I was watching the Little League World Series the other day, and I got to thinking how awesome a time the players were having. There they were, savoring every little accomplishment with raw smiles and childish glee. It did my heart a lot of good to see that. That is, until buddy Brian said, “For every one of these smiling kids there’s at least one parent pushing him relentlessly and forcing him to get better and better, even though all he wants to do is play videogames and dream about girls. These kids are tortured.” So, in case you were wondering: nothing is sacred. Just thought you should know.

I have a friend who just got out of prison a few months ago. Whenever one of my friends gets out of prison, I end up talking to him like he’s someone who moved away for a couple of years and needs to get up to speed. The only difference is, I never ask him how it was where he lived. I’ll say things like, “Yeah, they’ve added two new Starbucks since you went away,” just like if he had been in Tempe, Arizona or something. But I never do the obligatory, “I suppose you have a lot of Starbucks where you were living, too” type of statement because, well, I pretty much know what he had to work with. And no one wants to talk about that.

Lately, whenever an old person tells me, “never grow old” or some variation thereof, I’ve been suppressing the urge to avoid the common socially acceptable replies and start saying things like, “well, you could always kill yourself.” Ten years ago, I said things like that; now I just think them. See, Mom, I’m growing up.

I was talking to a homeless person the other day. I asked him if it was better to be homeless or share a ghetto apartment while working at a McDonald’s for minimum wage. He looked me square in the eyes, and said, “I used to own a car wash.” So I asked, “What happened?” To which he replied, “Twenty weird years.” Not for nothing, but my imagination has been running wild on the untapped terrain of those missed twenty years. I would have talked to him some more, but he really smelled.

And finally, because this is one of those entries where I take an obvious vacation from fluidity, I leave you with the following, which I saw on a bumper sticker a few days ago:

“Only Jesus can drive better than Dale.”

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