Tag Archives: joy

Tongue glasses

If you don’t have perfect vision, that’s not such a big deal, you just get a pair of glasses, and then you can see things perfectly. What’s that? No, what did you say? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. Maybe my hearing isn’t as good as everyone else’s. That’s not really a problem either. If you’re hard of hearing, you just go and get a hearing aid or a cochlear implant and, there you go, much better, now everything’s coming through loud and clear.


But what about the other senses? Are you telling me that touch, taste, and smell don’t ever suffer like hearing and sight do? And say your taste buds aren’t fully operational, what are your options? Are you supposed to just go through life acting like everything’s OK? No, unless you’re a naturally gifted actor, which I’m sure you’re not, you might pretend like you can taste just fine. And so your mom surprises you one day, she made you your favorite pie, “And have a piece right now! I want to see the look on your face when you take that first bite!”

And you’re like, “All right mom,” because, yeah, you don’t dislike pie. Maybe you even tell yourself that you really like pie, that you love it. And so you cut yourself a huge slice, like a fifth of the pie. Your mom’s watching expectantly, you cut in and take your first taste. That smile, you close your eyes and you go, “Mmm, that’s delicious mom, thank you so much.”

Your mom’s still smiling, I mean, you’re smiling, to the rest of the world, you look like you might be enjoying yourself. But this isn’t the rest of the world you’re eating pie in front of, this is your mom. She knows you better than anybody. She knows what it looks like when you’re experiencing pure joy, that same look you had on your face when you were in the second grade, when there was a Super Nintendo wrapped underneath the Christmas tree that year.

All you talked about was asking Santa for a Super Nintendo, you wouldn’t shut up about Super Mario World and all of the different items and tools available in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. “I wouldn’t get your hopes up,” your mom would tell you as you cut out a full-page advertisement for the SNES from a Nintendo Power magazine and taped it up like a poster above your bed. “There might not be enough Super Nintendos for Santa to give out. That’s a really popular toy this year.”

But of course she got you that Super Nintendo. And even though you tried not to let it show, the doubt, that maybe Santa wouldn’t be able to make it happen right there, you went right for that box on Christmas morning, the only one that could have been a Super Nintendo. The wrapping paper went flying, but it was just a clothing box, just a couple of sweaters.

And after all of the presents were opened up, your mom couldn’t prolong her own need for that Christmas morning feeling any longer. She did the whole, “Wait a second, did you forget a present? What’s that over there?” routine, the cleverly hidden box, of course it was the Super Nintendo. That was the look, pure joy, of unadulterated bliss, and it would have been difficult for an outside observer to make a distinction between just who was happier that day, you or your mom.

But this? “Wow, great pie mom.” This was a joke. You’re not an actor, and even if you were, do you know how hard it is to fake that type of a reaction? Was your mom really expecting a repeat of December, 1992? Of course she wasn’t. But maybe if your reaction was just a little more genuine, if you could only fully appreciate the time and care that went in to making that pie crust, the delicate flavor profile of the strawberries balanced with the tartness of the rhubarb. Maybe you wouldn’t be wolfing it down as fast, like, OK, this pie is great and all, but I’m a little tired of having dessert.

And the worst part is, it’s not even your fault. How can your mom know that your sense of taste isn’t up to snuff? You don’t even know. It’s not like you started losing your flavor profile over night. It was gradual. You started ordering chicken and pasta when you went out to eat because, well, everyone else keeps raving about that smoked paprika dry rub or the artisanal veal bouillabaisse, but when you really take a bite, can you tell the difference? Besides the basics, the savory, the hot, the cold, are you picking out any separate tastes?

Of course you can’t. When it comes to the sense of taste, you’re like Mr. Magoo. You know, except that he couldn’t see. But whatever, he got some glasses and went about his life. Why don’t they make glasses for you? For your tongue? How many people are out there, disappointing their mothers and grandmothers on a daily basis, by pretending to enjoy food that they’re really not even capable of truly appreciating?

We need tongue glasses. Obviously we won’t call them glasses. Except if whatever technological advances that make it work happen to be made out of glass. Then we probably still won’t call them glasses, because it would be confusing with eyeglasses. Well, I guess it wouldn’t be that difficult to just say eyeglasses and tongue … no, you know what? Someone will think of a different name. But we’ve got to invent them first. Scientists, whoever invents what I’m talking about first, don’t forget to give me some credit.

The positive aspects of negative thinking

It’s always like, global warming, things are about to get a lot hotter folks. Or it’s gas prices. Get ready to pay everybody. Don’t forget about that late night mugger. Keep those doors locked. Oh yeah and an economic crisis. Oh yeah and a war. Oh yeah and your toothpaste is toxic. Oh yeah and we just discovered eight new types of cancer that you didn’t even know you were probably infected with.

What’s it all about? What’s the idea behind generating all of this fear? I know it doesn’t work on me personally, because all I wind up doing is getting really anxious, and then I go drink a cup of coffee, which gets me even crazier. And I end up not trusting anything. If I were in charge of the media and I really wanted to get people to go along with whatever it is that I’m trying to say, I’d go about things completely differently.

Everything on TV and in the news would be smooth and calm and relaxing. This just in, breaking news, things are about to a whole lot better folks. Scientists have just discovered that tomorrow is going to be even better than today. Great job everybody! Keep up the good work. And I’d stare at the computer all hopped up on caffeine and think to myself, “Who the hell do these knuckleheads think they’re trying to fool?” Because nobody acts that calm and happy in real life. And so I’d automatically assume that something was off, that there has to be a threat looming in the background, and the TV just doesn’t want me to panic, so it’s coddling me, giving it to me like I can’t handle the truth, like I wouldn’t be able to come to grips with whatever new plague or assault is right about to crash my reality.

It’s like whenever I’m walking down the street, every once in a while I’ll pass by somebody and we accidentally make eye contact. I usually try to hang my head as low as possible, but every now and then it happens. I usually just twitch my head violently to the other side, to let the person know that I didn’t mean to make eye contact, that I’m not looking, and usually the other person does this also. It’s common courtesy not to get so involved in each other’s personal space. But sometimes that person will just smile. And I’m like, what the hell is there to smile at? Didn’t you check the ozone levels today? They’re terrible! And then I’m always forgetting if ozone levels are supposed to be low or high, and I’m concentrating on that and then I’m thinking again about this weirdo still smiling at me, so I make a run for it.

A lot of people have these ideas about smiling, about positivity, like if you give it to the world you’re going to get it back, or spread it or something. But I don’t think it’s like that at all. I think it’s like money. You give it up, you throw it away and then it’s gone. You start smiling at random strangers and all of the sudden whoever you’re smiling at is totally weirded out, and they do that head twitch thing that I was talking about before, and you notice it and feel stupid for putting yourself out there, for letting some of your positivity or niceness out to the world, it’s in you and then it’s out there and then it’s gone. You’re like a balloon, filled up with whatever you’ve got, and once you let it out, like if it’s helium or something, it’s really not going to be possible to put it back in. It just floats up to outer space, just dissipates, totally wasted. Or maybe it’s better if I describe it like lighter. You hit that lighter with your thumb and eventually it just runs out of gas. Or it gets really hot, so hot that your thumb starts burning and you can’t hold it anymore. What happens after that? No more fire. Well, unless you throw the lighter into an already blazing fire, then, well, yeah, or, if you use that lighter to set the curtains on fire, you could burn the whole neighborhood down. Yeah, I guess if it’s like fire than it’s a little bit easier to think of it like spreading. But I’m not talking about it spreading. I’m talking about it wasting away. So go back to the balloon. Helium, right?

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, the people who are the most cranky, mean, negative people in the world must only be that way on the outside. Inside that miserable exterior they have to be the exact opposite, filled with joy, happiness. You just can’t tell because they don’t go around wasting even an ounce of their positivity. They’re filled to the brim with it inside. Yes, joy is measured in ounces. I think the British invented the ounce. Ask somebody in England. But just think about your happiness, what little you might have of it, and never let it out, you don’t have to share it, waste it. And then, what was I talking about before, fear, right? Yeah, so if we’re all busy pushing each other out of the way and giving each other the finger and averting our gazes, the world would be a much more angry place, but only on the outside, which would really mean that the world would actually be a much better place. Inside. Right? Get it? You are nothing more than a nasty shell for your hidden, hoarded positivity. Hide your light from the world, keep it secret, keep it safe, because it’s yours, all yours, and the next time somebody smiles at you, tell them to fuck off. It sounds harsh, I know, but it’s all perfectly logical. I should be a life coach.