Mike Cote's Business Editor's Notebook: Always trust your cape, but watch out for snakes
"North America's only poisonous water snake, the water moccasin has a distinctive blocky triangular head, thick body and a dangerous bite," says livescience.com. "They rarely bite humans, however, and only attack when threatened." (Ed Sackett/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)
In the summer of 1960, five boys head to a swimming hole in Georgia. The oldest boy, who is 14, is the quickest to shed his pants, run down the bank and do a cannonball off a low-lying tree limb.
But that doesn't mean I won't do it. Every choice has its potential risks and rewards.
I'm not quite sure how I arrived at this point - which is what I love about writing - but I chose Yount's passage to talk about taking chances and learning from them. Most of the time, we don't face a swimming hole full of venomous snakes when we make a wrong choice, but the idea that they might be there can prevent us from ever risking failure.
Over the past 15 years at two newspapers and a magazine, I've written about 500 columns. I couldn't attest to their quality - that's not for me to say - but I can tell you that the ones I remember the most, in addition to the fascinating people I've encountered, were when I allowed myself to pursue what seemed like an oddball idea and follow the trail to its conclusion.
Thanks to the Internet, the column I wrote found its way to a musician, who recorded "Subterranean Record Store Blues" with his band The Stokers (a sample is posted at somewhereoutwest.com).
On a few occasions, however, I've followed offbeat ideas and had a trusted colleague warn me of the moccasins that might be lurking in the water. Sometimes I choose another swimming hole instead.
You can (almost) always trust your cape.
Mike Cote is business editor at the Union Leader. Contact him at 668-4321, ext. 324 or email@example.com.
- What do you plan to do with money saved on oil and gas this year?
- Spend it
- Bank it
- Pay off debt
- Total Votes: 14
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