The Basement Files

Some words of advice after my 30 years on this Earth

Chris Hamble

Chris Hamble

Another day, another month goes speeding by. February was fun, but now March arrives. March is a bittersweet mistress. On the one hand, spring is on its way and thanks to Daylight Saving Time, the sun is out later in the evening. Snow melts, flowers bloom, and I get another year older. Not a huge deal for most, but this year, this year, I turn 30.

The big “three-oh.” It’s been a fun 30 years, I can tell you that much, filled with stuff and such. But as “old-man syndrome” starts rearing it’s grey-haired head, what with all this new technology over my head and these meddling kids that won’t get off my lawn, things are not all bad. The grey hair streaks are in the more “dignified” and “still kind of hidden” stage. I only have to go to the bathroom once in the morning, and I have learned a heck of a lot of life lessons that, if someone had pointed them out to me earlier, would have saved me a ton of headaches. Which brings me to today’s column.

Sure, you may have learned silly things like spelling, math, science, social studies, history and the like in school, but some things are glazed over. Some say, “Well, you just have to learn them for yourself.” Don’t listen to them. They like to laugh at your pain. Which is pretty funny, don’t get me wrong, but I like to think that I’m not as evil as that. So I will dispense some worldly wisdom I’ve gained these last three decades.

Caffeine is your morning buddy. Caffeine is wonderful in my world and coffee is even better. But kids, you do need to beware of some of the lesser known effects of this compound. While it can be addictive, make you jittery and potentially kill you if you start pounding those energy drinks, I warn you, young coffee drinkers, the older you get, the less coffee it takes before you really, really have to go to the bathroom. I used to down cup after cup, but now it’s the same, but with more bathroom breaks. Had I known this earlier, I may have tried to curb my habit while I still could.

Beware of the reclining chair.

The older you get, the more reclining chairs really kick butt, but they can be a dangerous place for the newly old. While most of the day is fine, stay far away from these bad boys after dinner. You feel sluggish after eating a big meal and when you kick up your feet and lean back, it is all over. Those “z’s” are coming, and you can’t stop it. Fight it if you dare, you can’t run away from nap time’s sweet embrace.

This opens you up to all sorts of things if you fall asleep around the wrong person. And there is another danger lurking down in the bowels of your bowels. It’s the wake-up gas. Not only will it scare you awake, you will never, ever live it down.

Pizza for breakfast tastes great. Sorry, kids, but your parents are wrong about this one. Pizza for breakfast rules and that is that.
Hair is the root of all evil.

If there was one thing I was never good at in school it was biology. But I never let that stop me from coming to conclusions based on personal experiences. For example, at some point in time, you go from wanting to be able to grow facial hair to rueing the day you made that wish because it starts growing in places it really shouldn’t. Like your nose.

These little freaks of nature get bigger and bigger and eventually you’ve got this big hair hanging out your nose and tickling you when you breathe. Like me, will probably come to the conclusion that “it must go,” grab ahold of it and rip it out with ruthless vigor.

Grab a clipper folks, because pulling that hair out is a mistake. You see, at the base of the hair follicle is the root system, and the nasal hair root system is somewhere toward the base of your legs. I don’t know how women rip these things out, but I do know that while at one time I laughed at people with nose clippers, I now am glad my electric razor came with one. Really, really glad.

Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newpapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.

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