As I believe I’ve mentioned before, when I was about twelve I decided to compile a list of “Coyne’s Rules for Life”: a series of simple instructions that, I supposed, would improve everyone’s existence. Ah, I was a lad full of hauteur then! But I still maintain that the first two rules, formulated at that early age, are useful. I never got past the second rule.
But now I’d like to report that, more than half a century later, I’ve come up with Rule #3!
First, let’s review rules #1 and #2:
Rule 1: When you’re buttoning your shirt or sweater, always start with the bottom button, and work your way up. (That way you’re sure not to put a button in the wrong hole.) Everyone should do this!
Rule 2: When running the water for a bath or tuning on a shower, turn the cold water on first, then add the hot. In that way you won’t scald yourself when testing the water.
And now I present the the rule I formulated today after nearly bumping into someone on the street at high speed, and then engaging in one of those “body-jousting contests” in which each person moves to the same side so that bumping is not avoided. Sometimes the mutual side-stepping can go on several times. The solution?:
Rule 3: When you are walking down the sidewalk, or in the street, and encounter another human or bicycle about to bump into you, stop walking and stand in place! The other person or vehicle will swerve to avoid you, and thus avoid a collision.
I invite readers to add to these rules. Remember, these are Rules for Life, which differ from “Laws of Life,” like “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I am asking for practical hints that will help nearly everyone.