Entertainment and Sports

Should and Shouldn't

You should read this carefully, but you shouldn't take anything you read here too seriously.

By Kevin Somers
Published March 19, 2007

I get a lot of unsolicited advice. Friends, family, and people I hardly know preface much of what they say to me with "You should."

From "You should do standup" to "You should sit down and shut-up," you should hear all the suggestions I get. It's fair enough, I suppose; I dispense opinion liberally, as well.

If you're interested in free advice, you should read on. Otherwise, you shouldn't. You should understand, however, I don't always follow my own counsel and won't swear to its usefulness.

You should slow down; life's not a race. You should tell your friends about Raise the Hammer; it's a great place to stop and read. If you disagree with something here, you should let us know why; feedback is a feedbag.

You should think before speaking. One of my favourite proverbs, "The less said, the quicker mended," is perfectly true. Words can do irreversible harm and you shouldn't lash out or unleash them irresponsibly. You shouldn't be a doormat, either, however, and you should always stand up for yourself.

Even his biggest detractors should recognize Don Cherry's genius; the man knows hockey. You should cheer for the Leafs, too. Repeating the mantra, "Go, Leafs, go! Go, Leafs, go! Go, Leafs, go! Go, Leafs, go?." mindlessly for decades keeps you from going crazy. You should try it.

Toronto should make me their GM. I'd get the Staal brothers, Sydney Crosby, Jerome Iginla, Vincent Lecavalier, Martins Brodeur and St. Louis, Chris Pronger, Ray Emery, Brian McGrattan, Nick Lidstrom, Rod "the bod," Scott Niedermayer, Joe Thornton, Roberto Luongo, Jordin Tootoo, and Jonathon Cheechoo to play with Mats and Darcy. Then I'd tell Wendel he should come out of retirement for the playoffs and parade.

You should cheer for the Tiger Cats. It's an unequaled indulgence to chant, "Argos suck!" when the opportunity presents itself. If you don't believe me, you should visit Ivor Wynn Stadium on Labour Day. They should put me in charge of marketing.

It's a scientifically proven fact; you should work less and laugh more. Similarly, you should plan for the future, but you shouldn't count on it; too many die young and too many pensions are looted for my liking. You should try and stay healthy, just in case, however.

You shouldn't drink to excess, excessively; two or three a week is plenty. You should quit smoking soon and you should give up crack immediately. You should exercise more and eat less (junk).

You should always try your best. You should get lots of rest. You should forget all your "shoulds" and walk the dog in the woods. That rhymes; I should be a poet.

You should spend less time with adults, TVs, and computers, and more time with kids, animals, and plants. You shouldn't believe anything you hear or read, unless it's from a reliable source, like me.

In case you're in an accident or strip-searched, you should wear clean underpants as much as possible.

Men should never wear bikini underwear or bathing suits, ever - even hunks and swimmers. You should stop confusing "meeting" and "golf" with "work."

You should turn everything off and think long, hard, and uninterrupted sometimes. You should listen to music more and news less. You should read more poems and fewer tabloids.

High profile greenies should live it more and preach it less: Gore should downsize and, rather than bus, Suzuki should ride a Harley. You should be easier on others and harder on yourself.

Elton John's Greatest His Volume 1 is a great album and "Benny and the Jets" is a great song. I thought you should know that. If you like music, you should check out Roger Marin.

You should read statistics on water. Billions lack it and millions die from unsafe H2O and poor sanitation. Every time you use a tap or toilet, you should be grateful. Oil is disappearing but we will always need water; we should get used to it and start adjusting.

You should see my girls, they're awesome. You should see my wife, she's pretty, but nags a lot. Maybe I should be a better husband. Maybe not.

You should see all our animals. We have a dog, three cats, two guinea pigs, and fish. You should see how much food and time they consume. How do farmers do it? They should get a medal.

Whenever I walk through grocery stores, I'm freaked out by the distance the waxy, shining, "fresh" produce has traveled. Are Fortinos (our neighbourhood store) et al. in cahoots with the government and developers, too?

I remember talking to a kiwi fruit farmer from New Zealand years ago. He told me I should never buy produce from a South American country he had just been to. The country was developing a kiwi industry and several New Zealanders (aka Kiwis) were contracted to help.

He went, but left shortly after arriving because he didn't like their tactics. "They soaked everything in chemicals, mate," he said. Chains should buy local first.

Canadian civil servants should be harder on criminals and nicer to taxpayers. They should make political ineptitude and corruption and/or white-collar embezzlement criminal offences in this country. If there are laws already, they should be enforced.

I like TV and enjoy flipping through the channels, making quick judgments, and then moving on. I've recently concluded: Hugh Hefner should grow up and calm down; Someone should fire Donald Trump and the dead thing on his head; and You Can't Do That on Television should be considered the greatest TV show in history.

Everyone should read E.B. White.

Finally, you shouldn't tell others what to do.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.

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