[This and other knee-slappers brought to you by the sweet nun who taught me in elementary school.]

Be positive. That’s the universal advice, right? But not always so easy to abide by. While still stewing in the pungent revelations of election-time deception here at home…

[I like to imagine Harps and Robocop lying in a sweet, post-coital embrace; Stevey, smokin’ a stogie; Robo-Peter-Weller, makin’ a few phone calls. Adorable.]

…you watch in horror as epically heartbreaking events unfold in crimson-stained Baba Amro.

And then there are all the little things… You forgot to do laundry on Sunday, so you’ve had to resort to full-arsed drawers which are extra apparent as your pants are fitting a little too snug because cheese tastes so good. In lieu of the gym, you eat the leftover pizza dipped in Rancher’s Choice, pass out before brushing your teeth and wake up to a sensation not unlike ten Mexicans having just taken ten, proud dumps in your mouth before stuffing it with cotton balls to hold in the aroma and rob it of any pacifying moisture.

[You’re wrong, that’s not racist. I simply chose Mexicans because they have a delightfully spicy cuisine. I likewise could have said ten members-of-my-extended-family-after-eating-mom’s-homemade-cabbage-rolls. But no one likes a run-on sentence.]

And to top things off, the check-out guy asks you if you’d like bags for the $220 worth of groceries you’ve just purchased (and can’t really afford).

Oh no. No thank you. I’m just gonna go ahead and put this all in my pants. Would you be a dear and stuff this pork tenderloin into my arse crack? That’s right, just atop the horror that is a 30-year-old wearing “50%-off” Ardene jeggings. 

Life: you sure can suck massive balls.

We cling to whatever faith we have that these stagnancies, these shit-clots of corruption and grievance in the natural flow of things will dissolve. And the intended, peaceful rhythm of the universe will resume.

But sometimes, we bail on even the effort of faith. For the petty daily annoyances, we resort to the ever-dependable rage blackout and project our frustrations onto whatever poor bugger crosses us. For the larger, global crises, we opt for the happier lull of feigned blindness. We turn off the tv, kill the radio, resume ignorance.

Although the former is toxic and self-defeating, we might actually be onto something with the latter.

For either burp of negativity from the world, the wisest and most productive reaction is… love.

[I know. You just puked a little.]

I don’t mean drawing hearts and skipping. I mean consciously choosing the reaction that maintains or creates peace. It is obvious why this route would benefit you and your personal woes. When it comes to the larger issues, however, we often feel bad about turning a blind eye. But there is a school of thought that suggests: if there is no immediate action you can personally take to right a large-scale wrong, you can benefit the universe more with positivity than with worry.

And the one-quarter hippie-granola in my blood (thanks, mom) – enhanced by the burned copies of Wayne Dyer talks I stole from dad – allows me to believe this whole-heartedly.

I’m not saying this is easy. I get the rage sweats as much as the next purple-faced hot-head. Often we react without thought until it’s too late. Positivity takes practice. And so I thought I’d start a list to help myself (and maybe you) along; just some things we can think about when we’re feeling defeated. Or helpless. Or hopeless. Or pre-menstrual…

[My friends (mom): there is so much forward thinking coming up, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dr. Dyer himself incorporated some of these ideas into his future lectures.

You’re welcome, Wayne Dyer.]


HOARish Thoughts for a Brighter Tomorrow:

1. Gross words

Often offensive. Mostly crude. Ever hilarious. Usually sexually connoting.

Gross words rock.

For example: I will never feel enough like a 60+-year-old pervert to say the word “panties” seriously. They’re underwear. “Panties” is a word reserved for girls ages 10-years and younger. Any other demographic exercising use of this word? Questionable. And super funny.

Likewise (and yes, I realize, I’m not helping the case of me not being an old perv): “horny”. Gross. I can never bring myself to say this word aloud. And if I hear someone else say it, any legitimacy of its use in that moment will be immediately extinguished. “Horny” is a sticky situation (pun-tastic!) because there aren’t many usable synonyms for the denoted phenomenon here. “Aroused”? Haha. And, yuck, b’y. “Stimulated”? What is this a science experiment? Either way, at the risk of completely killing the mood, laugh out loud if you hear any of these words (provided no one is offended).

Horny panties. Double the comic value. The world is infinitesimally a better place.

2. Ice cream with peanut butter in it

I don’t really feel I need to elaborate on this… But when you’ve got a chocolate peanut butter cup melting in your mouth and your spoon has just found the start of one of those never ending cold sheets of faux-peanut butter? That shit’s enough to bring a tear to your wooden eye. I’m getting emotional just typing this. Bliss.

3. This car

The other day I was driving home from work and saw this gem cruising along in front of me. Oddly enough, it stayed in front of me for quite some time and actually arrived at my building. The entire time I thought, “man, I wish I could take a picture of this”. We both had to stop to allow the underground parking door to squeak its way open, so I figured that was the universe’s way of saying, “fuckin’ do it”. So I did. I tried to be as casual as possible, so the photo’s of grade Q quality. But what you’re seeing is the car of a fully-grown adult with stuffed animals strategically aligned in the back windshield. Facing outward. That shit is mind-blowing. Potential serial killer? No! Just plain ol’ funny.

Next time you accidentally walk into the leg of the couch barefoot so you get the crotch-numbing zing of toe-spread impact (the worst!), don’t react immediately. Take a breath and think: somewhere out there, there is an adult with stuffed animals aligning his/her windshield. You will feel better.

[Note: Laugh out loud in private. Never at someone else’s (knowing) expense. Unless, of course, someone’s fart reverberates off the acoustically brilliant instrument that is a wooden pew at Christmas Eve mass. In such a circumstance, throw your head back and belly-laugh without abandon.]

4. Barbecues on hot days

You’ve lost your winter’s palor. You’re vitamin D-riffic and, thus, less D-pressed. Your alcoholic beverages are cool, crisp and usually involve slices of fruit. And also: barbecued meat. I realize I am simply stating the obvious. But sometimes “the obvious” is what makes life so delicious.

[Cue the “Family Ties” intro song.]

5. Coffee and Bailey’s on cold days

It’s soothing, it’s yummy and it’s the most acceptable way to consume alcohol in public.

6. Long weekends

I’ve decided that I would not want every weekend to be a three-day weekend. It takes a long build-up of exhausting, soul-callousing five-day work-weeks to harness that fall-on-your-knees-in-gratitude reflex when an extra day off finally arrives. No better time to have left-overs for breakfast and see how many movies you can squeeze into ten hours than on a work-free Monday.

7. Sex. Bill Murray. Betty White.

Three (seemingly) unrelated things. All in existence to remind us that the world is a beautiful place.

8. Homemade bread

Especially when it’s my mom’s and it’s cinnamon raisin. And while I’m here, you get a bonus smile in knowing that I had to use spell-check for both “cinnamon” and “raisin”. Brain my have sleep think not.

[End of list.]

Eight is not even a sensible number to stop at but I will because it’s late, my brain just melted, and I think you feel me. Even though you dream of arm-barring Harper or your boss, deserting your tantrum-dipped youngsters at Walmart, flipping your crabby neighbour the bird; even though you’re numbed with grief by the state of the world… You’ve gotta dredge up and proclaim love. Everything’s gonna be alright.

[It’s best if you read that last part aloud with a Jamaican accent.]

And it all starts with a smile.