America’s Play 3/9-3/16

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Welcome to the America plays! A weekly play about the top story or stories in America last week. This week it’s all about trump!  Without further ado:

What  About Trump?

Characters

AMIR, 20’s, Black/Hispanic Male

RICO, 20’s, Caucasian Male

 

(Lights Up)

(AMIR is sitting on the couch in the living room, eating cereal in front of his laptop. He wears a “Make America Great Again” t-shirt. RICO enters, wearing a #FEELTHEBERN t-shirt)

 

RICO

Hey, Amir!

AMIR

Hey, Rico, did you get my text about Nancy Reagan?

RICO

I think so.

(Walks to his room offstage.)

 

AMIR

And?

 

RICO

(From offstage)

I got it.

 

AMIR

I meant…how’d you feel about it?

 

RICO

(From offstage)

Oh, it was, uh, a shame. She was a credit to our nation.

(Enters the living room)

Now, can we talk about tonight?

 

AMIR

I actually wanted to talk about Turkey…

 

RICO

Later, we have to hurry up if we’re going to make the rally in…

(Notices Amir’s shirt)

What are you wearing?

 

AMIR

(Looks down, smiles)

Oh, it’s a new Trump t-shirt. It just came in the mail today!

 

RICO

Why are you wearing it?

 

AMIR

Because I support Donald Trump. Duh.

RICO

Why would you support him???

 

AMIR

Lots of reasons. He’s charismatic, popular and has a strong message. Kind of like Obama back in ‘08.

 

RICO

This is a joke, right?

(Rico laughs as Amir stares at him)

You’re messing with me!

(Rico laughs harder as Amir stares)

There’s no way in hell you would even consider voting for that guy.

 

AMIR

(Puts down cereal. Calm.)

Rico. I don’t see why you are having so much trouble taking my choice seriously.

 

RICO

Because you can’t be a Trump supporter!

 

AMIR

Why not?

 

RICO
(Motions his arm up and down Amir’s body)

 

AMIR

Because of my height?

 

RICO

You are black and hispanic! Trump is racist!

 

AMIR

How so?

 

RICO

Remember that stuff he said about Mexicans being violent?

 

AMIR

When did he say that?

 

RICO

Like six months ago!

 

AMIR

That’s so long ago, man. I remember Beyonce’s choreography at the superbowl more clearly. And besides, I’m not Mexican.

 

RICO

He wanted to deport Muslims!

 

AMIR

I’m not Muslim, I’m Catholic.

 

RICO

He insulted a woman over her looks!

 

AMIR

That’s just sexist.

RICO

(Frustrated)

You can make all the excuses for Trump that you’d like, but you can’t deny his supporters are a problem. The other day a guy was elbowed—in the face—at a Trump rally.

 

AMIR

I saw that. Old guy has a mean arm.

 

RICO

See?

 

AMIR

What?

 

RICO

His fans are out of control.

 

AMIR

And that means I shouldn’t vote for Trump.

 

RICO

Yes!

 

AMIR

Rico…let me put it like this. Imagine if you go to a concert for your favorite band.

 

RICO

Twenty-one pilots!

 

AMIR

Sure. Anyway, let’s say a fan at the concert stabs you in the stomach today.

 

RICO

Jesus!

 

AMIR

If that happened, what would you say?

 

RICO

That the guy was crazy!

 

AMIR

It could be a girl. Don’t be sexist!

 

RICO

What’s your point?

 

AMIR

When you get stabbed…

 

RICO

If!

 

AMIR

After the stabbing, would you stop listening to the band?

 

RICO

No.

 

AMIR

Exactly. So if a stabbing  by one person at a concert won’t stop you from listening to music, why should one angry fan end my support for Trump?

 

RICO

(stops, considers this point. Then shakes his head)

I’m not going to the rally with you while you’re wearing that shirt.

 

AMIR

Fine. If it makes you that uncomfortable, I’ll change.

(Amir removes his t-shirt and reveals a blacklivesmatter t-shirt)

 

RICO

What the hell?

AMIR

Huh?

 

RICO

You’re wearing a blacklivesmatter t-shirt!

 

AMIR

Yes. Cause I think blacklivesmatter, especially mine.

 

RICO

How can you be a Trump fan and support blacklivesmatter? They’re enemies.

 

AMIR

But they’re so similar.

 

RICO

In what universe is the trump campaign similar to the blacklivesmatter movement?!

 

AMIR

You just proved it!

RICO

HOW?!

 

AMIR

Anger. Blacklivesmatter supporters are angry. Trump supporters are angry. Aren’t you angry?

 

RICO

A little.

 

AMIR

We have two strong political movements that desire strong outcomes, massive change and have millions of passionate supporters. They both come at a critical time in our history. And their t-shirts are cool as hell! The goals are different in some places, I admit, but both groups are standing on the edge of a deep valley of values and reason. If they’re both so close to the edge, why do they have to stand on opposite sides?

(Beat.)

 

RICO

I need to lie down.

 

AMIR

What about the rally?

 

RICO

I’m not going with you!

 

AMIR

Cause of my shirt? I can just change to my Kanye West shirt if you’d like.

 

RICO

This isn’t just about a shirt. You can’t just wear Trump and take it off the moment you get tired of it.

 

AMIR

If I get tired of him.

 

RICO

Listen, Amir. I’m genuinely scared.

 

AMIR

Me too. But Trump is going to make America great again.

 

RICO

When’s the last time we were even great?

 

AMIR

I used to think that we were always great, but now I’m thinking it happened when Bush was in office…

 

RICO

I’m terrified for you, Amir. What if some people think Trump winning is a sign? To indulge in their worst viewpoints? To say whatever you want, no matter how negative it is? To stab me?

 

AMIR

Trump will take care of it. He has to.

 

RICO

He’ll just deny his involvement like he always does.

 

AMIR

It won’t matter. He’ll be blamed anyway. It’s always the President’s fault when something bad happens. Thanks to Obama.

 

RICO

Wait. Wait. Are you saying we’d blame Trump for everything that goes wrong?

 

AMIR

I also said, Thanks Obama.

 

RICO

(processing)

If Trump screws up, we’ll hate him. He’d be destroyed day by day….

 

AMIR

If he fails.

 

RICO

He will! Trump has no specifics, broad policies, simple rhetoric…he might be the worst President we’ve ever had! And then…oh my god…people will see that anger gets them nowhere. They’ll see the error of their ways! They’ll finally feel ready to feel the bern!

(grabs amir’s trump tshirt)

Can I borrow this?

(Amir nods)

I’m going to make sure Trump gets elected. Is there a Trump rally nearby tonight? I’ll text Constance and find out…

(Sends text)

 

AMIR

Rico?

 

RICO

Yeah?

 

AMIR

I was just messing with you.

 

RICO

What?

 

AMIR

This whole Trump thing was joke.

 

RICO

A joke that went on for that long?

 

AMIR

Yes.

 

RICO

You were very convincing.

 

AMIR

I took those improv classes.

 

RICO

Are you sure?

 

AMIR

Come on. I compared the blacklivesmatter movement to Trump’s campaign. That should have been a dead giveaway.

 

RICO

But why?

 

AMIR

You’ve haven’t been answering my texts about anything that doesn’t have to do with the election.I did this all to get you to pay attention.

 

RICO

What did I miss?

 

AMIR

Nancy Reagan was a blip on the radar to you. Migrants died leaving Syria. Ankara…

 

RICO

(distracted)

Oh, I get it. You come up with these crazy stories because you don’t want Trump to fail.

 

AMIR

What?

 

RICO

Well, newsflash, Amir! I’ve got to pay more attention to him now. Prop him up as high as he can go, so we can knock him down.

 

AMIR

But while you’re setting up this game, what else are you gonna miss?

 

RICO

(Getting text)

Constance has a rally spot! You coming?

 

AMIR

No, man. I’m not.

 

RICO

(goes to exit)

Suit yourself! Here I come, Drumpf!

 

AMIR

Rico!

 

RICO

(stops, turns back to Amir)

Yes.

 

AMIR

Could you…at least check in on Ankara for me?

 

RICO

Who’s Ankara?

(Rico Exits. Amir stands there and sighs. He takes off his blacklivesmatter shirt to reveal a shirt with the Turkish flag on it.)

Blackout

End of Play.

 

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TAKEOUT: THE SCRIPT FOR The critically ACCLAIMED MOVIE

(May be a repost, but If this gets enough response, this trailer will be made. Enjoy!)

A muscled, young, mustachioed man named Tejada opens a motel room door and turns on a light. He places his suitcase on the bed and unzips it.
Movie Announcer: He’s a brutal hitman for the Mexican drug cartels.
Tejada: (Takes clothes out of suitcase and places them on bed)
Ivy: (a young, beautiful, Asian woman enters the room) Hello.
Movie Announcer: She’s a brutal assassin for the Chinese triads.
Tejada: Hola.
Ivy: Did the motel tell you we’re sharing a room?
Tejada: Si, they told me there was a double booking error.
Movie Announcer: And they have been assigned to kill each other.
Ivy: I’m thinking of getting takeout later. What are you in the mood for?
Tejada: (Gripping concealed machete) Chinese.
Ivy: (Gripping concealed katanas) Really? Because I am in the mood for Mexican! (Attacks and they have an epic sword battle)
Movie Announcer: But they didn’t account for one thing…
(In the middle of their epic fight, where Tejada’s shirt has disappeared and Ivy’s shirt has exposed her midriff they hear something strange and both go to the motel window.)
Tejada: (Sees mariachi band) All my cousins are in that band.
Ivy: (Sees Chinese dragon) My cousins are under that dragon.
(The dragon members and the mariachi band members shake hands)
Tejada &Ivy: Together?
(Everyone outside takes out guns and shoots the motel room, Ivy and Tejada duck, then somebody throws a grenade into the room, EXPLOSION)
Movie Announcer: …That they would be betrayed by their countries.
Tejada: (standing atop of rubble) It was a set up!
Ivy: (covered in mud, somehow) We were tricked!
Movie Announcer: Now they must work together…
Ivy: We must now work together.
Tejada: Sii. (shakes hands with Ivy)
Movie Announcer: And get revenge in the greatest country on Earth: AMERICA!
Ivy: Land of the free.
Tejada: Home of the (loading gun) MUERTE. And the brave. (they both hold up black power fists)
Movie Announcer: They’ll go undercover…
Tejada: (wheeling taco cart into house) Mr. Smith, I have your tacos!
Smith: I didn’t order any tacos.
Ivy: (Jumping out of taco cart) Maybe you ordered some lo mein! (throws noodles into Smiths’ face)
Movie Announcer: They’ll face an enemy team…
Pablo: (pointing gun at Ivy) I’m Pablo Enrique Montoya Rodriguez Sanchez Gonzales Emanuel Rosario Juan Martinez the third.
Po: (pointing gun at Tejada) And I’m Po. Prepare to die!
Movie Announcer: And find love…
Ivy: (in a bathrobe) Mr. Tejada, can I play with your machete?
Tejada: Only if you let me touch your katanas. (Leans in for a kiss)
Movie Announcer: In their quest to save the President of the United States.
Ivy: They are going to kill the president!
Tejada: No me gusta.
Movie Announcer: Next November, prepare to see Ivy Cheung as Ivy!
(Shot of Ivy dressed as a ninja killing a man with chopsticks)
Movie Announcer: Tejada as Tejada!
(Shot of Tejada with a fake mustache and sombrero, killing a man with moraccas.)
Movie Announcer: Morgan Freeman!
(Shot of Morgan Freeman nodding slowly)
Movie Announcer: Michelle Rodriguez!
(Appears on screen, instantly gets shot)
Movie Announcer: And Arnold Schwarzenegger as the President!
President Arnold: I’ll be back…for a second term! (Explosion in the background)
Movie Announcer: IN…TAKEOUT: THE MOVIE!* NOVEMBER 2015. This film is rated R for “raw action”. Parental guidance suggested. Even for the parents. This movie is intense.
*Based on a true story.

A Funny Story

“HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!”
You crack a polite smile as Chadwick heads into the final stretch of his story. Another Friday night ruled by the chronicles of Chadwick.

“…And the thing was, I still had a restraining order against her!” Chadwick finishes, flashing a toothy smile. The crowd erupts into a second peal of laughter. One guy even falls to the floor and starts rolling around like he’s on fire. (Avoid eye contact with him). Chadwick surveys the group and gets ready to launch into another story. But you won’t just sit by this time. You step forward and draw everyone’s attention. All eyes on you. (Except the guy rolling around the floor. No eye contact, remember?) Now all you need is a funny story to tell…

…And I can help with you that.

So whether you want to shove it in Chadwick’s smug face or be the funniest person in the office, here’s a quick guide to making funny stories.

1. Find Something Interesting

Enough already with the weather and sports. Those are okay conversation topics, but you won’t build a reputation on, “Sure is cold out today, huh?”. To start your process, I need you to dig and find an interesting story. It doesn’t matter if it was a serious or funny story. Find something interesting. Got it? Now…

2. Exaggerate! (a little)

There are some extremely gullible people out there. They’re so guilible that they think gullible is actually in the dictionary. But we have to assume that there’s at least one person at the party that can call you out. For example, I tried to make a witty joke about how lightbulbs work. It wasn’t a bright idea :D! Seriously, there was an electrician there and she found the holes in my story. So when you nail down your interesting tale, be ready to exaggerate to make it even more interesting, but not so much that you’re out of your league.

3. Pick a Punchline/Moral

If your interesting story started out serious, you need a moral at the end of the story in order to bring it full circle. Your moral will serve as your punchline. A go-to example for me? I almost failed my driving test by one point. Though incredibly traumatic at the time, it becomes funny to tell people of the little mistakes I made, like not signaling to pull over to the curb or playing Nickelback while driving. In the end, the moral of the story is: silly DMV, you’ll let anyone drive!

If your interesting story started out funny, just work on the punchline. This is where the story is at its best. You’ve been building up the crowd to get to this point, and now you’re going to deliver the final blow. How do you know you’ve built up enough material for the hilarious climax? Use the rule of threes. As an example:

I’ve just been to Vegas. Sin City doesn’t even cover it!
In fact, a lot of people don’t cover anything around there.
And if you think that’s a good thing, just know: a lot of grandmas go to Vegas.

^See? That was a terrible series of jokes, but it can be effective if delivered correctly. Which reminds me:

4. Practice

It may sound stupid to tell you to practice telling stories from your own life, but…you should practice telling stories from your own life. In time, this will become second nature for you. You’ll be spitting out stories faster than you can say Chadwick! So get your stories together, get a tape recorder, and begin. You’ll be funny and interesting before you know it…

“…And that’s why I always carry a butcher’s knife!” You exclaim. Everyone erupts into laughter. The rolling guy hits a wall and passes out quietly. Even Chadwick lets a sly smile show. You survey the crowd with a pleased smile.

Chadwick has no idea what’s coming to him.

Yet Another Rejection for T-Swift-New Opinions on Old Facts

Welcome to New York? Have you heard it? Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bzr5VtFvSyw

Now, if you’re not from NY< you may find this an inoffensive pop song from T Swift. If you are from NY, especially NYC, the internet believes that you should be frothing at the mouth while raising your torches and pitchforks against Swift in her new Manhattan digs. Oh, and she’s also been named the ambassador of New York. (Whatever that means). So should we hate the song? Hate T-Swift?  Does she deserve to be ambassador? Since I was born and raised in Queens NY, I believe I’m qualified to provide the answers to these burning questions.

The song itself, in my opinion…is remarkably ordinary. If you heard it on the radio, you’d probably zone it out until “Take Me to Church” played for the 19th time today. But many online commentors allege that the song is more than ordinary: it glorifies gentrification. This is a huge sticking point. If you’re unfamiliar with gentrification, it is basically the process where neighborhoods, often low-income neighborhoods, are torn down or renovated to create newer, more expensive housing. As a result, low income residents of that neighborhood are forced to move out, unable to afford rising living costs. Over time this practice can lead to a higher population density of low-income individuals in certain neighborhoods. In turn, this increases potential for crime, deep poverty and even death. So does this song glorify this terrible practice?

No. No it does not.

Yes, T Swift makes sweeping generalizations in her lyrics. The song is told from the perspective of a more affluent New Yorker. She talks about the “bright lights” and that “New York is waiting for you”. I’ve been down a lot of dimly lit streets in Jamaica and I can tell you that don’t exactly like what might be waiting for you there. So I’m going to have to call Taylor out on those lyrics. When she says lines like the above, she ignores all of the social groups and natives of the city. The most egregious line, in my opinion, “everybody here was someone else before.” We native New Yorkers take the most pride in how the city has shaped our individual growth. This is who we’ve always been. Don’t forget about that, T-Swift.

So, despite a couple of missteps, the song doesn’t glorify gentrification any more than the Walking Dead promotes zombie apocalypses. In both instances, the artist took one aspect of something bigger and blows it out of proportion. As a result, they get fans and haters. This song was not made for the true New Yorker. Not for the one who’s been here 10 years+ or their entire life. No, this song is for the doughy-eyed, touristy individual whose blown away by the city’s size and power. You can’t fault T-Swift (completely) for being swept away into that. After all, haven’t you ever vacationed to an amazing place? Me, for example, love Orlando! Palm trees, nice waiters and Harry Potter World? An oasis! Of course, i didn’t see every portion of Orlando, but I liked the surface. Granted, I haven’t written a song about it after becoming a mulitmillion dollar singer, but I understand the feeling. T Swift’s song is only guilty of not capturing more than the shiny metallic surface of NYC. So if you don’t like the song, that’s fine. I’m not a fan of it either. But remember that NYC is so much more than that song.

Since I spent so much time on that song, I’ll answer the other two questions I posed quickly.

Should you hate T-Swift?-Only if you hated her before. A singular song is a shallow reason to hate someone. Unless it’s Owl City’s Fireflies.

Does she deserve to be ambassador?-Absolutely not. Here’s a short list of better options: Jon Stewart, Seinfeld, Louie C.K. These suggestions are not because I dislike Swift. It’s because they’ve actually been here a while. They earned it. (and they’re funny).

In conclusion, Taylor Swift released a song. Some people are going to hate it, some will love it, some will forget about it. But all people need to recognize this: it’s just a song. T-Swift, if you’re reading this, (and i know you frequent my blog), know that New Yorkers are hard to win over. You’ll need more than a song, even if it’s a really good one, before you earn ambassador.

And can you make a 23 song? I just had a birthday, and well, I can’t sing 22 anymore.

Oh, and welcome to New York.

The Tyler Perry Problem

tyler perrry

It was just around 11:00 and the party was still raging. Some guys exchanged weak pickup lines to disinterested girls. Another friend, Pamela, was taking a shot of bacardi 151 to celebrate her loss of good judgment. Admist all of this, I stood in a circle of friends, discussing movies.

“Did you see Star Trek?”-Friend A says with more enthusiasm than a 12 year old girl at a One Direction concert. “I tried, but I didn’t see past the lens flares!” Friend B says, with more wit than the eyebrow of John Oliver. Friend C rolled her eyes and said, “I was distracted by Tyler Perry showing up in the middle.”

The music stops. People drop their drinks. Pamela takes another swig of bacardi 151. Friend C widens her eyes, realizing that she’s said the two words that are never to be mentioned in a social setting. All at once, arguments break out. “MADEA IS HILARIOUS!” “I’M TIRED OF HIM!” “HE REPRESENTS OUR VOICE!” “HE SUCKED IN ALEX CROSS!” Within moments, punches are thrown and glass shatters. The chandelier falls from the ceiling, and Dementors emerge from the chimney. I barely escape through the front door with my drink. Gasping for breath, I shake my fist at the sky and yell, “TYLER PERRY!”

This night didn’t have to happen.

Tyler Perry is a divisive figure in some communities, and arguably Hollywood itself. If you are not familiar with his work, allow me to take you through it. After some years of failure and obscurity, New Orleans born Perry found success with his originally written and directed musical, I Know I’ve Been Changed. From then on, he found success releasing these plays onto video and then eventually turning them into Hollywood movies. Tyler Perry is now worth about 400 million dollars today.
So what’s the problem?

As you knew/could guess from the title picture, Tyler Perry is black. That is not the issue that most take with him. The issue lies in Perry’s body of work. Most of his stories revolve around characters, often black men and women, go through extremely adverse situations and overcome them with faith and hard work. Although that doesn’t sound too controversial, there are certain trends that are repeated. One of the main characters is usually poor, struggling to pay the bills. There are single mothers and fathers left and right with kids as well. And abusive relationships, physically and verbally often make an appearance in these films. Although these films are usually critically hated (Rotten Tomatoes gave his first Hollywood outing a 15% out of 100), they continue to make tons of money. Why is this?

Most people believe this is all about the content of his movies. A large number of the black community in America may have grown up in households similar to the ones that Perry depicts. And if they didn’t, they may know or be aware of what it’s like. The humor also has a lot to do with black and Christian culture, another common thread with the audience. While not 100 percent of Perry’s audience is black, his repeated use of the above formula has got people thinking that he caters to the wants and desires of the black community in order to make his money.

And that’s absolutely true.

Look at a movie that’s in theaters right now. Seriously, any one. Guardians, The Giver, Grey:The Fifty Shades of, whatever. Each caters specifically to an audience. Comic book enthusiasts, nostalgic readers and people who haven’t discovered that there are websites that do what fifty shades does but much better are the target audiences respectively. And they need to be targeted. No matter how good a director makes a movie, it needs to make money. Otherwise the Director can’t make more movies. In the art world, if they don’t produce, they die. So yes, let’s face the fact that Tyler Perry makes his so-called “Madea” movies for a black audience.

Unfortunately, some members of the black audience have rejected that. They have a case. When your culture is consistently depicted in the same way, people outside of your culture can start to assume that you will look and act a certain way. There’s also the notion of escapism. We don’t go to the movies to watch a guy at his 9-5 job punch in and out while doing simple tasks (although I’m sure there are some movies that could do this well), we go to see a guy punch out gangsters from 9-5. So some members of that black audience see Madea movies less as an escape and more as something that looks like home. Of course, there are still many who love Perry’s movies for the exact same reasons they are hated. It seems as if you have to choose a side.

But you really don’t.

I”m a fan of Perry’s “Daddy’s little girls”. Idris Elba and Gabrielle Union? Yes please! Sure, some of the acting was a little hokey, and some jokes fell flat, but it was all over enjoyable. I don’t care for a lot of his other films. Mostly, it’s because he keeps making similar movies over and over again. Sure, the situations are a little different, and the characters often change, but overall, there’s romance, abuse and Madea over and over again. I want to see something new! And I know Perry is capable of that.

Probably.

The house becomes quiet. I peek into the window, curious to see what has transpired. Unconscious bodies litter the floor. One hand twitches slowly, holding up Madea’s Family Reunion on DVD. Tyler Perry walks through the living room (I forgot to mention that he usually comes to these parties), looking at the results of the chaos. He stops and stands in the middle of it all. After surveying the room, his eyes lock with mine. I can’t resist the words that fall out of my mouth, tumbling to the floor like Pamela after the third shot of Bacardi 151?

“Are you going to keep making movies like you have been?-I ask, “Cause this will keep happening if you do.”

Perry smiles and says, “And If I don’t?”

The words slowly come to me, “Then no one else will. No one else can. Madea will cease to exist in Hollywood. We will cease-“

Perry kneels down and begins to pray. He is a reverent man, after all. I say nothing, letting his prayer continue. I can’t make out the words, or see his expression, but I know that whatever he’s saying must be important. To Tyler Perry, they may be all that keeps him going. 

Bitter Ness, A Slightly Off Tale for Children

bitternesseverywhere

A while back, I started a project called, “Slightly off Children’s Stories”. They were meant to be simple stories with straightforward messages that  children could pick up easily could also appeal to an adult crowd.

Sometimes I would get carried away with appealing to the adults.

So, without further ado, I present:

logo3

Bitter Ness

There was once a young man named Ness who lived for the comfort of food. His friend that was a girl, Beth, (who bares no relation to any persons living at all, especially not anybody whom the author would know) also liked the comfort of food, so they were always ate together.

One day, Beth decided that she had enough of the comfort of food and stopped going to dinner with Ness.

Sad and lonely, Ness went to a restaurant with an electric sign called Shopelessi. (Unfortunately neither the s or I in the sign were on)

When he got inside, a waiter told him, “We only serve one dish here. It’s a rough fruit.”

Ness shrugged and said, “It doesn’t matter. Give me one.”

He bit into the fruit and found that it was very bitter.

The waiter shook his head and said, “Told you.” The waiter also asked, “Where is my tip?”

Needless to say, this restaurant left Ness with a bad taste in his mouth.

Also a literal one. Everything he ate, no matter where he went, tasted bitter.

He tried and again and again and again but in the end there wasn’t a happy Ness to be found at any restaurant in town.

One day, while eating chicken at the Parakeet restaurant, Ness noticed a happy couple of guys enjoying a steak dish.

Then he got a mean idea.

Ness went over to the couple while they were in between bites and yelled, “Wow! Isn’t this terrible? This steak is tough, hard to swallow and not even close to perfect!”

The couple just laughed and smiled. One of the men said, “We’re enjoying our meat just fine.”

The other man at the table said, “Yeah, it takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.”

Feeling defeated, Ness skulked away.

The next night, Ness travelled to a sushi restaurant.

While finding the wasabi bitter, he noticed a couple of joyous women sitting at a table. Their food hadn’t arrived yet.

Ness got another mean idea.

He went over to the table and said, “I’m sorry you decided to commit to this. I hear it takes pretty long to be satisfied over here.”

The two women laughed and smiled.

One of the women said, “Yeah, this sort of thing takes some getting used to, but it’s okay.”

The other woman said, “Even if it doesn’t work out in the end, it’s still worth trying at least once.”

Feeling defeated once more, Ness stomped off.

The next night, Ness was devising a new plan at a standard, plain looking restaurant.

This time he’d talk to a couple after they had eaten!

Ness waited for a while, but the guy and the girl sitting at the table seemed to go on eating forever.

He turned away, ready to stomp out again, until he noticed a girl glaring at this duo of diners.

Ness went over to the girl and asked, “Why are you glaring at them?”

The girl turned to him and said, “Look at them. They’re so satisfied, having their perfect little meal, pretending that food always tastes wonderful and new…ugh, they’re idiots!”

A smile crept onto Ness’ face. “They’re absolute imebiciles!” he declared.

The girl smiled as well.

“Here you go, ma’am!” the waiter said, bringing the girl some fries.

“Do you want these?” the girl asked.

Ness tilted his head and said, “You’d share your food with me? Why?”

The girl sighed and said, “Ever since I ate this one fruit, everything has tasted bitter.”

Ness and this new friend that was a girl would end up talking until the restaurant closed that night.

Just before they each went home, the girl told him that her name was Carol, (Again, no relation to anyone dead).

The next night, they made fun of another couple enjoying their food at a fast food restaurant.

It became kind of their thing.

And although neither of them noticed…

Over time…

Like three and a half weeks…

The bitterness in their mouths both went away.

As a matter of fact, if you happened to catch Ness and Carol at a restaurant and asked them how the food is…

They might just say that it’s actually pretty sweet.

Fill Another Bucket List

Since it is Throwback Thursday, I thought I would revisit an old topic of mine. This week, as a whole has been filled with terrible news. Michael Brown, NASCAR crashes and of course the loss of a great entertainer have all seized the headlines. Instead of going into more analysis (today, at least), I wanted to pull out this list again.

You may have seen those “30 before 30” lists before. And though I like the concept, I’m not a fan of the time limit, (I haven’t mastered airbending yet, and I want to do that before a bucket list) So to slightly tweak that concept, here are 15 items on my “Fill Another Bucket List”  You have your whole lifetime, so feel free to alter, modify or add to it as necessary. And if you do any of these, I’d love to see pics, videos or the police report!

FILL ANOTHER BUCKET LIST

bucket lists

  1. Find a funeral picketing by the WBC. Go there with double the amount of people. Hold up signs of love.*

*(Since this entry was made, I’ve seen one incidence of this happening!)

2. Have two chefs compete at s homeless shelter to mass produce their best dish. The winning plates go to the homeless. The losing plates go to the homeless.

3. Find a brick wall. Fill balloons with paint. On the outside people write words that have hurt them. They will use these balloons to break those words and make something beautiful out of their pain.

4. Find the oldest married couple in the world and have them attend a wedding with newlyweds. The old couple will renew their vows.

5. I believe in oxygen keeping us alive day: so all people finally have something to agree on. Make some stickers that say “Go Oxygen” on one side, and an uplifting message on the other.

6. Write a note on a Chinese lantern day of everything holding you back. Go to the shore of a beach. Let it go. The lantern too.

7. Find your favorite book of all time. Give it to someone who’s never read it. Preferably someone that doesn’t have a lot of books.

8. Find something to love. Two catches: a. It has to be legal. B. You have to mean it.

9. Show up to a friend’s house for a suprise 22nd birthday. Have a big rager. Film it all. Catch: the person has to say that life continues after 21.

10. Walking around shoeless for a day is great. Spreads the message. Let’s take those shoes and actually send them to people without shoes. Sends a better message.

11. Make a penpal and do it old school. Yes, letters and everything. And if you can, go visit them, wherever they are.

12. Get two professional golfers to play mini-golf for charity. The details are up to you!

13. Fund a kickstarter that will honestly make a difference in the world. The amount is inconsequential. (Sorry potato salad kickstarter fans)

14. Get together with five people and exchange your favorite movies. Rotate until you have your original movie again. You’ll either see great movies again, see a great movie for the first time, or laugh at a movie you don’t really like. Remember, this is a judgment-free zone.

15. Dig through your computer and find the oldest photos, files and videos that you never watch. Put them on a special flash drive with a note to yourself. Open it in five years and see what you remember. Repeat until…forever. If you feel courageous, show someone else.

16-Think about something you’ve always wanted to do, whether it will help you or someone close to you. Write it down. What’s next is up to you. Good luck, and fill up that bucket!