THE ALMIGHTY LIST

THE MOMENT HAS ARRIVED!  I received input from a number of readers, friends, family members, and even the official medical consultant for Bobbing for Popcorn (okay, so it’s my doctor, but it makes us both sound way cooler) and the list of the FORTY THINGS I am challenged to complete by my FORTIETH BIRTHDAY has been compiled.  It equally pumps me up and terrifies me!  There are some really fun things that are going to be SO COOL and others that are scary as hell!  But that was the point, I guess.  So without further ado, in no particular order, here it is:

1. Eat a carolina reaper pepper

I’ve done hot challenges before, but never anything THIS hot!

2. Polar bear swim

I hate swimming.  I hate the cold.  This sounds perfect.

3. lose 40 pounds

This is probably the biggest challenge on the list but probably the most important one too.  Phew…this one is going to take some work!

4. go camping/Hiking

Believe it or not, there are a number of normal things on this list that I have never done.  This being one of them.

5. visit a legitimately haunted location

I’m not talking about local lore, or somebody’s uncle said he saw the curtains move once.  I’m talking a place one of those ghost hunter shows would go investigate.

6. finish writing a novel

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know.  I started writing this a long time ago.  What better way to light a fire under me to get the job done?

7. run a 5k

Oh sweet baby Jesus give me strength.

8. flip & sell a house

My wife and I have had a rental property for quite a while.  Time to channel my inner Bob Villa and fix it up and sell it to another family.

9. try bulletproof coffee & “cat poop” coffee

I love coffee…these frighten me.

10.  paintball

What better way to shoot your friends without anyone pressing charges?!!

11.  target shooting

I have never fired a gun.  I don’t believe I’ve ever actually held a real one in my life.  Judging by the fact that I usually need supervision when using scissors and I whimper at loud noises, I can’t see how this could go wrong.

12.  hug a llama

This might be the greatest thing I do in my life.

13.  go caroling

Seems a bit easy.  Maybe we’ll sing 80s hip hop mash-ups instead.

14.  grill day

If it isn’t grilled, we don’t eat it.  All day long.

15.  take a painting class

This one should be a piece of cake – I can draw hand turkeys like there’s no tomorrow!

16.  ride a horse

The poor horse probably wants me to lose the 40 pounds first…

17.  sing karaoke

I was in choirs all my life and was lucky enough to be allowed to sing solos.  I was a vocal music major for a semester and performed numerous musical numbers on stage…but I’ve always been freaked out by karaoke!  I don’t know why!  Terrifies me!

18.  learn basic guitar

I’m not looking to be the next Prince, but I just always wanted to strum along to a Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash tune.

19.  milk a cow

Some days you have to grab the bull by the horns, other days you have to grab the cow by the teats.  This is one of those days.

20.  participate in a flash mob

One reader suggested a kazoo performance…it’s got potential.

21.  make a 1/2 court basketball shot

NOTE: I suck at basketball.  It is one thing I am the worst at!  This could take a long time!

22.  hold a tarantula

The person who suggested this is no longer a friend of mine.

23.  go skiing

Again, something most people have done.  Not me.  Not even once!  I’ve never even been to anywhere while other people skied while I watched from a chalet!

24.  beat the original “Super Mario bros.”

The game that started a revolution has always escaped my nimble thumbs.  It’s time I take down Bowser and save that princess once and for all.

25.  go ice skating

Nope.  I put on skates once, dragged myself along the wall for about 20 feet, threw a tantrum, quit, and went home…I was probably 17…not one of my prouder moments.

26.  Create an animated short film

This one was just too intriguing not to try!

27.  sing the national anthem at a public event

Dear God please let me remember the words.

28.  act like a professional announcer for a youth sports team

I think this one would be a riot if the kids didn’t know I was going to do it!

29.  hit a home run out of a local ball park

I never played sports as a kid (I was too busy trying to beat that damn Mario Bros. game) so this is one of those thrills I’ve never experienced.

30.  snow golf

Now THIS ONE I have participated in before a few times.  However, to keep it on my list I think we’re going to need to play a full 18 holes.

31.  do a police ride-along

I have already contacted the police and was given permission to ride shotgun (maybe literally this time).  I have also informed the officer who will be hosting me that I reserve the right to sing the theme to “Cops” as many times as I want.

32.  perform at an open mic comedy club

Again, it’s strange.  I write comedy.  I perform in front of audiences all the time.  But this scares the crap out of me!

33.  get ordained

Bonus points if someone wants me to marry them!

34.  donate blood

I have a terrible phobia of needles…this could get very entertaining for you guys.

35.  meet a childhood idol

Could be tricky since most of them were cartoons…

36.  catch a big fish

I used to go fishing with many different members of my family all the time growing up.  However, while the lake we fished out of is full of walleyes, muskies, and bass, I only ever walked away with a couple sunfish and perch.  I can’t even tell stories about “the one that got away” because he never gave me a chance.  I want to catch “the big one!”

37.  Get a reading from a psychic

I’m super skeptical.  It’s going to take quite the reading to convince me that I’m not wasting my time with this one.  But I promise to keep an open mind and not to get too snarky when the spirits are visiting.

38.  audition for a movie or television show

Oh, why not?  Find an open audition and send in a video.  Who knows, I might be Man In Hat 2 in the 18th Mission: Impossible movie.  Dare to dream!

39.  help a beekeeper

I’m guessing these little guys are harder to milk than cows, but I’ll do my best to get the honey out.

40.  take a whirlwind trip to anywhere new

I’ve never done a lot of traveling, so the whole spontaneous jet-setting lifestyle is foreign to me.  I’ve never been farther west than Indianapolis.  Florida once and very few places north of there until you hit Pennsylvania.  As far as other countries go, Canada is it and I haven’t even been back there in over a decade.  So where should I rush off to on a whim?  Vegas?  London?  Hollywood?  Nambia?!!!  I’m going to hop in a car or on a plane, plant my feet on new ground (for me), snap a couple photos, and then head back home.

* * * * * * *

So that’s it!  My challenges for this year.  I will try to give you updates as weekly as possible (I have 12 extra Fridays that I can play with).  I am also going to challenge myself to get you guys AT LEAST 40 new Top Ten Tuesdays AND 40 new posts that are not Top Ten or 40 By 40 list related.  At least 120 new posts in 2018 just cuz I like ya!

So PLEASE, like, share, retweet, comment, and invite your friends to join in all the popcorny goodness!  And buckle up, this is going to be a busy year!

“Who says nothing is impossible. I’ve been doing nothing for years.” ~ Henny Youngman

Top Ten (Best of the Worst) SPAM Comments From 2017

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get this blog up and rolling more professionally (don’t tell the IRS, but I’ve already earned a whopping fifty cents by doing this).  Over the course of 2017 my blog posts received over 6,000 comments…71 of them from my readers.  This tells me two things: ONE – you guys have to make some more comments!  SHOW SOME LOVE, Y’ALL!  And TWO – I really need to take care of the SPAM mail much more frequently.

In cleaning out all of the junk from my comments, I came across some real doozies!  Anything from outward expressions of love and adoration to blatant hatred to invitations to join communities for hair loss medication pyramid schemes.  In any case, if these were sent to me by “real” people, there would be grounds for legal action – however, since these are just SPAM messages, they’re just fun to share with you guys.  I skipped the ones about “Hot Singles In Your Area” or “Male Enhancement Pills” because those are so cliché in the world of SPAM – to make this Top Ten list, they needed a little something special to leave me shaking my head.

WARNING: Some strong language ahead (mostly not my fault).

#10 – From Russia With (Paid) Love

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Most of my SPAM, you’d be proud to know, was created in good ol’ “Murica!”  But I also received quite a few messages from China and Trump’s home office in Russia (sorry, couldn’t resist).  For these posts, I needed to employ my dear friend, Google Translate, to help me see what they were saying to me.

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They collected ALL the prostitutes?  Kind of like Pokemon with the danger of STDs?  Watch out for her “Jigglypuff” you might end up with a “Bulbasaur.”

#9 – What Language Are You Trying to Use?

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Someone somewhere must have done what I did and used a translator which is how they ended up talking about Mr. Trump’s “chiffonier” and not his “cabinet.”  I am still not sure what kamagra is because the link was broken when I tried to get more information on it.  However, the way they just throw it randomly in the middle of the text, I like to imagine it being whispered by some sultry voice in the background like a Calvin Klein perfume advertisement.  Finally, I also wonder, as do most of you, I’m sure, whether or not “the bitch directed at law makers” was indeed “anecdotal” or perhaps something more (Insert dramatic organ stinger: dun dun duuuuuuuunnnn).

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#8 – The Victims Get Enough Help

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Aren’t you sick of all the anti-bullying campaigns?  At what point do the victims start bullying the bullies?  Poor bullies.  With all of this push to empower the targets of bullying, we are in need of more well-trained bullies.  Lucky for us there is the American Bully Training Program – just in case you need to re-up on your Wedgie Certification.

#7 – Why Have I Been Working So Hard?!!

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“Fed up of typing ‘who can write my essay’ in the search bar?”  Boy howdy, am I!  If I had a nickel for every time I had to type that out, I’d have…well…a nickel, because I just wrote it one sentence ago.  But I can tell you, I shall write that phrase NO MORE!!!  From now on I am just going to essayerudite and pay them to do all of my blog posts.  I know I said I wanted to make money doing this and this would require me to spend money instead of doing the writing myself…but think of the minutes of my life I would get back!

Okay, so I’m kidding, but it would be fun to contact them and see if they could handle my subject matter.  “Yes, I was wondering if you had a writer who could give me one thousand words about accidentally dropping a flaming Kleenex on my friend’s cat?  No?  Okay.  What can you guys give me on Reindeer Boobs?

#6 – SPAM Sweet SPAM

Sometimes the SPAM messages were so flattering – I almost accepted them and let them get published on my site.

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Even if sometimes, I didn’t always know what they were talking about…

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But then the lovefest started getting a wee bit creepy…

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I’m sleeping with one eye open from now on.

#5 – Ummm….What?

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#4 – There’s So Much Wrong Here

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Where to begin?!  The guy plunging to his doom?  The dead guy’s girlfriend admitting her apathy toward her late beau?  The hook up with his best friend?  The INSANELY gratuitous ending to that short story which, NO, I am not going to let you read?  Or how about the fact that these folks  are capitalizing on AUTISM!!!  Not cool, man, not cool at all.  Now, as a responsible adult, I can not tell you to contact this upstanding citizen.  But I also forgot to blur out the email address…

#3 – I Kinda Wish I Wasn’t A Man Right Now

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Wow.  Just wow.  Ladies, I officially apologize that people like this exist.  Oh darn it – I forgot to black out that email address too…

#2 – I Seem To Have Upset Him

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Someone REALLY took offense to my post about my “spirit salmon.”  I don’t know if he has a fish allergy or perhaps a popcorn intolerance or maybe it is an extremist branch of PETA who believes no animal should be forced to be a spirit animal.  In any case, this dude seems a wee bit peeved at me.  Now the most interesting part of the message, besides figuring out the seven hundred ways I could be killed by his bare hands (I could only figure out three hundred and eleven – I’d never suggest that a Navy Seal’s pants may or may not be on fire, but he may have exaggerated just a tad), was when I hovered over the link (because, no, I didn’t have the guts to actually click it being worried about his secret network of spies and all).  The preview that popped up was risqué to say the least (NO, I’m not going to show you).

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“This is NOT a dating site!”  Just in case you were unclear that the initial message was NOT a pick up line.

#1 – It Takes A Community

 

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What else is there to say?

 

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“The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting.” ~ Dave Barry