The legendary Andy Rooney’s opinions on Life
1. A great many people do not have a right to their own opinion because they don’t know what they’re talking about.
2. A lot of companies spend more to package, advertise and sell their product than they spend on making it. The toothpaste in a tube that costs $1.79 probably doesn’t cost ten cents to manufacture. Something’s wrong here.
3. A lot of people assume that we live in an orderly world where every event has a meaning and every problem has a solution. I suspect, however, that some events are meaningless and some problems insoluble.
4. A person is more apt to get to be the boss by making decisions quickly than by making them correctly.
5. After thinking something through as well and as completely as I am able, to be sure I’m right, it often turns out that I’m wrong.
6. Although I went to Sunday school for several years at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, I was not persuaded that Mary never slept with anyone before Jesus was born.
7. Big Business talks as if it doesn’t like Big Government but the fact of the matter is, Big Business is in business with Big Government. Big Business is closer to Big Government than Big Government is to the people, but neither wants anyone to know it.
8. Blue jeans cost less when they were called dungarees.
9. Capitalism and the free-enterprise system are not working very well. There are too many very rich and too many very poor in the United States. Fortunately, the economic system that doesn’t work as well as capitalism is communism. Communists are almost all poor.
10. Computers may save time but they sure waste a lot of paper. About 98 percent of everything printed out by a computer is garbage that no one ever reads.
11. Doctors ought to think of some name for their outer office other than “waiting room.”
12. Farmers have been quitting the farm and moving to the city for years but you never see any of them there.
13. Getting up early in the morning is a good way to gain respect without ever actually having to do anything.
14. Good old friends are worth keeping whether you like them or not.
15. I am often embarrassed by the people I find agreeing with me.
16. I believe a lot of things I can’t prove.
17. I dislike loud-mouthed patriots who suggest they like our country more than I do. Some people’s idea of patriotism is hating other countries.
18. I do not accept the inevitability of my own death. I secretly think there may be some other way out.
19. I don’t believe in flying saucers or the Loch Ness monster and I’m not on drugs or religion. I don’t know my astrological sign.
20. I don’t favor abortion although I like the people who are for it better than the people who are against it.
21. I don’t like any music I can’t hum.
22. I don’t like to lock anything or take precautions against having it stolen because every time I do, I get the feeling the bastards have beat me a little by making me do it.
23. I spent fifty years of my life working to become well-known as a writer and I’ve spent the last ten hiding from strangers who recognize me.
24. I spent four years in the army but do not belong to any veterans’ organization. As a way of getting together socially with people your own age and background, veterans’ groups are fine but I disapprove of them as a pressure group. I’m suspicious of professional veterans who wear overseas caps at conventions. Except for the men who were disabled, to whom it owes everything it can give, our country owes veterans nothing. We got what was coming to us, a free country.
25. I think women should be paid as much for doing the same job as men . . . although I don’t think they can lift as much.
26. I wish people spent less time praying and more time trying to solve the problems religion was created to help us endure.
27. I’d get a lot more reading done in bed if I read when I woke up in the morning instead of when I crawled in at night.
28. I’d make a bad nun. Material possessions give me great pleasure even though all the best advice we’re given for happiness advises us to ignore them.
29. I’m always surprised when a light bulb burns out.
30. I’m satisfied with the money I make until I read how much baseball players are making.
31. I’m suspicious of the academic standards of a college that always has a good basketball team. When a college loses a lot of games, I figure they’re letting the students play.
32. Ice cream was just as good when they only had three flavors, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
33. If all the truth were known by everyone about everything, it would be a better world.
34. If all the truth were known by everyone about everything, most people wouldn’t like it, though. If their future depends on logical decisions based on all the evidence, they’re nervous. They don’t think they’re smart enough to make the right decision. If, on the other hand, success and happiness depends on their astrological sign or on hoping and praying or on winning the lottery, then they feel better. They think their destiny is in better hands than their own.
35. If dogs could talk, it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.
36. If I were a woman, I would be an angry woman. Men are satisfied having women be something women are not satisfied being. We have a problem here.
37. If I were black, I would be a militant, angry black man, railing against the injustices that have been done me. Being white, I think blacks should forget it and go to work.
38. If I’d known how many problems I was going to run into before I finished, I can’t remember a single project I would have started.
39. If someone chooses to live in the United States, they should learn to speak English. I recognize that this is a small, meanspirited, right-wing opinion but I hold it.
40. If the reviews talk about how good the acting is in the movie, I don’t go see it. Like writing, there’s just so much good acting I can take. Acting and writing shouldn’t call attention to themselves.
41. In spite of all the kind things people are always saying about the poor and homeless, people with jobs and houses are usually more interesting and capable and I prefer to be with them.
42. In view of how many of them are regularly found out to be scoundrels, I have an unreasonable faith in and affection for doctors. In this regard, I am very suspicious of anyone who uses the title “doctor” who is not an M.D. There are some very good optometrists but I do not call them “doctors.”
43. It doesn’t interest me to watch a movie or read a novel in which the characters are put in difficult situations by a writer. I’m not interested in being reminded of difficulties. It’s already on my mind.
44. It doesn’t make sense to be against abortion and for the death penalty.
45. It gives you confidence in America to hear so many people talk who know how to run the country better than the President.
46. It no longer makes any sense to bother to use an apostrophe between the n and t in words like dont and isnt.
47. It seems wrong for a state to take money from the poor and ignorant by selling them lottery tickets to collect money to help the state provide welfare and education to the poor and ignorant.
48. It seems wrong for the United States to try to protect democracy by undemocratic means like overthrowing the government of a foreign country by undercover action.
49. It sounds funny in the house without the television set on.
50. It’s a lot easier to object to the way things are being done than it is to do them better yourself. Being a revolutionary, even in a modest way, is a lot more fun than having to take over and do it. Castro was a great revolutionary. It wasn’t until he won and started running things himself that he went wrong.
51. It’s amazing that bees keep making honey, cows keep giving milk and hens keep laying eggs all their lives. There certainly isn’t much in it for them.
52. It’s good to be loyal even when what you’re loyal to doesn’t deserve it.
53. It’s hard for me to believe that, in the next 150 years, we’ll have as many important inventions and discoveries as we’ve had in the last 150. What is there left comparable in importance to the electric light, the telephone, the gas engine, radio, flight, television, nuclear energy, space exploration, computers and Coca-Cola? (If anyone were to read that paragraph 150 years from now, I’m sure they’d laugh at my ignorance.)
54. It’s harder to avoid listening to something you don’t want to hear than it is to avoid seeing something you’d rather not see.
55. It’s lucky glass makes a loud noise when it breaks.
56. It’s too bad Jesus didn’t have a family.
57. It’s too bad we seem to need six or seven hours’ sleep. Someone’s going to invent a way for us to sleep faster.
58. Journalists are more honest than other businesspeople because honesty is a hobby with them. They’re amused by it. They talk about honesty at lunch. They aren’t naturally any more honest, but it’s on their minds.
59. Lawyers are more interested in winning than in justice.
60. Most evenings I have two drinks of bourbon before dinner even though I am uneasily aware that the practice is difficult to defend against the charge that drinking is no different from using drugs. Drinking also isn’t compatible with my belief that our best hope for happiness is clear thinking, but I try to have my thinking out of the way for the day by the time I have my first drink.
61. Most people don’t care where they’re going as long as they’re in something that gets them there in a hurry.
62. Most poetry is pretentious nonsense.
63. Most religions are designed to trick us into doing the things we’d do anyway if we used our heads.
64. My only war wound is an aversion to German accents.
65. Never trust the food in a restaurant on top of the tallest building in town that spends a lot of time folding the napkins.
66. No matter how big the umbrella you carry or how good your raincoat is, if it rains you get wet.
67. No one wants to read a lot of good writing. There’s just so much good writing a reader can take.
68. No one who goes to prison ever admits he did it.
69. People are too careful with books. If you like a book, you ought to mark it up with a pencil. Publishers put too much money in the flimsy paper dust jacket on books. The first thing I do with any book that doesn’t have my picture on the jacket is throw the jacket away.
70. People aren’t called “the working class” much anymore unless they’re unemployed.
71. People in Florida talk more about the weather than people anywhere else in the world. I think it’s because weather is what they’re paying for and if it’s good they feel it justifies the expense. If it’s bad they like to think it isn’t as bad as it is some places.
72. People like to say, “You’re only as old as you feel,” but it isn’t true. It’s just something old people say to make themselves feel good about their age. You’re as old as you are.
73. People talk as though they like the country better than the city but they move to the city.
74. People who are wrong seem to talk louder than anyone else.
75. People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.
76. Politicians deserve better treatment than they’ve been getting and we should stop using the word “politician” as an epithet. Most of them are honestly trying to accomplish something good for all of us.
77. Ronald Reagan wasn’t as successful reducing the size of government as Franklin Roosevelt was in increasing it.
78. The accuracy of political polls is sad evidence of our predictability.
79. The evolution of every business enterprise is away from quality. Products always get smaller, worse and more expensive.
80. The least able among us are having the most children. Among women, college graduates are having the fewest babies, high-school graduates are having the next fewest and the people who don’t get to high school or drop out once they do are having the most babies. The most capable women are getting the best jobs and are least apt to have big families . . . or sometimes, any family at all.
81. The middle of the night seems longer than it used to.
82. The people of the United States never worked so well or so hard or accomplished so much as they did during the four years of World War II. We need to find some substitute for war as a means of motivating ourselves to do our best. Money isn’t the answer, either.
83. The people who speak up in public for or against something almost always lose my support by being too loud about it.
84. There are facts too painful to face. I cannot watch a documentary about the slow death facing all elephants and whales.
85. There are more beauty parlors than there are beauties.
86. There aren’t many times in your life when your body has absolutely nothing wrong with it.
87. There’s an acute shortage of well-known people in America. The same ones keep appearing on television talk shows. Of course, maybe what we need is not more well-known people but fewer talk shows.
88. They keep talking about how low the rate of inflation is but I notice that when I buy something that cost me only $1.98 last year, it costs $2.42 now.
89. Until we can all have the medical attention a President gets, there will not be too many doctors.
90. Vacations aren’t necessarily better than other times, they’re just different.
91. We are selling things better than we’re making them in the United States.
92. We need chefs more than headwaiters and mechanics more than car salesmen. We need good doctors more than health plans.
93. We’re all proud of admitting little mistakes. It gives us the feeling we don’t make any big ones.
94. When I get sleepy driving, the only thing that really wakes me up is starting to fall asleep.
95. When I was young I always assumed I’d get to like carrots when I got older but I never did.
96. When someone says, “You know what I mean?” I don’t usually know what they mean and I know they don’t know. If someone knows what they mean, they ought to be able to tell you. I mean, you know what I mean?
97. When someone tells you, “It was my fault,” they don’t expect you to agree with them. When they say, “You’re the boss,” they don’t mean it.
98. When the telephone rings in a store, the person behind the counter will spend five minutes explaining something to the caller while all the customers who have bothered to come to the store stand there waiting.
99. Women have better natural instincts than men and are more apt to do the right thing.
Now read Andy Rooney’s rules of life.