Everything I Learned in Life I Learned from The Fonz

Most children learn how to handle life by watching their parents or older brothers and sisters. As the child gets older, they pick up on what they have seen over the years. If you have loving and caring parents, this can be a great thing. If your parents are missing in action or only setting examples on what not to do, sometimes the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Because of this, some children are better off choosing other people to be their role models and to learn life lessons from. Sometimes children choose their teachers. Other times they may choose an uncle or aunt. I, however, learned everything I needed in life from watching the Fonz on Happy Days. The knowledge he departed to me from the tv screen has been invaluable. Here are some of the key things I learned growing up that has shaped my adult life.

Wearing a Leather Jacket Makes You Look Tough

Henry Winkler, who played the Fonz, was barely 5’6” and weighed a hundred and forty pounds. However, the Fonz eclipsed his height and weight. He was a giant. He spoke like he knew everything and was never afraid. Part of this toughness came from his leather jacket. You can actually see his mystical jacket at the Smithsonian Institute. Slipping on a leather jacket instantly makes the wearer ten times tougher. However, wearing skinny jeans would cancel out this toughness immediately.

Snapping Your Fingers Works

The Fonz could snap his fingers and the girls would come running. He could snap his fingers and everything and everyone would be quiet. He could snap his fingers and people would immediately sit down. Obviously, being able to snap your fingers in an authoritative manner did wonders for him. I use it now all the time as an adult and it has done wonders for me as well. Try walking into a restaurant and without saying a word, snap your fingers at the hostess. She immediately comes to life! Whenever my dogs are barking, they know when I snap my fingers they better start being quiet. As far as the girls that come running at the snap of fingers, try this next time you are out. It might just pay off.

Hitting Something Will Sometimes Fix It

We have all tried to be like the Fonz in this respect. He could lightly hit the jukebox and it would immediately start playing. He would hit a soda machine, and a couple sodas would jump right out. The Fonz could lightly hit a place on the wall and turn off all the lights.

As a kid watching this, it made a huge impression. I’m not saying I can hit a spot on the wall and have the lights go off, but if my dvd player is not working, a good hit sometimes fixes the problem. A stuck drawer or window? No problem. I have hands of magic just like the Fonz.

It’s Okay to Hang Out With Nerds

I often heard the question that if the Fonz was so cool, why did he spend his time hanging out with Richie, Ralph, and Potsie? That is what makes the Fonz so cool! He could hang out with anyone and be fine with it. It didn’t matter if they were popular or not, they just had to be a good person. Every high school student should be forced to watch every episode of Happy Days just for this exact reason.

Jump a Shark Now and Then

You have to take chances now and then in life, no matter how preposterous. Did Fonz demonstrate this by leaping over a shark? Maybe. Did the Happy Days writers try capitalizing on the Jaws excitement at the time? Probably. The Fonz made history by jumping that caged shark on water skis while wearing his leather jacket. People point to this episode as the beginning of the end of Happy Days. I disagree. We kept watching Potsie sing week after week, which was twenty times worse than the Fonz on water skis.

Sounds Can Be More Effective Than Words

The Fonz could communicate more effectively with making sounds than most politicians can with a ten minute speech. A thumbs up and an “Aaaayyy!” from the Fonz means that you just did something good. His “Whoa!” means he is getting down to business. As an adult, I save my words for when I have something important to say instead of just wanting to hear myself talk. Aaaayyyyy!

Do Your Work in the Bathroom

The Fonz had his office in the Men’s bathroom of Arnold’s. Enough said.

Be Cool

It sounds so simple, but it’s not. There are so many uncool people in this world. People just need to learn to relax a bit. Don’t treat everything like a life or death situation. Keep calm and keep your head. Just like the Fonz did when he stopped by Richie’s house to deliver that pizza when Richie was sick, and they whispered to him that there was a robber hiding in the closet. He simply wedged a chair against the door and locked him in there. It doesn’t get any cooler than that. Whoa!

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Ryan Crawley

Ryan Crawley is a writer from Illinois. He has his Masters in Reading and Literacy and teaches Creative Writing and Technology. He has two little dogs, Flair and Smoosh-Face. In the near future, he will be off the market. His wedding is June 10th, 2017. Sorry, ladies. 

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