The Big 5 – “Who” did you listen to? – Week 2

cookbookSomewhere a Grasshopper and Ant are in lively discussion

Advice, whether good or unwanted, seems to be measured out much like ingredients in a recipe – either in pinches or tablespoons, pennyweights or pounds. Sometimes freely given, often with a price, this form of guidance can restate the obvious, impart the wisdom of the ages or make us wonder where it originated and much like cooking, depends on the messenger’s knowledge to have decent results.

Things that once seemed problematic like “Drink 8 glasses of water a day” (What? Who has time? Where am I going to get 8 glasses in this office? Really?) in retrospect and according to many an esthetician, make good healthy sense.  Others, like “Buy it! Everyone’s wearing neon this year!” should be avoided like the plague affecting the fashion victim uttering it.  Are the hundreds of recommendations we seem to be overwhelmed with actually helpful or even useful? Are they what we need to hear or are they what the bearer knows we want to hear? We could fill a book with all the well-intended bon mots heard over a lifetime and put Napoleon’s words along with a suitably witty illustration on the frontispiece:

Du sublime au ridicule il n’y a qu’un pas (There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous).

This fortnight the Big 5 Challenge hears the voice of the past in these few simple phrases handed down over the last two centuries that apply to more than just domestic issues:

Learn how things are done properly, for if you marry a rich man you will need to know whether your servants are doing their jobs as required and if you marry a poor man, you will be doing them yourself…

Who did you listen to?” – Parents or peers, punk or piano, the beat of your heart or steps in the street, politicians, revolutionaries, strangers that you’d meet… We would love to know who influenced your youth.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this challenge can be found here: Need more info, want to browse past themes or get the badge for your blog? See HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Fiction in 50: Famous Last Words

russian napoleon

They said to go North, Bloody English Liars, with their tales of it will be fine, plenty of places to stop for saucisse and a glass of wine. Who needs a jacket, it’s just like Provence at this time of year…
What’s a little snow for a man like you?

The Bookshelf Gargoyle is curating a Fiction in 50 mini-narrative challenge – this month’s theme is Famous Last Words! Whip something up and go and have a peek at the other entries – GargoyleBruce also writes wonderful reviews on all sorts of kid lit (big and small) with a cheeky tone guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Wander through the stacks, you are sure to find something you’ll like.

Click on the icon in the sidebar for previous entries…