Friday, March 09, 2007

A Tolerable Equanimity: The List

The academic, military and industrial advisory board of Thought Experiments: The Blog has deliberated and endorsed the final list of rules for sustaining a tolerable equanimity. These are distilled from your submissions and, often, subtly altered to suit my mood. Here they are, wrung from your deepest, bitterest humiliations:

1)Do not rely on the good intentions of any cat.
2)Never heckle a man with a microwave.
3)Do not attempt to flush cellophane.
4)Do not interfere with shower controls in the houses of others and do not handcuff a physicist to said shower.
5)The insultee should expend 50 per cent less energy on being insulted than the insulter does on insulting.
6)Starship captains: do not beam aboard strange devices of unknown origin or purpose or anything lizard-like.
7)Walk everywhere, but look where you are going.
8)After 45 do not trouble yourself with people you don't like. Also attempt to do this before 45 but you will fail.
9)Insist you are right at all times except when you are wrong.
10)If right-handed, do not push your right arm through a window.
11)Use latex rather than oil whenever possible.
12)In Germany on Sunday expect nothing.

Go forth in equanimity.


  1. I have just thought of a thirteenth: never tell anybody you had 'one or two' drinks, always say one. The former will always make people assume you really had five or six.

  2. Must display this list somehere prominent. Or on someone prominent. Sorry, didn't mean that... Equanimity is a hard nut to crack.

  3. Like that one about the drink, Bryan. Very perspicacious.

  4. A wise selection, especially since you chose two of mine. As the wise Vulcan says: Peace, live tolerably and equanimitiously.

  5. Bryan,
    I just saw that a major media outlet has picked up on the list. Great job!

  6. I've been following these rules scrupulously all day and am pleased to report that my equanimity is in top-notch condition.

  7. I have seen the light. Henceforth I shall use a conventional oven when I wish to heckle a man.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  8. Good grief. I had no appreciation of number 12 until my girlfriend, who lived and worked in Germany for a couple years, read it.

    "You wouldn't believe how bad it was. Even ATMs don't work on a Sunday. We had to think of things to pass the time, like running in the snow. It was the worst time of my life."

    I had no idea!

  9. Don't ever smell your fingers in public. People will (1) wonder what you were doing that made your fingers smell (2) think you are weird (3) think you are picking your nose.

  10. Just in case you do "Rules for a Tolerable Equanimity II - The Relaxening" I remembered an incident from one of my many do-it-yourself injuries that is a natural for the RFTE: never bring a chainsaw up a ladder.