Last month, my roommate and I took an impromptu road trip to northern Arizona. If you live in central Arizona (Phoenix and surrounding), you know the yearly pilgrimage up north is customary to the Arizona city dweller. However, I was lacking an essential milestone. I had never been to Sedona. Made famous by its spectacular landscape characterized by its red rock, Sedona is a key element in the let’s-go-north-because-fuck-the-city trek. So, we went. But! This entry isn’t about the trip to Sedona — it’s about what I picked up while we were passing through.
Like most hoarders, I love Goodwill. Thus, when we stopped in Sedona, I made a natural beeline for the nearest Goodwill. Once inside, and under the clever ruse of needing to search the pajama rack for some new cuddly sleepy pants, I slithered, snake-like, right to the bookshelves. I am typically forbidden from approaching shelves containing used books. I cannot be trusted. This visit was no exception. In addition to a few other choice finds, I left with a curious new book entitled 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. Its Amazon listing is in the link.
The book is truly just a 612-page list of little things for which the author is thankful, because they are all reasons to smile. Intrigued, I wondered to myself, “How shall I use such a potentially useless book?” I mean, dangling participle ridicule aside, what am I going to do with a long ass list of shit that makes some other person happy? It isn’t as if I’ll be able to agree with half of it. If anything, I may spend half my reading experience scoffing and criticizing the author’s choices and opinions. And then it hit me! I will do EXACTLY that. Because I am vindictive and judgmental and I have entirely too much time on my hands.
Therefore, I shall break this book down — all 14,000 contributions — into chunks of 20, and I will offer response. Because I have not begun reading it, every entry will be a surprise, so every response will be nice and fresh. I welcome your own responses in the form of comments.
a stream-of-consciousness list Okay, this is a fun start, because whatever this is supposed to mean, I like it. Also, I suspect this is essentially what the entire book IS.
pajamas at breakfast Dude, pajamas at EVERYTHING. I, however, tend to eat breakfast in my work clothes. The only days I’m not wearing them five minutes after waking up, I don’t eat breakfast. No pressure to eat breakfast when there’s no work to be done.
reed-fringed lagoons I wouldn’t know, but if the Kiss the Girl scene from The Little Mermaid is any indication, then okay.
seeing the moon rise Alright, author. I’ll give you that one. Cliches are the easiest way into my heart.
the feel of a rug under bare feet What kind of rug are we talking here? Because shag just feels like you’re standing on a geriatric porcupine.
sweet fresh corn and tender baby green lima beans, drenched with cream WordPress says “lima” isn’t a word. What? And what the hell kind of cream are we talking here? Like, a white gravy? Butter, milk, and flour? I dunno… sounds… sketchy.
the “snuggle right in” feeling I do love my bed and blankets.
a lake catching the last flecks of sunlight coming in over the pines Oddly specific natural landscape references are also a sure way into my heart. Two points.
the position of your head as you bite into a taco NO. BECAUSE YOU SHOULD ROLL THAT SHIT UP AND EAT IT RIGHT, BECAUSE NO TACO TELLS ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY NECK.
shadows cast by shutters against shiny white walls Shut the damn blinds.
a small music box that plays The Blue Danube and a tune from La Traviata …no.
moderation WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT!?
starting to make things happen Alright, that’s fine.
a baby’s first tooth Gross.
teakettles Wow, is that really one word? And to think I’ve been separating them all these years… my entire life has been a lie!
sweet-potato souffle with miniature marshmallows and raisins Okay, and sweet potato has a HYPHEN!? Is nothing sacred!?
brass-decorated cash registers Ooooo, vintaaaaage.
clam-strewn sandbars I wouldn’t know, but that sounds unpleasant for my feet.
headphones Yes. Because earbuds are from hell.
a baseball game going into extra innings I would imagine NOT, because every time the fucking Diamondbacks play a home game, my poor supervisors are stuck in the garage until the game is over and everyone leaves, so fuck this one.