Having a delete button device you can hold in your hand would be the perfect present for me. If I point it at someone, whatever they are saying is deleted as the words leave their mouths. This device would be priceless in the following situations:
– 80 percent of political speeches
– Whenever anyone is giving me a lecture regarding my behavior
– During classroom lectures, especially in economics and statistic classes
– Any marital discussion regarding the guy she could or should have married
– Any lecture from a courtroom judge (I’m 73 years old … it’s too late to change me)
– Whenever anyone, anywhere, is criticizing me
– Anytime a gossip wants to verbally attack someone
• It would be valuable to point the delete gun at my mouth when I realize I will regret what I am about to say.
• Any religious or political argument deserves a delete motion within 20 seconds of the first 20 words spoken by either side.
• Lt. Col. Ben Collins (Ret) sent me the following interesting signs posted across America and England:
– At a convention: “For anyone who has children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care center on the first floor.”
– At a camera store: “One Hour Photos Ready In 20 Minutes.”
– At a clothing store: “Men’s wool suits — $10. They won’t last an hour.”
– At a health clinic: “We Unblock Your Constipation With Our Fingers.”
– At a post office: “This Door Is Not To Be Used As An Exit Or An Entrance.”
– At a Church: “No Trespassing Without Permission.”
– In a bookstore: “Rare, Out-of-Print, And Non-Existent Books.”
– In a pizza parlor: “Open 24 Hours Except 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.”
– At a drugstore: “Why be cheated elsewhere when you can come here?”
• It seems to me that, if you die owing someone money, you probably never understood the Golden Rule or you ignored it.
• People who borrow money and don’t pay it back burn a lot of bridges, but it doesn’t seem to bother them. They seem to feel that an old loan is a dead horse. The item they bought with your money is gone, and they seem to feel that there is no need to pay back money on something that doesn’t exist anymore … such as their car your money bought. They don’t have the car anymore, so why worry about it?
• Often deadbeats believe that the person they borrowed money from has plenty of money, and that they will not miss the $600 they lent you. The unpaid $600 may cost them a friendship, but they don’t seem to lose any sleep over the loss of the friendship.
• I have seen deadbeats become incensed when they are confronted about their failure to repay the loan. They wave their hands and cry out, “I thought our friendship was more than a $200 loan,” or “I told you I will pay you back as soon as I get back on my feet.” They want you to feel guilty about their deadbeatness. Maybe we need a “Deadbeat’s Hall of Shame.”
• If someone owes you money and the debt is over 12 months due, send them a card that says, “Happy birthday … Buy yourself a present with the 200 bucks you owe me,” or “Merry Christmas … I warned Santa not to loan you any money.”
Bob Billingsley is an El Dorado Hills resident and columnist at the Mountain Democrat.