Here’s a selection of the 1,000 highly opinionated, highly idiosyncratic guidelines in Rules of Thumb: A Life Manual-Brilliant Guestimates, Shortcuts, and a Few Shots in the Dark by Tom Parker (Workman, $8.95):
2. For every day you spend in the hospital, plan on one week to recuperate.
3. To avoid lunatics on city buses, sit in the middle. The friendly lunatics sit as close to the driver as they can, and the unfriendly ones sit as far away as they can.
4. All putts break toward the water, even on greens that appear perfectly flat. That’s because all greens are contoured for drainage.
5. An extension cord should be as thick as the cord you plug into it.
6. Any cop will tell you that in a bar fight, the shorter of the two men probably started it.
7. If you ask a negative question, you will get a negative answer.
8. For a minimum level of financial security, your net worth (the cash value of all your assets) minus all your debts should equal one year’s income.
9. Keep white wine in your fridge and take it out 30 minutes before serving. Keep red wine out of the fridge and put it in 15 minutes before serving.
10. If you’re playing cards in any gambling game for over 20 minutes and haven’t figured out who the patsy at the table is, it’s you.
11. As a manager, expect 80 percent of your work to be done by 20 percent of your staff. Also, expect 90 percent of your headaches/ problems to come from 10 percent of your staff.
12. You are wealthy enough to give some money to worthy causes when you can buy all the groceries you need.