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Nice tassels! 

Let me apologize for not being available to speak at the many graduation ceremonies I've been invited to address. The sad truth is my pasty skin flakes in the sun, which can be a beautiful thing for an audience to behold, especially when the wind blows just right and, set against the backdrop of all those black gowns, it looks like snow in June. But it's not so nice for me, because I need my skin to keep the blood inside my body.

So, thank you for allowing me to deliver my commencement address in this manner. I really like your tassels.

Let's get right to it. At this point in your life, you're undoubtedly thirsting for some trite or outright wrongheaded advice. I'm not interested in bucking tradition, so here goes:

Don't read on the toilet. That's what gave Bob Dole cancer.

Daily flossing is a scam perpetuated by the wax string conglomerates.

This is not the best time of your life. That will come at 6:30 a.m. on August 14, 2018.

Remember that someone must have had sex with your mother or you wouldn't be here.

Never think of your mother having sex.

Oh my God. You were just thinking of your mother having sex, weren't you?

What would Mom think if she knew?

Don't answer that.

Don't say you'll take a job if you won't. That's what Steve Wieneke did. The Los Osos Community Service District made a big thing about how he was going to come in and clean up the mess there. He said he liked a problem, was a problem solver. They offered him $90,000. Then he bailed and blamed it on his mom. Don't be like Steve.

Don't take any job where they make you hand out cake at the airport. Nobody wants to eat cake at the airport. How are you supposed to hold it? I'll bet Dave Congalton would agree with me on this one.

Don't be hypocritical. If, for example, you're an official in a small city that begins with "A" and ends in "tascadero," try to make sure you've approved your own city hall for occupancy the very same one you're working out of before you zing a big-time local developer for doing essentially the same thing.

Admit your mistakes. Be like the Tribune. It had five corrections just on one recent day. This one was my favorite: "The former Jasmine Thai Cuisine restaurant at 7030 El Camino Real has not yet been leveled." Not yet? If they're so sure, why bother to correct, couldn't they just consider it a scoop?

Elections have consequences.

Once you really know what you want out of life, try to develop a theory that explains why it's good for everybody, especially the children that you get it.

Office rumors are always true.

That one guy? He's not gay. Weird, I know.

Follow your dreams.

Try to dream of achieving mediocrity.

You can't trust people who mow their own lawns.

Remember that a lot of the things people,

including you, say to be funny are not funny. Examples: White guys who quote rap lyrics, anybody who invokes "the five-second rule," and the dozens of people who will soon be telling you, graduates, "welcome to the real world."

Contradictory advice is always correct.

If you do what you love, the money does not always follow. Masturbation would be one example.

Listen to what your heart is telling you. Unless you're a politician, then stick your wet finger in the wind via a poll like the in-depth one that's making the rounds in Atascadero, in which a Houston-based polling firm is asking nitty gritty questions about things such as the recall effort up there against councilmembers Mike Brennler and Ellen Beraud, about Wal-Mart, and about "agro-terrorism." Seems the pollsters want to know whether councilmember Tom O'Malley or Debbie Arnold, the aide to Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, would be better candidates to run against Fifth District County Supervisor Jim Patterson. Guess we'll have to wait to know which way the statistical analysis is blowing.

Be wary of "promotions," especially when they involve going from hourly pay to salaries.

Smoking is cool. Dumb, but cool.

Tattoos are not cool. Unless they are.

Don't be such an asshole.

Don't be such an asshole.

Sarcasm doesn't work in print.

Never trust anonymous columnists.

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