#79 Little kids running around going completely insane

When I was growing up we had an extra bedroom in the basement that nobody ever used. It had no windows and was coated in thick purple shag carpet and soft velvety wallpaper. There was nothing inside except an old bed with a bouncy broken mattress, a couple pillows, and piles of thin flimsy sponge sheets the size of dining room tables leaned against the walls. We never knew where those spongy sheets came from and just assumed they were packing material from that time my parents were nuclear arms dealers.

Whenever my cousins Nikki and Adrian came over we’d wait until the adults were busy doing boring things like drinking punch and talking about interest rates and we’d sneak off to The Secret Basement Room Of Fun. That’s where we’d flick the lights off and run around blindly like madmen, bodychecking each other against the walls, squeezing each other into foam sheets, and jumping off the bed into mountainous pillowy landings. The whole time we were laughing hysterically, sweating buckets, and in a world of childhood bliss.

Fun time continued until somebody took a flying headbutt to their nose and started crying … or until an adult came to check on us. We would hear loud creaky footsteps coming down the stairs and would flick the lights on and pretend to be casually hanging out, with mysteriously soaking wet T-shirts, in a foam and pillow disaster zone. Since we were trustworthy kids we generally got away with it and flying headbutts, 360 piledrivers, and suplexes into the closet were never discussed.

My cousins and I still talk about that room today.

Little kids running around going completely insane is a beautiful thing. After all, kids grow up in bedrooms and backyards so when they escape into a head-swirly unknown it’s like they hit Total Infant Actualization. Spinning electrons in a spinning solar system can’t help lead to spinning bodies sometimes.

Yes, little girls in frilly dresses twirling in the middle of the dance floor, boys behind the school playing made up games, or just my cousins and I running around in shag carpeted darkness, are an amazing sight to behold. Let’s look fondly at little kids running around going completely insane and let’s let them remind us how easy it really is to find those secret hidden worlds of

AWESOME!

Today we enter the fourth year of 1000 Awesome Things and the 21st month of The Book of Awesome being at #1 on the bestseller list! Thank you so much for reading.

Photos from: here, here, and here

52 Comments

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52 responses to “#79 Little kids running around going completely insane

  1. You’re awesome man. You reminded me of the fan i had in my childhood only by “running around going compleyely insane”. Thanks a lot. Keep going.
    Greetings from greece!

    • Thanks bill! We all have so many running around memories. I suppose the challenge is keeping them going when we get older.

      By the way, I love your yogurt!

  2. Charlie

    Love this! Getting close to No1 (will this website just stop when you reach 1)

    • It will implode under the weight of the climax of pure awesomeness. ;)

      • wendy

        Neil, another question- would you consider selling prints of this site, in it’s entirety, when it reaches #1?PRETTY PLEASE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP!

        • Hey Wendy. What do you mean? Like, print with all 1000 awesome things written out in really smalll font? I was thinking of making something like that for myself, but I didn’t think there’d be any real interest in them.

          • wendy

            YES! YES! YES! Over dinner tonight, my husband and I were sizing it up to be comparable to the old testiment and new testiment combined!!
            AND ME WANT ONE-PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE!!!

            • wendy


              I think there’d be such a big interest in these, they may actually find themselves in motel/hotel dresser/night-stand drawers!
              Someone asked why this print, when you’d presume we’d have all the books! But if we’re on the same page, I mean…as forementioned…
              1000 Awesome Things, in its ENTIRETY! PLEASE!
              I’m so afraid of lock-down and not even being able to enter the site to read, reflect and reminisce! Which is usually what happens when one shuts it all down. I’m sure I’d require a whole new computer to down-load the site! I imagine there are others who want them too and for a price, they could fund an AWESOME party! Just saying, Freddo is back, April’s around the corner; I heard Bruce Springsteen is in Sandiego in April…just saying~ you and Bruce on the same stage, it all seems to be unfolding perfectly, sort of like Desiderata, you know…I’m Working On a Dream….AWESOME:)

      • You said it, lovethebadguy.

  3. That last picture is hilarious and too cute!

  4. wendy

    So beautiful! The older I get the more I can totally relate to “Total Infant Actualization!” And much like the little ones in the last photo, let it all hang out!
    Hogmanay everyone and thank you!

  5. Gonzo

    Love this one. WWF (Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, etc.) was really popular when I was growing up, so my siblings, cousins, and I would do the wrestling moves on an old water bed or in bounce houses … or just on grass. One cousin was about ten years older than the rest of my siblings and other cousins, so he would be the one to lift us up and body slam us. It’s funny how everything would be actions that could break one’s neck — according to my grandmother.

    • Kathy

      My son grew up during this time as well and he did the wrestling moves, too. I always loved when he and his friends made their own sound effects to accompany their moves just like in the old Batman episodes: “POW”, “ZAM!”

    • Don’t get me started! It was important to choose a good wrestler first. Ultimate and The Hulkster were great picks. If you went with Macho Man, you could have fun making crazy sunglasses and doing the voice. “Oh YE-ahhhhh”, etc. Plus, you could ideally get your cousin to be the Lovely Elizabeth. Better than getting your kid brother to be Mr. Fuji, I’d say.

      • wendy

        Perhaps “older sister” was preparing kid brother-“Mr. Fuji”, for Mr. Universe ~I’ve an image; a glimpse of #77; you, rounding a corner on the back of a convertible, *wafting* beautifully for awesome;)
        p.s. It was sure fun and nice of you to come out to play in the comments over the holidays, Neil:)

  6. Katarina

    This reminds me of running around with my sister in the backyard, madly trying to do cartwheels and somersaults! However, we always pushed each other/fell over before we could achieve gymnastic skill. But it was a totally awesome time of childhood bliss :)

  7. This is my world as a mother right now. So awesome! Even more awesome when the running around includes baking cupcakes to be made into little hamburgers for a birthday school treat. We’re insane! http://livewithflair.blogspot.com/2012/01/return-of-hamburger-cupcakes.html

  8. wendy

    I’ve been waiting for this moment~seems so right~

  9. Kathy

    What great joy! I used to love to watch my students outside at recess just running around like crazy, screaming and having fun. In the classroom they had to behave appropriately, but once set free for recess, they could be total kids. I really miss that part of my job…feeling that childhood joy.

  10. I’m thirteen and I absolutely LOVE it when I can be a little kid again. Nighttime manhunt at outdoor parties, bring it on!!!

  11. Magda

    It all starts out with giggles and laughter, but when it gets really out of hand, I come in, flicker the lights on and off a couple of times and request an aside with whoever looks like the most level headed of the group. I ask them how the situation descended into such rabid chaos in the first place.
    That usually works, and then with a little order, the smiles return. :)

  12. Being a kid was so much easier!

  13. This is wonderful! Thank you!!!

  14. So glad I found your site through Gretchen Rubin’s site. Something to look forward to everyday!

    Maria xx
    http://www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

  15. richier1ch

    Neil Pasricha? Is that really you on all the reply? Wow! Thanks for making all of us remember the best things about being kids. This one (#79) in particular, which my nephews and I did over the holiday period.

  16. Kim

    True story, I work in a day care. Kids are AWESOME! Sometimes I wonder what they are doing, but then decide that just being able to come up with some random game/entertainment is good enough for me and it’s awesome. Remember the days when we could just think of something to do all on our own or make it up?!

  17. I love watching my kids run around all crazy without a care in the world. Especially the baby… he doesn’t care how many times he falls, he just gets right back up and starts running again… sometimes flapping his arms like a bird. Its so cute!

    • So true, I have a 13-month old, and when the 2-year old cousins are around, away she goes, running, laughing, falling, getting back up, giggling, arms out. Ahh, what joys :)

  18. Kids being kids? Good one!

  19. Florence

    The kids are naturally, actually doing a form of Qi Gong~ healthy, intuitive. We can learn great things from the children~ remember to play freely ^.^

  20. logan white

    but what about older kids. they can be crazy too just like me ha ha ha =)

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  22. great points altogether, you just won a new reader. What could you suggest about your put up that you simply made a few days ago? Any certain?

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