Shots of Wit

A regular posting of witticisms, aphorisms, and general musings by Clifford Cohen.

Beware of the snare…

Recognize and beware of the snare.

Back Story

It’s that circumstance, situation, or challenge you never knew to expect: the unattended detail that could grow into a major headache. Being human, it is unlikely you will always be able to see the quicksand before you step into it, but this aphorism suggests that in any situation you should consider what might happen in your environment that might leave you with no practical options—like a bird caught in a snare. Try to identify what you might do if such a situation were to occur. Then, prepare yourself to avoid the situation completely or effectively address that situation should the need arise. Here are some examples:

You plan on hiking in a remote area of the Pacific Northwest. Although the odds of meeting an aggressive bear are very low, if you do meet such a bear, there may be little you can do about it. Solution: bring bear mace.

You borrow money from “Lenny the loan shark”, thinking there is no possibility that that horse you like in the third race won’t win. But what if the horse loses and you can’t pay Lenny back with interest? Solution: don’t borrow money to gamble with from anyone…let alone Lenny.

You are traveling abroad and an attractive lady you meet at a bar suggests that you both go to her place to have a drink of wine. But wait! That would mean that no one will know where you are or who you are with. You will be in unfamiliar territory with someone you don’t know. Anything could happen—mostly not pleasant. Solution: don’t trust anyone who is not personally recommended to you by someone you know, or who is not associated with an entity that you trust.

Look for the snare always…avoid the checkmate. There’s no worse feeling on earth than the realization that the game is up and there’s nothing you can do about it but to wait for the final act.

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