Take my advice

Advice is like a White Elephant gift. You can give it away and you can receive it, but it may not always be appreciated. Sometimes it’s just thrown out like that package of green bologna you bought back in February. But occasionally, you hear good, sound advice. What you do with it is up to you.

Like when a flight attendant advises you how to properly use the oxygen mask if there’s a loss of cabin pressure. The recent incident with a Southwest Airlines jet revealed via social media that many passengers apparently did not listen to the flight attendant. Instead of placing the mask over their nose and mouth, a few folks had their masks just over their mouths. Did these people forget that the nose is for something besides hanging jewelry from? I doubt any of these mouth-breathers had ever crawled under a house to retrieve a decomposing skunk or they’d have known to cover both their mouth and nose.

Y’all have all seen warning labels on a product advising you what not to do with it. Some labels are helpful, like the one on a certain prescription bottle that advised me to “not to drink alcohol while taking this medication”. Unless you enjoy having vertigo, seeing pink dragons and falling asleep on the toilet, you might want to follow this advice.

Then there are warning labels that you read and say, “What idiot would try to do this?” Well, there must’ve been at least one doofus who did or there wouldn’t be a label advising us not to. Like the label on a chainsaw that reads “Do not hold the wrong end of a chainsaw”. Or on a baby stroller, the label that reads “Remove child before folding”.

On a bottle of critter repellant that contains bobcat urine, a label reads “Not for human consumption”. I have used this product to keep varmints out of our garden, and it smells so bad, I don’t need any label advising me not to eat it. I suppose folks who don’t use their nose for breathing might enjoy snacking on this, but I will follow the manufacturer’s advice.

Recently, a local news station posted on its webpage a story about several sightings of a mountain lion here in Hays County. So, as a service to the community, they offered advice to us if we happen to encounter a cougar. No, Bubba, not that old broad sitting at the end of the bar but a mountain lion. And since I am such a caring soul who enjoys dishing out advice, I will share these life-saving tips with all y’all along with my own warning labels attached.

1. Do Not Approach. OK, I don’t know about most folks, but when I see an animal that would love to devour my innards, I tend to shift my butt in reverse and not approach the critter.

2. Do Not Run. I’m sorry, but when it come to Fight or Flight, and I’m not carrying enough guns to equip a SEAL team, I think running is a good option. Especially if you are faster than the guy next to you.

3. Do Not Crouch Down. I’m not sure why they advise against this. If I get scared, there’d be no need to squat. I’ll just throw my soiled drawers away when I get home.

4. Try to Appear Larger. Hmm? If being bigger means not getting eaten by a mountain lion, then that’s a fine reason to stop this stupid diet I’m on.

5. Fight Back if Attacked. Oh, this is a no-brainer. I’ll fight like crazy but only if I can’t resolve the conflict by imposing economic sanctions first.

6. Be Aware When Walking Your Pet. I’m guessing they mean tasty little lap dogs and not a German Shepherd. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a small, crippled goat with you the next time you go strolling along the banks of the Blanco River. 

The next time someone offers you some advice or you see a warning label on a new product, pay attention and consider following it. The life you save might be your own.

Our advice to readers of the Crow’s Nest is to sit down, have a beer and wonder what kind of brain comes up with these columns.

Columnist Clint Younts recently was awarded second place by the South Texas Press Association in the small weekly division for his humorous columns. The judges really did think he was humorous. We promise.


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