Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
No more blaming it on the cat.
No more driving with a knee while eating a sloppy, two-fisted burger. Eat better, for God's sake. Watch the calories. Step on a scale every once in a while. Hit the gym. After hitting the gym, remember to wipe off the shimmering pool of my soul I leave behind every time I pedal The Bike to Nowhere for an hour, because that's just gross. Also: Would it kill you to eat a vegetable every once in a while that isn't pickle, lettuce and onion?
Try to make Momma and Daddy proud. If ever on television after witnessing a tornado strike, come up with something more illuminating than "it sounded like a freight train." (Suggestions: "like the fingernail of God on a blackboard," "like the snoring of Death," "like the crack and cry of doom.") Try not to look like a pompous ass on TV, with your Snoring Death and your Cry of Doom. In fact, try not to wind up on TV for any reason, as there's nothing on there that's worth a damn, not since "Breaking Bad" went off the air, anyway. Avoid being digitally memorialized for posterity, especially while drunk. Know that YouTube fame is a harsh mistress.
Be kinder to folks. Be kinder to myself. Never drive angry. Obey the speed limit, and all posted road signs. Yield. Get that thing checked out at the doctor, and that other thing checked out at the mechanic. Stop arguing with strangers on the Internet. Get it through that thick skull of mine that I'm never going to sit in the nursing home and regale the other old codgers with thrilling tales of the time I really schooled bigbadjake91 on Reddit while he was running his fat, empty head about Hillary Clinton. Know that the heat of any anonymous online burn I might inflict on someone will not, in fact, melt that person's sense of self-worth like a Hershey bar on a hot dashboard, leaving a mere shell of a human being. Eat less chocolate. Accept the fact that I probably won't be able to stick to that one for long, or the thing about arguing on the Internet.
Drink more wine. Drink less whiskey, or at least better whiskey. Expensive booze might encourage me to drink it slower. Probably not. Read better books, and more of them, because a book can take a person anywhere and it doubles as a signal for conversation seekers that you don't want to be bothered. Be less bothered. Seek conversation. Don't be afraid to say to any conversationalist, "That's the most damn fool thing I ever heard!" before striding briskly away if I feel it in my heart.
Stop saying "Really?" so much when people are talking to me, as that might make them think I'm not paying attention, and that might hurt their feelings. Stop worrying so much about other peoples' feelings. Wait. Scratch that last.
Buy a kilt, maybe. OK: Try on a kilt, in a room with many mirrors so I can see what my butt looks like while wearing it. Don't buy a pair of bagpipes, though, because I'm pretty sure that's grounds for divorce. Stop believing in ancient astronauts, the Loch Ness Monster and the Chicago Cubs. Stop watching History Channel, because I'm pretty sure seeing all those idiots trying to lure in a 'Squatch with jelly beans and potted meat is dissolving my brain. Stop stealing the covers. When building rafters for a house, build them on top of one another, or else you're going to have a hell of a mess when they don't match. Measure twice, and cut once. Watch my fingers around the table saw, because better and more cautious men than I will never play piano again. Fish more. Catch and release. Buy a flyrod. Find the time to stand in a creek in North Arkansas at least once this year, flyrod in hand, hearing my dad's voice in my head, him saying: "See? You just rooooolllll the line out there." Catch a trout. Clean a trout. Eat a trout with butter and lemongrass.
Laugh more. Smile more. Go out with friends more. Get more friends. Floss. Watch one foreign movie every week. Always tell the truth, unless the question is: "What do you think about this dress?" Kiss her more. Learn to dance. Learn how to say, "Where's the bathroom" in 10 languages. Travel, even if it's just a day trip. Turn off the phone. Lose the map. Understand that the clock is always ticking, that the rod of life is always falling, that the line is always rolling out and out in the sun. Remember that someday the delicate fly at the end of the line must float down, to find the dappled water.
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