Life in the wilderness

A long time ago, the “coureurs de bois” (runners of the woods) left the relative comfort of their homes and ventured into the wilderness for months at a time. They traveled long distances to buy pelts and trade with the natives.
During that time they were totally cut off from civilization, and amazingly they survived their harsh conditions and even thrived.

Today it is difficult to imagine anybody leaving home without a cell phone in his/her bosom.

In our day and age, the cell phone has become such an indispensable tool that many people cannot face the prospect of being “phoneless”, even for an hour.
They have this absolute need to feel “connected” or otherwise they will most certainly die.

But even when you carry a cell phone you can get cut off from civilization. There are many areas in the US where no phone signal is available and where it is impossible to get a “fonefix”.
This is a serious health problem and I think that the phone company should look into it.

Speaking for the silent majority, I think that Ma Bell should provide emergency stations along the way and allow oversensitive travelers to get a temporary fonefix to avoid dangerous withdrawal conditions.

We are so used to cell phones that it almost unthinkable of being deprived of it; especially teenagers who have an absolute need to fondle the thing regularly and send numerous very important messages to their peers.

When I was young, the worst punishment inflicted upon me was to deprive me of books or forbid me to go the local library.
Today a teenager’s worst punishment is to be denied his cellphone. Never mind the books.
Being phoneless is considered by the teen set to be a fate worse than death and deemed to be “unusual and cruel punishment”. And many parents will agree with this.

Last weekend I spent two days without being “connected” and amazingly I survived this ordeal without incurring any major trauma.
I even enjoyed it.

Even though I couldn’t bathe in the daily glory of my readers’ adulation, I felt a strange sense of peace surrounding me. Just like Adam must have felt in the Garden of Eden.

So even though being phoneless for a few days can be challenging, it is not deadly and with a little determination you can survive it.
Just be sure to carry some booze and a bible, and you’ll be all right.

I guarantee it.


PS: To look at pictures of this event, turn the sound on, click on the “Home” link at the top of the page, and click again on “My photos” located on the right side of the page.


When Insults Had Class

**** An exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, “If you were my husband I’d poison your tea.”
He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.” 

 **** A Member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”
“That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

 **** “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”  – Winston Churchill 

 **** “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway). 

**** “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it” – Mark Twain 

**** “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” –  Oscar Wilde 

**** “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend… if you have one.” – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
 “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second… if there is one.” – Winston Churchill, in response.

 **** “He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson 

 **** “In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand

 **** “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” –  Mae West 

  **** “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde 

 **** “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it” – Groucho Marx

The rules of the game

If you ever win anything, don’t gloat. It is not nice and if you do, it will eventually come back to bite you in the “derrière”.
There is no better way to antagonize and make enemies than by taking a malicious pleasure in somebody’s miseries.

Look at the elections.
Obama won, but he didn’t gloat. He is too smart for that and he knows that soon or later he will have to deal with those he defeated.
He even acknowledged his opponent in his victory speech.

Mitt Romney whose political fortune took a turn for the worse on Tuesday night also played nice. But he couldn’t gloat.
Reluctant at first to admit defeat, he finally came out, and with a frozen smile on his face, he congratulated Barack Obama on his victory and wished him the best.
He might not have exuded sincerity but there was no other way, for nobody likes a sore loser.

Gone are the days when the victors crucified their enemies. Nowadays it is much smarter to treat them with humility and respect than humiliate them publicly.
It is also wise to remember that the bite of a humiliated foe is worse than the bite of a king cobra.

So, even on the pétanque field, don’t ever gloat. Even if you “fanny” the other team. At the end of the game, modesty is always in good taste.
Tell your opponents how lucky you have been and how well they played.
No need to upset a recoiled king cobra, don’t you think?

If you absolutely must boast, do it in the privacy of your own home or go to some Latin America country where machismo rules.
In California, avoid showing off in public. Nobody likes an egotistic braggart.

To conclude, it is far wiser to remain humble in victory and gracious in defeat rather than to gloat like a flea on a dog.