WE NEVER DO ANYTHING TOGETHER

Now, I don’t want this to get ugly so let me begin by stating the obvious: Both people in a relationship are individuals who come with their own set of interests and beliefs. It’s the sharing of some of those interests that help to nurture and grow the union. Agree? Good. Now, on with the show.

Anyone in a long-term relationship knows there are a few phrases or sentences that when uttered can spell disaster with absolutely no good ever coming from them. One of those is, “Hey you perv, look what I found in your browser history,” but we’ll save that one for a future column. The one that I’m more concerned with today is, “We never do anything together.” That one delivers quite a punch with very little wiggle room to escape. There’s really no actual response that could mitigate the potential damage. It’s clearly designed to elicit emotion and ultimately anger from the intended recipient, i.e.; you!

A typical instinctive retort to that verbal hand grenade could well be, “What do you mean?” Let me just say definitively the only way that response could be any worse is if you added the words, “We just got back from Hannaford.” 

Sadly, many times the mere utterance of the words, “We never do anything together,” seems to be, I dare say, premeditated. The person initiating the salvo, for whatever reason, will more than likely be in a combative mood, primed and ready to take the proverbial gloves off. I might also add that if one attempts to ‘diffuse’ the situation by attempting humor and responds with, “Oh, come on. Name eighteen things that makes us so different,”  it’s very likely that response will be perceived as patronizing and that will, without question, result in you having to make up the bed in the spare room.

I will share what many in successful relationships have learned over the years. It never hurts to count to three before responding, sometimes, I’ve found that fifty or even a hundred works better, depending on your mood. Silence is always the better option. It makes it impossible to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Truthfully, it’s always important to acknowledge and recognize the other person’s feelings. This is key to any relationship. By doing so you are demonstrating that you care and that you truly want to grow and nurture the relationship. This can be done easily by feigning a serious tone and offering, “I hear what you’re saying and I can tell this means a lot to you. Let’s talk about it…right after the game.”

It’s possible that an astute person can head the instigator off at the pass, by that I mean to be able to sense, in advance, when the unwanted discourse is about to unfold. A simple, “Boy, it’s been a long time since we’ve been over to your mother’s house,” or, “I hear they’re having a wonderful sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond,” ought to do the trick. Warning: This method should never be used unless you have the utmost confidence in being able to read your partner.

I’d like to conclude by saying that there is no such thing as the perfect relationship or even the perfect partner. Every successful relationship takes compromise. When both parties participate, guess what? You are doing something together! Pretty neat, huh? Now, where is that damn remote?

JUST SHUT UP AND LOOK SAD

I have attended my fair share of wakes recently and, quite frankly, I’m not very good at it. I speak to people for a living but for this type of somber gathering, the awkwardness never seems to leave. To be fair, I’m sure that most people don’t enjoy attending wakes. This would be especially true of the one person lying prone in front, wearing a suit, hands folded on top of each other, and not breathing.

Many have asked how long are you supposed to stay at these things?  That’s a tough one. Clearly, there are many variables at play here: How many people are in attendance? How well did you know the deceased and, of course,  are they serving cake? 

I was wondering if there was anything such as ‘wake protocol,’ so I looked it up. Much to my surprise, there is and there’s even a manual listing the do’s and don’ts where I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that I’ve been doing it all wrong.

It’s easy to forget that silence is golden. No one has ever blurted out the wrong thing by staying silent. There’s a kind of powerful strength in silence. By remaining silent coupled with just the right pouty facial expression, you’re stating very convincingly, I might add, that there simply are no words that could help to alleviate the grief and pain that the decedent’s family must be experiencing. Silence would most certainly prevent you from unleashing these gems that I’ve been guilty of saying to family members at various wakes.

  1. Thanks for coming.
  2. How’s everything going?
  3. Did you see that game last night?

Please don’t be like me. Sure, it would be easy for me to attribute all of these to my many years in radio and meeting people at bar remotes. Unfortunately, wakes are not radio appearances and you’ll rarely if ever see a ‘wheel of prizes’ there. “Hi everybody, we’ve still got that highly coveted car wash certificate on the board. C’mon, give  her a spin!” Truth be told, I once had a General Manager who suggested that the air staff look through the obits in the newspapers and attend as many wakes as possible. He said it was always good to get out and ‘press the flesh.’ Of course, I was mortified at the mere suggestion and jokingly asked if he wanted us to hand out bumper stickers while we were at it to which he said, “Very nice touch.” Along those same lines, sadly, I need to mention the Professional Wake Attendees (P.W.A.’s).  These are the ones who use wakes as social events and more often than not, have no connection to the decedent or the family whatsoever. (Gasp!) Actually, by asking the right questions, they’re usually pretty easy to pick out.

Grieving widow: So, how did you know Matt, anyway?

P.W.A.: Matt?

Psychiatrists will tell you that the majority of P.W.A’s have a long history of being mistreated and were often only invited to childhood birthday parties to be used as pinatas. Clearly, wakes and viewings are not to be treated as social events! If you want to socialize, find a picnic somewhere, drink some warm beer, and spent the afternoon swatting mosquitoes from your neck.

So go and do the right thing: have fun…pay your respects, wear something nice, and by “nice” I mean no team names or numbers on your shirt. Don’t stuff your pockets full of mints, and for the love of God, leave the prize wheel at home.

WELCOME TO CAMPSEAWOODANDMUCK

Hey kids, do you know what time it is? That’s right…it’s camp time! Hooray! Yes, it’s time to leave all of your clunky, burdensome electronics behind for a couple of weeks and get back to nature. Your tastebuds will come alive and then suddenly die when you sink your teeth into the camp favorite: Floating Fish served on a bed of Algae. Bon Appetite! 

I spent parts of three summers at Camp Wegotseaweedandmuck and I can still recall that repulsive aroma that came from the mess hall every morning. To this day, no one has ever been able to pinpoint that smell but our best guess was nightcrawlers boiled in a vat of spoiled milk and strained into a large can of WD-40 using old sweat socks.

For those of us who were boy scouts, we were excited to learn that we could get our swimming merit badge by successfully negotiating an obstacle course in Lake Water Moccasin. All we had to do was jump off the pier, swim under the fallen tree trunk then between the discarded truck tires and back to the dock without swallowing the massive amount of grease dumped in there from the mess hall clean-up crew. What a gas, kids. I remember the bears used to salivate just seeing us emerge from the water all shiny and slippery, smelling like the world’s biggest bacon strip. We were taught, however, that if we ever did encounter a bear up close and personal, to do the camp yodel. This would alert the nearest adult who would then come running with a slingshot and a butter knife. Yes, you heard correctly: we were supposed to break into a happy yodel as the bear came racing towards us exposing teeth the size of steak knives. Neat, huh? Here was my yodel kids: JESUS H. CHRIST!!!  MOTHER@$!#$@!  HELP!  YODEL-EH-E-HOO!

Yeah, if we had cell phones back then, trust me, we would have worked our little fingers to the nub informing everyone in the world of our intention to ‘bust outta here.’ Of course, our only real means of communication came from smoke signals which we were forced to use after the head counselor fell asleep while smoking a Camel, igniting his liquor stash and then burning up his entire collection of Playboy magazines. I’m guessing that the newspaper reporters were happy not to have taken that day off.

Yes, make no mistake about it. Camp is a great learning experience for you. You’ll discover that starting a fire by rubbing two sticks together can be considerably more challenging that using your Bic lighter. You’ll also learn that no matter how hard they try, nobody ever looks fashionable wearing a Smokey Bear hat, and sadly, you’ll discover that some of your bunkmates don’t change their underwear every day. Just think of the stories you’ll be able to tell. Oh, and please remember, your counselors are fully trained to react and treat any cases of social media withdrawal that may sometimes arise. Now, lights out, kids!

HELLO. NOW GO AWAY

Yes, ‘ll admit it, I was frightened. I was feeling anxious and very uncomfortable almost to the point that I thought for a moment I might have permanently lost my appetite for Cheese Doodles.  I couldn’t help but feel that in some strange way, I had changed. Had I lost my ability as well as my desire to effectively communicate with other humans? I was pretty good with felines and potted plants, but humans…not sure I’m quite up to that. That’s more than a little concerning because now they’re telling me it’s safe again. Safe to go outside and resume life. Hey, slow your roll, guys. Safe for whom? Maybe it’s safe for the more mentally stable among us, but I don’t think I fall in that category.

Let’s be honest. Seventeen months is a long time to isolate oneself but what choice did I have? Every time I plopped down on the couch and hit the remote there was either this octogenarian doctor telling me how dire things were and to remain vigilant or a governor with his ‘must see’ daily TV press conference that featured his precious bar graphs. “Now if you’ll take a look at this graph on the left, you’ll see my still solid but somewhat tepid pre-pandemic popularity rating but then look what happens when the pandemic rachets up in March:  Boom! Ratings through the roof. How do I look, OK?”

I needed an escape in the worst way, something to send my mind in an entirely different direction so  I went to the one place I knew that had absolutely no connection to reality whatsoever:  Netflix! It was there that I was introduced to a very odd, mullet sporting man who liked really big cats and who may or may not have helped to orchestrate the demise of the husband of his business nemesis.  After that enormous but strangely riveting time suck, I was off and running. Any series was game. There I sat for months on end slowly losing my already limited ability to deal and communicate effectively with people.  At first, I thought I might have developed agoraphobia but was finally able to convince myself that I was merely introverted because it sounded like it required a lot less therapy.

Heck, I discovered that I could  survive quite nicely never having to venture out at all. All I had to do was press a few buttons on my phone and anything and everything I wanted magically appeared at my door.  As much as I tried to repress the adult in me, I knew that sooner or later the day would come where I would have to deal with actual human contact. My confidence level was very low. I felt I needed a practice run so  I reached down within myself and  mustered all the courage I could and made a run to Stop & Shop. It didn’t go well.

“Hi, Bob. Good to see you. What’s going on?”

“Can’t talk now. Buying jelly!”

Yeah, not my best effort.

Today, as we seem to be in the home stretch, I honestly believe I’m making serious progress. I went to the mailbox the other day and when I got back in the house and stripped off my clothes, there wasn’t a rash to be found on my entire body! Tomorrow, I plan on practicing  waving at people and if I’m feeling spunky enough, I may even attempt a verbal greeting; hopefully one that has nothing to do with jelly. After all, I’m an adult, damnit. I can do this, I think. Maybe. Hey, c’mon, everyone at their own pace, right? Should I experience a minor setback or two, I know where my sofa is and I still have plenty of Cheese Doodles. Hmmm, I wonder what Carol Baskin’s up to these days?

RETURN TO SENDER

For the last few years, I’ve been getting regular notices from companies thinking that I must be having trouble either performing sexually or losing my hair or having difficulty entering and exiting a bathtub. Although I found them invasive and disturbing at first, (how dare they question my sexual prowess), sadly I miss them because, apparently, in their eyes, I’ve advanced to a new stage. While opening my mail the other day, I went flush and possibly dribbled in my pants a bit when I read with horror what the sender, Global Burial Plots,  had just sent me. They claimed to have ‘an ideal location for my eternal rest.’  So, in a matter of weeks, we clearly have a brand-new definition of the word ‘stiff.’

One of the most popular tricks they use is to start invading your mailbox long before you’ll ever actually need their services. That way, when the time comes, you’ll be all too familiar with their offerings. Pretty shady, huh? I think it was right around the time that two fellows named Woodward and Bernstein were looking for a story idea and wondered if there may be any shenanigans going on at The Watergate Hotel that I got my first mailing from AARP.  I raced to the bathroom and checked  the mirror for any stray grey hair, which was really weird because I was nine. I quickly found out that that mailing would be the first of what would be approximately  eight-thousand I would get weekly from them. And, yes, if you’re wondering, they do use the same marketing firm as Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Here’s the exclamation point: Nine years ago, it seemed like every time I went to the mailbox, I had some version of a flyer from The Acme Window Cleaning Company. At first, I thought how silly is that? I’m perfectly capable of cleaning my own windows, thank you very much. Then I realized,  ‘wait a minute,I don’t even have any windows.’ And, pay attention here: after a few more weeks and a dozen or so more mailings, full color and glossy, I might add, I felt I had no choice but to go out and buy some windows, just so I could get Acme to come over and clean them! Very impressive. Take a bow, Acme Window Cleaning Company!

So, yes, I was mildly troubled by the whole Global Burial Plot thing, but I’ll survive…I hope. As we have learned here extremely seasoned marketers can turn these things into self-fulling prophecies and I’m sure you can see how that could spell doom for me in this particular case. No sir, I’m going  to stand strong on this one. After all, it’s only a silly piece of junk mail and I’m certainly not going to let it control me. I’m better than this, by golly and I’ll make up my own mind as to what I will and will not do. So there!  I only hope that you, the reader,  feel as empowered and in control of your life as I do at this very moment.  Thank you for letting me share. Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got some prime subterranean real estate to purchase.

RETURN TO SENDER

For the last few years, I’ve been getting regular notices from companies thinking that I must be having trouble either performing sexually or losing my hair or having difficulty entering and exiting a bathtub. And although I found them invasive and disturbing at first, (how dare they question my sexual prowess), sadly I miss them because, apparently those days are over.  While opening my mail the other day, I went flush and possibly dribbled in my pants a bit when I read with horror what the sender, Global Burial Plots,  had just sent me. They claimed to have ‘an ideal location for my eternal rest.’  So, in a matter of weeks, I guess we have a new definition of the word ‘stiff.’

If memory serves correctly, I think I got my first mailing from AARP around the time that two fellows named Woodward and Bernstein were looking for a story and wondered if there may be some shenanigans going on at The Watergate Hotel.  I completely freaked. I  remember racing to the bathroom and checking the mirror for any stray grey hair. It would be the first of what would be about eight-thousand I get a week from them.  If you’re curious, yes, they do use the same marketing firm as Bed, Bath & Beyond.

These marketers are very sharp. They know that if they keep bombarding you with the same general literature,  it’s only a matter of time before you start questioning yourself. Once you do that, they’ve hooked you. Game over. You have fallen right into their spell. Just how good are they? Nine years ago, it seemed like every time I went to the mailbox, I had some version of a flyer from The Acme Window Cleaning Company. At first, I thought that was silly, I’m perfectly capable of cleaning my own windows, thank you very much. Then I realized,  ‘wait a minute,I don’t even have any windows.’ And, pay attention here: after a few more weeks and a dozen or so more mailings, full color and glossy, I might add, I felt I had no choice but to go out and buy some windows, just so they could come over and clean them! That’s very impressive. Take a bow, Acme Window Cleaning Company!

So, yes, I was mildly troubled by the whole Global Burial Plot thing, but I’ll survive…I hope. Often times extremely seasoned marketers can turn these things into self-fulling prophecies and I think you can see how that could spell doom for me in this case. No sir, I’m going  to stand strong on this one. After all, it’s only a silly piece of junk mail and I’m certainly not going to let it control me. I’m better than this, by golly and I’ll make up my own mind as to what I will and will not do. So there!  I only hope that you feel as in control of your life and as empowered as I do at this very moment.  Thank you for letting me share. Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got some prime below ground real estate to purchase.

POST BINGE DEPRESSION

Congratulations! You have finally finished watching an entire six season one-hundred-episode series on Netflix. Way to go, champ! Take a victory lap around the living room.  What a great accomplishment.

But, wait…you’re sad. You feel disoriented, lost, alone. What is it? It’s like you’ve been tossed from a speeding bus and eventually rolled  to rest on the side of the road…in the bushes…next to a deceased deer carcus. Who among us hasn’t experienced that feeling at one time or another? 

The medical term is Post Binge Depression or PBD. Why do we experience it? To help explain this phenomenon more accurately, I went right to the top and asked  my friend, Sparky. In my mind, there’s no one more qualified to elaborate on the subject than this little couch potato. By way of background, Sparky is employed as a part-time sandwich board man for Poncho’s Pawn Shop, Taxidermy & Deli in Poughkeepsie, NY. He is generally paid in Boar’s Head cold cuts which, on a good week, could possibly include the always in demand quarter pound of Head Cheese. This fairly lucrative six hours a month position allows him the freedom of being home for days at a time crunching those sofa cushions.  In his studio apartment he has 12 televisions, approximately 120 steaming services, (a few of which are even paid for) 6 laptops, 8 tablets and, yes, you would be correct, zero girlfriends.

I first asked him why someone would spend endless hours inhaling an entire series with fictional characters that has no actual connection to reality to which he responded, “What else am I going to do, the dishes?”  That was an excellent point, I must admit.

Sparky explained that the sad and empty feeling most people experience after finishing a binge is that throughout the series, the characters have invited us into their lives, into their world. When the credits roll for the last time, we end up having no choice but to re-enter reality, which can be pretty traumatizing. We are left with an empty feeling and nothing left to show for it except the knowledge that the cat hasn’t been fed in 72 hours and is really, really pissed.

What’s the solution?  Sadly, Sparky admits there really isn’t one. He did say that it might be best to get involved in another series right away. It’s the ‘I’m going to quit smoking…right after another pack’ theory, but it does stave off the loneliness at least for a little while. 

I asked if re-watching a series would help in any way and he looked at me like I had 3 heads. He said that would drive him crazy because, as he reasons, having already seen it, he would obviously know, for instance,  that Mario was eventually going to get run over by the bulldozer and buried in the landfill next to all the other members of his family and, secure with that knowledge,  he would have no way of letting Mario know in advance to warn him. “There is no way I could change his fate having no way to get ahold of him,” he blubbered as tears started streaming down his cheeks.  By the way, this would be a good time to let you know that Sparky has driven his last two therapists into therapy themselves. Quite a feat, no?

Okay. So Sparky hasn’t been a world of help but at least we now know that there is an actual medical term for how we’re feeling. So, grab that bowl, put your feet up and immerse yourself one more time.  Oh, but, first, probably a good idea to feed the cat.

DEPT. OF CINEMATIC SECURITY

So, let me get this straight: A guy hides a box of potentially explosive Milk Duds in his Hanes Briefs. It goes undetected at the movie theatre and, as a result, he gets to waltz right in and see the movie of his choice with Non-Concession Stand Purchased Snacks (N.C.S.P.S.)? How can this happen in the year 2021?

Enter Billy Bob Smoot, the Head Ticket Taker (H.T.T.) at Sticky Floors Cinemas. “Nobody sneaks in nothing,” says the highly respected cinema employee. When I interviewed him, I reminded him of the double negative in his statement but he just scratched his head and instructed me to bend over and spread ’em.

Billy Bob’s record is spotless when it comes to Foreign Snack Detection (F.S.D.) “If that Snickers bar comes from CVS Pharmacy, I’ll snag it,” he said emphatically, adding, Besides, we don’t even sell no Snicker’s, I think.”

As cinemas begin to re-open, other chains are well aware that they’re going to have to shore up their F.S.D. Department. They claim to be doing their best to track down and prevent the N.C.S.P.S. from ever getting into the actual theatre, but still, to date, nobody can match the efficiency of Billy Bob Smoot at Sticky Floors.  

Will we soon be needing full body scan machines as we enter the movie area? Will we have to create a ‘movie watch’ list for repeat offenders? These are just some of the, as yet, unanswered questions. Interestingly enough, it’s the effortless way in which Billy Bob hones his craft that brings high praise from many in the business including Richard China, the former Head Ticket Taker H.T.T. at competing theatre, Reels, who claims Mr. Smoot just isn’t displaying the toughness needed for such a high-pressure job, he’s seems to have a sixth sense for detecting culinary contraband.

Mr. Smoot, not known for humility responded eloquently with, “Hey, nobody’s ever snuck in squat on my watch so shut up and bite me.” For the record, Billy Bob invites, in fact, challenges anyone to try and sneak in his theatre with any kind of edible or potable contraband. “I’ll find it, by golly. Even if it’s a single M&M stuck between the butt cheeks. “I’ll sniff it out, remove it and then stomp on it!”

Still, there remains a small segment of theatre goers that remains extremely annoyed by what they describe as a ‘tedious and pointless effort to eliminate harmless minutia while creating painfully long lines and broken spirits.’ They insist that as long as they feel safe and comfortable in the theatre and the previews don’t include anything with Borat or Adam Sandler, there shouldn’t be any concerns. However, this opinion is not shared by the majority of the cinema buffs in this country who feel that there are certain snacks when taken in combination, that pose a serious threat to anyone who steps inside a theatre, no matter where they were purchased. The prime example they are quick to point out is Milk Duds and Cherry Coke. There is overwhelming evidence that says Milk Duds consumed in large quantity over a short period of time, taken in conjunction with a product with such massive amounts of carbonation properties like a cherry Coke, can yield disastrous results for anyone sitting close by when the intestines erupt without warning. “Believe me, it’s not pretty and the last thing we need in this country is panic in a movie theatre,” says Mr. Smoot.

You should know that the tight security measures in place at Sticky Floors are the result of many grueling hours of Contraband Training (C.T.) that all ticket takers must endure. Each candidate works alongside a highly trained Raisinets sniffing canine, who won’t relent until every single nut is licked and devoured. 

So, as Mr. Smoot says, “Don’t be afraid to come to the theatre, unless you’re a contraband carrying goober! My name is Billy Bob Smoot and I wear a name tag!”

THE LISTMAKER

People come up and ask me all the time, “Bob, what the heck are you doing?” Most of the time my response is, “I’m making a list.” If I had to single out one thing that makes my adult life easier it could be summed up in one word: beer. But, other than that, my lists are the most important things to me.

My wife, Michele, taught me the secrets of making lists years ago and to this day, I haven’t forgiven her. Lists are important because without them, you would have no reference point at the end of the day as to what a complete failure you really are.

I’ve learned that it’s always a good idea to cross off an item as soon as you’ve completed it.  Doing so has a couple of advantages; 1) It gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and 2) Umm, please refer to #1.

It’s important to remember that we’re not miracle workers and we’ll never complete everything on our lists every single day. One secret that I’ve found over the years is to put stuff on the list that you know you’ll do just so you can cross it off. One that works for me is ‘breathe.’  It’s easy to do and easy to cross off.

The value of making “To Do” lists can’t be underestimated but, in order to maximize their effectiveness, I caution you to write legibly. I had a very close call the other day when I wondered why in the world I would want to ‘prune the sheets.’

I have also learned to use lists to my advantage. Making a list is easy; it’s the actual execution that’s the difficult part. For instance, I have had on my list for four months ‘buy car.’ Now, buying a car is not something I want to do because I’m cheap. Consequently, I keep seeing ‘buy car’ every day on my list. I finally figured out a way around it. I simply removed the word ‘buy’.  Now whenever I pull out my list, I just see ‘car,’ which could mean anything. So, I wash the one I have and cross it off. Make the lists work for you!

Trust me. Making lists makes you a more productive person and the practice also works to improve your time management skills. This leaves you with more time to do the things you really want to do; make more lists. As Michele always says, “Anybody can do things, but if you don’t have a list to tell you what to do, you may not be doing things that are on your list!”

DON’T BRING ME DOWN

For some reason, I’ve dealt with more than my share of miserable people lately and I don’t like it. What ticks inside a person that makes him consistently miserable? I don’t have enough coffee-stained shirts, M. Scott Peck books or degrees hanging on the wall to answer that one. But I do know this: it’s never their fault! Someone, somewhere along the line has done them wrong and we’re going to listen to all of it even if they have to strap us down. I know what you’re saying. “Bob, please help me. Miserable people make me sick. What can I do to rid my life of these vermin?” We need to unify. We need to band together and stop the madness.

First of all, misery loves company. We need to stop being co-dependent. If we don’t give into them, they will eventually leave us alone. As a wise old exterminator once told me as he was casually putting a mouse in his pocket, “Take away their food source and all you have to do is clean up the crap on the floor.” 

It’s time to take our lives back and we have the power to do that. Are you with me?  When a miserable person asks us how we’re doing with the hopes of hearing that our lives are crumbling faster than a six-month-old Keebler cookie,  take a deep breath and respond with the old, “Couldn’t be better,’ or “If I were any better, I’d have to be two people.” They hate that. They don’t want to be the only person on the boat who sinks. We’re taking away their food source.

Also, remember, as I wag my finger, there is no prescription available for the condition known as ‘miserable’, only clinical depression can get your doctor to break out her pen. Unfortunately, and how’s this for irony, by letting a miserable person get to us, we’re the suckers running to the pharmacy for Prozac!

We’ve tried comforting them and it never seems to work. Strangely enough, when we do try to offer even a modicum of advice and it fails, we become the enemy. This REALLY stinks because then not only do we have a miserable person on our hands but an angry, miserable person as well.

Was it something that happened in their childhood that makes them so miserable?  Probably, but we don’t care about that because our parents made us ride in the trunk and we’re not miserable, right? Aren’t there enough N.M.’s (non-miserables) that we can befriend? We wouldn’t go to the supermarket and buy a grapefruit that’s been bounced around like a basketball, would we? Of course not. We would put it back for the miserable person to buy. See, now we’re getting it.

So, again, we need to band together on this. Let someone else more qualified deal with these unhealthy human beings. Finally, remember, in your next encounter, be nice, be brief and in no time at all, you’ll be washing the floor for the last time.