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Left Coast / Right Coast: How to Maintain a healthy level of insanity

Mike Gold living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Scott Brown.
Mike Gold living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Scott Brown.

By Mike Gold, A retired entrepreneur living the dream in the Pacific Northwest

This week, I thought I’d write about an unconventional way of looking at the world. Why? Because we’re much too serious about life. Hopefully, you’ll get some enjoyment from reading this.

At lunch, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

I’ve done something similar. If you know anyone who drives a full size Ford LTD (which is the standard car most police departments used – although in the past few years, many of them have downsized to improve the over-all fuel economy of their fleet), just drive one of these and come up behind any driver, especially in the fast lane of any interstate. Watch how quickly they slow down and move to the right (which is where they should be anyway).

When driving up to the drive-through window at your local fast food place, tell them that the order is “to go.” What is genuinely funny about the drive through window is I challenge you to understand what they are saying. It sounds like the person is talking through a towel. Add to that the distortion the speaker creates and I guarantee you cannot understand what they are saying.

Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you have a headache. This falls under the “You can make an excuse for anything.” In one of my favorite movies, Annie Hall,” Singer (the Woody Allen part) made an excuse to his date, a reporter for “Rolling Stone.” He said: “I couldn’t make it, my raccoon has hepatitis.”

Tell your children over dinner, “Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.” You might think: “Nothing funny about this.” If that’s your reaction, you need to work on your sense of humor. In fact, a sense of humor is, to me, a very necessary personality attribute as we navigate our way through this insane world.

Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face. I mention this one as diet foods are among my favorite to make fun of. I used to go to lunch with someone who, politely as I can say it, was a wee bit overweight. We would go to “McDonalds” or “Burger King.” He would order a whopper (sometimes two of them), a large order of fries, and a “diet coke.” I never said a word to him about this, but every time, I could not help but think: “This is insane.” Here is one video which, attempts to figure out whether and what is your sense of humor.

Sing along at the opera. Now we all know someone who is so tone deaf that you simply have to cover your ears as “they belt out or accompany” any popular song. While I’m sure they think they are entertaining us, what they are actually accomplishing is to ruin our enjoyment of this song for the rest of your life.

When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling “Run for your lives! They're loose!” Now you can actually see a real world representation of this if you go to Pamplona Spain and watch The Running of the Bulls. Here you really should be screaming, “They are loose, run for your lives,” which is exactly what these macho morons are doing.

Another bit of insanity concerns if you have a tailgater. If a car is driving too close to your rear bumper, switch on your parking lights (which also lights up the rear running lights. Or you can lightly tap on your brake pedal with your left foot, which will accomplish the same thing. I find this, in each case, will get the tailgater to back off a bit from your car.

My last example is from back when I routinely rode the NY subway. All day long, you would push your money through the little slot and the clerk would push a subway token back to you. I thought it would be fun, one day, to push a subway token through to the clerk to see what happened, so I did. The clerk looked a bit like when a pinball machine goes “tilt.”

Enjoy your sense of humor. What score did you get on the humor test? Mine was sarcastic.

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