Tag Archives: advice

Some Free Advice

December 3, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

There is of course, an old saying, “Free advice is worth every penny you spent on it.” But then, I’ve never had enough money to afford any truly valuable advice, so I’ve come to trust in a few nuggets given to me gratis over the years. Besides, that old saying is in and of itself “free,” isn’t it? Life is full of logic loops.

Oscar Wilde—in a book I paid for, so it was therefore not in the worthless category—once said, “I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” With that in mind, I offer you a few gems, no charge.

I had an uncle who left the farm to move to New York City back when Times Square was, shall we say, a bit more “grown up” than the current Calvin Klein version. In fact, he once claimed that while there, he met a heavily armed Kurt Russell trying to escape the island. Anyway, when he returned to his small Iowa hometown years later, he said to me…

“Never trust a naked bus driver.”

It’s a bit of advice that still rings true.

I once had a friend whose home went up in flames, a total loss. When I ran into him a week or so after the conflagration he seemed remarkably sanguine despite the disaster. I asked him how he could be so accepting of the calamity, and he leaned over his third pint of the night and told me…

“Never own so much that you’ll be secretly pleased to watch your house burn down.”

Possessions do evolve into clutter, don’t they?

I recently ran into a woman I had dated a few times in high school before she tore out my heart and stomped on it. Every teenage romance is dramatic, don’t you agree? She recounted to me that she had subsequently been married six times and divorced five. “Wow,” I said. “That’s a lot of failed marriages.” After she finished laughing, she replied, “Failed? Not failures by any stretch. Four were victories and one was a draw.” As for the institution, she advised me…

“Marriage is like a track meet. The pistol should be used at the start, not the finish.”

I’m not sure I understand the gun’s role at all, but I have to admit she had more experience than I do.

Most advice that we get in life seems to be about money. Heck, there’s a whole profession full of people called “financial advisers.” Some of them are even licensed. Go figure. I once spoke to one of those folks. I’d avoided them for years, but after the 37th invitation to a “free” steak dinner at a local eatery, I found myself a bit peckish and decided to take these money gurus up on the deal. After the some-what subpar sirloin was consumed, I found myself cornered by one of these name-tagged hustlers who babbled at me incessantly while I searched vainly for that lint-covered extra-strength Tums I knew I had left in my sports coat pocket a few months earlier.

After he mentioned how my money should work for me, and I explained that my money was as lazy as I was, he brought out the big guns. “You need a plan,” he said, which was no surprise since he was a planner. Suddenly, something my grandmother had told me years earlier popped into my head.

“Money is like cheese. If you’ve got more than you can eat in a week, invite some folks over.”

He wandered off. I went home. I leave you with this last bit of free advice, though I have no “license” to do so…

If someone tries to bait you with free meat, stay in the Barcalounger.


Otis Twelve hosts the radio program Early Morning Classics with Otis Twelve on 90.7 KVNO, weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. Visit kvno.org for more information

This column was printed in the November/December 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine. 

Listen to Otis read this column in his own words here:

Who’s Wearing the Pants?

March 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

What do you get the woman who has everything? A man who wants nothing! So you’ve spent your entire life working your way to the top of the corporate ladder, the big house, the big paycheck, and the big car. The problem is finding the big man. In your case, the big man is going to have be the smaller man in many ways.

You’re the alpha-female. You have to be in control. Do you really want to come home to a man who can’t handle your success? What you need is a man that is happy finding success in different ways, such as in the gym or being an excellent chef. Does that mean you’re looking for a maid with abs that walks around all day in an apron that says, “Kiss the Cook”? It’s possible, if that’s what you’re looking for. The most important thing is to find a man who takes pride in whatever it is that he does—regardless of its monetary return.

An alpha-female dating a less successful alpha-male is a one-way ticket to nowhere. Set him free. There’s someone out there that can make him feel like the man he needs to be, and there’s someone out there that can make you feel at home on top of your ivory tower.

Lüc Carl is a writer in NYC, originally from Springfield, Neb. His website, LucCarl.com, has had over one million hits in one year. Look for his book The Drunk Diet. Follow @luccarl on Twitter.

Don’t Blow It

January 25, 2013 by

5. You’re Dating Your Phone. As much as he likes it when you’re distracted, it’s a turn-off when you have a better relationship with your plastic phone than your hunk of burnin’ love. Stop texting so much.

4. You’re Too Needy. He needs his “man time.” Let him watch sports as much as he wants. When his team wins, remind him about that movie you wanted to go see.

3. Too Much Too Soon. Give him time to ask you to be his “girlfriend.” To say “I love you,” to meet your parents…It’s a natural evolution. If you let him breathe, he’ll do these things because he wants to, not because he feels he has to.

2. Stop Complaining. If there are certain things you don’t like about your man to the point where you’re complaining, chances are you don’t really like your man. That’s your fault, not his. Stop wasting each other’s time.

1. You Don’t Like His Job. If you want him to get a better job, go out and get yourself a better job. If he’s any kind of a man at all, he’ll want to grow with you as a human being and as a life partner. He’ll be inspired to go out and try harder at life to make the relationship grow.

Lüc Carl is a writer in NYC, originally from Springfield, Neb. His website, LucCarl.com, has had over one million hits in one year. Look for his book The Drunk Diet. Follow @luccarl on Twitter.

Put a Bow on His Package

November 25, 2012 by

When it comes to buying gifts, men are much simpler than you tend to make us out to be. Every man I know either asks for absolutely nothing or something extremely specific. I’ve gone so far as to take a picture of a particular item, or to look it up on the internet and e-mail the model number to my sweetheart only to unwrap the wrong gift on Christmas morning. If he says he doesn’t want anything for Christmas, he’s either serious about that or far too high maintenance (and it’s your fault for being with such a pain in the butt).

Men. Feed them, make love to them, and let them sleep. And come Christmas morning, if he asks for a Milwaukee drill, don’t buy him a Dewalt because the salesclerk said they were the same thing. They’re not; one is yellow, one is red. That would be like him not noticing that you got your hair done. But the truth is, to him, your hair looks the exact same all the time no matter what you happen to see in the mirror.

If he asks for the Milwaukee, buy the Milwaukee. Then you have every excuse to be upset if he doesn’t notice your new pair of shoes.

Lüc Carl is a writer in NYC, originally from Springfield, Neb. His website, LucCarl.com, has had over one million hits in one year. Look for his book The Drunk Diet. Follow @luccarl on Twitter.