Monday, December 19, 2016

Five Pieces of Unsolicited Advice You Need Less Than a Small, Nonfatal Hole in Your Head

"I need [X] like I need a hole in the head" is a well-known idiom. But sometimes, you actually need a hole in your head more than you need certain types of unsolicited advice. 

Here's your handy guide to the types of advice that are definitely needed less than a small, nonfatal hole in your head:

1. Advice about how to make your child stop crying, from a stranger in the supermarket: "He's probably hungry," or "he might be teething," is helpful advice from a pediatrician at your child's six-month checkup, but when it comes from a post-menopausal woman buying Meow Mix in the supermarket, a small hole drilled into the left side of your head with a 2-inch drill bit is vastly preferable to this complete stranger's suggestion--barely audible over the screams of your infant--that you purchase a warmer blanket.

2. Advice on how to behave on social media, from someone who has to call IT to make a toolbar return to a Microsoft Word document: Sanctimonious advice on how to behave on social media can be useful, if it's coming from, say, Mark Zuckerberg. But when it's delivered by someone with an AOL email account who thinks all comments on Facebook are private, who asked you last week what the point of Twitter was, and who can't make the toolbar on Microsoft Word reappear without calling a help desk in Mumbai, it's pretty much as useful as a tiny hole screwed between your eyes with a Philips Head screwdriver.

3. Advice on how to handle a Trump presidency from your racist uncle in Florida: When your racist uncle in Florida with nothing to lose from a Trump presidency tells you everything is going to be fine, you sort of need to find a hammer and a nail and ask him to kindly just hammer that nail right into the top of your head to relieve some of the pressure building up in there, if he would be so kind.

4. Health advice from your child's soccer coach: If you're at a doctor's office, health advice is great. But when it comes from you child's soccer coach who swears by a homeopathic remedy that's actually made you vomit twice last year, you pretty much need to bang the side of your head very gently against the nearest wall until a small but noticeable divot forms.

5. Any advice about anything, from anyone, that purports to be "just a little piece of friendly advice:" No matter who is offering the advice, if it's advertised in advance as "friendly," or "a little piece," you are guaranteed to benefit more from a small hole bored into the base of your skull with a compact, handheld power tool than from the "little piece of friendly advice" you're about to receive against your will.

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