Advice comes cheap these days. You can get it from family, self-help books, guidance counselors, friends, the clergy, neighbors, and even television, our literal den mother. But why pay next to nothing when you can pay the big bucks to see a motivational speaker? There's Erin Brockovich, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Cheryl Miller, Bill Clinton, Pat Riley, and countless others. That market is saturated. Here at Brevity, I offer another approach.
Once a month I'll be bringing a fictional speaker to this blog to get their ideas on the things in life that matter to you, dear reader. Your September speaker is Hans Gruber of Die Hard. He's dead now, unfortunately, but his advice will live on.
Hans Gruber on business attire: Nice suit. John Phillips, London. I have two myself. Rumor has it that Arafat buys his there.
On priorities: Mr. Takagi, I could talk about industrialization and men's fashions all day, but I'm afraid work must intrude.
On teamwork: I am going to count to three. There will not be a four. Give me the code.
On corporate takeovers: Who said we were terrorists?
On firing people: I wanted this to be professional. Efficient, adroit, cooperative, not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way, so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life.
On investing: When they touch down, we'll blow the roof. They'll spend a month sifting through the rubble, and by the time they figure out what went wrong, we'll be sitting on a beach, earning 20 percent.
On fancy footwork: Shoot the glass.
On career advancement: I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite.
On problem solving: You ask for miracles, Theo. I give you the F.B.I.
On retirement: "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer." The benefits of a classical education.