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Preparing for the Best

Thanks to the mega-selling Worst-Case Scenario handbooks, we now know how to cope with charging bulls, plunging elevators and runaway locomotives. But we remain woefully unprepared for dealing with good fortune. I've consulted the world's leading experts on best-case scenarios, and here are some suggestions:

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How to be a Nobel Peace laureate

1. Feign astonishment when the media call at 3 A.M.

2. Hint that the prize money will be used to "further the cause." Don’t worry, this in no way legally obligates you to actually share it.

3. Resist the temptation to intervene in disputes outside your expertise. Participants in bar fights, domestic disputes and traffic accidents may not appreciate your attempts to mediate. Trying to reason with them—"Yo, I’m a @#$%ing Nobel Peace laureate!"—may only inflame the situation.

4. Exercise discretion when wearing the Nobel medal. It is often an excellent ice-breaker but is best not displayed on first dates; hanging from the rear-view mirror to get out of speeding tickets; or at job interviews.

How to cope with a polite teenage child

1. Ask, "What’s wrong?"

2. Inspect your car for fresh dents.

3. Look for telltale signs of drug use: persistent smiling, hugging, laughter, insistence on smelling the roses, generalized delight in life.

4. If you find no dents or drugs, accept your good luck.

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