From the cradle to the grave, you never said a truer word

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The Independent Online
TODAY we welcome back our expert on cliches, who is going to advise us on nothing less than how to get through life.

Q. What is life?

A. Life is what you make it.

Q. What kind of life is it?

A. It is a hard life.

Q. But is it a good life?

A. Yes, if you don't weaken.

Q. How does one get through life?

A. One travels down life's road.

Q. What kind of a road is it?

A. A bumpy road.

Q. How do you start?

A. As you mean to go on.

Q. But what kind of start do you need in life?

A. A good one.

Q. How is this acquired?

A. By working hard to get the right qualifications.

Q. What does this involve?

A. Burning the midnight oil.

Q. But not the candle at both ends?

A. Oh, certainly not. At the same time, all work and no play makes a chap a dull boy.

Q. What is the chap's name?

A. Jack.

Q. How do parents contribute to this good start in life?

A. They scrimp.

Q. Is that all?

A. No. They also save.

Q. But what of those who have no scrimping and saving parents, and not even the right qualifications?

A. They must make their own way in life.

Q. By what do they pull themselves up?

A. Their own bootstraps.

Q. To what educational establishment do they later claim to have gone?

A. The university of life.

Q. Is this academy known by any other name?

A. Yes. The school of hard knocks.

Q. While travelling along life's bumpy road, whom does one hope to meet?

A. Mr Right, if one is female.

Q. And if one is male?

A. The girl of one's dreams.

Q. What sound do we hear in the distance, if we are not mistaken?

A. The sound of wedding bells.

Q. And what little person will come to join you in time?

A. Not in time. In the fullness of time.

Q. I'm sorry. And what little person will come to join you in the fullness of time?

A. A little stranger.

Q. And what meanwhile is happening to you?

A. Time.

Q. What is time doing, pray?

A. Marching on.

Q. Why?

A. Because it waits.

Q. For whom?

A. For no man.

Q. Is there much time?

A. No, there is so little time.

Q. And so much what?

A. And so much to do.

Q. Are there any landmarks along the way?

A. Yes. Birthdays such as the 40th and 50th.

Q. By what name are these familiarly known?

A. The Big Four-Oh, and the Big Five-Oh.

Q. How young are you at 50?

A. As young as you feel.

Q. How do you get around?

A. Not as well as you used to.

Q. Nevertheless, what are you good for?

A. A good few years yet.

Q. Where are these good few years located?

A. In the old dog.

Q. What part of your life are you now approaching?

A. The evening.

Q. Financially speaking, what should you have made by now?

A. Your pile.

Q. Is that good?

A. Oh, yes. Happiness is all very well, but it can't buy money.

Q. But there must be something you can't do with money, surely?

A. Yes. Take it with you.

Q. Now that you are an elder and better, do you receive the veneration due to old age?

A. Oh, yes. On the other hand, there is no fool like an old fool.

Q. Oh, dear. But will you be ready for the end when it comes?

A. Oh, yes. One will have had a good innings.

Q. How did you do it?

A. My way.

Q. What do you have none of?

A. Regrets.

Q. And whom are you about to meet face to face?

A. Death.

Q. What profession is Death?

A. A reaper.

Q. A cheerful sort of reaper?

A. No. A grim reaper.

Q. Do we have a question to ask Death?

A. Yes. We want to know the location of its sting.

Q. Do we ever get an answer?

A. No.

Q. Thank you very much.

A. Not at all.

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