100 Days of Misery Project: Chunk Five

#100daysofmisery #Day41 : When I was a kid, Pop-tarts came in a tough paper pouch. When you tore open the upper right corner (and it had to be the upper right) there was a very thin string attached on the inside that would pull through the paper as you tugged, opening the pouch. Band-aids had a similar interior thread device. It was incredibly satisfying. Now Pop-tarts come in a Mylar pouch, and you just tear them open and it’s no fun at all. If you are younger than me you may not even be able to imagine what the hell I’m talking about, and I can’t describe it any better than I have. Here’s what hasn’t changed: Pop-tarts tasted like crap then and they taste like crap now. Even kids know it. Toaster strudel is better, but no one is comfortable with the Teutonic/Nazi overtones of their advertising.

#100daysofmisery #42 : One time when I was a kid we were getting ready to go on vacation. It was early Sunday morning and we were loading the car. I was helping after my fashion, and felt like I’d done a lot. I asked my Mom if I could take a quick break and read the Sunday comics. A few minutes later my Dad came through the kitchen manhandling some massive load of luggage and there I was reading the funnies. “Oh, Good.” He said, “I was so worried. My primary concern this morning was that in all the rush to get everything ready for this family to go on vacation, you might not get a chance to read the comics. You cannot imagine what a load off my mind that is.” As a child I always thought of my father as crabby, a man with a naturally grouchy disposition. As an adult, I understand him much, much better.

#100daysofmisery #Day43 : I don’t know if this is a thing or not, but it happened a lot on the playground when I was in grade school. The big kids would pretend you were super strong. If you pushed them, they’d fly away and be astounded. You knew it wasn’t real, but it would go on long enough that you’d get used to it, you’d assume these were the rules, the new status quo. Then suddenly they’d rough you up and laugh ‘cause you were all upset your super powers were gone. Here’s the valuable life lesson hidden in that story: Big kids are jerks.

#100daysofmisery #Day44 : Swedish American artist Claes Oldenburgh made sculptures of everyday objects on a giant scale, forcing people to really see mundane objects and recognize the beauty hidden in the commonplace. The object depicted in this 1976 piece, however has so vanished from the world that it’s giant counterpart while certainly beautiful is now alien, mysterious and bizarre. I know perfectly well what it is, we had several, but the passage of time has entirely changed the meaning of the sculpture. That makes me sad, and yes, a little bit angry. Screw you, passage of time.

#100daysofmisery #day45 : In honor of the World Cup, about which I know sh*t all nothing: Once upon a time I worked as a Manny (Yes, yes, I was a male Nanny, now shut up). The Mom asked if I would help the child I was caring for work on his Soccer skills. I’d played (badly) in high school, but the kid was, like, five, so I said sure, does he like soccer? And the Mom says, we don’t know, mostly he stands on the sidelines tap dancing. And I said, well, maybe he likes tap dancing and he doesn’t like soccer. And the mom says, that would be fine, but the problem is we’re not entirely sure he doesn’t know he isn’t playing Soccer. Thinking back on it, he probably didn’t know sh*t about tap dancing or Soccer. He was five.

#100daysofmisery #Day46 : When I was a little kid I thought Dogs and Cats were the same species. All Dogs were boys and all Cats were girls. I thought Hamburgers and Hotdogs had a similar relationship, but I hadn’t yet entirely figured that one out. I still have a reasonable amount of difficulty with consensus reality. When you are talking to me and I nod and smile, that might mean I am on the same page as you, but the greater likelihood is that I am nodding and smiling because that’s what I do when I have no idea what someone is talking to me about. Also? The word ‘likelihood’ does not get used enough.

#100daysofmisery #Day47 : I want to be that Dude with the cobalt blue hair who trails the faintest essence of citrus in his wake. I want to be that Dude who when he walks by people say, there goes that Dude with the cobalt blue hair, and what’s that I smell in his wake? Is it… grapefruit? But I am not that Dude. I am not that Dude.

#100daysofmisery #Day48 : Today is the Summer Solstice. That means we get more daylight today than we do any other day of the year. Tomorrow, less daylight. Tomorrow, even less. This has nothing to do with how far we are from the sun. It’s all about the axial tilt of the planet. Tomorrow, our hemisphere will be less tilted toward the sun than it is today. You might think it would be hard to resent and take personally phenomenon of such monumental scale, but I manage it with grace and ease, thank you.

#100daysofmisery #Day49 : Okay, hypothetically, suppose you’re out walking and you pass a store with a large plate glass window. Would you smack the glass to indicate things in the window? I’m fairly certain you wouldn’t. If you had kids with you, and they repeatedly hammered on the glass as they walked past, would you stop them? Of course you would, who wouldn’t? It’s glass! It’s not a good idea to hammer on it. So who the hell are the people walking by the store I work at all day every day and how long must I work there before I get to see the window shatter and rain down on them? Did that last sentence go to far? I think I may have gone to far with that last sentence.

#100daysofmisery #day50 : When I was a kid, I got a lot of warnings about how difficult adolescence would be. How come as an adult nobody gave me a heads up about middle age? It’s basically the same thing except way worse. My body is going through all kinds of changes about which the less said the better. I’m moody and unpredictable. I’m growing hair places where I never had it before. And nobody is going to reassure me by telling me I’m ‘blossoming’. Though it may be that being told that as a teenage boy has something to do with the problems I am experiencing now.

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