I'm not going to tell you where to go on your next vacation, but I will give you some advice so you'll enjoy your time away a bit more. See, I took a little vacation out to Phoenix, and I figure the best advice I can give is to just tell you what I did. And then you can do the exact opposite.
By the time you read this, our annual day of taxation will have come and gone, and you'll have already kissed your money bye-bye as you mailed the government your "fair share" of sweat and tears. But instead of dwelling on the rising tax rate or the marvelously insane tax code, let's try to do something fun with this annual nightmare. Let's imagine where our money is going!
I bet you haven't gone a month in your life without hearing someone ask, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" People love jokes – the cornier the better – and that old poultry joke just keeps popping up. But I think this yuk-yuk might finally be reaching the end of its shelf life.
"What would a perfect world look like?" This seems like such a simple question, doesn't it? We think we know what "perfection" means, but let's play a game just to see how difficult this concept really is. We'll start with a simple test: "Would a perfect world have termites?" My wife used to joke about termites "cranking up their little bulldozers" and starting to work. We laughed about that, but we had no problem spraying the little buggers silly when they invaded a spot in our garage. In my perfect world, I wouldn't have to worry ...
An officer of the law asked if he could share the table where I was chowing down on a mound of North Georgia BBQ. It was a big table, and the joint was packed, so the other diners and I scooted over and let our new guest settle in. "Y'all aren't carrying guns, are ya?" asked the man in uniform. When we assured him we'd left our firearms at home, he said, "I feel naked if I don't have my gun with me." We ate, enjoying our small talk and the best BBQ I've eaten ...
People who work around radioactivity wear those little gadgets called dosimeters to detect if they've been exposed to an unsafe level of radiation. I think it sure would be helpful if we had dosimeters for other uses in our lives. For instance, wouldn't you like to know that you've been exposed to an excessive level of shopping on any given weekend? And what if a dosimeter could warn you when you've ingested a near-lethal dose of AM talk radio? I think we could find about a million uses for these little gadgets. ... or at least enough ...
You probably know by now: I'm a complete rabble-rouser who can't stand traditions that get in the way of a meaningful life. Today, I'm going to eviscerate the holiday where we're supposed to be "thankful." Yes... I know we just celebrated Valentine's Day, and Thanksgiving isn't until November, but I want us to look at how we're being manipulated by this holiday. We're told to "Be thankful on this special day," but we're bombarded with sales, sports, parades, and all manner of distractions. Do you remember what you were thankful for ...
If you've ever driven a car, you'll recognize this situation. You're about to pull out onto a busy street where there's no traffic signal. So you sit there, and you wait and wait and wait. Finally, you see an opening that should allow you to pull out safely, and then it happens.
Before being allowed to work with the public, job applicants should be required to take a customer service skills test to see if they have any business being behind a cash register or wearing a fancy name tag.
Just three days after Christmas, I ventured into a store and was greeted by a massive display of pulmonary confectionery: Valentine's Day candy in heart-shaped boxes, as it's known on the streets. I marvel at the power of capitalism and its never-ending push for the next source of revenue, but seeing Valentine's candy while the Christmas tree is still glowing is just too much!
It's a new year, but seeing 2014 roll around on the dial scared the bejeebers out of me! After all, 2014 is 30 years after Orwell's nightmarish 1984, and it's a crazy era even he couldn't have conjured up! Who needs that kind of new year? Not me! In fact, I want to forget 2014 and welcome back some old years instead.
David McCoy is taking a break. This column originally ran Feb. 12, 2010.
Editor's note: Columnist David McCoy is taking a break. This column was originally published in July, 2011.
It's been almost five years since I started Pecan Pie for the Mind, and I've finally succumbed to the classic "writing about writing" device that so many use to rattle off a quick column.
It's really hard to hear people sometimes, isn't it?