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Hi everyone,

Welcome to The Top 50!


First off -- thank you for signing up for The Institute for
Global Happiness newsletter. The 1000 Awesome Things
blog has been a huge part of my life for the past number
of years and I cant tell you how grateful and honored I am
to talk to you every day. Its definitely a lot more fun talking
about awesome things with friends.
It seems like forever ago now but I started writing 1000
Awesome Things back on June 20, 2008 during a pretty
dark period in my life. I lived in a dark and empty house in
the suburbs of Toronto and was in a marriage heading the
wrong direction with a best friend battling major depression. One night I tried cheering myself up by searching for
How to start a blog and twenty minutes later 1000awesomethings.com was born through the free blogger software
over at Wordpress.com.
I wrote the first post as #1000 Broccoflower the strange,
mutant hybrid of natures most hideous vegetables and I
think that may potentially qualify as the most terrible way
to launch a blog ever. I mean, whos heard of broccoflower?
And of the few folks that do, who thinks its awesome? But
it made me laugh to myself so I pressed Publish and went
to bed. When I woke up the next morning I found that just
overnight the blog had collected a whopping zero hits!

Well, I figured deleting the first post would be cheating so I


left it hanging there over the weekend before returning on
Monday with #999 That last, crumby triangle in a bag
of potato chips. The next couple nights I wrote about grass
stains (#998) and locking people out of the car and pretending to drive away (#997) and within a week I started keeping scraps of old receipts and napkins by my computer and
bedside table and told friends that I was collecting any free,
simple, universal pleasures they came across in their day.
I found myself loving the process of writing and hitting
Publish and seeing something free and live and out
there just hanging around the Internet. When I had
about five awesome things up a week later and still no hits
other than my mom and my dad -- I sent the email below to
everyone I knew:
----- Original Message ----From: Neil Pasricha
To: Neil Pasricha
Sent: Wed Jun 25 20:01:28 2008
Subject: Honest to blog
Dear everyone I know,
Hope life is treating you well. Its getting hot here in Toronto and Im starting to enjoy the summer.
Sorry for the mass email, but I wanted to let you know that
I launched a blog. Id love for you to check it out at
http://www.1000awesomethings.com and let me know what you
think. Any feedback, suggestions, comments, or ideas are

I can let people know about it, Id love that too. If you
arent the blog-reading type, dont know what a blog is, or
have no idea who I am, sorry to bother you.
Thanks for reading everyone,
Neil
-Neils blog: http://www.1000awesomethings. com

And that was it! In a day or two that email gave me about a
thousand hits and then I started getting maybe a few dozen
hits a day. From there it just grew and grew and grew
Honestly, when I look back at broccoflower today I cant believe whats happened with the blog and book. And I mean,
a lot has changed for me personally: my wife and I split up,
my friend Chris sadly passed away, and I moved into a tiny
apartment in the city. But lots has stayed the same too -- I
still work the same office job, still have a sink full of dirty
dishes, and still come home from work every night and
write one awesome thing for tomorrow.
As I reread the list of the fifty most popular posts there are
lots of surprises. Look at #2 for example: Doing something
half-assed at the last minute and getting away with it. I
wrote it on one of those nights where I got home late after
going out with friends and completely forgot to update the
blog beforehand. So in a bleary-eyed state at just around
midnight I found a picture of a cute dog and literally halfassed it myself. Well, the post went viral on Digg.com and

over 100,000 hits came in out of nowhere! A similar viral


effect on social networking happened with Ordering off
the menu at fast food restaurants and Old classic board
games.
So The Top 50 is a fun list, a strange list, and a very different list than I think I ever would have suspected. None
of the entries in here are in either The Book of Awesome
nor The Book of (Even More) Awesome because for some
reason editors frown upon big fat asses, blowing your nose
in the shower, or yellow teeth. But today youre the proud
recipient of these disgusting gems!
What a year its been, what a few years its been, and what
special fun it is to do all of this together with you. I hope you
like The Top 50 and I hope you like The Institute for Global
Happiness. I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope.
Lots of love from snowy Canada and have a very awesome

day,

50. Feeling it in your bones


#340

24,503 Hits

Born and blasted into the world


youre a baby brain with wide eyes,
chubby legs, and cloudy thoughts.
Mom lifts you and picks you, eyes
open and close, and fogs rise and settle. Tears stream and faces scream as
your swirling brain twists and turns
into thoughts
Nothing makes sense till it does.
Nothing feels right till it does.
Chalk raps on blackboards beside
times tables, language stirs sounds
into sentences, and stories send you
flying into faraway worlds. Book
reports and homework inspections,
chemistry labs and biology dissections, all fill your spinning brain with
numbers and theories and thoughts
Nothing makes sense till it does.
Nothing feels right till it does.

Teenage sleepovers and late night


walks, summertime camps and suppertime talks, keep expanding your
mind and your understanding of the
world. First kisses and first touches,
first fights and first blushes, all fill
your heart with dreams, expand your
brains book shelf, and get you thinking about a life below the surface of
yourself.
Nothing makes sense till it does.
Nothing feels right till it does.
But sometimes challenging lectures or scattering friends, confusing
debates without exams at the end, can
frighten your mind and scare dreams
away, can frighten your life and trade
tomorrows for todays. Family pressures and social graces, broken promises from trusted faces, could suddenly swirl you upside down and scatter
your mind or dim your heart
When nothing makes sense
4

When nothing feels right


When it gets scary to
realize
There are no instructions in life
Thats when its time to stop, its time
to think, its time to pause, its time
to blink. When you hit the end of the
year open your eyes and look behind
you. When you hit the end of the
year open your eyes and look inside
you.
Because today youre right here
And theres so far to go
And today theres still
fear
But theres only
one way to know
Feel it in your bones, feel it in your
bones, feel it in your bones.

Feel your bones to move forward,


feel your bones to move on, feel your
bones to forget, feel your bones to
carry on just feel your bones to say
youre sorry, feel your bones to show
you care, feel your bones to choose
tomorrow, and feel those bones to get
you there.
Because when your world sorts itself
out, when your head moves aside,
when your heart thumps up front,
when that blood bubbles inside, well
thats when you know, thats when
you see, thats when you finally become what you were meant to be.
So whatever youre thinking about
today . stop trying to choose and
choose. Whatever youre searching
for today just look inside for clues.
Yes, whatever youre thinking about
just stop and feel instead. Cause
when you feel it in your bones you
can smile and forget your head.
Nothing makes sense till it does.

Nothing feels right till it does.


Nothing makes sense till you feel it.
Nothing feels right till you know.
AWESOME!

49. When a gift receipt is already in the box


#866

Thats why its great when you see


the gift receipt just laying in the box
after you pull out the gift. You avoid
the awkward Its okay if you dont
like it (No, no, I do), I wasnt sure
if it was something you wanted (No,
no, it is), They have it in black too
if you dont like green (No, no, I like
green), or I can give you the receipt
if you dont like it (No, no, I like it)
conversations.

26,274 Hits

Yes, when the gift receipt is already


in the box, there are no questions
But lets be honest, you may not want asked, no questions answered. Its just
sitting there, a secret wink, a private
to own the wise-cracking, cat-eating
head-nod, a quiet understanding
aliens first three seasons on DVD.
between you and the very kind, very
So if you land ALF, or a fondue kit, or generous, very thoughtful person who
a shot glass chess set, or a gelato mak- gave you the present.
er, or a sweater that doesnt fit you,
or the Wheel of Fortune board game, AWESOME!
then you may find yourself saying
Oh thank you, its just what I always 48. When dreams come true
#526
26,691 Hits
wanted, when youre actually thinking Oh thank you, its just what I
I was a bad baby.
never wanted.
From the time I was zero minutes old
ALF was a great TV show.

I was wide-eyed, wide-awake, crying


and cranky. Bedtime meant nothing
and my parents say Id often stand in
my crib staring around the room rattling the bars all night.
Sleeplessness stuck
as the years rolled
on and Id lie in the
dark quiet house
staring at the ceiling with my eyes
bugged open for
hours. Eventually
I discovered books
and started squinting through thick
Coke-bottle glasses
lips softly moving, fingers slowly
dragging getting
pulled into new
worlds and new
lives. Dim lights
cast dark shadows by my
dresser as I followed Frank and Joe
to Pirates Cove or cracked cases with
Encyclopedia Brown.

When I went to high school I tried to


sleep in, I practiced even, but it just
wouldnt take. And since nobody was
crazy enough to date me, I spent
most of my evenings nose deep
in musty yellow paperbacks
tattered from the library,
creasy finger-dents in the
backs, big cracks in the
spine.
These days my fingers
can still feel the crinkly color-faded pages of
garage sale Archie comics.
I can still smell the musty
kids section of the dim library basement. My brain
still reels with flashbulbpopping memories of
flipping pages with mom
before bed.

up with them under blankets on wet


rainy days.
Today The Book of Awesome hits
shelves around the United States.
Next week its coming to Canada.
And soon its coming to more countries around the world.
I feel tremendously lucky and honored that a chance to chat with yall
about awesome things rose out of
such difficult times in my personal
life. Your comments, suggestions, and
support means so much to me and I
sincerely hope you like the book.
And maybe this ones for yourself,
maybe its a gift for Grandma, or
maybe its for a little kid with thick
glasses to read under the covers tonight.
AWESOME!

I think Ive loved books since I was


a crib-rattling baby. I love squeezing them in suitcase pockets, leaving
them teetering on toilets, and curling
6

47. Staying up so late that everything becomes funny


#449

26,699 Hits

Midnight is long gone.


Maybe youre crowded around a
kitchen table pasting construction paper onto poster board,
squirreled into sleeping bags
on a cold basement floor, or
drinking cold coffee
and leaning over laptops before tomorrows big deadline.
Either way, its time
to face facts: youre
up way too late.
Your eyes burn a bit,
your head spaces out,
random arms or legs
starts throbbing, and maybe your
scalp gets really, really, really, really
itchy. Point is, youve ignored your
bodys Go to Sleep signals for hours
so now youre hunched over a walking stick squinting deep into the

foggy darkness of four, five, six in the solve and we realize were all part of
morning.
the same Bleary Eyed Giggling clan
telling bad jokes, laughing till it
The good news is your brain has
hurts, and smiling till sunrise.
developed just the system to charge
you up with extra juice and help you AWESOME!
power through. Yes, were talking
about massively lowered Standards 46. Nailing that perfect move
of Hilarity which help make
in a board game
everything funny. Someone steps
#515
28,131 Hits
on Styrofoam Jupiter, kicks Im terrible at board games.
a can of Coke onto the
pizza, or accidentally
Look at me: trying to roll doubles to
deletes the Powerpoint
bust outta jail, putting down bill or
slides, and suddenly ev- door on a no-word score, and frantieryone looks up at each cally stabbing my pencil at my scribother with tired raccoon bly drawing over and over while the
eyes and just starts
hourglass sand drips down. You see,
cracking up.
this why I love those rare moments
Late night laughing is
a beautiful moment because were letting ourselves stand
up and step back from whatevers
keeping us up. Gone are the stresses
of the group project, hanging dread
of the deadline, and tensions tying
us together. Now the differences dis7

when even I manage to nail a perfect


board game move:
10. When someone challenges a word
you made up in Scrabble and it ends
up being a real word. Thanks for your
giant, nonsensical vocabulary, Scrabble Dictionary. Well take op, pe, or xi
to the bank any day.

Pursuit category and getting the pie


9. Eating the last marble in Hungry, 6. When your partner figures out that piece. Thanks for saving the day Carl
Hungry Hippos. When the game
bumpy lump of purple clay youre
Lewis, Marlon Brando, or nitrogen.
begins its a gobble, gobble, give mom molding in Cranium is actually a
a headache feeding frenzy. But when cheeseburger. Good work, Michelan- 2. Coming up with a lie so good in
theres only one white marble spingelo.
Balderdash that when theyre all
ning around everything turns into
read out you almost believe your own
goosebump-popping, eyebrow-fur5. Guessing someones Mastermind
definition is the real one. Youre at
rowing strategy and wit. Make your
combination in three tries. Even
the top of your game so enjoy the
move and calmly splash back into the though its usually a fluke make sure moment and get ready to reel in some
river.
you take a minute to
suckers.
stare absently at the
8. Suddenly noticing you
ping-pong table and
1. Rolling double-sixes in Monopoly
got a surprise diagonal in
daydream about life
and landing between the other guys
Connect Four. When you
as a professional code- Park Place and Boardwalk hotels.
realize you won the game
breaker.
Good move skipping the five-star
make sure you throw your
joints in favor of crashing on Baltic
nose in the air, give a slow and evil
4. Actually using the horse to kill off Avenue. The kids didnt need a swimsmile, and calmly pet your cat. This
a major player in Chess. That legless ming pool or HBO anyway.
was your plan all along.
knight never seems very powerful
until the moment you realize hes in People, you know and I know it: these
7. Becoming a doctor in LIFE. When trampling distance of a big kill. Make Perfect Board Game Moments can
you land on the top salary spot youre sure you use the piece to purposefully change the game and knock your oplaughing for the rest of the game.
whack your opponent across the room ponent straight outta the living room.
Just make sure your station wagon
and, for extra fun, let out an obnoxTheyre beautiful little breaks in the
doesnt topple off the side the moun- ious whinny.
middle of tense moments that fill
tain spilling your pink and blue kids
family night with a great big shot of
everywhere.
3. Using the stock answer for a Trivial
8

at breakneck speed on a no-nonsense


express ride to the top.

AWESOME!

45. Ducks
#806

28,552 Hits

Because they can walk, fly, and


swim.
Ducks 3, humans 2.
AWESOME!

44. When the only other


person going up in the elevator is going to the same
floor as you

AWESOME!

43. Walking around with


a black eye
#695

Come on, Ill pick you up and drop


you off. You can use my extra equipment and Ill bring a bottle of water
for you. Plus, the guys there are really
easy going and casual. Youll have a
great time. Come on, itll be fun.

28,753 Hits

There was a bit of a Mexican standoff


Last year I went to
play badminton with as we sized each other up, squinted
a bit, and jutted our chins out, but
my friend Jon.
eventually I sucked it up, threw on
Yes, it turned out he was some sweatpants, and went along for
the ride.
a member of the local

racket (hey-ohhhhh!) and was in the


#894
28,731 Hits business of casually inviting friends
You know how it is: you walk into the to join him for a night as his Doubles
Partner.
elevator, you press your button, and
just as the door is about to fully close,
Now badminton, like all sports, was
a hand appears out of nowhere and
completely foreign to me so I had a
pulls it back open. Then a stranger
pile of excuses ready when he asked
walks in and presses the same button you already pressed, going to the including: I dont have a racquet,
I dont have a ball, I dont know
same floor you were already going.
how to play, and finally my trusty
Now thats luck, because after that
failsafe No.
brief Are they following me? vibe
passes, you get to zoom up the shaft
But Jon would have none of it.
9

Turns out Jon was a liar.


I entered the dimly lit high-school
gymnasium to the sight of highflying Asian superstars spiking the
birdie in all directions. Zipping and
zooming across the court, they leapt
three, four, five feet off the ground,
whacking the bird in high-stakes,
high-drama back and forth exchanges.
Oh, its not as tough as it looks,

Jon said to my pale and worried face.


And dont worry no one cares
how good you are. They just want to
get some exercise.
I stared at Jon with a worried glance,
but eventually unpeeled my racquet,
yanked up my tube socks, shivered a
few times, and stepped timidly onto
the court, where I proceeded to immediately get beaned in the eye by
a well-smacked birdie. People, Im
telling you straight up: I got shuttlecocked.
It happened quick and I dropped
my racquet stunned, cupping my
eye with both hands and sucking air
in loudly like a wheezy Shop-Vac.
Throbbing, swelling, bruising fast,
I was experiencing the birth of my
first-ever black eye.
Thick and dark, purple and navy
blue, I sported the big fat shiner for
the next week at work. And it felt
great, it felt liberating, it felt like I
was free because for once I wasnt

a wimp. No, for a moment I shed


my thin, fragile shell and motored
around town as a fighting thug with
an attitude problem. The black eye
screamed Dont mess with me,
Dont make me do it again, and
You should see the other guy.

holding onto the largest nail youve


got. And yeah, chopping it off can be
a tough job, but then again if you
didnt do it once in a while youd pop
holes in your socks and end up with
scraggly Hobbit Feet all the time,
complete with dirty, jagged Forest
Toenails.

Now, dont get me wrong: its not


great to get nailed in the face. Eyes
Thats why its so satisfying to saw
are delicate little peeled grapes which that big toenail right off.
we dont want squash balls, door
corners, or accelerating fists smackNow, there are a few
ing into. All Im saying is that if it
different ways to get
happens and everything works out
the job done:
fine, then just enjoy that week
of walking around with a
The Big Clip. My
black eye, tough
brother-in-law Dee used
guy.
to pull out this fancy salon
kit he had which contained a
AWESOME!
Jumbo Nail Clipper. Have you
seen once of these things? Theyre
enormous and well-suited to the job
42. When you cut-off your
of Big Toenail Cutter Offer. Clip, clip,
disgusting big toenail
#855
28,821 Hits youre done. And you can use it to
trim the hedges afterwards.
Big toes are tough.
Temporary Fang Nail. This is where
you clip both the left and right sides
Chances are good that Big Digit is
10

of the nail first, and then end up with AWESOME!


a temporary sharp and jagged fang
nail just sticking up like a dagger. Its 41. Not getting a hangover
pretty funny, but not safe around chil- when you were expecting to
dren or small animals. Lets be smart get one
and chop safe out there, folks.
#861
30,125 Hits
The Slow And Steady. This is the
classic. Time to pull out that old,
rusty nail clipper somebody bought
from the dollar store fifteen years ago
and set your foot on the bathroom
counter, a sunny patch of grass outside, or on yesterdays newspaper. You
have to scrunch your eyebrows, and
then slowly inch your way across the
nail, bit by bit by bit by bit, almost
peeling it off. Optional here is using
a nail file to scrape out the Residual
Toe Cheese.
When youre done, you end up with a
magnificently disgusting Giant Dirty
Shard of Big Toenail. And yeah, I
know its gross, and I know youll toss
it in the garbage soon, but you cant
tell me that for one beautiful moment
you just look at it and think

Dont ask me how this happens.


Sometimes it just happens.
AWESOME!

40. Proper urinal etiquette


#555

30,131 Hits

Just look at us.


We blast rocketships into outer space,
talk to people across the planet in seconds, and swallow
little pills to take away our
headaches.
Yet despite these giant leaps forward one
things still pretty primal
around the world. Ladies,
it aint pretty, but most
guys unzip and drip into
11

a dirty wall toilet while standing next


to a bunch of other dudes.
Thankfully theres some unspoken
urinal etiquette to help answer the
call of nature with class:
1. Respect The Buffer. The goal is to
leave as much space as possible between yourself and fellow urinators.
Take the corners first, take the middle
last, and when its tight out there use
the stall or come back later. Elbow
contact should be avoided at all costs.
2. High Shhh Alert. Talking is
frowned upon especially in the mall,
workplace, or everywhere. This aint
no coffee shop, people. Save that for
the sinks.
3. Temporary Food
Ban. Theres something wrong with
the guy who leaves a
sloshy bottle of beer
or a half-unwrapped
cheeseburger on top of the uri-

nal while he takes care of business.


The mental combination of food plus
bathroom is far too intense and must
be avoided at all costs.

choose their urinal based on how


good the poster looks. This is allowed
assuming all other rules are followed
first.

4. Fart em if you got em. I think we


know why.

Phew!

5. No middles,
problem. Picking the middle
from an empty bank of
three urinals is considered
a cardinal sin of the
highest order. This
terrible offense
upsets the natural
order of the mens
room.

no

Okay ladies, thanks for putting up


with us here. Yes, the mens room is a
nasty, dirty, filthy world. It aint pretty and it never will be. But its
part of our daily lives so lets
all help keep it classy and
keep it clean by respecting
the codes, respecting the
creed, and always observing
proper urinal etiquette.
AWESOME!

6. My, What a Nice


Wall. Eye contact is forbidden so keep staring down
that brick wall in front
of you. If theres a
poster hanging above
the urinal, its guaranteed
that every word will be read at least
three times. Some people may even

39. Getting piggybacked anywhere

1. Give yourself a break. Piggy-backing about town is a relaxing way to


get around. You just focus on holding
on and not strangling the piggy-backer and youre golden. Its quite relaxing, really.
2. See the world. Piggy-backing is
all about extra visibility and fresh
perspectives. Sitting up high piggystyle is good for the back row of a
crowded concert or for a kid trying
to get a better view of the fireworks
show. Yes, piggy-backing shoots you
up where the air is thin, the world is
small, and the bald spots swim around
you like shiny coins at the bottom of
a water fountain. The world is new
again.

3. Youve been shot by Cupid. Yes, according to ads for online dating, jeans,
#880
30,155 Hits or wedding rings, there arent many
This ancient and mystical mode of things that scream true love more
transportation deserves big ups for than piggy-back rides. Makes sense,
big reasons. Piggy-backing makes you too. Giving someone a piggy-back is a
tough slog and not the kind of transhappy in so many ways:
portation perk youd casually offer to
12

a first date or office coworker. Therefore, if youre piggy-backing, youre


in love.
4. You just got married in South Korea. Believe it, because according to
our egghead pals at Wikipedia, after
a South Korean wedding the groom
often gives a piggy-back ride to his
mother and then his bride, symbolizing his acceptance of his obligations
to both. This tradition was possibly
invented by banquet halls tired of
sweeping up rice and confetti at two
in the morning. But either way, congrats on just getting married in South
Korea.

AWESOME!

38. Bad school photo trends


#379

who knows: maybe crimped bangs,


sideburn steps, or glittery headbands
will come back one day. They could
be huge.

32,212 Hits

Forgot it was photo day. This is the


kid with the sideways bedhead, black
Buried in the basement, brass-framed eye from a playground dust up, or
in the family room, youve got a dusty simply a thin fraying T-shirt with a
810 gem of a bad school photo fea- classy ketchup stain crusted across the
collar.
turing a bad school photo trend:
Everybodys got a classic.

Posing with props. In addition to


teddy bears or keyboards, there was
always the picture of the new grad
smiling a big gummy smile holding
a rolled-up diploma beside their head
like a freshly caught trout. In case
So lets get down with the carryyou couldnt tell by the black robe,
around.
square paper hat, or encyclopedia
bookcase background, someone just
Jumping on someones back and be Old school trendy hairstyle. Wheth- got their last biology credit.
ing lugged around town is a sweet
er you got the Nike swoosh carved in
deal. If youre lucky enough to score the back of your buzz cut, rocked a
Braces smiles. You could always tell
a piggy-lift somewhere, I say wear a mushroom with a middle part, or had who had braces because their smile
big smile, try and return the favor the a wispy rat tail down to your shoulwas an awkwardly forced, big-dimnext time, and most of all, dont for- ders, the point is you were at on top
pled, tight-lipped beauty. Personally, I
get to thank your little piggy.
was always jealous of these kids since
of the sixth grade social circle. And
That laser background. Remember
when the studio hired an acid junkie
to paint that pink and blue laser
background for a couple years? There
you were buck-tooth smiling in front
of the light bright abyss. Kids, this is
what we thought the future looked
like.

13

their physical deformity was easier to


hide than a bumpy forehead full of
bright red zits or a set of thick, Cokebottle glasses. Hypothetically, I mean.
Too dressed up for photo day photo.
This is the boy whos mom dressed
him up with a brand new haircut,
classy sweater vest, and crisp red
bowtie. Or its the girl with perfectly
braided hair, a frilly pink dress, and
knee high socks. These pictures are
especially hilarious when the kid
looks really angry or accidentally
blinks.

37. When youre drowning


and then a dolphin comes to
your rescue
#812

32,718 Hits

And suddenly youre just hanging


onto its back with your arms tucked
firmly under its bottle nose, your face
salty and stinging, your hair matted
across your ears, as youre whisked
safely across the ocean on the ride of
your life.
AWESOME!

36. Flipping through the entire bank of posters at the


mall when you need to kill
time

Yes, theres something sweet about


pulling out old school photos and
sharing a laugh with the you of yes#901
36,241 Hits
terday. Because between those chubby
Have you ever needed to just kill
cheeks, side ponytails, and low hairlines is a blurry, faded version of the some time at the mall?
person you are today in a tiny splitSay your girlfriends doing rounds
second moment of growing up
at La Senza, your parents called and
said theyd be late picking you up, or
AWESOME!
the friend youre waiting for is mopping floors at the food court to finish
14

up their shift.
Well, thats when flipping through
the entire bank of posters at the back
of the music store comes in handy.
Because seriously, theres about fifty
posters there, too. If you take your
time and do it right, you can eat up
ten or fifteen minutes reading the entire Periodic Table of Mixed Drinks
or the 13 Different Types of Bowel
Movements.
AWESOME!

35. Celebrity baby names


#784

36,522 Hits

My old roommate Joey had a theory


about names.
Basically, everybody should get to
pick their own, he said one Sunday
morning, lazily sprawled across the
couch flipping channels, his pale and
hairy belly sticking out of his undershirt. I mean, why should the big-

gest part of my personal identity be


chosen by somebody else? Sure, youd
have a lot of six-year-olds named Superman, but wed consider it a placeholder until they changed it to reflect
their personality.
He then sealed his airtight argument
with a giant belch that filled the
room with the smell of midnight gyros and we didnt talk about it again.
Until now.
Its been a few years, but Im starting
to wonder if Joey had a point there
somewhere. Parents pick your name
for you, and sometimes they come up
with pretty strange ideas. But is there
anything wrong with unique names?
Well, maybe, maybe not. For thoughtprovoking discussion, lets ask these
celebrities:

Pear Rodriguez.

Grillmans kids dont have strange


names, but they do all have the same
9. Shannyn Sossamon Audio Scione. Big George differentiates by
ence. Says the actress from A Knights number and has also given each a
Tale in an interview: We wanted a
nickname: Monk, Red, Joe, Little
word, not a name, so my boyfriend
George, and Big Wheel.
read through the dictionary three or
four times. Hey, I guess that works.
5. The Edge Blue Angel. I guess
And maybe one day the little slugger Lisa, Jennifer, and Sue are automatiwill grow up to be a high-end ampli- cally out if your name starts with
fier. Ba-dum-ching!
The.
8. Robert Rodriguez Rocket, Racer,
Rebel, and Rogue. Dad will be so
upset if Rocket becomes a plumber
instead of developing the team into a
band of caped crusaders.
7. David and Victoria Beckham
Brooklyn and Ashlee Simpson
Bronx. Now, Bronx is a standalone
and the plus side of Brooklyn is that
its easily split into both Brook and
Lyn, making both slightly better
choices than Staten Island.

4. Bob Geldof and Paula Yates Fifi


Trixibelle, Little Pixie, Peaches Honeyblossom, and Luscious Tropical
Mango. This obviously cranks the
fruit-named theme up a few notches.
Personally, I think Peaches is pretty
sweet, though.

3. Jason Lee Pilot Inspektor. Jason


says he got the name from a Grandaddy song he likes called Hes
Simple, Hes Dumb, Hes The Pilot.
10. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris MarThat explains the Pilot part, anyway.
tin Apple. Theres something a
As for Inspektor, we can only assume
little ripe about naming your kid af- 6. George Foreman George, George, he was trying to differentiate from all
ter a piece of fruit. Just ask my friend George, George, and George. The
the kids named Inspector.
15

2. Jermaine Jackson Jermajesty.


Talk about leading a royally confusing life. Did you want pickles on the
side, Jermajesty? Maybe Jermaine
shouldve done what brother Michael
did with his baby Prince 2, which is
give him a more accessible nickname
like Blanket.

After all, they had to make a big pick


without you. And if they nailed it,
make sure you give them a hug and
let them know youre digging the
you-you.
Parents of the world, naming your
newbie seems like a tough gig. For
giving it thought and pulling it off
so your kids grow old and love what
1. Frank Zappa Moon Unit, Dweez- they got, well today we call you
il, Ahmet, and Diva Muffin. Now I
cant be the only person out there
AWESOME!
who wants to be called Dweezil.
Which Zappa would you be?
34. Roasting the perfect
Well hey, listen, obviously baby
names are getting more creative and
celebrities are once again leading the
charge. So do you agree with Joey and
think we should all just pick our own
then? Or do you think these names
are beautiful and we should be happy
getting what we got?

marshmallow

#902

38,178 Hits

33. When your favorite sports


team is in the big nationally
televised game
#907

38,522 Hits

Maybe youre the San Diego Chargers


fan who watches every game wearing a football helmet and a big foam
thumb on your couch. Maybe youre
a diehard freak for the Boston Red
Sox, Montreal Canadiens, or Manchester United. Or maybe you cant
stop watching Chinese Taipeis majestic Cinderella climb into the Little
League World Series.
Whatever your bag, one things
for sure: theres nothing finer than
watching your favorite team on national television. For so many reasons:

First you turn that stick slowly over


those blazing hot coals, letting the
marshmallow crisp and bloat up into
a golden brown cylinder of warm and
drippy goo.
Pressure. The audience for your
team shoots up exponentially and
Then, just as it starts to slide a bit,
your favorite players are broadcast
you grab that sticky, drippy mess, tilt into strange living rooms around the
All Im going to say is the jurys still back your head, and just toss it right
world. This is the big moment where
out, but if youve got a name you like, on home.
everybody will judge you, so you beta name that fits you and you fit, then
ter be ready to perform. Dont let it
give three cheers and call your folks. AWESOME!
get to your head.
16

Better announcers. Okay, you may


lose some of the local favorites who
cheer for your club all the time. But
you gain the veterans whove been
broadcasting for years. I mean, how
sweet is it when Joe Morgan chimes
in with a stat on Sunday Night Baseball? Its like gravelly, statisticallyaccurate music.
Feel like youre home. Hey, if you
dont live in your home town anymore the big show might be the
only chance you get to see your team
play. How great is it to watch The
World Cup in big city bars around the
world? Thats what Im talking about.
It means youre at least somewhat decent. Because they probably wouldnt
broadcast you nationally if your team
was the Baltimore Orioles or something.
When your local club makes the
Monday game, the World Cup, or the
Final Four, theres just something special about sitting down at home and
watching them compete on that big
stage. So take the phone off the hook,
make some popcorn, and settle in for

a great night with a million friends.


AWESOME!

32. Really, really short people


#625

39,112 Hits

Theyre short and theres nothing


they can do about it except learn to
live with their crazy shortness. For
this reason, we respect them and
think theyre cool.
If youre really, really
short, you feel it, because this is your
life:

You cant reach anything. Kitchen


cupboards and closest shelves are bad
enough, but the worst is when you
find yourself somewhere alone and
stoolless. People, if youve ever found
yourself climbing the hotel bar fridge
to reach the coffee filters or stepping
on the metal grocery store shelf to
reach the hot sauce then you know
what Im talking about.
Hard to date people. Well, not hard,
but complicated. I mean, would you
date someone really, really short? If not, you
see the problem here.
And dont even get me
started the short-guysdancing-with-tall-girls
things. Fellas, I been
there, too. Its not easy.

Forget seeing anything


at concerts.
Sure, everybody
You can forget about that proloves being behind you, but
volleyball career. You might still
at what price? The standing area is a
make it as a referee, but thats about
bad scene and mosh pits are strictly
it.
off limits. No, youre stuck sitting at
the bar or watching from the balcony.
Youre constantly adjusting drivers
17

seats and mirrors. On top of that, really, really tall people complain when
they get in the car after you and have
to adjust everything because they
cant fit.

thing.

Whoopi Goldberg or the victim of a


frat hazing that went too far.

So go on and throw them a smile and


a nod, a cracking high five, and some
quiet and humble respect.

Some roller coasters are off limits.


AWESOME!
Minimum height requirements are
clearly relics from a discriminatory
31. Your eyebrows
society that inhabited this land before
#792
us.
All hail the mighty brow.
It really is a tough life.
So next time you see a really, really
short person, break out the empathy.
Remember: theyre short and theres
nothing they can do except learn to
live with their crazy shortness. Sure,
they buy cheaper childrens clothes,
find the best spots in Hide and Seek,
sleep easier on couches, easily avoid
walking into tree branches, are more
comfortable at movies, and curl nicely
into cramped spooning arrangements,
but they also have to live life with a
lot of limits. In this upside-down and
inside-out world, thats worth some-

31,893 Hits

Folks, I ask you: whats not to love


about these shaggy forehead caterpillars? Lets rack them up:
1. Sweat-B-Gone. Your shiny, slippery forehead is the perfect runway
for sweat to launch straight into your
eyes, stinging and blinding you as
you go about shoveling the driveway.
Good thing your perfectly shaped
eyebrows are there, staunch and hairy
defenders of the eyeball, whisking
away sweat and keeping you seeing.
2. Dont look ridiculous. If you had
no eyebrows, youd sort of look like
18

3. Quiet talk. They say that 95% of


all communication is non-verbal. You
know, its less what you say, more how
you say it. Its your dress, your walk,
your eyes, and the way you move your
body. And if thats true, what Body
Prop comes in handier for this quiet
talk than your ol eyebrows? Pop them
up to show surprise, squint them
tightly to show you aint happy, and
maybe furrow one slightly to show
youre a bit confused. Eyebrows can
help you say so much with so little.
Although we may often forget it, our
eyebrows are rocking the forehead
from the day were born to the day
we die. They soldier on in the sun,
sleet, wind, and rain and need to look
pretty doing it. They dont take vacations and they dont complain.
So lets give it up for our eyebrows,
ladies and gentlemen. Lets give it up
for dry eyes. Lets give it up for show-

ing emotion. Lets give it up for not


looking ridiculous.

lingering around your nose or upper


lip afterwards, too. Its not pretty.

And lets give it up for love.

So thats why its great when you


discover some surprise, two-ply toilet
paper in a public restroom or some
surprise two-ply Kleenex on the counter at the doctors office. Yes, when
its two-ply, youre flying high, baby,
because it comes out easy, goes down
smooth, and just feels like home.

AWESOME!

30. Surprise two-ply


#914

45,123 Hits

Anyone else hate those big toilet


paper wheels in the public restroom?
You know the ones. Theyre big,
theyre plastic, and they hold massive rolls of thin, transluscent one-ply
toilet paper. And theyre pretty stingy
with their papery plunder, too. Yes,
you have to stick your hand up there
and fish around a bit to find a loose
end, and then give it an even, gentle
tug just so to prevent it from ripping
into bits.

AWESOME!

29. When someone tells you


that you have something in
your teeth
#952

47,512 Hits

Natural team players, your big ol


teeth chomp and ship freshly ground
foodpaste down the gully to the rest
of your digestive system, who finAnd hey, how about those light, hos- ish the job up in style. But unlike
pital boxes of one-ply Kleenex? Same your stomach or large intestine, teeth
deal, right? Blow your nose into that actually have to look pretty doing it.
stuff and youll find your hands turn Theyre the frontman of the band,
into a slippery, sticky mess. You might the captain of the ship, the CEO of
even have a few tiny bits of Kleenex Swallow It, Inc. Yes, your teeth are
19

on stage for the big scene at the dinner table, while the rest of the brown,
slippery organs down below change
sets, hoist lighting, and clink triangles
in the pit band.
Now, while our teeth are pulling
double-duty on the front lines, we
sure dont make their lives much
easier. Theyre sweating away, trying
to get the job done, and were talking,
smiling, and laughing. On top of that
were eating popcorn, spinach, and
poppy-seed bagels, lodging tiny bits
of food up into their fine nooks and
crannies, turning their brave attempts
to look pretty into a cartoonish poster
about improper dental hygiene.
Thats why its so great when someone tips you off that theres something in your teeth. A quick, subtle
tap to their own teeth or a whispered
aside are enough to let you know your
big, bright smile is currently featuring a piece of tomato skin. Of course,
you might not get it at first, so expect to say Did I get it? and Is it

gone? a few times before you finally ful shot.


send it on its way. If youre comfortable, you might even need their phys- I mean sure, it might sting a bit. But
ical assistance as pictured.
check out that brand new skin underneath. All flaky and pink, ready and
So I say we owe massive head-bows
waiting for whatever this great big
and hand-kisses to these gracious tip- world has to offer. Even if it offers
per-offers. And surely we owe them
another round of rollerskating withthe same courtesy back, too. Lets
out kneepads on a gravel driveway.
all work together to keep the whole
worlds teeth free of little tiny bits of Yes, picking scabs is a sweet guilty
jammed up food.
release like twisting your tongue
into your loose baby teeth, popping
AWESOME!
big zits in the center of your cheeks,
or dropping hot farts underneath the
sheets.
28. Picking scabs
#903

50,112 Hits

Theres just something so tempting


about picking your scabs.
Maybe its because they sort of
brown, harden, and crisp up, and
end up looking like small, bumpy
countries on the side of a topographical map. You just cant help but play
God, cracking up the coastline, slowly
twisting the island around, or just ripping the whole thing off in one pain-

AWESOME!

27. Memories of McDonaldland


#657

someones cool mom dropped some


bills on a deliciously greasy birthday
party. There was usually a giant mural along the wall with all the McDonaldland characters living fantasy
lives in their all-burgers-all-the-time
world. If you were lucky, you might
even have played on the McDonaldland playground equipment with
some of these guys:
The Hamburglar. Hes dressed in
black-and-white striped prison garb
so we know he just escaped from the
slammer. Maybe he broke out after a
couple days of tuna melts and grilled
cheeses. Anyway, Im guessing hes
going to get caught again because
that raccoon eye patch, oversized red
tie, and Jackie O retro sunhat isnt a
great disguise.

50,643 Hits

Mayor McCheese. Even though his


head is a giant, wobbly cheeseburger,
this guy is as suave as they come. Just
look at the top hat, diplomats sash,
and fancy reading specs. I feel like
Growing up, we occasionally holed
up in the corner of McDonalds when this greasy politician (hey-ohhhhhh!)
McDonaldland was the trippy makebelieve world where all the McDonalds characters lived in harmony.

20

stumbled into the Happy Meal unirunning fast enough through town to
verse by accident. He should be at the catch all the escaped convicts. Thats
opera or something.
okay though, because his permanently frazzled eyebrows tell us hes
Captain Crook. Did anybody else
trying.
think some lazy ad exec watched
Peter Pan the night before inventing Apple Pie Trees, Filet-O-Fish Lakes,
this guy?
and Hamburger Patches. In McDonaldland there were no beef process Ronald McDonald. Sadly, the reding plants,
deep
haired clown was the most boring
sea trawlers,
in the bunch. But then again, even
or sugar kilns.
though he looked like a hungover 30- Instead you
year old in facepaint, he did inspire a just plucked
generation of goths.
hot hamburgers
out of the patch,
Grimace. Everybodys favorite,
cast a line for
the purple giant played the lovable
Filets, and kicked
clumsy doofus of McDonaldland. Of the trunk of the
course, in the original ads he had four Apple Pie Tree for desarms, lived in a cave, and stole milk- sert.
shakes. Just thinking about it gives
me nightmares.
Uncle OGrimacey. Grimaces Irish uncle visited in March
Officer Big Mac. His giant two-all- and brought his delicious Shamrock
beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuceShakes with him. On another note,
cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesamedid anybody else ever wonder where
seed-bun head prevents him from
Auntie OOrangey was, because
21

where did those delicious McArctic


Orange shakes come from?
Fry Guys. These guys were called
Gobblins, Fry Guys, Fry Kids, PacMan Ghosts With Legs, or Rollerskating Pom Poms.
Birdie the Early Bird. Poor Birdie
was the only female in McDonaldland. She got out of bed early to tell
us about the breakfast
items. After that, Im
guessing she usually hit
the pool hall or shooting range with Smurfette.
People, McDonaldland
wasnt a fictional place. No, it existed
in the dimly-lit corner by the bathrooms and on the dangerous plastimold playground equipment in the
parking lot.
It existed in the hearts and minds
of kids everywhere because it was a
place where we could be kids. Slam

shots of orange drink, throw on some


paper hats, play Pin the Arms on Grimace or Stack the Big Mac boxes, and
scream as loud as you can. Then get
bloated on sundaes, jump in the minivan, and smile a slow, sticky smile on
the drive home.
Sure, maybe it was dangerous. Sure,
maybe it wasnt good for us.
But it sure was childhood.
And it sure was
AWESOME!

26. Peeing in a pool


#888

53,152 Hits

Okay, admit it.


Youve done it, Ive done it, weve all
done it together.
And sure, peeing in the pool is a bit
of a social faux pas, but dang girl, it
sure feels good, doesnt it? After all:

Mini hot-tub. You get that classic hot


cloud effect, where suddenly theres
a nice warm water-diaper hanging
around you. Yeah, yeah, its gross, but
dont worry. Its sterile.
Feel that drain. Because holding it in
isnt good for you, either. So just let it
out, let your bladder relax, and enjoy
the feeling.
Its a secret. Unless you tell others, of
course, which isnt recommended. But
theres something sweet about keeping this one real quiet. Especially because the pools probably half urine,
anyway. Admitting you just peed will
result in everyone else admitting they
peed, too.
Now, peeing in a lake is a decent alternative, but without the big dose of
chlorine you might actually get someone sick if they go under and swallow a mouthful. And that just really
wouldnt be funny.
No, it wouldnt be funny at all.
AWESOME!
22

25. Wrong colored foods


#542

54,746 Hits

Believe it.
Theres something great about eating foods that arent the color theyre
supposed to be. When you chomp on
those deliciously mutant creations,
its a feast for all your senses. Since
the days of cavemen eating albino
monkeys, weve been loving the unexplainable brain-jarring jolts of happiness that come with eating foods so
wrong they just feel right:
Purple or green ketchup. Back in
the good ol days Heinz decided to
make ketchup in different colors.
There was something about smearing that purple paint on your fries
that head-tripped you back to being
a little kid enjoying birthdays and
barbecues.
Black rice or black salt. The first
time I saw black rice I thought it was
white rice still in its shell. I pictured
a big factory of steaming gears and

smoking chimneys cracking open


each grain with boxing mitts on a
long, superthin assembly line.

it, think outside the color spectrum.

Colored cupcakes. This is truly the


Crystal Pepsi. If you loved drinkclosest most of us will ever get to eating clear cola then I bet you loved the ing a rainbow.
Cauliflower spawns. There was a
90s. I also bet you can whistle The
time we only had one kind of strange Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. Now, sometimes its fun to chat about
mutant-colored cauliflower sitting in
what makes awesome things awethe produce stand. However, scientists Green beer. Hey, if you like a few
some. But then again, for some things
have recently returned from more
drops of blue food coloring in the
its fun to just smile and accept thats
trips to outer space and lugged home cheapest keg-swill we can find, then just the way they are. Wrong colored
suitcases full of these orange and
have we got a holiday for you!
foods are something we just have to
purple beasts.
accept. Come on, theres no denying
Shamrock Shakes. Now, while were theyre weirdly hilarious, strangely
All the other veggies in the rockdying your beer green for St. Pattys
beautiful, and most certainly
etship. Yes, Im talking about dark
Day, lets stop and appreciate Uncle
purple potatoes, bright yellow carrots, OGrimacey bringing the love to
AWESOME!
golden beets, and yellow raspberries. McDonalds. Yes, his green shakes spit
Thank you for these, aliens.
in the face of the plain swirly flavors 24. Getting through it
from The Man during the rest of
#601
55,281 Hits
Blue or red tortilla chips. Nothing
the year. Dont mess with Grimaces
That was a tough one.
cranks the party dial from mellow
uncle, folks.
to wild like popping out a bag of
Come on in and stop for a second to
strange colored nachos, people. Pour White bread dyed pastel colors.
shake your head, dust yourself off,
them out and back far, far away. Its
Okay, who else went to church baand look back at how far youve come.
time to go crazy.
zaars when they were a little kid and
ate delicately hand crafted egg-salad Sure, its been a long year. Some
Taco Bells Blackjack Tacos. Think
sandwiches made by sweet little old
crushing lows slapped you and
outside the bun. And while youre at ladies?
smacked you around. There were
23

times your heart dipped and you


squinted back tears while your stomach squeezed so tightly you couldnt
sleep. There were moments you
walked around in a glossy-eyeball
daze when loved ones hurt, friends
didnt stay, or someone dear to your
heart slowly drifted away.

Yes, this year changed you and grew


you in so many ways you dont even
feel or notice yet. As you struggled
you empathized, as you slipped
you understood, as you worked you
earned
as you looked you learned

Sleepless nights, stressful nights, with


teething babies, slurring customers,
as you dared you grew
bad bosses, bickering boyfriends, or
blank computer screens. You were
and as you jumped you flew.
feeling and you were dealing and you
were reeling and you were healing.
Your dreams are still focusing and
your passion is growing. Your energy
But as you walked your hard path
is still bubbling and your story keeps
down your long and bumpy road
going.
some little drops of confidence
dripped like coffee into your head and Youve been through so much and
into your heart. As you stumbled and gained a years supply of experience
got back up a quiet inner strength
along the way. Youre stronger than
slowly seeped into your bones. And as you were last year and stronger than
you climbed over obstacles set in your you realize. Sure, there were times
way some relaxed satisfaction and
you bent, but you definitely didnt
growing self-awareness glimmered
break. There were times you caved,
like bright lights at the bottom of
but you definitely didnt flake.
your stomach.
24

Listen up: you got bigger, you got better, and you got the scars to prove it.
So stop for a second today to smile
and look back at everything youve
done this year everything youve
seen everywhere youve been
Youve taken more illegal naps and
had more blurry-eyed late nights.
Youve danced to more wedding songs
and smiled at more beautiful sights.
Youve seen more scorching sunsets
and heard more head-bopping songs.
Youve tripped a few times, but baby,
you kept rolling right along.
Yes, youve hugged more old friends
and kissed some brand new pretty
faces.
Youve cheered more on the sidelines
and visited some brand new pretty
places.
You tasted more meals, you got more

Of course, everyone on the teams


losing brain cells by the minute from
the fumes which smell like a jammed
And you made it all the way through laser printer had sex with a gas stathis year because youre so completely tion.
deals, and youve sniffed more flower
blossoms.

AWESOME!

23. Being the guy in the construction crew who gets to


hold the stop sign
#962

58,726 Hits

Sometimes you drive by those construction workers and you just cant
believe what theyre going through.
Everyones face is covered in hot soot,
sewer grease, and rain. One guy is
up to his neck in the road, another
is jackhammering his spinal column into dust, and then theres the
guy driving the big roller, smearing
steaming asphalt around like butter. And littering all these folks are
the guys cranking pickaxes into the
ground and the ones trying to steer
big, clunky bulldozers down the narrow gravel shoulder beside the ditch.

If you happen to be working on a


team of construction workers, then
I think youre pretty lucky if they
hand you the job of being the guy
who gets to hold the Stop sign. You
must be either the grizzled veteran
who earned each day of the Stop sign
job with each slipped disc over the
years, or youre the skinny, babyfaced
newbie who nobody trusts within a
quarter mile of the job site.

more practical. No burning of the


fingers. No getting your thumb all
scraped. No trying to find this tiny
little lighter that could be anywhere.
You cant lose a barbecue lighter. The
things the size of a fork. Sure, its got
a little more weight, but it still fits
in the average purse or pocket. And
you can control the size of the flame!
Thats gotta be worth something.
I think everyone should start carrying these things around instead of
regular lighters. And who knows, you
might actually have to light a barbecue sometime.
So there you go.

Either way, if you can handle the


guilt then your jobs, well

21. Drinking a glass of cold


water right after eating ice
cream

AWESOME!

22. Barbecue lighers


#968

60,312 Hits

Shouldnt all lighters be replaced by


barbecue lighters? Theyre not much
more expensive, but theyre so much
25

AWESOME!

#906

60,341 Hits

Drinking a glass of cold water right


after eating ice cream is like pure
freezing cold mouth bliss. Your inside

cheeks are frozen raw, your throat is


cold and stiff, and your molars are
wedged tightly with bits of nuts and
chocolate.

20. Facial hair experiments


#875

66,156 Hits

I used to be The Wolf Man.

At least, thats what a


big guy named Fletch
used to call me in
tenth grade homeroom.
He said it with a hearty,
bug-eyed giggle while pinching and tugging the soft patches
of thin, black hair extending from
my ears to my collar bones.
Now, I wasnt just born
And is it just me, or does the water
The Wolf Man. No, I had
seem to take away a bit of the guilt,
to create the identity by
too? Like youre somehow balancfirst building up the guts
ing out the cold, fat lump of Cherry
to trim my thin, soft mustache and
Garcia in the pit of your stomach
sideburns for the first time. That first
with something healthy and calling it
shave was a nerve-wracking ordeal,
even.
with a fresh razor, a steamy mirror,
too much lather, and too much blood.
Hey, works for me.
So when you chug down that cold
glass of water, its like an Arctic dam
spilling into a sugary mineshaft. That
water just feels so refreshing like
jumping into a bathtub of ice cubes,
injecting Gatorade into your heart, or
showering after a really, really long
time.

AWESOME!

too. So I didnt get the neck area. I


completely missed the neck area. So
for a good couple of weeks, I walked
around high school with a smooth,
freshly shorn face, and an untamed,
hairy neck area.
Ar-ar-aroooooooo!
But you know, looking back, I
really do
miss it. I
certainly
couldnt
pull off the
Gratuitously Hairy
Neck look these days, unless I wanted
to leave Cubicle City to become a
mountain guide, longshore fisherman, or professional scarf warmerupper.

And its not just the Hairy Neck look


And I guess being around fifteen
that deserves mention. There are so
years old and new to this whole slicmany other classic facial hair experiing the hair off your face with a knife
ments:
thing, I didnt realize that you were
supposed to get the whole neck area,
26

6. Mutton Chops. Although it seems


obvious, mutton chops are so named
because they look just like big lamb
chops. The thicker, the hairier, the
better, as you can tell from the photo
of famous 19th century Norwegian
playright Henrik Ibsen. His closest
rival for the Muttonchop Crown was
probably Elvis, but really it couldnt
have been that close. I mean, just look
at those beautifully shaggy chops.

in their past.

expressive about experimenting with


a dull razor in a steamy bathroom
mirror.

3. Soul Patches. Apparently, the soul


patch became popular with jazz
trumpeters in the 50s and 60s because And remember: no matter how
it provided a nice, comfortable place crooked your chin strap, how tiny
to rest their trumpet. Yeah, for real.
your mutton chops, or how splotchy
your weird beard, whatever facial
2. Handle Bar Stache. Also known as experiment youve got going on is
The Hulk Hogan or the Fu Man Chu, always just a little bit
this classic moustache just screams
business. You cant have a Fu Man
AWESOME!
5. The Chin Strap. This chin strip is
Chu and be a local politician, elementhe result of a deep study in the art
tary school teacher, or birthday party 19. Real-bearded Santas
of making perfect lines with a sharp clown. No, you have to either be a
#971
66,523 Hits
razor. It shows form, style, and pabartender at a dive bar, a cowboy, or
Rare is the Santa Claus who can eartience, because nobody can really nail in college.
nestly grow that full lions mane of
it without messing it up a few times
bright white hair. But Im sorry, its
first and shaving the whole thing off 1. Too Much Time On Your Hands.
what We The People demand. Fake
in frustration.
This is any intricate and detailed fa- beards on Santa Claus are an insult.
cial hair involving lightning bolts or They mock the jolly Christmas cheer,
4. Weird beards. Ever seen someone
abstract images that look like theyre like a wreath made out of lettuce,
who couldnt grow a beard grow a
from Spirograph.
gingerbread house made of saltines,
beard anyway? And it sort of looks
or a turkey made out of Tofurkey.
like a splotchy brown mess of assort- So yeah, I miss that youthful freedom
ed band aids and bread crumbs? Yeah, of bizarre, anything goes facial hair.
So lets get one thing straight, Kringle
thats a weird beard. Most guys have Because theres something liberat grow the real beard or dont apply
a few secret weird beards buried deep ing, creatively satisfying, and fiercely at the mall. Its that simple. And its
27

what the fraternity demands.

manders, but not as good as the Ice


Claws. But then again, if youre on a
AWESOME!
budget then theres nothing wrong
with the Destinys. Sure, theyve got a
slightly lower mileage than the Ever18. The telephone
#957
67,756 Hits treks or the Neverending Trails, but
theyre definitely going to be better
Whats this? I can talk into a clump
of plastic and wires over here and you bang for your buck than the Hunter
XTs or the Peregrines.
can hear me from the other side of
the planet a millisecond later?
Seemingly targeted at the
little sack of testosterone
AWESOME!
hanging in the back of guys
brains, tire names conjure
17. Tire names
up images of grit, muscles,
#969
81,126 Hits
dirt, and birds of prey.
A friend and I were out
I think we have to
recently buying a new
presume the big tire
set of tires for the
companies tested other
balding Spaldings on
names, but they just got the
her old Mazda. This was
thumbs down from the focus groups.
her first time buying tires, so we basi- Thats why you cant buy a set of Flycally listened to the sales guys advice ing Chickadees, Sidewalk Renegades,
on what she should get.
or Rainbow Escapades.
Well, you know the Eagle Eyes are
pretty good, he began Theyre better for winter driving than the Com-

But however they came to be, one


things for sure tire names are a
tiny bit of hilarious nonsense we can
28

all enjoy.
AWESOME!

16. Anything that can grow


wings
#979

87,746 Hits

In the suburb of Toronto where we


live theyve implemented a new recycling initiative which Ive dubbed
Project Stinky. Everyone received a
green bin and weve been instructed
to load it up with our moldy compost
each week from eggshells and
stale bread to raw chicken and wads
of paper towel. Everything compostable is greenbinnable, and us residents
are just being asked to do our part to
keep planet Earth, quote unquote,
truckin.
In the beginning I had no real problem with Project Stinky. It was a
stinky project, sure, but really a small
price to pay for diverting a pail full of
garbage from the dump each week. If
somebody was willing to drive around
town and pick up our compost then

hey, who are we to stop them? We


even used those biodegradable green
bags too, until the city left us stickers telling us that those really didnt
degrade into bio very quickly so we
should just dump our compost in the
bin au naturel. We said sure, kept doing what we were doing, and in general felt a bit better about ourselves
for doing our part.

Laurie about my harrowing experience. Oh, yeah, that happens, she


said nonchalently, not even looking away from her computer screen,
clacking away on emails. We call
it the Maggot Wagon at our house.
But dont worry! Theyll just fly away
eventually.

nibbling on leaves for a while, they finally clue in and grow wings, turning
themselves into beautiful butterflies,
haphazardly flying off into the setting
sun.

Frankly, I imagine growing wings


is a pretty tough task.
You might have
There was a pause as I
to spin yourself
thought about that for a
a cocoon or hide in a
Then the maggots came.
minute. First I was
tree knot or somelike Say what,
thing, you know,
I guess the blazing heat of the past
girlfriend?,
just for a bit of
few weeks did a number on the pile
but then I
privacy. Hey, if
of rotten food sitting in the green
did a bit of
youre about to metabin outside. That explains why a few research and
morphasize you need your
weeks ago I opened the lid of the
found out that Lauspace, I get that. And then of course
bin to awaken a wall full of white,
ries right. I guess I was just the last
theres probably a lot of gritting your
squirmy maggots that were wriggling to learn about this whole metamorteeth, squeezing your muscles reup the side and all over the lid of
phosis thing. Maggots are just baby
ally tight, and screaming Nnnnn!
the green bin. Stunned, I took a step flies cute little larval worms looking NNNNNNNN! a lot. Plus, youre on
back, let out a high-pitched scream,
to grow some wings and fly around
your own. No ones around to cheer
and ran away. Then I jumped in my
until they fall in love and make some you on. You just push and push and
car and drove straight to work, hopmore baby maggots with one of their push and push until you finally give
ing it was all a dream.
own. Its kind of cute, really. Caterbirth to yourself.
pillars are in the same boat. After
When I got there I told my coworker wiggling around on tree trunks and
Most people have probably thought
29

about flying once or twice. I know I


have. Its gotta rank up there with
being invisible and seeing through
clothes on the Things I Want To Be
Able To Do list. For that reason, I
say the idea of wriggly little insects
squeezing out a pair of wings and
then just flying away is completely
admirable. Its simply honorable. Its
downright respectable. And we all
know its just totally
AWESOME!

15. Putting the toppings on


a hot dog bun before the hot
dog
#978

90,824 Hits

Toronto is home to some of the best


hot dog street vendors in the world.
Street meat, we call it proudly, waiting in lines to get char-grilled, crispon-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside,
big, brown beautiful hot dogs. The
dogs usually come set perfectly in
a puffy, yellow bun, like a smiling
child tucked tightly into bed. Yes, its
a glowing little beef-tube of heaven,

a spicy little meat-wand of joy, the


aint easy, homes. Usually the relish
perfect company for a movie or a long slips off first, and you get those artiswalk home after the bars.
tic looking ketchup and mayo swirls
dripping onto your pants. Worst-case
Now, despite the powerful tastescenario you get a rogue pickle coated
punch to the mouth the street venin mustard leaving a big yellow skid
dor hot dog delivers, Im sorry to
mark right on the belly of your Tsay there is just one little problem:
shirt. The ladies sure love those.
my friend, there is spillage,
and plenty of it.
I laugh, but folks: this
Hot dog vendors
is a serious problem.
pride themselves
on their never
Thankfully though,
ending array of
there is a solution:
toppings, from
Yes, Im talking about
spicy mustard to onions,
The Toppings-First Methpickles to olives, sauerkraut to banana od. Thats right, believe it. Now heres
peppers. Its a delicious den of germs how it all goes down:
just sitting out on the street in little
glass jars, protected from gas fumes,
First, ask for your bun while the hot
building exhausts, and pigeon crap by dog is still cooking. Mind if I get the
nothing more than a large umbrella. bun first? There, just like that. Most
vendors will just hand it over, so now
Now, like most people, I love hot dog youre holding a big empty hot dog
toppings. But you and me, together
bun in your hand. Everyone with me
we face a common problem: trying
so far?
to balance piles of wet toppings on
Next is the very important bedding
top of a round, slippery wiener. It
step. I cannot overemphasize the
30

importance of this step. You cant


just lay your wet condiments down in
the crack of the bun and expect the
integrity of the bun to hold up. That
would be ridiculous. No, you need to
lay down a layer of condiment bedding first that gently cradles the wet
toppings while preventing them from
soaking through. Your ideal choices
here are diced onions, pickles, or even
lettuce if you have to.
Okay, now load that bun up like
theres no tomorrow! Just keep piling
the wet toppings in there! Deep red
river of ketchup, bright yellow pools
of mustard, generous spoonfuls of
relish. Load it up. Believe me, the dog
will still fit.
Finally, dog up! Rest that beautiful
Fat Jim right down on your sugary
bed of condiments. It may lay a bit
high on the bun, but dont you worry.
Everything will still fit. Now the hot
dog serves as shield and a guide, protecting your pants while escorting the
delicious condiments into your hungry stomach below.

This is a magical technique I first


learned from my friend Chad. He has
perfected it to a science, where he has
a very specific condiment architecture
involving categorizing condiments
into wet, gritty, and cheese.
He can talk for five minutes about
how relish is the most underrated
topping or how proper cheese placement is key to fine melting. The point
is that there are more advanced versions of this technique, but you really
need to master the basics first. Sure,
Ive given you a guide. But only you
can do the rest.
AWESOME!

14. Really, really tall people


#890

93,372 Hits

Theyre tall and theres nothing they


can do about it except learn to live
with their crazy tallness. For this
reason, we respect them and think
theyre cool.
If youre really, really tall, you feel it,
because this is your life:
31

Everyone hates you at movies and


concerts. Sure, you get a decent sightline, but at what price? Everybody in
the room resents you and you have to
put up with constant shuffling behind
you and people saying things like
Oh great, Im stuck behind Stilts
here.
Guaranteed back pain. Duck into
a car and lean over to tie your shoes
enough times and youll eventually
score some sharp, shooting pains in
that lower lumbar.
Hard to date people. Well, not hard,
but complicated. I mean, would you
date someone really, really tall? If not,
you see the problem here.
You are forced to play basketball.
Doesnt matter if you like it, doesnt
matter if you dont you just have
to play. Also, if youre no good, youll
never hear the end of it, and if you
are good, people will say its just because youre really, really tall.

People always want you to get stuff


from the top shelf. And guess what
else you get when you pull down that
giant soup pot nobodys used in two
years? Thats right: a big faceful of
dust, thats what. Hope youre not allergic.

thats worth something. So throw


them a smile and a nod, a solid highten, or just some quiet respect.

12. Thinking its Thursday


when its Friday

AWESOME!

Because youre going to figure it out


eventually.

#765

105,733 Hits

13. When you pull up to a red AWESOME!


light and the guy in front of
you nudges up a bit so you
11. Eating things past the excan make a right turn
piry date

Youre always hitting your head on


everything. If youre really, really
tall, you know what I mean, because
#986 95,364 Hits
your skull is full of spider cracks from
Dont you love it when you pull up
chandeliers, basement stairwells, and
to a red light in the right lane, and
overhead bins on airplanes.
the guy in front of you notices and
squeezes out into the intersection a
Life is more expensive. Because
bit, just so you can make your right
raiseable desks, extra-long pants, and
turn a bit faster? What a great thing
King-sized mattresses arent cheap,
that is. Careful though now its
bro. You know that and I know that.
your job to give a sincere Thank-You
Wave as you drive by, because you
It really is a tough life.
know theyre waiting for it and besides, did they just shave twenty secSo next time you see a really, really
onds off your commute or what?
tall person, break out the empathy.
Remember: theyre tall and theres
AWESOME!
nothing they can do except learn to
live with their crazy tallness. In this
upside-down and inside-out world,
32

#985

119,515 Hits

I used to follow expiry dates like


gospel, figuring the sour cream would
sweeten, the ice cream would melt,
and the rice would crumble into dust
the morning after after the the blockstamped date on the bottom of the
package had passed. If the expiry
date was closing in, Id just cut my
losses and chuck it. Better safe than
sorry, Id say, tossing a half-full carton of orange juice off the wall and
into the garbage.
Then for the two years while I lived
with Joey in Boston, I witnessed him
first-hand casually disregard expiry
dates with a wave of the hand and a

slight laugh. Whats going to happen?, hed ask sarcastically, putting


together a salad with brown Romaine, rock-hard croutons, and Caesar dressing that poured out a film of
oil before the dressing came
out. Am I going to die?
And he had a
point. While
the nutritional
content of last
months blueberries may have
slipped a notch,
as long as they
werent growing
spores or starting to smell like
a diaper, how bad
could they be? I watched
Joey carefully from a distance
for a while, looking for signs that he
was putting himself at risk. But no,
nothing. He kept right on standing.
No retching from his bedroom late at
night, no disappearing rolls of toilet

paper and clogged pipes, no sudden


hospital visits after eating doggie-bag
chicken wings from someones birthday party a month before. He was all
right.
And so with newfound courage I
slowly started testing the waters. Cans of soda seemed like
easy first targets. I dont even
remember them having
expiry dates when I was
a kid, and so the terse
finger-wagging printed on the bottom
of the aluminum
can seemed
like a bit of a
joke. Who
throws
away
an unopened can of
Diet Pepsi? I suppose
Pepsi would love it if we just bought
their stuff, stashed it for a while, and
then threw it out. But I would no
longer stand for that. So I conquered
33

soda, then branched out into potato


chips. They go stale when you dont
seal them, they stay fresh when you
do, right? So the date probably applied if you left them sitting in a
bowl on your coffee table, I eventually
figured. I bought them, Ill eat them,
even if it takes me till Christmas.
It was tougher to be brave with bread
and milk, but I convinced myself that
worst-case scenario I was just eating penicillin and cheese. I pictured
a cracker with a square of brie and
a pink capsule squished right into it
and I thought Thats not that bad.
And so it went. Buying groceries just
for myself got easier, knowing that I
had the newfound strength to down
yellow orange juice or slice up onions that had grown roots and were
searching desperately for soil under
my kitchen sink. Plus, I saved a lot of
money, and I like to think I helped
give my immune system some tough
new cases to crack, like sending it to
the gym for some strength training

and mental focusing so its ready for


prime time. This way Im ready in
case I ever get shot with a poison dart
or mistake a glass of paint thinner for
water.

of oxygen to the eternal flame that


is your lungs. The jobs so important they installed a backup nostril
for cold and allergy season, and even
hooked all the breathing plumbing
up to your mouth too, so youre douNow, Im not advocating being stupid. ble backed up.
The fuzzy lampchops should probably
still be left alone. But come on, lets
2. Nose Hairs: Its like Supermans
hear it for pushing a little bit harder. Fortress of Solitude in your nose,
Lets here it for testing the waters.
except instead of ice crystals shooting
Lets hear it for eating things past the jaggedly in all directions, nose hairs.
expiry date.
Think of nose hairs as the first defense against all the nasty dirt, dust,
AWESOME!
and bugs flying around from entering
your respiratory system. Yes, these
are the Nose Hair Knights guarding
10. Picking your nose
the Nasal Passage Drawbridge to the
#982 125,435 Hits
Castle of Your Lungs.
Lets face it, theres a lot going on in
the nose area:
3. Nasal Mucus: The nasal mucus is
the second line of defense after your
1. Breathing: You might have figured
nose hairs. If a piece of flying dirt
it out by now, but breathing is pretty
manages to deke out your nosehairs,
high up there on the Reasons Your
theres a decent chance it wont get
Nose Exists list, together with smellpast The Slime in your nose. Nasal
ing stuff and holding up your glasses.
mucus, or The Slime, traps and unYes, your nostrils provide safe transceremoniously drowns intruders to
port for air to keep rushing buckets
34

your body. This really exhausts nasal mucus, so when it gets loaded up
with gunk it usually dries into crispy
boogers. And this all happens without
you even having to lift a finger. Folks,
it may be disgusting, but this is The
Magic of Your Body.
Anyway, picking these dried crispies out of your nose is a very natural
thing. Plus, it clears up your airways,
shows the airborne particulate whos
boss, and feels like a million bucks.
Just pop your finger right on up
there, making sure to aim your eyes
up to the left and curl your tongue
onto your upper lip like youre deep
in thought, and then swivel and curl
your finger in a variety of directions
to pull it out. Dont be embarrassed.
We are pro bringing nose-picking out
of the closet here. It is a natural thing
that we were born to do. Just look
at babies with their fingers wedged
right up there with no shame for
hours on end. Its like I always say:
We can learn much from the baby.

If youre a little put off, think of


picking your nose like cleaning out
the hair trap in your shower. Sure, its
gross and disgusting, sure, you should
probably wash your hands afterwards,
and sure, you should do it before company comes over. But lets make one
thing clear: that trap serves a valuable
purpose by preventing hair from clogging up your pipes and getting your
system all gummed up. Same thing
with your nose. It provides a valuable
purpose, and you should let it keep
doing what its doing by giving it a
little swirl every now and then, tidy
things up a bit, reboot the system, you
know. Its not nose-picking so much
as nose-maintenance. Remember
that.

to sound like youre a lofty political


official of a tiny, far-away land. Vice
President of Rhinotillexomania.
Last thing: According to an anonymous survey by the University of
Wisconsin 91% of adults say they
pick their nose but only 49% believe
it to be a common habit. Lets hold
hands here today and proudly shatter that misconception. Yes, you pick
your nose. And yeseveryone else
does, too.

convenient nickname Fizz, these


candies masqueraded as a regular
ol hard candy, the kind you might
find in a doctors office or a crystal
dish in your grandmas front foyer.
Other than the snake-like packaging,
linking individually-wrapped pieces
together, there appeared to be nothing special about them. However,
once you crunched into them, they
released a tingly, carbonated bubbleliquid that sizzled and frothed on the
tongue. A real advancement in the
candy surprise effect.

AWESOME!

8. Massive, fist-sized Jawbreakers


9. Spending all your money aka Dinosour Eggs. The big question
here was who could fit these in all the
on candy
way? Occasionally, a local big mouth
#945 128,838 Hits
would manage to squeeze it up in
Everyones got the candy of their
If youre on my side here and you bethere, and then proceed to nearly sufgeneration, their neighborhood, and
lieve in the wonder of nose picking to
focate while trying to simultaneously
their tastes. What sugary delights sent
help get the job done, then stand up
breathe and speed-suck the jawyoung minds to greats heights when
and proudly declare yourself a rhinobreaker down to a smaller size with
you were a kid? Well, lets share.
tillexomaniac. I just learned that
drool flying everywhere. It wasnt
Here are some highlights from fourth
rhino means nose, tillex means pick
pretty. You were actually watching
grade:
at, and mania means obsessed with.
them OD right in front of you. Of
Maybe even try it on a business card
course, others would simply leave the
9. Lotsa Fizz. Also known by its more
35

giant jawbreaker on their night table


and have a few licks before bedtime,
spending a year or so patiently turning the smooth sphere it into a faded,
rubbed-out rainbow of dried spit
and sugar. Whatever you think about
these things, they definitely came out
on top of the Total Candy Minutes
Per Dollar ranking.

pointment, and usually ended up in


the trash to make more room in your
mouth. But that sour powder packed a
punch and it often left the insides of
your cheeks all inflammed and torn
up for the rest of the week. And of
course, there was always the big question: who has the guts
to eat the leftover
patch of sour pow7. Pez. Was it just me, or did Pez have der in the corner
a kind of weird taste? Dont get me
of the bag?
wrong the dispenser alone was
enough for some great memories, de- 5. Fun Dip aka Likspite some questionable versions over M-Aid. Fun Dip was
the years.
an entirely new
way to eat your
6. Tear Jerkers aka Sour Balls. At the candy: Lick an
time, Tear Jerkers were a futuristic
edible candy
advancement in Artificial Souring
stick and then
Technology. They caused a massive
use your own
sugar high epidemic at my grade
spit as glue to collect all
school, with kids running over to the the sugar-powder below. Well, it was
variety store at lunch to grab a new
a great long-lasting treat, as long as
bag, daring each other to eat two or
your stick didnt come broken when
three at a time. The gum that reyou bought it. If that happened, you
mained after the sour powder was
had to dive in with your wet finger
gone was always a wet, syrupy disap- instead. But you had to be careful, be36

cause it was that mark of the stained,


purple finger that gave away why you
werent hungry at dinner time. A lot
of people would finish off by eating
the actual stick itself for good measure which is sort of like eating your
fork after finishing your pie.
4. Hot and Cold
Nerds. Nerds was
always a decent
backup selection
it filled up the candy
bag but was rarely
the first pick. Sure,
that little box of tiny,
hard, asteroid-shaped
candy offered two flavors in
one box, but there was nothing too
special about picking up Watermelon
and Grape or Strawberry and Lemon.
That is, until Nerds came out with
the temperature-themed Hot and
Cold Nerds box in the late 80s. Sure,
maybe it was just bright, red cinnamon and bright, blue wintergreen,
but it sure was fun alternatingly
burning and freezing sensations in

your mouth. Of course, there were


always two kinds of Nerds kids the
slow, tantric, shake-it-in-your-handsand-savor-it kids, and the minute
men who instead preferred the all-inone-go, head-tilt, box-shake manouver.

deal, straight up, just sugar in a straw.


You want something gummy, sticky,
sour, or chewy? Try the other guys.
Now, if you want plain sugar, youve
come to the right place. Available in
regular size and occasionaly a Super
Jumbo Straw version. Just be careful you dont
get
3. Bizarre Forms of Gum. Remember dry-throat and
the glory days where gum came in
gag on it when
so many different forms? There was
your brother
baseball card gum, shattering and
pours a strawcutting the inside of your mouth like ful down your
glass when you bit into it. There was throat.
Big League Chew, the shredded
chewing tobacco gum. And
of course there were Bubble
Jugs, Bubble Tape, and even
Bubble Gum Squeeze Tubes,
1. Popeye Cigawhich you pushed into your mouth
rettes. These ones
like toothpaste, though with the exact were the real deal,
opposite effect.
before they took off
the red tip at the end
2. Pixy Stix. I always admired the
and rebranded them as
straight-shooting style of Pixy Stix.
Popeyes Candy Sticks.
Unlike the other candies, they didnt Yes, after a dark,
dress up and pretend to be anything
moody stint with the
besides sugar. They were the real
patch, Popeye man37

aged to finally kick the habit. But


good thing, or he probably wouldnt
be with us today.
Yes, finding and chowing down on
some of the candies you grew up
with is like sucking on sugary memories. Because how did it feel walking
out of your local corner store with a
wide smile pasted across your face, an
empty wallet, and an armful full of
candy?
I think we all know the answer to
that.
AWESOME!

8. Opening and sniffing a


pack of tennis balls
#996

134,634 Hits

Not too many things that arent soda


sound like soda when theyre opened.
But tennis balls do, and thats part of
their beauty. You just snap back that
tab, hear that pshhhhh sound, and
then catch a whiff of those vacuum
sealed, Korean-factory packed, hot

rubbery plastic fumes. Tennis anyone?


AWESOME!

7. Yellow teeth
#961

140,824 Hits

Hey, since when are teeth supposed


to be beaming white, shining like
little flashlights whenever somebody
laughs or smiles?
The way its been lately with the
whitening strips, gels, gums, and
toothpastes, the baking soda this, the
dental bleaching that, well it almost
seems like Having Bright White
Teeth is becoming another mandatory personal hygiene norm, landing in
the pile with a hollow clank alongside
showering every day, wearing deodorant, and flushing the toilet when you
only did Number One.
So to that I say: Wait! Lets just settle
down and calmly rethink this whole
situation before it gets out of hand.
We havent checked the box and

stamped approved on the application Crest Whitestrips laying all over the
just yet, so people, theres still time.
floor.
We can reject unnaturally white teeth
and go back to the way things were.
So come with me, back to the world
where teeth are yellow. The way they
Yes, Im talking about the yellow
were meant to be. And hey, next time
teeth of your youth, the au natural
someone comes up to you, points you
teeth, the teeth you grew up with,
square in the mouth, and says Budthe modest aw shucks pearly yellows dy, your teeth are yellow!, just smile,
of Joe Everyman and Jane Everylady. look them square in the eye, and
We can still embrace the teeth that
say, Why yes, yes they are. And you
get stained with coffee and smoke
know what? I think thats allllllllland spaghetti sauce and Indian food. right.
The teeth that love us no matter who
we are or what we eat.
AWESOME!
If you arent yet picking up what
Im putting down, then Ive got just
one more reason to love yellow teeth
again: cause white teeth hurt. Im
talking hot and cold sensitivity, weakened enamel, and receding gum lines.
Girl, it aint pretty. Dont get messed
up and addicted to the whitening
stuff. No, we like having you around.
Nobody wants to find you sprawled
face-down on a stained motel room
carpet, little squeezed-out packs of
38

6. Blowing your nose in the


shower
#989

142,184 Hits

When you wake up with your ol nose


holes filled to the brim with thick,
slow-moving night-phlegm, theres
only one solution. Thats right. Get
up, stumble to the shower, and lets
get down to business.
First, that hot steam needs to get the
job started. Those tiny flying water

molecules are like miniature chisels, should not say. No, now is the time to
floating right on up your nose and
attack!
hammering away at the Wall of Salty
Nose Gel blocking your air passages. There are three steps to pull it off:
At the same time those flying chisels
are working their magic, another old
friend shows up just in time to lend a
hand as well. Our old pal gravity. Just
standing up lets the night-phlegm
know you mean business, and that
youll employ the use of any weapon
necessary to get those air passages
cleared up for the long day ahead.
So now youre in the shower. Youre
totally soaked at this point front
and back got a rinse at least, maybe a
tummy wash in there and everything sure is all hot and steamy, nice
and thick like a blanket of fog.
At this point you should feel a bit of
a tickle high inside your nose, as the
wall slowly starts to give away. Now
is not the time for complacency. Oh,
Ill just let gravity and steam finish what they started, is what you

So, how was it? Did it do the job?


If not, you probably still feel clogged
up. Youre out of breath, tired, and
frustrated. But I hope that didnt
happen to you. I hope you broke
Place your thumb right on the outthe translucent nosespit dam wall
side of one of your nostrils prefright on down. I hope you blew that
erably the one which is getting the
clear, slick membrane of headglue
better airflow at the moment. By
away. If you did the job right, your
doing this you essentially drop a mas- hand should now look like you just
sive two-by-four across your airways squeezed the life out of a baby jelemergency exit door. Now there is
lyfish. And if does, I want to give you
no way for that air to get out of your my sincere congratulations. Because
lungs, except for your other nostril.
you, my friend, are incredibly
And your mouth, of course.
Close your mouth.
AWESOME!
NOW BLOW AS HARD AS YOU
POSSIBLY CAN!!! EYES CLOSED,
5. Playing old-school video
CHIN DOWN, BLOW, BLOW,
games
BLOW!!! PUSH, THERE YOU GO,
#898 146,865 Hits
KEEP PUSHING OUT!!! LONG,
If youve ever enjoyed some lazy afHARD PUSH!!! PUSH, PUSH,
ternoons just sitting on the rug, passPUSH!!! ANNNNNNNND youre
ing greasy controllers around, and
done.
occasionally blowing into the business

end of a Nintendo cartridge, then you


know what were talking about here.

Were talking about the best oldschool video games of all time. Here
39

goes nothing:
13. Super Mario Bros 2. There are
two kinds of people in this world:
those who loved Mario 2 and those
who hated it. If you hated it, you just
couldnt get past all the turnip-digging and carrot-tossing. If you loved
it, you picked Princess, flew through
all the levels, defeated all the eggspitting ostrich bosses, dusted your
palms together, and you called it a
day. Of course, there was always
that massive sense of disappointment when the end credits revealed
that the entire game was just a dream
Mario had one night. What a bummer.
12. Wolfenstein 3D. Wolfenstein really blew open the whole world of
first-person shooters back in 1992. It
was just you, a bunch of Nazis, and
a maze of neverending hallways.
Sounds scary, but youd be fine as long
as you ate enough turkey drumsticks
before battling Robot Hitler. Mein
leben!

11. Street Fighter 2. This


game really evened the
odds between the older
brother, with the thick
glasses and the calloused thumbs, and the
kid sister, with the
overalls and
toothy

awshucks
grin. Because that kid
sister, that Nintendo
novice, that rookie who
never
played video games, well she could
just go on a hot streak of straightup
neverending E. Honda hundred40

hand-slaps and there really wasnt


anything the older brother could do
about it. Except possibly pull her hair
until she started crying. Sorry, Nina.
10. Duck hunt. The great-greatgrandfather of the Nintendo Wii
would have to be Duck Hunt, where
you used the plastic plugged-in gun
to learn how to hunt. Now, who else
walked right up the TV in frustration and killed every
duck from two inches
away? You practically had to when
that invincible dog
started laughing at
you. There was no
choice. Plus, how else
could you train for clay
shooting?
9. Bubble Bobble. An afternoon falling through the Bubble Bobble levels
was like acid tripping for a six-year
old. The music got wilder and wilder
as you and a pal continuously slaughtered robots by suffocating them in
your dangerous dinosaur-spewed bub-

bles and then eating their dead corpses which, after you popped them,
magically turned into shiny pieces of
fruit. Somehow this all made sense,
too. We mustve been high on Pixy
Stix.

over to your friends house and they


had Sega instead of Nintendo. Why
did they have Sega instead of Nintendo? Well, it was either for the sports
games or the blood in Mortal Kombat,
one of the two.

most everyone who finds it strangely


addictive admits that it is in fact a
completely terrible game. But it sure
was a good way to teach your grandpa
how to use a mouse.

3. Contra. Everyone talks about the


8. Pong. Distributed exclusively by
5. Tetris. If you were lucky, you could famous Contra code that you entered
Sears for $100 a pop during the 1975 get away with telling your parents
during the startup screen to begin
Christmas season, Pong eventually
that Tetris was educational. It cerwith 30 men but few people talk
burned its way into hearts and televi- tainly looked like it was too, with all about how impossible this game was
sion screens across the world.
that falling geometry and the Krem- without the code. You had people
lin backdrops. Though no one could
shooting at you from all directions,
7. Mike Tysons Punch Out. Before
really prove it, there sure was someyou died after one bullet, and you
rape, prison, and facial tattoos, Mike thing suspiciously mathy about it. Of started the game with only three
Tyson starred in an animated game
course, the greatest thing about Tetris lives. Even with the spray gun you
for children. You played as Little Mac was that you could just blame the
probably only ran for about twenty
and worked your way up the circuit
game when you died. Those random seconds before getting shot and callby pummeling boxers like Glass Joe, shapes turned us all into hollow-eyed ing it quits. So basically, Contra
Bald Bull, Mr. Sandman, and eventu- fatalists, left staring blankly into the taught us that bullets are really danally Mike Tyson himself. The chartelevision, shaking our heads and
gerous and thats why cheating is
acters were great and Mario even
saying I was just waiting for a line important.
moonlighted as the referee here, once over and over again.
again showing his tremendous versa2. Super Mario Bros. There are so
tility and athleticism.
4. Solitaire in Windows 3.0. Solitaire many memories from this instant
was that classic boring card game that classic, like the creepy music in
6. Sonic The Hedgehog. Sonic was a
you played by yourself when the boss World 1-2, the warp zone, the hamgreat game to play when you went
wasnt looking. Its funny because al- mer brothers, the flying fish, and the
41

first time you ever heard the phrase:


Thank you Mario! But our princess
is in another castle!

for all those hours in front of the


TV set exploring strange and exotic
worlds with your friends? Yes, the sun
would dip down, the lights would go
1. Super Mario Bros 3. Fred Savoff upstairs, the bowls of Doritos and
age helped Mario 3 launch to fame
cans of Pepsi would empty, but that
with the ninety-minute commercial
bright, flickering light from the TV
known as The Wizard. Remember his didnt stop casting kaleidoscope shadcatatonic little bro who just said Cali- ows on the wide-eyed faces sitting
forn-yah the whole movie but even- three feet in front of them well into
tually showed the world how to find
the night.
the whistle? Yes, Mario 3 completely
blew everything else away by introAnd those were some seriously good
ducing us to flying raccoons, angry
times, my friend.
suns, Tanooki and Frog suits, and that
impossible Tube World. It was a larg- Some seriously good times.
er than life video game that provided
years of fun at birthday parties and
AWESOME!
sleepovers everywhere. For this last
game, how about the original com4. Big, fat asses
mercial instead of a clip? I believe it
#950 181,936 Hits
accurately captures how the world felt
This aint no party line.
about this game.

back of your pants. Thats a great side


of ham for five big reasons:
1. Built-in seat cushion. Everywhere
you go, everywhere you sit, things
are just a bit more cushy. Tough bicycle seats on long bike rides, waiting chairs at the doctors office, the
hard plastic fold-downs at the baseball game yes, they all transform
into soft and comfortable relax-o-sits.
Practical and convenient.
2. You last the longest after a crash
landing in the mountains. The skinny, bony people on your rugby team
wont last long camping out and shivering in the hollow, burnt-out fuselage. No, the harsh, unforgiving Andes will eat them right up. But your
generous reserves will kick-in and
start feeding the rest of your body so
youll have more energy to flag down
a plane.

Lets not talk about how you need to


Yes, playing old school video games
accept yourself for who you are, not
was always a sure way to get sore
3. Baby got baby. Larger rears often
what you look like, or how its whats
thumbs, strained eyes, and a dry
mean wider hips on women which
inside that counts. Lets talk about the
mouth. But would you trade anything
means a body riper for fertility and
big ol side of ham hanging out the
42

making babies. If you want to have


kids, you might find it a bit easier to
do so. And hey, some of us wouldnt
be here if it wasnt for fat asses, so
give it up, yall.

check. Thanks, Harvard! And thanks, #12 John C. Reilly. Its refreshing
fat ass!
is to see that belly pudge and ungroomed armpit hair. You keep your
So if you have a big, fat ass, I say love tabloid cover shots of David Beckham
it for real. Because your big, fat ass is running shirtless on the beach with
keeping you comfortable, helping you a perfect six-pack. Well keep John C.
4. Better conga line caboose. Say
survive, pumping out babies, getting Reilly and his silent approval of our
youre at a wedding and Feeling hot! the dance floor hopping, and keeping sagging man-boobs and copious love
hot! hot! comes on. The crowd cheers diabetes in check. Just tell me thats
handles.
and a giant, winding conga line benot
gins snaking around the dance floor.
#11 Rupert Grint aka Ron Weasley.
Well, my friend, that big, fat ass you AWESOME!
Rupert makes us all feel a bit betgot is the best caboose on that conga
ter about that awkward elementary
line. So I say shake it. Nobody wants 3. Ugly actors
school picture in the back of the
to see a rail-thin toothpick awkwardly
closet.
#883 183,835 Hits
shimmying at the back of the line.
Props to ugly actors.
No, they want to see someone just
#10 Laurence Fishburne. If youre
loving it, just getting right into it, just
like me, and youre stuck with gap
These wrinkly, crinkly stars of the
shaking their ass like theres no toteeth because you never got braces,
screen made it up through a system
morrow. Ol, ol, indeed.
then you look up to Laurence Fishthat values looks and beauty and
burne. Because who says you have to
they did it on raw talent alone. Yes,
5. Say no to diabetes. According to
have perfect teeth, anyway?
ugly actors shine bright as a beacon
these eggheads at Harvard, folks with
of hope to any of us with bushy eyea larger rear end may have a smaller
#9 Rhea Perlman. Kudos to Rhea
brows, gap teeth, or big, crooked noschance of getting diabetes. Yeah, they
Perlman for bringing bad hair days
es. They show us the power of doing
call it subcutaneous fat, and it apparout of the closet. Next time you feel
what you love, even if the system says
ently helps improve sensitivity to inugly because your hair gets frizzy,
you dont qualify. So lets recognize
sulin, which helps keep blood sugar in
youre hit with some rain hair, or its
some of the best of the best:
43

dandruff season and youre calling for


snow, just remember that Rhea Perlman had a bad hair decade. So youll
be fine.
#8 Benecio Del Toro. When you
wake up sore and groggy at noon on
a Saturday with a splitting hangover
and big, black bags under your eyes,
just look in the mirror and say This
face could win an Academy Award.
Thanks, Benecio.

beast and a giant, red superhero. Its


only slightly worse than playing The
Phantom of The Opera, Ugly Betty,
Charlize Theron in Monster, or Darth
Vader when he takes off his mask.
So kudos to Ron for taking on some
brave roles. You teach us
courage.

#5 Anne Ramsey.
Guess there was a
reason they threw
this momma from
#7 Danny Devito. How many people the train.
shave their entire head the moment
#4 Paris
they start going bald? Its like theyre Hilton.
saying What? Whos going bald? Not Next time
me, Im just suddenly into shaving
you fall
my head every day, thats all. Its so
asleep in
common that Danny Devito deserves the tana big high ten for embracing the
ning bed,
chrome dome. Also, he is short.
or take a
little nap with your head in a sinkful
#6 Ron Perlman. Getting cast as
of Clorox, just relax. Dont even worHellboy and The Beast in Beauty and ry about it. Its not a big deal.
the Beast is a bit of a mixed blessing. On one hand, hey, great gigs. But #3 Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Ever
on the other hand, youre playing a
grow one of those nasty, shaggy, out
44

of control beards? The kind that gets


soup all over it when youre eating
and scratches your girlfriends chin
when you kiss? The kind that gets
you kicked out of convenience stores
and frisked a little extra at airport
security? Well, Phillip Seymour
Hoffman is proof that it is
possible to have one of those
beards and still be successful. Good on him.
#2 Steve Buscemi. What
a great, great, great, great
actor.
#1 Christopher
Walken. The greatest
thing about Christopher
Walken is that he doesnt
try to gloss things up, No,
he just lets the skunk-hawk
fly up top and makes no attempt to
apologize for wrinkles or spots. We
can learn a lot from him.
Seriously though, ugly actors make
this world a great place. They remind

us that dreaming big can pay off and


there is some justice in the world, no
matter what you look like. Because
lets face it: most of us are a bit insecure about our bodies. Its normal
to pinch your belly fat, cover up your
acne scars, and pluck your unibrow.
But ugly actors say Hey its okay,
friend, because at the end of the day
were pretty much the same and it
doesnt really matter what you look
like.
And for that they are truly
AWESOME!

2. Doing something halfassed at the last minute and


getting away with it
#817

1. Broccoflower
#1000

487,218 Hits

About two years ago I noticed something funny as I flipped through a


grocery store flyer. On the produce
page was an ugly, green-looking cauliflower, with the caption $2.99!
Broccoflower! It was hilarious. A
green cauliflower labelled as a Broccoflower. The bizarre misfit child
from two of natures most hideous
vegetables. The best part is that people usually dont believe me when I
mention it and, to top it off, Ive never seen it advertised since like the
mutant Broccoflower was shunned by
society and has since flown home.
AWESOME!

236,994 Hits

Just look at this adorable little rascal


with his tiny puppy paw stuck in the
toilet paper roll and all.
AWESOME!

45

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