Dealing with grey hair

If you have grey hair, you probably haven't considered all your options. Disclaimer: this advice may cause injury or death.

Oldot the rational

A short first chapter of a satire about an engineer who may sound uncomfortably familiar.

How to end a bad relationship

Questionable advice for those of us without a backbone, the 'noodles' of the world.

Dealing with grey hair

You might have grey hair. Maybe you have exactly one grey hair. Maybe your head looks like a dirty snowball.

Whatever transpires on the top of your head, answer this: do you consider yourself to be normal?

If you find yourself identifying with this group, I humbly recommend a forced conversion to a little known religion called Gandalfism.

If you’ve never heard of Gandalfism, don’t worry, it is mostly unknown outside of New Zealand. Gandalfism, put simply, is the belief that grey hair leads to eternal bliss, here and in the afterlife. Meditative practices include not acting one’s age. For instance, slaying a giant dragon made of fire.

There is also strict observance of the holy holiday: “Day to Mesmerize People With My Grey Hair”. It occurs every day. Members of Gandalfism can be seen in public riding their motorcycle or bicycle or tricycle while letting their hair billow in the wind behind them.

There are three important factions of Gandalfism:

  • Conservative Gandalfism, where it is believed that the religious scripture comes from the divine mouth of J.R.R. Tolkien. Conservative Gandalfism is only for men and requires that “a white beard hung down below his waist” is followed by all members.

  • Liberal Gandalfism, where the scripture comes from the less divine mouth of Peter Jackson.

  • Who-Gives-An-F Gandalfism, where scripture is nonexistent and belief is reinforced by pictures on the Internet. There are no recorded hate crimes against this group.

Whichever faction of Gandalfism suits you, remember that it’s not about Gandalf, it’s about you, your one grey hair, and your pipe … well, that’s up to you.

Oldot the rational

In a certain area of San Francisco there lived a young man named Oldot.

Oldot strove wholeheartedly, but perhaps unconciously, to be the most rational of men. He gave himself up to the honorable profession of engineering software in the most straightforward way.

Oldot, we must admit, was not a very clever man; not once was he known to have tried an uncharted solution. But this didn’t matter much, and in fact was to his credit, because novelty took time and failure a mop and broom. So it was satifactory to all that Oldot never compromised his efficiency if he could help it.

This attitude filtered into almost everything Oldot did: He was continuously avoiding his neighbors, who he found to be too old or too young, or too unlike him to interact with in a satisfactory way. Only with his landlady, who lived at arms reach from his mailbox, was he the least bit talkative; but only because it was in his interest to be.

Oldot had few friends in the world. Anderson, another engineer, would visit him on the pretence of discussing the very best spandex running shorts. These discussions would go on for countless minutes, eventually turning into heated rebukes in which personal experience was thrown around willy-nilly, and after a time, they would see the damage they had done, and they would eventually embrace with meaning.

Occassionally Anderson would mention a new software library he had found or an editor feature he now loved. But for the most part this talk of work was not enjoyable unless there was a serious problem at hand. And this was simply not possible when Anderson was welcome, on weekends, because the highest priority was vigorous rest.

One fine San Francisco morning — it was one of those bright Tuesdays — Oldot found himself wiping the steam valve stem of his espresso machine with unusual care, wondering in an uncharacteristic fashion what his life might have been if he had been a writer.

Or journalist, he imagined they said nowadays. Apart from the useful 4 paragraph blog stints like “How to Book a Cheap Cruise” and “Braces, Mending Plates, & Shelf Brackets”, he felt very strongly that the rightful place for serious writers was Project Gutenburg and minimum wage coffee shops. So it was even more shocking that he thought of himself, even for a moment so brief, in a position of one of these irrational — might we be so bold as to say downright unintelligent — individuals who expended so much energy for so little return.

He was very pleased with where modern writing was going, towards more facts and less nonsense. And that was that.

That morning Oldot’s office was as excellent to him as it always was, for there were highly straightforward people who were willing to talk of memory leaks and encryption proxies. And when most appropriate, there was not one but three dessert restaurants within walking distance (he had recently been convinced that one was not enough).

In its most unexcellent aspects, there were those few strange individuals who were long winded, confusing folk. Oldot dealt with them handsomely by nodding his blank face and complimenting their small european cars.

No one bothered him today, not even to ask how was “doing”. So he settled into his customized ergnomic seat thinking how on all accounts this morning could still turn out to be excellent.

One might notice that there would be no point in telling the reader of this morning if it turned out to be so oridinary. No, this morning was definitely not an ordinary one, and finally at half past eleven, just as Oldot received the daily company lunch announcement, did the event of our interest take place.

To be continued …

How to end a bad relationship

Your relationship with your romantic partner or your business partner might not be going well. If that’s the case, here are a few ways to throw in the towel.

  1. If on the off chance you aren’t a noodle (non-noodles make up approximately 5% of the world’s population), just leave. For the rest of us noodles, this is very hard, so keep reading.

  2. Make a voodoo doll and catch them watching you stab it. You may get reported to the police. On the upside, your partner won’t suffer separation remorse.

  3. Take up a new hobby, ideally one that forces you to be gone for long periods of time, like building a house in the middle of the woods. If you’re lucky, your partner will forget you exist.

  4. If you’re smart, you will already have access to their Amazon Prime account. Never skip a day to buy something useless. This method may result in a lawsuit, but likely you’ll just end up with a bunch of free stuff.

  5. Throw a towel. To avoid this being interpreted as a joke, cackle loudly, throw back your head and lift your hands to the sky. Your newfound insanity will solve all of the remaining problems.

At all times during this process avoid:

  1. Substance abuse. This was going to be the 3rd recommended way to throw in the towel, until I realized that it promoted noodlehood.

  2. Listening to music by Cher.

  3. Being a noodle.