line: eight times before today, I’ve repeated the same hairline/ waistline/ byline joke I first made in this column when I was 30 with a Bullet.

30 years of birthdays “in the papers” and I still can’t think of a joke better than life itself. Since we cannot happily contemplate simultaneously both existence and extinction, we have always created God to help us avoid the Devilish reality that we are here now but will soon be gone forever. This fact we cannot digest whole, so we treat it as the grain of sand in the oyster of our consciousness and create what we insist to one another is the hard pearl of Heaven. We will not die, but live forever.

Except not one of us has come back yet to gainsay death.

Not even Jesus H Christ.

But surely I ought to have learned something from it all? Or at least can pretend to have? Here, then are 60 pieces of indisputable wisdom, one gleaned from each year I’ve managed to defy both Death and the odds..

1. Never fart in an elevator/Never elect a brain-fart US President. 2. If you can’t get out of it, get into it. 3.Marry your best friend – but a marriage without sex is like a World Cup without Italy & Holland. 4. People prefer a pretty lie to the ugly truth. 5. At a big beach lime, someone will take your $300 Reefs and leave their $4 Chinese grocery-special plastic slippers for you. 6. Lift the toilet seat. 7. You can't please everybody, so firetruck ‘em all. 8. The less-talented are always more critical. 9. Powerful men are secretly terrified. 10. If you are a woman caught on live TV, do NOT blow a kiss to the camera.

11. Never buy sofa cushions with sequins. 12. Religious instruction is child abuse (Denis Solomon). 13. David Rudder/Bunji Garlin is the future of calypso. 14. Never sleep with a girl called Ruby; never play pool with a guy called Fats; never play cards with a man called Doc (Tom Waits); never vote for a political party with three initials in its name (me). 15. The hottie in the gym is not looking at you, but at her reflection in the mirror behind you. 16. Floss. 17. There cannot be half-a-dozen “one true ways” to God. 18. You reap what you sow. 19. There is no such thing as a free lunch. 20. Speak of the Devil and he appears.

21. Never laugh with Crix in your mouth. 22. God loves fags. 23. The difference between a porcupine and a BMW, an Audi and a Benz is that, on the porcupine, the pricks are on the outside. 24. The new government in Trinidad will be worse than the old one. 25 Too much of one thing is good for nothing, even moderation. 26. Don’t smoke: the only con bigger than cigarettes is Donald Trump. 27. Better to have one true friend than a hundred false ones. 28. You will become your parents. 29. Spend a few bucks on a reversible belt/little black dress. 30. It is your friends, not your enemies, who let you down.

31. Do not get a tattoo. 32. If you must get a tattoo, do not get one of barbed wire, a butterfly, a tear, a tramp stamp, a holy book verse or a lyric from a Guns ‘n’ Roses song. 33. Nothing ages you like fat. 34. Jesus saves but the Devil pays compound interest. 35. At the end of the day, it’s night (Steve Martin). 36. Wherever you go, there you are. 37. You can only eat one cheeseburger at a time. 38. Money won’t get you to Heaven, but you sure see Hell without it (Christian Soldier/jointpop). 39. There are no “holy” books. 40. Women need a reason to have sex; men only need a place.

40. Better to pay a mortgage on a basement flat than rent on a penthouse. 41. It’s all been done before. 42. All is firetrucking vanity. 43. Be the change you want in the world. (Gandhi). 44. Brrrrrrtttt! (Bunji). 45. You have to trust others or shoot yourself. 45. We die alone but we can live together. 46. It takes all kinds – but apostates and red women are the best. 47. The Age of Reason will arise. 48. No liberty without responsibility. 49. Blink and it’s over. 50. Two years ago (five, after age 40), you were a dick.

51. God is dead (Nietzsche) but love is all you need (Beatles). 52. The only person you can change is yourself. 53. Those people are indeed talking about you. 54. The more vociferously anyone protests anything - therapy, same gender sex, corruption-investigation, Viagra - the more desperately they need it. 55. Anger is a poison you take and hope your enemy dies. 56. You can always add salt; you can never take it out. 57. Love thy neighbour – but don’t let thy spouse find out. 58. Doddering old age still beats the only other option. 59. Revenge is sweet but forgiveness is better for your health. 60. One day I'll have to get a real job.

BC Pires is superior to Prince, David Bowie, Philip Roth, Stephen Hawking, Sir Roger Firetrucking Bannister and Steve Jobs


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