#751 Sitting on a grassy hill in the dark watching fireworks

Fire trickles and drips across the sky, old folks huddle and cuddle and babies cry, teenagers squeeze sweaty palms and look up, up way high. Because light fills the night, kabooms bang in the air, conversation stops, jaws drop, we all crane our necks up … and stare. Yes, when those fireworks erupt, when they splash in the dark, when those bright waterfalls drip down into our park, we all ooh and ahh at them big beautiful sparks.


fireworksPhoto from: here

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#753 When your sneeze stutter-stops for a second but then comes booming out

the sweet releaseYour head is a machine.

Honestly, just face it: your face and scalp are really just oily gift wrap over the giant, whirring Skull Factory running full-throttle inside your coconut. Just think about what’s going on up there.

First you’ve got sound waves constantly navigating your twisty, waxy ear canals like Luke Skywalker weaving through Death Star trenches. Then there’s your nose on permanent high sniff alert, searching out gas leaks in the basement, fresh croissants at the bakery, or coffee aisles in the grocery store. And we can’t forget your mouth and nose dancing together in the majestic art of breathing.

Some sort of sound wave metaphor

But wait, that’s not all. On top of these rickety assembly lines of important Head Business, you’ve got blood swirling around, mucus dripping all over the place, and neurons firing and bouncing off walls like a never ending game of Breakout.

Skull Factory’s a busy place, folks. The line keeps moving every day, every night, every year, forever.

BreakoutGiven how much is going on it’s no wonder the gears get gummed up once in a while. Rogue lashes jam your sockets, popsicles give you brainfreeze, and sneezes stall in your clogged-up noggin just as they’re trying to escape.

And you know what that feels like.

Face frozen in an awkward crunch, you stare at the ceiling and hold your hand up to your friend, pleading with the factory foreman to please just let it out. One eye popped open, the other squeezed shut, you clench your cheeks, twist your mouth into a triangle, and feel the lost sneeze pinball around your skull.

And then BOOM.

How good does it feel when that sneeze finally comes ripping out? The sweet release feels like someone yanking a red-hot, twisted wrench out of your grinding, crunched-up and steaming headgears to let all the oily, metal parts suddenly start whirring again.

You feel wild, you feel refreshed, and you just got a big face splash of


Midnight shiftPhotos from: here, here, here, and here

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#754 Filling your car with gas just before the price goes up

It's getting pricey out thereHere’s how it all goes down.

Well-dressed fatcats sit around a dark, mahogany table in the boardroom of a nondescript highrise deep in a dense metropolis on the coast of an exotic country. Anonymous and alone, they sip scotch, share pictures of new yachts, and make plans to jack gas prices for the long weekend.

Cuff links clinking on crystal glasses, celebratory cigar smoke filling the room, the gas execs laugh deep belly laughs, high-ten each other, and then file into limos to take them back to the airport. And of course, just before they leave, everyone does a shot of high-octane gasoline to keep the memory fresh and the evil juices flowing.

At least that’s how I imagine it.

After all, gas prices bob up and down and up and down and seemingly rise up whenever you cruise up to fill up for the weekend. We all know it’s a constant game and a constant battle.

But that’s why there’s something fun about watching those prices drip and drop ever so slowly throughout the week and then pulling in to fill your tank just before they zoom sky-high again.

Honestly, when you nail it just right you walk away laughing, patting the extra three dollars in your pocket and daydreaming of how you might spend it this time. Lottery ticket, windshield washer fluid, maybe some beef jerky for the ride home. Either way, you’ll be sitting pretty when you cruise by the station on a full tank tomorrow and notice the prices are hiked back up.

Bottom line, man: you came out to play the Gas Game this week.

And you won.


Let's remind folks what we're playing for herePhoto from: here and here

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#755 When you get to the bus stop right as the bus is wheeling around the corner

The opposite of the goodThin, flimsy plastic sheets propped up on wobbly rods shudder in the wind as the sleet shoots sideways and you shiver and shake in the dark and lonely bus shelter.

Wrapped in thin gloves and a thick, wet scarf, you stand patiently as your book-filled backpack silently jabs your spine and strains your shoulders. Fingers freezing, knees shaking, you wince and hug yourself as you keep looking way up the street, wishing, hoping, praying that you’ll please please see the bus heading right for you.

Folks, we’ve all been there and it’s not a pretty scene.

But hey, that’s what makes it so great when you hit one of those magic moments where you arrive at the bus stop just as the bus peels out from around the corner.

here she comesPupils dilate, eyebrows rise, and a clown-faced smile curls onto your face as you realize you just hit the Public Transportation Jackpot.

Yes, in those perfect scenes you’re suddenly a Bus Fleet Fatcat, swimming in tickets and tokens, commanding your private army of Sugar Rollers around town to pick you up and drop you off as you see fit. Baby, if you’re feeling this buzz, then there’s no reason you can’t get right into it, too — whistling with both pinkies just before it stops or clapping your hands beside your ear twice as if you’re hailing it for real.

And how perfect is it when this dream scene ends with the bus stopping right in front of you, the door swinging open, and the bright, round-faced driver flashing you a big toothy smile and a tip of the cap as you walk in the door.


time for some lucky numbersPhotos from: here, here, and here

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#757 Taking your shoes off on a long car or plane ride

The goalTreat your feet.

Come on, just look at them laying there in front of you as you relax in the backseat of the car. Sure, you’re just loving it back there, your shaggy locks whipping with the wind, your hand sailing carelessly out the window, and your head lightly bopping to the faint beat from the Buddy Holly tune on the radio.

But your feet, they are not fine, they are not carefree, and they ain’t bopping to no beat. No, they’re slippery, salty, and sweaty, wrapped tightly in a hot pocket of suffocating socks and shoes. Yes, buried deep under dense layers of cotton, wool, and leather, your aching soles are itching for some sweet release and a breath of fresh air.

So just let them out, friend.

Yes, when the car slips onto the sideroads, the bus hits the interstate, or the plane tips up for liftoff, it’s time to tug those laces and pull your paws right out of the Sweatcave.

Sock removal is optional, but what’s not optional is rubbing your feet against that little bar thing that’s hanging down from the seat in front of you on the bus or airplane to give your stiff, aching soles The Massage Of Their Life.

How good does that feel?

So next time, you’re goin’ to the grocer, goin’ faster than a roller coaster, remember that breaks like this will, rarely come your way. A-hey, a-hey-hey.

‘Cause everyday, life seems a little faster, things slip up, plans turn into disaster, so ditch your kicks and find a little escape. A-hey, a-hey-hey.


Photos from: hereand here

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But your feet, they are not fine, they are not carefree, they are not bopping to the beat. No, they’re slippery, salty, and sweaty, wrapped tightly in a hot pocket of suffocating shoes and socks. Buried under deep, dense layers of cotton, wool, leather, and Velcro, your aching soles are aching for a break.

So just let them out, friend.

Yes, when the car slips onto the sideroads, the plane lifts up for liftoff, or the ship sets sail for somewhere far away, it’s time to tug those laces

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#760 Really, really selling it while barbecuing in the backyard

getting it startedThat thick, smoky barbecue smell floats through the yard and everybody starts salivating for dinner.

Yes, sizzling sides of beef and black-burnt weiners are coming right up when the sun’s dropping, the party’s hopping, and your friends are all chilling with ice-clinking drinks on your backyard patio. And if you’re in charge of grilling up dinner, then there aren’t many things that scream I’m Serious About This more than really, really selling it to all your friends. Oh sure, some things come close such as:

  • owning a shiny, oversized nine-piece barbecue tool set and having it folded open on the picnic table
  • not leaving the barbecue area at any point and even holding onto the handle when the lid is down to make sure nobody attempts to flip burgers when you aren’t looking
  • wearing a giant apron with your name on it
  • asking everybody constant questions at all times such as “Did you say medium or medium-well?” and “You’re toasted, you’re toasted, you’re untoasted, right?”

9 piece bbq tool setYeah, don’t get me wrong, all those things shout I’m Serious About This, too. But nothing quite screams it like really selling it to the crowd. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever hammed it up with any of these classic moves:

  • “Dog up, I gotta dog up, who wants a dog?!”
  • “Come on Andrew, you’re not eating salad, are you? Come on, how many more can I sign you up for? Two at least?”
  • (walking around the deck with raised eyebrows holding a cold cheeseburger on your BBQ flipper and occasionally waggling it in someone’s face)
  • “Okay, I got a slightly burnt one. Who likes them nice and crispy? Nice and crispy one here, everybody. Niiiiiice and crispy.”

Yes, if you’re getting your barbecue groove on strong and you’re rocking the sales pitch long then kudos to you. Every deck party needs somebody to tell everybody else to eat more burgers. So today we salute you for embracing the job. You sold it. We bought it. And now we’re all feeling stuffed, bloated, and so completely


Cheeseburger, I gotta cheeseburger he-ah!Photos from: here, here,and here

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