Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 9)

Do not think that you can judge the value of
            what’s on the other hand
            if your other hand is
            behind your back
            and so numb from frostbite
            that you would not know
            if you were holding a hamburger
            or a ham bone.

Ask a friend who you trust
            who is neither blind
            nor mute
            nor subject to hallucinations
            to go behind you
            and describe out loud
            what it is that you are holding.

Only then can you make your judgment,
            but before rushing to judgment,
            make sure you ask them,
            “Have my fingers turned black yet?”
            and if he answers, “Yes, they are a bit black”
            rush to the nearest ER
            and take what it is you are holding with you,
            and put off your judgment until
            things have stabilized.

And always reserve acting upon your judgment
            if acting upon your judgment
            would contradict
            discharge instructions.

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 8)

The term, “Aztec,” is a startlingly imprecise term
            to describe the culture
            that formed between
            the Allegheny and
            the Monongahela rivers
            in the 1970’s.

A much better term is “Steelers Country,”
            although if you say “Stillers Country”
            we’ll know what you mean.

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 7)

Only you can start training with weights.
             No one can pick up the weight for you.
             You need to do it yourself.

If you pay someone to lift the weight for you
             this does not count, unless it is a fitness trainer
             lifting the weight in the context of
             showing you how the weight should be lifted,
             and you expect to lift the weight yourself
             within a reasonable period of time.

If you pay someone to lift the weight for you
             who works up a good frothy sweat while topless
             and possibly wearing fur satyr legs
             or a mermaid tail
             or whatever it is you’re into
             as you recline in a beanbag chair
             pleasuring yourself,
             make no mistake – this is not weightlifting.
             This is called masturbation.
             It is also probably very expensive.

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 6)

A rich man might share shame
        with the poor man,
        but under no circumstances will he
        share his private executive restroom
        with him.

He will direct him to the bathroom in the hall
        past the elevators
        next to the janitor’s closet
        or immediately call security –
        depending on his mood.

If the poor man approaches the rich man
        with a 30 gallon trash bag or tinfoil
        used as an article of clothing
        the rich man will definitely
        call security.

His secretary will in all likelihood
        get an earful as well.

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 5)

Don’t think even a rich man
        can devour misery
        and it will always taste like apple butter.

Most rich men who devour misery
        report that it tastes like
        a slice of New York-style cheesecake
        made of soap
        or earwax.

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 4)

Before you book a journey of revenge
        you must always think of the duck
        who took his revenge
        upon the poisoned apple in the road
        and never rose again.

After remembering to avoid eating random fruit found on a highway
        make sure your guns are cleaned and oiled
        and your silencers all fit
        just like you airtight alibis.

Take three times as much ammo
        as you think you’ll need
        and an ample supply of wigs and fake facial hair
        and changes of clothes and gloves and plastic bags.

Make sure your taser
        is charged
        and don’t forget to bring the charger.

Never forget to have small guns
        in ankle holsters
        and several knives secreted on your body.

And it probably never hurts
        to have a couple of cans
        of police-issued pepper spray either.

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