With a toddler running around my house these days, I find myself looking back over the years and thinking of all I've learned in my four-plus decades on this planet. Since I turned 40, I've started making lists I can maybe pass her way one day. Here's 42 things I've learned at 42.
1. There's a good chance whatever comes after "Watch This" will involve serious bodily injury.
2. Chances are good that you'll look back on high school with fond memories. There were bad times, for sure. But you'll remember them less than you think when you're living them.
3. That said, very few things feel as nice as getting a fan letter from the guy who bullied you in high school.
4. Everyone thinks modern music sucks and the music they grew up with is far better. Everyone is wrong. And they're right, too.
5. Beware the person who tries to debate politics by answering your question with a question.
6. There is no better song to drive to at night than "In The Air Tonight".
7. If you want people to open doors for you, be a pregnant woman. If you want people to ignore you, be a woman pushing a stroller.
8. Most people would never act on the sidewalk they way they act when they're behind the wheel.
9. There is nothing quite as dangerous as a bitter, white male. And in so many ways.
10. When watching Law and Order: SVU, remember that the mystery villain is usually the special guest star. The more famous they are, the more heinous the crime will be.
11. The Monkees belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
12. Luxury cars are much more fun than fast cars. You always want luxury, no matter how fast you're going.
13. Buy at least one concert t-shirt in your life.
14. Oswald probably acted alone.
15. The bravest person on the Internet would never be so bold in person.
16. Sylvester Stallone is an underrated actor, writer, and director.
17. That said, I still don't care for Over the Top.
18. I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?
19. A surprising number of people won't get #18 at all.
20. The book isn't always better than the movie.
21. Conservative comedy doesn't work because it's not funny to punch downward.
22. The people with none of the talent always seem to call the shots for the people with all of it.
23. If you dry your razor blades after shaving, they will last longer.
24. On a sports jacket, you never button the bottom button. That's right, never.
25. When most people use the term "politically incorrect", they are usually just referring to behavior that is 'incorrect".
26. Nothing good ever followed the words "I'm not racist, but..."
27. If you're trying to come up with ways make popcorn healthier, you're kinda missing the point.
28. I like more than one comedian, so I tend to like more than just one talk show host.
29. People think actors should never be political...until they hear an actor who agrees with their politics.
30. People say they need a handgun because it makes them feel safe. The truth is more likely that, without one, they feel weak.
31. Everyone loves a sense of humor, yet there's never been a hilarious fat guy on the cover of People Magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive" issue.
32. People will argue for hours about why it's a good thing they discipline their kids by hitting them. Then they seem surprised when their own child hits a smaller kid.
33. I'm amazed at how many people I grew up with don't realize they turned into their parents.
34. I have, too.
35. Eleven months of the year too many people act like Ebenezer Scrooge, only to spend December pretending they're more like Bob Cratchit.
36. Too many people think "Free Speech" means the right to be a selfish jerk without consequence. They're wrong.
37. If you're constantly explaining to people that you're not racist, there's a good chance that you're racist.
38. Somewhere over the past several years, we became convinced that every opinion is valid and carries equal weight. That's never been true.
39. Every once in a while, it's important to dance while you're cleaning your house.
40. Nostalgia is too often an ignorant man's evidence.
41. You're no better than the guy who cooks your burgers, delivers your pizza, or cleans your office. You'll appreciate all of those things more if you keep that in mind.
42. If you like the wine, it doesn't matter if it's red or white or what you're eating with it.
Ward Anderson is a comedian, author and co-host of the SiriusXM talk radio program "Ward & Al". His two novels are available wherever books are sold.
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