LIFE is too short, or it is when we accept that we don’t know when it will end.
Perhaps that will be in the next few minutes with a sudden, overwhelming pain in the upper body, a sense of swooning and a seemingly distant crash as we hit the floor, dead, myocardial infarction, or a few miserable months after a terrible diagnosis late next year.
Nooo, we think, not us, but it does happen to us, every day. People who die won’t always be other people.
For some people life is too long, they weary of it, but even then life is too short to tolerate a cheap hose.
You know, the ones that stretch out in loops, that crimp and block the flow at the first twist, that fight all attempts to reloop them onto the hose hook. Just how much aggravation should we endure for a saving of $30?
For the first couple of decades of my adult life I put price above pretty well everything, so that the cheapest hammer was a bargain even though it had a predilection for shooting off the nail head and the handle was always loose.
Paying $39.99 when a hose was on offer for $9.99 seemed to be idiocy.
Take the twin floodlight fitting I bought at Bunnings.
The Bunnings expert told me it was good buying at $9.95.
But was there, I asked, a better one?
No, this is the best one. But is there a fitting that costs more? No, and I could see she thought I was mad.
Let me tell you, life is too short for cheap floodlight fittings – it can barely hold the weight of the globes. Unfortunately, life is also too short to take it down and return it to the store.
The cynics among you will be sneering that it’s all right for Jeff Corbett, he can afford to pay a few extra dollars, but I can assure you that I’d rather wait and save for something than suffer the aggravation, which I will suffer when the next decent southerly breaks the floodlight fitting and smashes the globes on the pavers. And for the sake of a few dollars!
Well, sometimes it is a few thousand dollars, and I still shake my head that anyone would try and save a few thousand dollars on a new car that’s not half the car made in Japan.
And anyone who buys a car made in Russia, India, China or Korea has more money than sense, even if they don’t have much money!
Life is much too short for ordinary beer, too. Yes, one or two dollars more, so drink less and drink better.
And our world is awash with cheap wine – I’ve seen it as low as $2 a bottle – which makes me think a great many people think they’re going to live forever.
At that price bottling the wine must be the cheapest way to dispose of it. Perhaps people who drink it see themselves as a sink; unfortunately they’re also a filter.
And while I’m on beverages, life is too short for instant coffee.
The use of the word “coffee” in these instants is deception.
Life is too short also for a bad marriage, for people who annoy you, for people who are manipulative, false, selfish or unreasonable.
I decided long ago to not spend time with people I don’t want to be with. And life is too short for cheap Band-Aid copies and miserly towels and fishing line tangles and retro anything.
Pap described by some retailers as bread is to be avoided by everyone who accepts that their life could be shortened at any time during the next few decades. And even those who expect to see a century should avoid tough meat. Surely steak hasn’t always been this tough!
Life is too short to eat cheap lollies, even if they do claim to be made in Australia instead of China, and for out-of-season fruit, and stale peanuts.
It is too short for television soapies, to be caught behind slow drivers, to be angry about being caught behind slow drivers.
It is too short also for cheap whipper snippers, to not have the right tool, to be mean, for blunt knives, for tents that leak, to smoke, to be devoted to and consumed by work, to march to the beat of someone else’s drum.
But wait, there’s more.
Life is too short to queue for discount petrol, to not make something occasionally, to be unhappy, to have junk food as part of your diet, for hangovers, to be constrained by fashion, to be imprisoned by stuff, for shared hotel rooms with people who snore, to worry about dying.
This column was first published in the Newcastle Herald on July 6, [email protected]南京夜网