everything else is cream cheese

One of my all time favourite movie quotes is from Teen Wolf. Scott (Michael J Fox), star of the school basketball team and occasional werewolf, gets some advice from Coach Finstock (Jay Tarses). The advice is:

“…there’s three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who’s got the same name as a city; and never go near a lady who’s got a tattoo of a dagger on her body. You stick with that, and everything else is cream cheese.”

That’s pretty sage advice. But I’ll never get that much sleep and I don’t really play cards. So I’ve been thinking, if any of my students ever come to me for advice, what will I tell them? I was trying to think up some Finstock-style rules that would have helped me. For example…

  • Never accept an offer of a drink from a man with more gold teeth than white ones.
  • Never open a bank account on the advice of anyone whose salary is dependent on you being charged £40 every time you fuck up.
  • Never get involved with a woman that’s never voted in a general election.
  • Never perform a joke that ironically suggests you might be a sex offender at the Comedy Store late show: they are an audience that may take such claims at face value.
  • Never brag about being good at scrabble unless you really, really are.
  • Never bet your shoes on a game of scrabble when you have a long walk home.
  • Never get involved with a woman who reads Sophie Kinsella books in any way that could not be described as ‘sarcastic’.
  • Never go on a canal boating holiday with someone who is just learning how to play a musical instrument.
  • Never get on a bus in Edinburgh at rush hour carrying an eight-foot makeshift crucifix. The other passengers are less patient than you might expect.

Those should be enough to stop anyone from getting into serious trouble, at least…


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