On a sunny day in 1974 or 75 while playing in a park I met a boy who became the best friend the shallow man ever had. I can still remember our first conversation as if it took place hours ago. We discussed the critical subject of who would win a fight between the Fonz and Muhammed Ali. We evaluated the subject from many different angles. The Fonz, as far as we could recall had never actually hit anyone, but the threat of great power was always there. Ali, on the other hand had systematically taken most if not all of his opponents apart. After much discussion we agreed that Ali had the edge and would probably win any such contest.
The friendship I made on that day lasted through primary school, puberty and well into my adult life. We dated our first girls together, visited our first pub (underage) made the big trip in London “up west” to go dancing in a West End nightclub. In short, as one does with your best friend, shared many great experiences together. Even when the shallow man left London and moved to Amsterdam, we remained close. Sadly, in 2012, my old friend died far too soon of cancer. It occurred to me recently that in all the years in which we were friends, I did the typical male thing, which is that I never once told him that I loved him as the best and closest friend I ever had. I always assumed that we’d still be telling each other terrible jokes and having intellectual discussions about the merits of one woman versus another well into our seventies. So the advice of the shallow man is quite simple. If you have a best friend, don’t miss the opportunity, at least once, to tell them how much they mean to you, it’s something I’ll regret for the rest of my days not doing. Take the chance to do this as you’ll never know when life will step in and take this opportunity from you.