A friend gave me a book filled with small phrases and truisms that are supposed to be inspirational. And they were. I read them all and promptly added the parts that the authors had left out. Those idioms are always a bit messed up. Like, people tell you to “take the bull by the horns,” but why? It is a bull! Where are you taking it? And if you are going to take it somewhere I am pretty sure you don’t drag it by the horns. The first role of bulls is to avoid the horns. They aren’t bicycle handlebars. They are made for disembowelling. Anyone telling you to take a bull by the horns is probably trying to have you murdered in a very lazy way and thinks you are an idiot. Might as well add: “Take the bull by the horns. Then grab a cobra by the fangs. Take Charles Manson by the balls. Still alive? Fine. Take poison by the liter. Take a bunch of racoons and a toaster in the bathtub with you. Seriously, are you still reading this?

I think it is a good thing to really analyze and fix these truisms because life is not simple or easily changed by small inspirational words. It is complicated. And hard. And sometimes ridiculous. Much like the truisms I ended up with. So I added my own endings into the book and when I was done I passed it to another friend going through a bad time of bullshit and she was like, “This is the most helpful book ever,” and I started to apologize for drawing in it but then she was like, “No, that is the part that made me feel better. No one wants to hear ‘Put on a happy face’ when you added ‘Put on the face of that guy who cheated on you with your best friend. Take his face and wear it around a little. Maybe wear it when you peek in your former best friend’s window at two a.m. Just a suggestion.'”

It was nice to think that I wasn’t the only one who needed a bit more, so I decided to share a few here with you. The truisms are in bold. The rest is my addition. I probably don’t need to clarify that.

Believe in your dreams. …. Unless it is that dream where you are stuck in traffic with three children in the car. They all constantly talk, fight, argue, scream and cry. Fuck that dream.

Only do what your heart tells you. …. Except really it is your brain that is telling you what you think your heart is saying. Your heart can’t think. So basically your brain is pretending to be your heart to manipulate you. So maybe do what your heart tells you but make sure your brain understands and agrees.

Life is like riding a bicycle. …. It is hard and sweaty and surprisingly tough on your genitals. Also, you are going to fall a lot. A lot!

Friends are everywhere. … So are ants. Watch where you are standing.

It is not where you take things from. It is where you take them to. …. But try telling the security guard at the grocery store when you shoplift chocolate and a bottle of red wine to enjoy in your car.

If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it. …. Except, if it is your ship, why is it out at sea without you? Did you not tie it up properly? Are you sure it is even your ship? Because if it is not, that’s piracy and it is frowned upon. I mean, you can barely even steal fish for cats without going to jail.

Live as if it’s the last day of your life. …. Except don’t, because that sounds awful. I would spend all day in tears if someone said I was going to die at midnight. That is like having to have fun at gunpoint. Maybe start slower. Like, live as if it is Saturday even when it is Monday morning and the alarm bell rings.

Be optimistic. See the glass as half-full. … Unless it is half-full of poison or urine. Although technically it would be better to have a glass half-full of urine rather than totally full. Unless it is half-full because you drank half of it because you didn’t know what it was. I think the point here is that we need smaller glasses and you shouldn’t drink things you haven’t poured yourself.

The best thing to hold on to in life is each other. … Or the remote. Or the phone. I am always losing those. But I almost never lose people, because I can just call them and be like, “Where are you? Also, have you seen the remote?” Unless I lose my phone. Then I have to scream until someone comes and calls me with their phone so I can find my phone. So I guess holding on to each other is good too in case you need your phone.

Do what you love even if it means you are broke. … Exceptions: gambling, heroin, prostitutes, alcohol, and most other fun things.

Aim high. … Because your blow dart will lose altitude over the distance to your enemies and you need to account for that. Also, wind directions.

You can fly. … But only metaphorically. You can’t actually fly. I don’t care how many mushrooms you have had. Get off the roof, idiot.

The world is your oyster. …. It is tough to get into and it will cut you if you don’t use the right knife. Also, it is slimier than expected but sometimes you get jewellery. Unless this truism means that you are the pearl and the world is the oyster that you live in? This would kind of make sense because pearls are technically just natural irritants and that is a pretty good description of human beings in the world. Or find me at the oyster buffet!

My candle burns at both ends. …. And that is how fires start. Also, you are dripping wax everywhere. This isn’t even how candles work. What are you doing?

It’s always too soon to quit. … Unless we are talking about smoking. Or spending all your money on lottery tickets. Or being a serial killer. Actually, skip this truism. I need more information.

Don’t look back. … Unless you are changing lanes. Then it is really important to look back. Maybe this should be changed to “Don’t be the asshole who just changes lanes without checking behind you.” Also, use your blinker.

April showers bring may flowers. … And also floodings. And mosquitos. And malaria. But you will have flowers, so that is something, I guess.

Build a ship before you build a bridge. … Or better yet, build a ship out of the bridge. Otherwise, you are just wasting lumber. Then charge everyone who needs to get across the now bridgeless body of water. TA-DA! Now you own a ferry service.

In every man a child is hidden. … Maybe not in every man. Just the one who ate a child. Stay away from that man. He seems dangerous.

You can move mountains. … But honestly, why would you want to? Seems like you can find a better use of your time. Learn how to knit or something. The mountains are fine where they are. I don’t want to have to buy new maps.

Follow your heart. …. But just metaphorically, because your heart is where you are, so technically you could just sit on your ass all day and be following your heart. Although it is nice to keep in mind, because when your partner is like, “HAVE YOU BEEN EATING CHOCOLATE ALL DAY?” you can say, “No. I have been following my heart. Literally.”

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