Words of Advice for People Younger than 55

Douglas Wayne Ricketts
3 min readSep 20, 2022

Yes, I copped a portion of that title from William S. Burroughs. I think he’d appreciate the reference.

I’ll be 55 years old this November. I never thought I’d make it past 30 so this is just as amusing for me as I hope it is for you.

  1. If you are dating or married to someone who says they “Just want to have fun,” you are about to be or are already being cheated on. Dropkick that one down the drain like the pus that comes out of a blackhead. You don’t need their shit.
  2. No one who emails you from another country is going to give you money or fall in love with you sight unseen.
  3. Insurance is a scam. It’s gambling. You don’t get a payout unless you meet certain criteria. “Come on, SKIN CANCER! Let’s hit a MELANOMA, baby!” is not something most of us should be hoping for. Get the cheapest plan possible in all situations, you’re going to end up paying out the nose in the event of eventual need anyway.
  4. Politics destroys familial relationships. It just does. I’ve been no contact with all of the relatives who were either suckered by Trump or who are Trump-support-enablers since early 2017. I pretend they all died in a horrible plane crash and cry less to myself about it than I would without that fantasy.
  5. Speaking of family, some say blood is thicker than water. Based on my experience with lies and so on, I say it’s more like congealed grease.
  6. You cannot be a good member of society and support Trump. You are either morally bankrupt, an uneducated rube, or a combo platter. No arguments or waffling proves otherwise. At the very least, you’re a complete waste of time and I’d encourage you whole-heartedly to never vote again until you can learn to be a better human.
  7. No man should be deciding whether or not a woman can have an abortion. You’re not the one potentially forced to carry to term a parasitic being with no capacity for thought or to possess memories until the third tri-mester. Would you like government to tell you if you are free to have a mole or skin tag removed? Yes, all fetuses are potential humans. But they are NOT individual humans. Get that through your religiously-fueled skull. By the way, speaking of hypocrisy… the religion your anti-abortion stance is based upon actually has scripture which not only isn’t anti-abortion but also contains lines describing (batshit crazy) methods for performing an abortion. Don’t come at me with the “knew you in the womb” bullshit. That is part of an allegory in which a character is telling another character they were destined for greatness and has nothing to do with the actual choice many females are forced to reckon with.
  8. Every time a family member embarrasses you or demeans you indicates what THEY are made of. As a child it is impossible to know you’re not the one with deficiencies. It’s only an esoteric feeling of right versus wrong which can drive you, and growing beyond that and attempting to forgive them for their pathetic transgressions are struggles that few I know have been able to do. I do my best. But again, see #4. I took a page from that old L7 song and just pretend that they’re dead. Covers decades of things. (GREAT ROCK SONG ALERT: L7 — Pretend We’re Dead (Official Video) — YouTube )
  9. Don’t shop like an idiot. My favorite hot sauce (RED ROOOSTER, WOOT WOOT!) is $2 for sixteen ounces or $3 for thirty-two ounces. Unless you live in a camper van with limited space the choice is pretty clear. Apply to everything.
  10. Don’t spend a lot of time making lists. Succinct missives are much better for your health than long missives which others might encounter and compare to the Unabomber’s manifesto. Or a Qanon post. Whatever reference you get best is best. Besides, who’s got the time to read what some middle-aged fucker writes?

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Douglas Wayne Ricketts

I do things! Sometimes music or comedy is involved. Your mileage may vary.