Fooling Around

“In a culture where con men, hucksters and others desperately seeking power and influence have decided that they can profit by making truth seem relative, we’re in danger of every day becoming the first of April.” — Seth Godin

First of all: 

It’s April Fool’s Day. Seth Godin wrote a brillant little essay that includes the profound, apropos thought I opened this post with. I wanted to somehow archive this, so I’m embedding the link here.


“The Fool On The Hill”
The Beatles. Magical Mystery Tour.

Day after day, alone on the hill
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
And he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

Well on the way, head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

He never listens to them
He knows that they’re the fools
They don’t like him

The fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around


Our first born son wrote a piece recently. It was written as “A letter from myself in my 30s to myself in my 20s”. Here it is:

1. You’re going to have children—three girls. I’d tell you to prepare now, but there’s really nothing you can do. Good luck.
2. Your band won’t get signed. I’m just sayin’. You can keep playing music, but it will be nothing more than that.
3. You’ve gained some weight. You’ll gain more. And not just in your belly, your whole face will get sort of fat.
4. Your hair will get thinner while your eye brows get thicker. There’s technically no hair loss; it just relocates.
5. Religion. It’s a messy business, if it comes to that. You’ll get sort of disillusioned at certain points, but you’ll turn out okay.
6. Even though—right now—there’s all this uncertainty, you’ll eventually have a job that could be your job until you retire, and you’ll have a house that could be your house until you die, but sometimes you’ll kind of miss the uncertainty.
7. Finish your MFA. Do it now.
8. Don’t listen to NPR too much. It’s good to be informed, but not in heavy doses. It’s sort of depressing.
9. There’s a legitimate chance that Donald Trump will become president; work on thwarting that.
10. And I guess the last thing would be… You married a good woman. Don’t mess it up. You lose every fight you win.

There’s nothing foolish about that exercise. Is it a fool’s quest though to think we might be smarter and wiser going forward by pondering the folly of our youth? Maybe.


I’m taking the challenge, thinking about a letter that my 60-something self would write to my 20-something self. 

1. Floss regularly and use sunscreen. (Did they even have sunscreen when I was 20?)
2. Except for the undeserved grief and stress it causes your parents, you will survive a journey to the land of waywards and it will have been, in some ways, worth it. On the other side you will have a deeper understanding of grace, and hopefully it will make you more empathic.
3. You will regret being so self-absorbed. Stop it.
4. Treasure those people and experiences that taught you to love the arts. Music, art, and writing will be food for your soul when you’re old.
5. The Methodists were right; the Baptists were wrong: you won’t go to hell for dancing (as far as I know).
6. You seemed to have been right to register to vote as a Democrat, although you were idealistic. The Republicans seem to adopt a strategy which hijacks, distorts and cheapens the idea of christianity for political gain.
7. You will be given an opportunity, a gift really, to work with teenagers, and you’ll get paid to do it, not much, but enough. It will be your calling.
8. There will be this thing called “Facebook”. It will allow you to sort of reconnect with people you haven’t seen or heard from since high school, and maybe you’ll wish you would have stayed in touch over the years.
9. You should have gone to Woodstock. They’re still talking about it today. Oh, and the VW Bus you’re driving, keep it. It will be worth a fortune.
10. Sure, you’re only 21 and she’s only 18, and you’re half in love and half in lust, but definitely marry her. 40-some years later, she will still be your best friend, mom of your sons, grandmother of your Grand-Girls, your Amazing-Missus. Life without her will be beyond imagination.


A little April Fool's day humor from Gary Larson.