Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 17)

People are the only thing that matter
unless you’ve lost your dog
unless you’ve run out out of gas
unless you’ve been bitten by a rattlesnake.

If you’ve been bitten by a rattlesnake
smiling children
a smiling high school glee club
all the smiling residents of the Green Valley Assisted Living Manor
a smiling Dalai Lama
a smiling Marlo Thomas telling you
“People are the only thing that matter”
well, they really don’t matter
as much as rattlesnake anti-venom.

The wise man is always ready to say
“Fuck people”
when he needs rattlesnake anti-venom.

I owe my girlfriend Carol and assist on this one for pointing out when I read it to here that the term is “rattlesnake anti-venom” and not “rattlesnake venom antidote.”

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 16)

When you have a fire in an aircraft,
don’t just sit in one spot and wait.

Walk away.

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 15)

A pessimist finds himself
at the bottom of a dry well,
begins crying,
and eventually
in his own tears.

An optimist finds himself
at the bottom of a dry well,
and after noting his good fortune
at a chance to spend some
uninterrupted, quiet time
alone with himself,
decides that he can
swim out of the dry well
if he is able to cry enough tears
that would enable him
float to the top of the well
while treading water.

Ever the optimist, however,
he finds it almost impossible
to cry, as he lacks the mental reserves
of sadness and woe enjoyed by
the bloated and deceased pessimist
in the well next door,
and even when he does manage to cry
it is only for a few seconds,
as he can’t help becoming immediately
overjoyed over his ability to produce tears,
which causes him to stop crying.
Eventually, though not without
noting the additional good fortune
of how forced deprivation of food has
lead him to shed a few pounds
and thinking ahead to how happy
his doctor will be at his next checkup
now that he’s finally lost the 30 pounds
Dr. Finkleman has been
sternly recommending
for so long,
he starves to death.

An absurdist strict Freudian Millennial
at the bottom of a dry well
calls his friend on his iPhone and says
"Dude, you’ll never believe this…
but I’m calling from the bottom
of my mother’s womb!"

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 14)

If you can’t say anything good about someone
because you have a bright red
gag ball in your mouth,
attempt to remove the gag ball
from your mouth prior to speaking.

If your master has forbidden you from
removing your gag ball, try
writing what you wanted to say
on a yellow sticky note and handing it
to the person you wish to compliment.

Whether you decide to explain
the gag ball is up to you,
but signing all compliments
with a smiley face is nearly
always recommended in such instances.

Redacted From the Book of Proverbs (no. 13)

To eat bread without hope
is to still
slowly starve to death
you are being
fattened for
ritual consumption.

In these cases
you will most likely
be gutted
with a sacred knife.

You can still eat your bread
with a small iota of hope
if you believe it is possible
to somehow convince the guards
into unbuckling you
from the feeding apparatus
in order to demonstrate that
you are a powerful god.

Your best hope of doing this
rests in your ability
to flawlessly perform
several magic tricks.

This is yet another reason
why everyone should
always know how to do
a few magic tricks.

A shout out to Pearl S. Buck for the set up

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 12)

Every exit is an entrance
to somewhere else
except when you find yourself
in a square room
whose four walls each have
at their midpoint
a door which when exited
has the effect of
re-entering the room
via the door opposite of
the door being exited.

In rooms like this
you’re pretty much

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 11)

​If you give a hungry man a fish,
he will eat for a day.

If you give a hungry man a gun,
he will likely aim it at you and say,
“take me to where you keep the fish.”

Redacted from the Book of Proverbs (no. 10)

For an uber-cool community of artists and those devoted to art:
release a procession of sky lanterns lifting Damien Hirst into the night sky,
launch dove-shaped balloons as an alternative to flying doves,
or try White Smoke that has been kept safe from vandals.

To clear the dance floor of all women:
start playing Steely Dan.

My friend Hunter Boyle once said, “There’s no better way to clear a dance floor of women than to start playing Steely Dan,” so he definitely gets an assist on this one.

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.