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Things not to do


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I receive updates regarding events at the Supreme Court of Canada, from an extremely good lawyer, with a good sense of humour. He often includes other sections with his newsletter, about things that interest him or that have been on his mind. He gives some advice about things not to do, which made me laugh...

Giovanna and I got some travel shots last week, as we'll briefly be in a malaria zone next month - so got stuff like Hep C, yellow fever, meningitis (that was the injections, not the diseases we contracted) and the doctor gave us a book by Sanofi Pasteur called The Travel Booster - Your Guide to Healthy Travel.

Before reading it through (there are 60 plus pages), I looked at the table of contents first and the heading Intimate Encounters catches my eye - so teenage-boy-like, I figure I should read that section first.

Leaving aside the intro, the Intimate Encounters section starts with: "Recent studies suggest that 5% - 15% of Canadians have casual sex during short trips. This percentage is higher for overseas postings" - if this book is correct, certainly going to think twice about shaking the hand of any Canadian diplomat I might meet overseas.

The section went on to highlight a blindingly-obvious piece of advice:

"Try not to make decisions about sex when you're intoxicated".

I'm not making this up. And you'll notice it doesn't say don't - it just says try.

Man, I tell ya, I'm living in a different world now - I don't drink alcohol at all, so me I don't even get to the transitional decision phase.

Playing Monopoly or unscrambling a Rubric Cube while driving probably not good either. Reminds me of the case (actual one - not making this up either) of the Scot given a speeding ticket on the M74 between Edinburgh and Glasgow - he didn't notice the police car (with a calibrated speedometer, hence the ticket) driving parallel to him at high speed - because he was reading a book.

Other recommendations that now occur to me (or my colleagues Ed Pundyk and Miranda Scott):

· don't play Russian roulette when sleep-deprived

· driving your car at NASCAR, don't drive clockwise 'because it feels more logical that way'

· if at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is just not your thing

· don't drink downstream of the herd

· don't challenge a llama to a spitting match

· if you're traveling in a time machine, don't leave your arm hanging out the window, or it'll turn into a fossil.

And one final don't do: in the Court of Appeal, when arguing before a panel of three female judges, don't say "My Lords" - it's happened

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