#481 Licking all the flavor off your fingers

Get your snack on long.

Get your snack on strong.

Yes, as your movie-watching group melts into the couch for some lazy, late night, limbs everywhere screen time, there’s nothing finer than pouring Pepsis and passing around potato chips, cheesy puffs, and crisp-cracking nacho snacks.

People, life’s too short not too snack when we feel like it so keep snacking till you’re lying around with slow smiles, big crumbs on your shirt, and bright red fingers painted with barbecue hues, MSG marks, and Dorito dyes.

When you reach Total Snack Nirvana you’re loving the moment, but you’re sadly stuck with pasty mortar on your fingers that needs cleaning before getting red skid marks on the carpet, couch, or cat.

You know what to do.

Take a deep breath and slide those dayglow orange digits into your mouth to slowly savor the sweet salty encore of the snack you just scarfed down. Sure, sure, the curtain has dropped on those bowls of salty pleasure, but you stood whistling shouting ‘Bravo!’ long enough for it to come back for one final fleeting performance.

AWESOME!

The Book of Awesome is out in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Holland, France, and Germany.

— Email message —

“Hey neil! I got back from Europe and guess what I got as a welcome home present!?! If you said The Book of Awesome you’re 100% right! Of course I devoured it right away and as I was walking to class my friend noticed it peeking out of my bag. She grabbed it and started asking me about it and then I spent the next three hours reading aloud from the book to my friends! Everyone says I have a good voice for reading out loud, and it’s way more fun than keeping it all to myself!” – Reba

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#482 When your shoes are tight enough to stay on your foot but loose enough to slide on and off without untying them

Congratulations on reaching Total Shoe Actualization.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Hi Neil! I got my book of awesome in the mail last week. It is fun to read and it smells like a book should. Thanks!” – Avi

Photo from: here

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#483 Do Nothing Days

It’s like a mirage.

You see that distant Do Nothing day coming up on the horizon of your kitchen calendar. You stare at its white squarey blankess beckoning you closer and closer and closer. Time moves forward, days march on, and still nothing gets planned on that beautifully perfect patch of nothingness. No homework, no dinner dates, no sports practices, no visiting mates. It’s just you and you sharing a nice peaceful moment of alone time.

When you’re lucky enough to score a Do Nothing day, do yourself a favor and do nothing. Give your brain a break and slip into easy bliss of lying in crumpled sheets, taking a long bath, and ordering out for dinner. Ditch the guilt while you swing in a hammock, cuddle with your cat, or curl up on the couch in front of the TV.

Once in a while it’s good to enjoy a completely unproductive daydreamy day with a slow smile and no worries.

You earned it.

AWESOME!

Thank you for making The Book of Awesome a #1 bestseller!

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— Email message —

“as soon as i saw there was the book of awesome i knew it would be the go to gift for all my friends (especially those slightly pessimistic ones) my little bit of awesome?  (Besides working close enough to lake michigan that i can spend lunch there) After a night out with friends or at the bar, you are sound asleep when suddenly you bolt upright and panic! did you grab your credit card from the bar tab? did you leave you camera on the counter? is your cellphone still in a cab someplace? you scramble out of bed and check your pants pockets, your hoodie, a purse until you find all of your belongings and can sink back into a stress free sleep. awesome!” – jess
Photo from: here and here

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#484 Getting the Emergency Exit row on the airplane

You don’t want to sit next to me on an airplane.

Chances are good I’ll start drooling on your shoulder, accidentally crank your headset volume, or chat your ear off with boring anecdotes while you attempt to stare dreamily at cloudscapes out the window. Yes, you’ll politely nod and smile while I go on for half an hour about my terrible cell phone plan or the bloating I’ve been feeling lately. Honestly, if you end up sitting beside me on a plane I’ve got just one thing to say to you: Sorry.

Nobody can Party Save you now.

Now, I’ve only seen one successful strategy for avoiding the torture that is My Company. I took a flight recently where the woman next to me cocooned herself into a sensory deprivation chamber of headphones, blankets, and earplugs as soon as we sat down. She no doubt sensed my impending chat attack and defended against it immediately, even elbow-snagging the armrest for good measure.

Since the two of us happened to be sitting in the Emergency Exit row, I therefore became solely responsible for busting the door open if our plane crash landed. Yes, the flight attendant coached me on emergency moves and I nodded with steely eyes and firm lips while Snoozy Samantha snored on beside me.

After the plane took off I sat back in my chair feeling like the hero of the flight. After all, it could all come down to me. Sure, the harsh, unforgiving Andes might crunch our plane but they would never crunch my spirit.

As modest payment for accepting this critical role I scored some extra legroom to stretch out and relax. While everyone else had their knees in their laps, I was free to leg around freely, keeping my muscles warm and ready in case the going got tough.

Now, as if all that wasn’t good enough — the hero status, the legroom, the babes – there’s also one more big perk emergency exit row folks get for sitting there. They get out first.

Yes, when the inflatable slide pops open into the river or the flashing red lights shine a smoky path into the fiery forest, we are the Emergency Exit door kicker-openers …  running out first … leading the way … and saving the day.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Hi Neil, About twelve years ago I signed up for Big Sisters and was matched with Tiffany, an 11 year old creative spirit. We bonded instantly and spent many hours together doing awesome things. We then lost touch for a couple of years, but Tiff called out of the blue one day and we reconnected like there had never been a gap – (those types of friendships that last years of of space are truly awesome). Tiff has grown into a beautiful young woman and today I watched her graduate from college with tears of pride in my eyes.  I gave her The Book of Awesome as a present, and I tucked comments into the pages that rang true to me. I tucked money into the one about finding money in coat pockets. I added in a few words about how great it was to find money in books as well.” – Sandy

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#485 When someone saves you a seat

It’s time to get down with the get down…

At the movies! Your arms bearhug fat tubs of popcorn and slippery jumbo drinks as you blindly stumble down the dark aisle. You scan the chattery crowd dotting the red plushy tundra before noticing your friend thirty rows up giving you the two armed wave.

At the school assembly! You’re separated from your fourth grade soulmate and only see each other while double-dutching by the portables at recess. But then come student council speeches, music recitals, or a Thanksgiving play and suddenly your hearts spark again at the back of the bleachers.

 

At the concert! Boots up, you’re bumpily crowdsurfing at the front of the mosh pit. After you crash land on your neck in a dirty puddle of warm beer, your friend yanks you up by the wrist and squeezes you beside her right in front of the stage.

At the rocket ship before blastoff! You slept in and got stuck in highway traffic so now you’re chomping on a fistful of ice cream pellets while Velcroing your aluminum-foil-and-fishbowl getup together in the car. You arrive at the launchpad and race down the thin metal bridges into the ship as the engines fire up… and there’s Cindy! With a windbreaker lying on the window seat beside her.

Yes, when you spot a friend snagging you a prime seat it’s good times, it’s good times. After all, they’re expressing your friendship to the world by deciding twenty minutes of stinkeye is worth making sure you sit together. Now you get to chat, laugh, and love those good times with a close friend.

Buddy, I don’t know what you call that if you don’t call that

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Neil, I’d been going through a rough patch in life. You know, bad day after bad day, glum songs always on my iPod, etc. I made my parents buy me The Book of Awesome and I hate to sound cliché but it totally changed my outlook on life and turned my pessimism into optimism. I started noticing awesome things in life. I noticed that although we have no ‘really really old Tupperware’, we do have old Cool Whip containers. People waving at me from their cars, the smell of gasoline. It’s just made life that much more awesome to me… thank you from a devoted reader.” – Jordan

Photos from: here, here, and here

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#486 Getting through right away when you call a big company

Thank you for calling.

We are experiencing lower than normal call volumes.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“I got a call from my husband while I was at work that The Book of Awesome had finally arrived! I got the book the same day I found out I was pregnant! While I was sitting there waiting for the test, I flipped through the book and found a lot of my favorite awesome things. What could be more awesome than that? Baby and The Book of Awesome all in the same day!” ~Bekah….the green square  :-)

Photo from: here

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#487 Fitting into those jeans you haven’t been able to wear for a while

Brother, my closet is stuffed as a scarecrow.

See, I’ve got too many clothes because I keep all my old faves from years gone by. My drawers are packed with tattered jerseys, fraying undies,  and lonely socks praying for their partners to please come home. On top of all that, I’ve got dusty gems I can’t bear to toss — like a shirt I got for being Paperboy of the Month twenty years ago and one my friends made to celebrate a massive TV-watching marathon. Go Team Couch Potato.

Now, despite thejunky Grandma’s basement nature of my closet I do sometimes throw on hip waders and slip into the deep to try and fish things outta there. Usually I end up tossing an old pair of crap job shoes and a Genera Hypercolor T-shirt before it eventually happens: I pull out a faded pair of jeans from long, long ago.

My rusty brain suddenly flashes back to Saturday afternoons in the fitting room, the nervous first wash, and all those years this pair was #1 in my rotation. I hold it’s aging smooth-patches-and-lintballs body in my hands and suddenly decide to see if I can slip back into its cozy comfort.

As I close my door, shut my blinds, and yank that second skin up onto my plump, doughy ass I fondly remember rainy concerts, awkward makeout sessions, and dark summer nights in the park. I walk around the room and feel those shredded hems, smooth inside pockets, and all the old creases bending in just the right places.

I feel like I’m warmly welcoming an old friend back into my life.

I feel like I’m finally home.

AWESOME!— Email message —

“Dear Neil, my 8th grade class is currently working on the persuasion California state English learning standards.  As a special treat, I showed them 1000 Awesome Things and they now love it as much as I do.  We decided to create our very own tribute site to persuade others why something in particular is awesome. Check it out! Our site is called: www.30awesomethings.blogspot.com. I attached a photo of our class and I’m holding The Book of Awesome in the back row. Getting all of my students enthusiastic about an assignment, and making learning fun and inspirational is AWESOME!” – Ms. Pasternak

Photos from: here and here

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#488 Drying your hands on your pants

Swipe your dripping paws on those handy leg towels and let’s get back to business, baby.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“So…I heard about this blog from a friend and started following it just a few weeks ago! I told my other friend about it, who also knows that I never get things in the mail at college and I check my mail last week only to find The Book of Awesome in a cardboard box in my mail! I’ve been loving it ever since…”

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#489 Watching the sports highlights of the game you just finished watching

Couch potatoes of the world, hear my call.

We all know it’s great capping off three crumb-covered hours on the sofa by watching the highlights of the game you just watched. Yes, you lasted through all the timeouts, challenges, and pitching changes, so now’s your chance to relive that Sunday afternoon investment with a quick-clicking slideshow of the best parts.

Also, it’s fun comparing your Sportswatching Skills against the network to see who’s better. Did they show that blown call? Or that big save? What about the funny sign from the crowd? Chalk one up for potato if they missed something big.

Now, the greatest move is when you see the game live and then watch the highlights as soon as you get home. You’ve got a whole new camera angle and can even put both hands on the TV like a kitten to try and find yourself cheering in the crowd.

Yes, you came, you watched, and you saw the highlights.

Nobody can take that away from you.

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Hey Neil! I am now a broke college student but finally received my first pay cheque of the summer! First thing I bought with the money?.. The Book of Awesome, of course!” – Amberli

Photo from: here

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#490 Driving around with the windows down on late summer nights

Kids cruise on wobbly bikes, toddlers race on tipsy trikes, and you drift deep into the hot summer night. Swerve and curve on windy roads as darkness slowly falls and stars pop out to reveal a twinkly twilight glow. As you hit the gas and drop your windows the warm beating rush of summer air makes you smile and makes everything else in the world just fade away… fade away… fade away… fade away… fade away…

AWESOME!

— Email message —

“Hi Neil, I just discovered 1000 Awesome Things and it made me incredibly happy. SO happy in fact that I wrote it down as #3274 in my Happy Book. For about a year and a half now, my friends, neighbors, strangers, and I have written down thousands of things that make us happy. Many are inside jokes but some are “whipping out something random from your memory” (#1694) or “sitting in the back seat of a car without the people in front knowing” (#2866). I have the authors sign and date their entries. We all have bad days but looking through my Happy Book reminds me of when we were feeling different and cheers me up. Thank you for the blog and The Book of Awesome!” – Hannah

Photo from: here

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