|You need the sort of girl who likes primitive weapons.|
by Ian Cooper
If you’re going to survive as a bachelor in the topsy-turvy world of the 21st century, you’re going to need certain skills.
Cooking: learn how to use a microwave, and the second rule is learn to eat any kind of crap without letting it define you. You don’t want to cook, right, you can’t expect gourmet meals, right?
What have we done to earn it anyway, most likely not a thing, and so a bowl of cereal for dinner is fine.
It’s not like we’re going anywhere.
A good rule for bachelors is to keep a lot of milk in the house. Milk is great for a hangover, and you can use it in cereal.
After a while you should be able to go all day on a handful of rice and half a canteen of paddy water.
Bachelors need to be tough. The whole world conspires against us. All of your cooking gear should fit in one box, by the way, because as a bachelor you can move as often as you like.
You might find a need to. Sooner or later you probably will.
Staying out of trouble. For the most part, this involves staying out of other people’s lives. Kind of a no-brainer there. This is where avoidance techniques come in real handy, more on that later.
Maybe even some other time as we got a lot of material to cover.
(See that, ladies and gentlemen—an avoidance technique. – ed.)
How to drink. You’d think instructions would be unnecessary, but surprisingly many people really don’t know how to drink. Get a book, read up on it. You’ll thank me in the end. Anyway, you don’t want to waste your time on cheap rotgut when you can achieve a much higher quality time with better liquor.
Get a little black book and write down all the money people owe you. When they ask for a loan, tell them you’re not their sugar daddy and pull out that book. Seize the moral high ground and immediately imply the thing in sexual terms. That makes them real uncomfortable. Odds are they still owe you from last time anyways. You could also put phone numbers in such a book. In case you need to borrow money or something.
(Some bachelors even use them for the phone numbers of members of the unfair sex.)
(Ian would never do that, ladies and gentlemen. – ed.)
(I might if I knew anyone, particularly someone skilled in primitive weapons.)
Everyone thinks single people are rich, and they think men are richer than women, on some sort of intuitive statistical basis.
Learn how to say no. Figure out how to recognize that what sounds like a good idea at first can often just be a way of getting you to subsidize half the costs of their sudden urge to take a trip.
Oh, never mention it if you’re going on a trip, and that way you can avoid people who think it’s a wonderful idea to invite themselves along.
Try not to get overworked.
That’s a tough one. People think lonely, scruffy old bachelors have nothing better to do, right?
Well, they couldn’t be more wrong. We have to, ah, shave the bottoms of our noses, and the tops of our ears, and dig wax out, and pull lint out, and buff off those ugly bum-calluses from pursuing our, ah, literary pursuits. And all that sort of thing.
You know what I’m talking about. What the hell, some guys are into sports on TV, some guys like basketball on TV, you know what I mean.
Otherwise they suck you right in and the next thing you know you’re babysitting their kid or the dog while they go off to Las Vegas to get married or something and you’re spending more time on their problems than you are on your own.
And we all got problems, right?
I couldn’t tell you how many times in a year I could adopt a cat if I wanted one. People are shoving kittens in your face, ‘and you get the pick of the litter…come on, come on, there are only three left.”
Hurry up and slice my throat in other words.
People try to give me TVs all the time.
I tell them to take the thing to the dump or the recyclers or whatever.
“Why’d you get the new one?” I ain’t so dumb.
The old one’s a piece of crap, right?
They want to palm that little job off on me, as if I don’t have enough to do cruising the internet, reading books on everything from genetics, or behavioral science, Byzantine mosaics, I mean whatever. I spend a lot of time studying wildlife. I read stuff on economics—I kid you not, ladies and gentlemen. I like to go and walk through the mall without buying anything.
(Drives ‘em nuts, I kid you not.)
I also have a Sydney Sheldon novel and a Jack Higgins, and one or two other novels besides.
Try not to get involved.
I don’t want to join a bowling league, I don’t particularly want to volunteer for anything.
You know what they should have? Some sort of hooker lottery. You know what I mean? Buy a ticket for three bucks, and, ah, you know. Somebody’s got to win, right?
I kind of like my freedom, which should not come at the expense of my dignity.
Being a successful bachelor over the long haul requires self-sufficiency in the emotional sense.
I guess that’s what I was really trying to say.
But if you think you’re going nuts, you can always sort of weasel yourself back in, by that I mean reintegrate with society.
And after a short while, you might just remember why it was that you left in the first place.
I’m just kidding ladies and gentlemen—I like people just fine, but on my own terms, otherwise they tend to define me using some unfamiliar set of arbitrary characteristics for a relationship and I like things just the way they are now.