#516 Picking up something that turns out to be a lot lighter than you expected

It’s the grocery bag of paper towels, the suitcase of socks, or the moving box of mittens.


Join us in Toronto for The Book of Awesome book party.

–Email message–

“Hey Neil,

I found your site in China Daily so the awesomeness has spread quickly. I immediately went onto your site as soon as I found it in the newspapers because just the site name sounded, and felt different. It was unlike anything I’ve ever heard or read before. And I was totally right. It’s the best thing I’ve ever read…

So, thanks for keeping the awesomeness alive. Just remember that, you’re not the only one going through some tough times. You will always have us 7th grade students in China reading, supporting and agreeing with every one of your blogs.” – Celine

Photo from: here

56 thoughts on “#516 Picking up something that turns out to be a lot lighter than you expected

  1. My purse after I clean it out. It’s a shock, honestly. I have to make sure my wallet didn’t fall out or something.

    WOW China!

    1. LOL…I do this. After I clean it out it feels like its empty and I have to go through it to make sure the important stuff is still in there.

  2. This,unfortunately, does not apply to a can of soda. When you pick it up expecting a nice refreshing drink and it turns out to be empty…NOT AWESOME!

  3. CATS.

    P.S. I saved a spot for you, Tyler! I know, i know, i’m late, but that’s partially your fault because i was looking through your Flickr!

    1. cats, lol, so true. The weird chihuahua i was telling you about is the complete opposite of this. You would think he’s fairly light but then you try and pick him up.. and omg, wth are they feeding him!

  4. Ooooooh, the feeling of your arms being more powerful than they actually are – lovely! That little upwards jolt as your arms travel the extra distance before realising they’re so much stronger than they needed to be. Like when you’re on a rollercoaster and your stomach “drops” – but in reverse!

  5. The anti-awesome: picking up something that turns out to be a lot heavier than you expected.

    That one door at the restaurant that has particularly stubborn hinges will always make you seem like a weakling.

    1. Hahaha. Yes.

      If it’s a push door, you feel so rejected. If it’s a pull door, you strain an arm muscle.

      1. It’s always a shame if you’re trying to be courteous and hold the door open…only to look pathetic as you struggle to pull.

    2. Well for some things it’s awesome if theyre heavier than you expected. Like when someone hands you a bag of Boules, or a school bag where theyve gone “Here feel how heavy this is!”, or a ‘very light’ person. You get a shock, then you laugh about it and straighten up from where youre leaning over with the object on the floor (although hopefully you didnt drop the person…)

  6. There is a funny clip in The Office where Jim slowly fills Dwights phone with coins, so it gets heavier.

    He then takes them all out and as Dwight is used to the weight, he whacks himself in the face with the phone!

          1. Yep..that’s it. Totally awesome. Here’s a list from wikipedia about the pranks Jim played on Dwight revealed in that episode.

            During the episode Michael reads off the numerous complaints Dwight made to Toby about Jim regarding the pranks Jim has pulled on Dwight over the years. These are the pranks mentioned in this episode:

            Dwight suspected Jim replaced all of his pens and pencils with crayons.
            Dwight complained that Jim paid everyone in the office to call him Dwayne all day, to which Jim would admit to in a talking head interview (“Five bucks each, and it was totally worth it!”).
            (As read by Michael in the complaint) “This morning, I found a bloody glove in my desk drawer, and Jim Halpert tried to convince me that I had committed murder. I think he may be the real murderer.”
            Jim convinced Dwight there was an abandoned infant in the women’s room. When Dwight went to investigate all he saw was Meredith on the can.
            (As read by Michael in the complaint) “This morning I knocked myself in the head with the phone.” Jim would reveal in a talking head interview that he continuously filled the phone with nickels until Dwight got used to the weight, and then he took them out, causing Dwight to hit himself in the head.
            Jim used a macro on Dwight’s computer that replaced Dwight’s name with the word “diapers” every time Dwight typed his name.
            Jim moved Dwight’s desk closer to the photocopier by an inch every time Dwight left his desk to go to the bathroom. By the end of the day, Jim had moved the desk 2 feet closer

            1. that one was so funny. :) my boyfriend told me this morning that he heard on the radio that steve carrell is going to leave the show after next season, ending the show. he said it’s not definite, but it’s definitely a possibility. so totally NOT AWESOME. i was quite upset.

    1. Yes, every spring we have Robin’s nest in our garage and wood shed and every year when I find some of those beautiful, delicate blue shells, I think the very same thing….remarkable!

  7. I was at a store the other day and I came across this thick book. It had a beautiful cover on it and when I went to pick it up to look for a title….it was a hallow book. I was prepared to pick up this 5 pound book, turned out it was as light as a feather. I went and found my friend and had her pick it up too. Hilarious!

  8. It’s especially fun to fake something being heavy, and then have someone else try to pick it up. With their preconceived notions about the weight of the object, the look of surprise they get when they all but launch the object is priceless.

    Well, okay, it is a little mean. But priceless!

    1. A similar thing: make a sugar paket out of kevlar or something, then the person can’t open it no matter how hard they try. When they try a different one in frustration sugar flies everywhere and they have to apologize to the people around them. Hilarious!

  9. Since my school runs on a block schedule, I have two different backpacks, one for white days and one for black days. After the semester changed, my black day bag got a lot lighter, it still freaks me out when I pick it up and see how light it is.

  10. This happens to me at work ALL the time. when we offload the trucks from the parties that weekend i’ll be expecting to be lifting a full keg and what do ya know! it’s empty. Oh such a wonderful feeling.

  11. I used to teach elementary school. One day on the playground a little girl wanted help getting into a swing. As the mother of two active boys, I prepared to support her weight, and heft her up into the seat. It turned out she was just a ball of fluff and I nearly threw her over my head, she was so light!

    1. Martha! You totally stole my comment. I’m not a teacher, but I have experienced this feeling for sure – you definitely get used to the weight of the kid(s) you normally pick up and a skinny mini can really surprise you!

      1. HA!! Yes…that is awesome. My kid is taller and bigger than other kids her age and when we go on a play date, I’ll pick up one of her friends to put on a swing or something and its like picking up air.

  12. i love to play jokes on my kiddos when they help bring groceries in from the car by handing them a “very heavy” bag as I pretend to be holding something so very heavy. I ask them to bulk up thier muscles and then I hand them the bad with paper tissue or chips and they always scream “Mooooomy!” Heeheehee. It IS Awesome!

  13. The best is when you pick up one of those opaque milk jugs with only a drop left. Whoosh! Suddenly you are moving with enthusiasm.

  14. This is a great one. I did this yesterday with my shoulder bag. I usually have two full water bottles in it and this time they were empty. I almost threw it over my shoulder because I wasn’t expecting it.

  15. Hey Neil!
    We think you should add the awesomeness of having a lollipop & dipping it in water! It keeps the sweet flavor yet tones it down with the water. Every kid does this, and sadly, Jenn & I still do:)

    It would be appreciated!

  16. Totally agree. One time we were moving a bunch of heavy boxes, which took hours, and then when there was but one left, nobody wanted to move it. So after a battle of rock-paper scissors, I lost and had to take the box. With a groan, I went to pick it up, only to find it wasn’t full of books like most of the other boxes, but lightbulbs. Awesome.

  17. I as at a university’s openhouse, and coming across the “Earth and Atmospheric Sciences” department, I went inside an seen a geo-prof. While the demonstration went on, he asked if someone strong could come up and catch a rock. I tried in because I was a football player and thought I could take it. So he picked up a dark grey rock half the size of an anvil. I thought I was going to get crushed. When he threw it at me, I buckled preparing to for on the floor. I caught, and It was LIGHT! It was the wieght of styrofoam. It turned out to be pumice, a rock with bubbles in it, and the reason it was SO light! I was relieved didn’t break my bones. That truly is AWESOME!

  18. You know, I just realized that it’s going to take another year to see all the awesome things. Which means only one thing. I surrender! I must buy the book asap. I’ve only been following this for a week or two, but I am totally hooked.

    1. Amen to that. I still need to get the book, I found it on Amazon for relatively cheap compared to the prices in stores. Yay internet!

  19. This idea reminds me that life is lighter than we often tell our selves. Yeah… your life sounds like it was heavy and horrible and yet these 1000 awesome things were all around you all the time. Thank YOU for the reminder, no matter how heavy life feels, it is really lighter if we start paying attention.
    HUGS… definitely awesome!

  20. Heard your interview on Q yesterday! I have been enjoying this list for almost a year now and am looking forward to the book! I think I’ll buy it for my kid. He’s 14 and knows all about awesome things.

  21. Picking up a jug of milk from the refrigerator, you assume it’s full but it’s already half-way gone. The jug hits the shelf above and your arm feels confused.

    Then there’s that moment where you spill something, like a drop of ketchup. Your first instinct when you see something hit your foot is to say “OUCH!”… but then you realize… “oh, that didn’t hurt.”

    AWESOME! =)

  22. Well this scares me – things being lighter than I thought… recently I lifted a big, seemingly heavy bottle and to my surprise it flew up bumping against the kitchen cupboard.

    What I love is when I carry something heavy, worry about it and a stranger comes to me and mumbles if he could help. It’s so old-fashioned and AWESOME!

    … And it happened to me just ones… but still…

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