“Hey, check this out,” called Mr. Smyth to Mr. Callahan from the top of the grand staircase.
“What did you find?” inquired Mr. Callahan.
“Only the best discovery of our excavation thus far.”
“I found the bedroom.”
“You can’t take a nap now. We have work to do.”
“There is always more to a bedroom than just a bed. Surely you know that.”
“I suppose you would like me to come up and see what all the fuss is about?”
With a huff, Mr. Callahan climbed the thirty-two mahogany steps and joined Mr. Smyth in the bedroom. Mr. Smyth was wrong: there was nothing other than a bed in the room. In fact, a single bed took up the entire space.
“Who lived here?” asked Mr. Callahan. “First we encounter an enormous dining room, then we stumble upon a giant-sized bed. Who would need such large amenities?”
“Perhaps a giant,” suggested Mr. Smyth innocently.
“Right. And my name is Jack.”
“But it’s not.”
“Of course it’s not. I was referencing an old folktale.”
“What did I tell you about reading those dirty, old books?”
“That they would rot my brain,” answered Mr. Callahan robotically.
“Exactly. I live life by following two rules: brush your teeth and do not read books. The second rule is the more important one.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t let it happen again.” However, as he said this, Mr. Callahan rubbed the book he had taken, still hidden inside his coat pocket. He could not wait to open it up and read its tales. But he knew he had to wait, for if Mr. Smyth caught him, their robbery partnership would surely be over. He knew that neither of them could survive without the stealing escapades. They would be able to survive from a physical standpoint, but their psychological and moral health would quickly wane. Stealing fed their emotions like a mother bird feeds her hatchlings: with regurgitation and worms.
“You know how good my life advice is,” added Mr. Smyth.
“The very best for all the rest,” recited Mr. Callahan.
“And what else?”
“Heed your advice or pay the price.”
“Listen to Smyth and all his pith.”
“Very good. Class dismissed.” Mr. Smyth turned on his heels and exited the strangely literal bedroom. Mr. Callahan was left in the doorway, fuming with humiliation. He was also frustrated because he actually followed his partner’s advice almost religiously. He thought back on the last time he did not heed Mr. Smyth’s guidance; the memory of the consequences made Mr. Callahan shudder. Still, he would not mind finding a new doctrine to practice.
Life Advice to Live By When You’re Alive and Living
1) Life is good.
2) Well, life isn’t always good. But more often than not, it is.
3) If the door’s not closed, it’s open. If you’re a pessimist, the door’s always closed.
4) Respect your parents. They give you food. And presents. There’s a cycle of which item you appreciate more. When you’re young, all you want is food. Then around the time you start being bratty, all you want is presents. Several years later, when you’re a teen, it’s back to food. Then after you stop despising your parents when you’re a young adult, you can’t deny the nice gift.
5) Appreciate the little things.
6) But don’t forget about the big things. If you don’t watch out, these will come back to bite you. And it hurts. (Their teeth are very sharp. Trust me.)
7) Everyone deserves his or her just desserts, especially when it’s chocolate.
8) Cleanliness is next to godliness. Being dirty is a close second.
9) Some opinions are just plain wrong. Like yours. Accept it.
10) Please don’t bite the bullet. It’s dangerous.
11) Watch your step. No, not that step. That one. It’s broken.
12) Slipping on ice isn’t fun. Neither is homework. That means the worst thing is having to slip on ice for homework.
13) This is the luckiest number.
14) Buildings that skip the previous number and go straight to this one are stupid.
15) Why can’t we all just get along?
16) No, really. That was a serious question.
17) Life is like an egg. If you crack the shell, the contents will spill out. And if you eat it, you can get salmonella.
18) Disregard all other life advice you’ve received, up to and including this piece of advice.
19) Fortune cookies do not give fortunes and cannot be considered cookies. Therefore, if one speaks to you, do not listen to what it says. It’s lying. Also, you should be worried if food starts talking to you. But that’s not my problem. It’s yours.
20) Always say please and thank you.
21) Never read books. Ever.