The Important Thing

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The important thing is that despite the fact that you lost your job, your house and your girlfriend, you’ve still got Mom and me to fall back on. Although I wouldn’t push things with Mom right now if I were you.

The important thing is that you’re safe and sound. It could have been much worse — you could have been sleeping on a bed full of deadly scorpions instead of one full of head lice. Fortunately, there’s a cure for head lice; although with a case as bad as you’ve got, we’ll need you to sleep out in the garage with the dogs until we’re sure it’s under control.

The important thing is he’s still your brother. OK, so he stole your TV, your iPod, and your girlfriend, but at least he didn’t steal your identity, like the last time.

The important thing is not material possessions, especially since you don’t have many, and it’s not the potential you have for improving your performance, since it pretty much looks like you’re going to be bankrupt by the end of the year. The important thing is you didn’t get caught drinking with the underage girls at the holiday party, or you might be in jail right now. So be thankful for that much.

The important thing is not who you are, or where you came from. It’s not which school you went to, or how much experience you’ve had, or how hard you’ve worked to get ahead. The important thing is how much money did your family leave you? And how much of it do you still have left?

The important thing is don’t look back, because they may be gaining on you. At least that’s what Satchel Paige said.

But the really important thing is don’t look back, because as soon as you look back, somebody will come from out of nowhere and get right in front of you and BAM, you’ll rear end them, and when the cops come to sort it out, I can guarantee you’ll be the one who gets ticketed.

The important thing is to always be ready, because you never know when opportunity might strike. Although if you’re sitting on the toilet, it might be better not to run to answer the phone with your pants down around your ankles, because I did that once and I tripped and hit my head on the coffee table and my buddy was one of the paramedics who came to scrape me up and he pretty much never lets me forget it. Plus, I wound up under observation for three days in the psych ward.

The important thing is to say what you mean and to mean what you say, but don’t say it with your mouth full, because first of all it’s rude, and anyway nobody is going to be able to understand what you’re trying to say with a mouthful of mashed potatoes. Plus you’re likely to spit little globs of goo on anyone sitting across from you, which, lemme tell you, does not go over real big in terms of trying to convince them that you know what you’re talking about.

The important thing is to always be first in line. Sometimes that means getting up very early in the morning, because that will show whoever is opening the door that you really care. On the other hand, sometimes you can get some bum to stand in line all night and save your place for a couple of bucks and a bottle of Thunderbird. And that just shows how much you care about being first in line. But remember that bums can be very fickle and sell out your number one spot to anybody who comes along with another bottle of cheap wine. So the really important thing is to pick the right bum to stand in line all night to freeze their ass off for you.

The important thing is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Although, let’s be honest, some neighbors are much easier to love than others. For instance, that gorgeous little schoolteacher who just moved in next door would no doubt appreciate you offering to mow her lawn, or rake her leaves, probably just as much as the guy across the street who looks like an ax murderer, and has two pit bulls that he keeps in cages by his front door. So if you’re going to start being all neighborly, you might as well start with the schoolteacher.

The important thing is to stop worrying about things you have no control over. If the sun’s about to explode, you’re not going to be the person to stop it. On the other hand, if your laundry basket smells like it might explode, you might think about getting a roll of quarters and taking a trip down to the laundromat.

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