The Tao of Red (Forman)

Eric Forman and I grew up in different decades; by the mid-Seventies, I was already a (nominal) adult. I can only guess that Eric's dad and my own were both tapped into the same cosmic stream of common sense knowledge that I call "The Tao of Red."

Red’s advice on…

… America:
"That's America. Any kook can have any damn fool idea he wants!"

… Arizona:
"Go south until you see cactus. If you pass a guy with a sombrero you've gone too far!"

… babies:
"Look Kitty. I didn’t touch our kids when they were babies, and I’m not touchin’ this one!”
"Who needs to leave the house if there's no babies in it?"
"It's a shame that we have to crawl into bed for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep instead."
"Just because you can have a baby doesn't mean you should. I have a snow blower but I don't use it in July."
"You've still got Eric. He's sort of a baby. I'll make him cry if you want."

… behavior, inappropriate:
"There's a time and a place to pull down a woman's pants, and during a pick-up game in our driveway is not one of them!"
"Responsable people don't go around getting their nipples twisted!"

… bonding, male:
"Bob. You know the rules! You cry, you buy!"
"Bob? He's a little girl in big boy pants!"
"Shoes are an inappropriate gift to give another man."

… cars:
"That's a Vista Cruiser! With that you could the vistas!"
"The last time I was this close to a Japanese machine it was shooting at me!"

… cats:
"Rather than getting a cat let's just stop flushing. It's the same thing!"
"I met him (a stray cat); and then he met the hose."
"Wow! That is one dead cat!"

… conspiracy theories:
"I just think it's a little suspicious that right after we finished our Japanese-made dinner at that restaurant, our Japanese-made car malfunctioned!”

… crying:
"He won't cry, because he's a MAN. And because crying is for babies...and Italians!”

… dancing:
"Of course you don't (want to); you're a man!”

… dogs, wiener:
"Poor little fella. He's afraid of the hose!”

… drugs:
"Isn't it a little early for you to be hopped up?”
"Oh Kitty, he's not on drugs. He's just weird!”

… family:
"Here's a little piece of advice about having a family. Sooner or later you're gonna get screwed over!”
"Look, every family has its traditions; some sing, some play charades…and in some families, somebody cries!"

… feelings:
"If anyone needs to let anything out, I'll be happy to leave."
"Goodnight. Sleep tight. And don't let the bed bugs put their foot up your ass.”
"What kind of a man cries after only fifteen minutes of yelling?"

… food:
"This isn’t food. This is what food eats!”
"Men grill. It's been that way since the first caveman bonked a wooly mammoth on the head and threw it on the barbecue. And the woman made the salad."

… friendship:
"See, I have a friend!"
"Well then, there’s only one thing we can do. Nine rounds of bare-knuckle boxing!”

… future, your:
"You need to be thinking about your future; going to college, getting outta my house!"
"So what are you gonna put on your resume...DUMB ASS?!”
"I make three phone calls and you're back on that raft you floated in on."

… goldfish:
"Well, if it's any consolation, fish are never really alive. They're just less dead!”

… grief
"Hey! How hard can it be? Just go over there and tell her, 'I murdered your cat!' Just try and keep a straight face!"
"He'll be fine. I just hope he's not crying."

… hangin' out:
"Why does everyone go everywhere with us? I mean, look at all these damn kids. I feel like a Mormon!”
"My senior year was spent driving a gunboat around Okinawa. So if you can count Japanese snipers as my friends, yes, I was having a good time!"

… home:
"That's one of those things people say that just isn't true. Like 'There's no place like home.' I can think of a hundred places better than this!"

… intelligence:
"The only smart thing about you is your mouth!”

… Joneses, keeping up with the:
"Kitty, we're better than other people. We've got a BetaMax!"

… life...and death:
"The way you're screwing up your life, death will be a sweet relief!"

… man (being a, first rule about):
"Sometimes you have to do crap that you don't want to do...and you do it."

… marriage:
"A divorce is a gift that lasts a lifetime."
"I Win an argument every six years or so."

… menopause:
"I need cold compresses and a Bloody Mary, quick!"

… parenting:
"And don't give me that look! This isn't yelling!! When I'm yelling you'll know it!!!"
"But yelling is the only part of being a parent that I like!”
"I see you growing up but you still act like you're twelve years old!"
"I yelled at him all day! I don't know what else to do!!"
"If you're done reciting poetry to the kid, I'd like to yell at him!"
"As long as we're paying his way, it doesn't matter what he wants; we own him!"

… physiology:
"I could have gone a whole lifetime without knowing they had a mucous membrane!”

… physics, everyday:
"And if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass when he hops.”
"Well, let’s see how smart you are when I snap off your head!”
"Bad things don't happen to you because you have bad luck. Bad things happen to you because you're a dumb ass!"

… pleasures, simple:
"A good shoe is a good shoe, no matter where it came from.... Ahhh, it's like walking on a pile of baby ducks."

… religion:
"I like the sound of a Beer Church.”
"Now get in the car; we're going to church. We're gonna have a damn nice Sunday!"
"Dear Lord. Would it kill you to give the Packers a winning season?"

… repair, home:
"Don't touch! I'm about to take off the doohickey!"
"Well, I tried to cut the metal pipe with a flower. It was slow going."

… rivalry, sibling:
"What did I tell you about calling your sister the devil?"

… rules, and the consequences of breaking them:
"And without rules, we might as well all be up in a tree, flinging our crap at each other."
"No more easy going, devil-may-care, everybody's friend, Dad! Starting right now, fun time's over!"
"First of all, I'm the one who gets to say 'hold it' around here. When you pay the bills, you get to say 'hold it'!"

… sense, practical:
"Leisure suits are for dumb-asses!"
"Oh look! Gilligan screwed it up! Why don't they just kill him?"
"There's nothing we can do. We're all screwed.”
"You're never too old to burn to death in a fire."

… sex:
"Birth control? Don’t do it! That’s your birth control!!”
"It's more fun than it looks!”
"This is how it starts, you know. First they’re dating and having fun. And then the next thing you know, they’re prying the money to pay for a wedding from my cold, dead hand!”

… uniforms, Catholic high school girl:
"Oh great! Now I'm gonna have to lock him in his room and poke his eyes out!"

… Vienna Boys Choir:
"I just wanna punch them in the mouth!"

… women:
"Women and alcohol are a lot of fun when used separately, but when mixed together they can make you a dumb ass."
"Now go talk to that girl before she comes to her senses and doesn't want to have anything to do with you!"
"Yes! They're all crazy! . . . . Except for you, sweetheart!"
"Anything you do wrong they sit on it for twenty-five years, like an egg. Then it hatches! On Super Bowl Sunday!!"

… work:
"I’ve been working since I was sixteen. I fought in two wars! Hell, I killed people!! I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it!"
"When I was his age, I worked in a slaughterhouse. It was a good experience. I learned how to use a hammer.”
"Work is not about fun; it's about work! It's about seeing how much crap you can take from the boss man! And then…takin' some more!"
"If it wasn't work, they'd call it 'Super wonderful crazy fun time,' or 'Skippedy-do!'"
"You know, the lawn's not gonna cut itself."
"I just noticed how every day you come home from the record store tired and irritable. Welcome to the real world!"
"You need a government job - like a mailman - something dull and repetitive!"