I come up with some new unwritten laws of life, on everything from smoking to creativity to strollers in airports.
Yesterday, I was leafing through a book I’d received as a gift a while back. It’s called Unwritten Laws: The Unofficial Rules of Life and features hundreds of famous and not-so-famous laws like Cameron’s Rule of Etiquette (“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”) or Parkinson’s Law (“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”)
And as I read through, I decided I wanted to take my own crack at writing up some of my own. Here are my 11 original contributions to the unofficial, unwritten laws of life. (Which, ya know, are no longer unwritten since I’m writing them down, but whatever, it’s an idiom.)
1 | When a single woman decides she wants to get married ASAP, her next boyfriend will be far goofier looking than her ex
I’m yet to find a case where this isn’t true. Keeping in mind that the new boyfriend doesn’t necessarily have to be bad looking… just goofier than the last guy.
2 | The number of higher-ups involved in the creative process is inversely proportional to the quality of the output
In every experience I’ve ever witnessed, the world’s most brilliant ideas all come from one person’s unique point of view. There’s nothing that ruins something brilliant like a half a dozen bosses each throwing in their changes. “I’m just spitballing here, but how funny would it be if the character walked into a 7-Eleven and he couldn’t understand what the guy behind the counter was saying in a thick Indian accent. And he keeps thinking that the guy is gay but he really isn’t! Then he gets so frustrated that he farts!”
3 | No place on Earth has a higher concentration of smokers than an AA meeting
4 | No matter how amazing a city is on vacation, if you move there it just becomes the place where you watch TV
We’ve all had the moment where we went on an amazing vacation and seriously considered moving to that city. Some people even pull the trigger. Unfortunately, that action-packed week vacation is a trick — all the hotspots, all the scenery, all the food, all the people were novel and you didn’t have to work, watch your diet or pay any bills. Eventually, it just becomes your home. I’ve been in Los Angeles almost nine years. Every single friend I’ve ever had here has, at some point, said to me, “Man, I really need to get to the beach more often.”
5 | No matter how good you are at a video game, there’s someone out there who’s exponentially better
I always suspected this, but learned it definitively after I had ACL replacement surgery last year and, couch-ridden, I played Dr. Mario against other random people across the Wii universe. I can beat everyone I’ve ever met in Dr. Mario. The people online absolutely murdered me.
6 | Even though you’re disappointed, it’s ultimately a great sign about your character that you didn’t get cast on that reality show
You don’t want to be a reality show-worthy type.
7 | You don’t have to worry about your kid going goth unless he is under 130 pounds or over 240
Frankly, I’m surprised Hot Topic sells clothes in any size that isn’t XXS or XXL.
8 | A politician’s passion towards anti-gay rights legislation is directly proportional to his odds of being caught having gay sex in a public bathroom
Whenever you see a headline that a politician got caught cheating on his wife with a man, you can guarantee about five paragraphs into the article it’ll discuss how he authored legislation against gay marriage.
9 | Either all of the Cheez-Its are left in the box or none are
No where in this world does a half-full box of Cheez-Its exist.
10 | Unfortunately for all, the amount of TV news programming now vastly exceeds the amount of news
There’s one hour’s worth of news a day: 30 local, 30 national. Everything else is just pundits screaming, hoping to be loud and contrarian enough to get their own show and/or seven-figure book advance.
11 | If given the choice between waiting in two airport security lines, the one you choose will move slower… unless there’s a family with kids in the other line, then that one will move slower
An axiom to this: You can substitute “an over-50 couple, neither of whom speaks English” for the family with kids. A second axiom: If the family with kids has greater than 0.5 strollers with them, everyone behind them will miss their flights.