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Getting Ahead in Life

Coming to you direct from the PO world headquarters in Virginia...

by Dear Jon
August 2, 2001

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Getting Ahead in Life_Dear Jon-Coming to you direct from the PO world headquarters in Virginia... Note from the Webmaster:
We apologize for the delayed publication of today's Dear Jon column. I have summoned both Dear Jon and Jon Deer to the PO headquarters here in Virginia to iron out some editorial and philosophical differences. Results from our meeting were mitigating at best, but here, nevertheless, is today's column.


Dear Jon,

What's a caveat?

A reader

Dear Reader,

Oops. You have a typo in your letter. You are missing a space.

There are many caves in the United States. For exploring and discovery, it is a thrill to see “what lies beneath,” that is, in the underground labyrinths of the Earth.

There is a cave at the vicinity of Rapid City, South Dakota, called “Wind Cave.” There is another cave, in Kentucky, called “Mammoth Cave.” Both experiences are very tourist friendly, with guided tours into the cavernous recesses. These cave tours also are careful to include descriptions of the activities, so that those who are challenged physically or phobically can choose the tours that are best for them. I have experienced Wind Cave on two separate occasions. During my recent trip to PO Headquarters for a meeting of executive editors, I stopped in at Mammoth Cave. It is enormous and impressive.

But of course, as an advice columnist, it behooves me to include this caveat: Never go exploring in an uncharted cave.


Dear Jon,

How do I get ahead in life?

Feeling Behind

Dear Feeling,

Drive faster than everyone else, eat faster than everyone else, only use express lanes, and keep your cell phone with you at all times. Anytime someone is in your way and moving more slowly than you, be sure you cuss yourself into a conniption. Hopefully you will discover these strategies do not work before you require by-pass surgery or prescription ulcer medication.

At this point, I would like to direct you to the spam you get for e-mail, from friends who put you on a list with 299 others and put smiley faces on their messages. :) Most of that crap is touchy-feely stuff about reminding your friends that you’re glad they’re alive, and stopping to smell the flowers, and learning from the cheerful quadriplegic four year-old that there is so much more to life than careers and money, and blah blah blah. The way to get ahead in life, is to read one of those sobby sentimental pieces once, learn its lesson, and then delete on sight all the other spam you ever receive. Because if you read all the spam you receive, you will NOT get ahead in life; you won’t have time.

If you really want to get ahead, do three things: Work hard, Play hard, Smile lots. People will learn that you are trustworthy, that you are fun, and that you are nice. If that doesn’t get you ahead, then you are running the wrong race.


Dear Jon,

What's your best advice for the youth of today?

Youth of Today

Dear Youth,

Work hard, play hard, smile lots. And if you don’t know the meaning of the word “caveat,” or any other word, look it up.

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Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
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