An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Assumption

Last week was my friend, Kathy’s, birthday and I gave her a special gift. To say it was special doesn’t quite cover it. It was extra special because it was adorned with the face of Bob Ross. You may know him as the happy-little-trees painter, but we knew him as the friendly guy in our neighborhood who received injured squirrels from our kids.

Kathy was so excited to receive a mug with Bob Ross’ face on it. Building on that, as if that wasn’t enough, when you poured hot liquid into the mug, one of his paintings magically appeared. She couldn’t wait to show it off to her husband John and said this would become her morning coffee mug. We left our luncheon full of hope.

Bob Ross mug before

Kathy with her happy little mug

Bob Ross left us some great quotes:

  • “There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.”
  • “I believe talent is just a pursued interest.”
  • “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”

Alas, a week passed and I received a text from Kathy. “Darn that John! He made Bob have a happy little accident!”

A happy accident or something more?

The irony of this was not lost on us. This never should have happened! The mug came with instructions. For instance, clearly printed on the underside of the mug were the words: USE OTHER SIDE. John assumed he knew how to use a mug. We so often get ourselves in trouble when we assume. If only he had taken the time to read the supplied instructions. They directed the new mug user: “Are you unfamiliar with mugs or their proper use? For a free refresher course, watch our inspiring and instruction video.”



Video courtesy of Unemployed Philosophers Guild.

As a woman who drives her husband crazy with her instruction reading, I can now point to this incident in defense of every useless instruction I have ever read. Now, you can, too.


This is Post #18 in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post every day in April.


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  1. Jeanine Byers

     /  April 18, 2019

    I love that quote about having trees as friends!! I have had a few myself. And what a neat gift.

  2. Now, this is a process IKEA should adopt!

  3. Dee Coxon

     /  April 18, 2019

    My hubby is a huge instructions geek……. I cant say a word 🙂

  4. I am a balcony gardener and I have many plant friends.Around 65 I think in my apartment .

    • That’s pretty cool. I haven’t lived in an apartment for a while and I admire you bringing gardening to your home. Pretty cool.

  5. I love Bob Ross. You took me back to all the wonderful years I spent with my Nana watching him paint on TV. Thank you.

  6. Alas, Men are famous for not reading directions (or asking for men) I don’t know how how many times I have jumped into a project and about half way through I was searching for the directions on how to assemble. But do you really thing that the bottome of the mug is the place for directions? LOL

    • I agree, the bottom of the mug is no place for directions. But I think I found a common ground with these mug producers. I’ll bet you have as well!


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