Remember To Live

We are living in historic times.  The world has necessarily shut down and everyone is sheltering in place as we try to beat the Coronavirus into submission.  When historians and archaeologists look back on this era, they will undoubtedly conclude that what human civilization valued above everything else, was a clean butthole.  Future scholars five hundred years from now will make arguments in their university dissertations that 21st century humans considered toilet paper as the world’s most worthy commodity.  Beavis may be regarded, not as a moronic cartoon character, but as a prophet with his shouts of, “I am Cornholio! I need TP for my bunghole!”

At this very moment, doctors, nurses, and medical personnel are the front-line warriors against the Coronavirus pandemic.  They are the ones in the trenches, fighting off the enemy. And the most important thing we can do to aid them, as well as ourselves in this fight, is to stay the fuck at home.  If we stay home, we can help stop the spread of the virus. The last thing a hospital needs is to be completely overwhelmed like Walmart employees on Black Friday. If we all stayed home and ceased non-essential functions, we can beat this sooner.  

I know many of you might be going stir crazy by staying home all day, every day.  And I’m sure any introverts reading this will think, “I’ve got books, Netflix, video games, and taquitos in the freezer.  My life has changed how?” But we can’t forget to live our lives as best we can. Even if that means playing beer pong with your dog, or attempting to play Jenga with your cat.  Living life is important!

But how?  Let me offer some suggestions.

–Daily walks.  This can be done as long as you remember your social-distancing, and is great to get some fresh air for a short while.  You can also use your daily walks to scout the perimeter, spot for bandit ambushes, and see if there are any taco trucks still around.

–Cooking. Take this time to cook more and learn new dishes using whatever you find in the pantry.  It could be a healthy and delicious meal (as long as tofu and brussel sprouts aren’t involved), or it could be a mishmash of kielbasa sausages smothered in Cheese Whiz with Oreos on the side.  No judgement.

–Binge Watching.  Now you have the perfect excuse to watch all your favorite shows in one sitting.  Get caught up on some great shows and movies. For me, I’m working my way through Supernatural, I started The Good Place, and may give others like Outlander a try.  Who knows? You may find a new show or movie you never thought you’d like.

–Video Games.  Are you an Xbox warrior, slaying the world’s digital enemies, hoping that one day your efforts of saving the planet will be recognized by society?  Well, now’s your chance. Stay the fuck inside, play every Call of Duty title, and save the world. For real.

–Crafting and Art.  You might have little crafting or art projects you’ve been putting off.  It could be crocheting Xenomorph, face-hugging aliens or painting a picture of Bob Ross painting himself painting a happy tree, a Happy Tree-ception if you will.  Regardless of what it is, creating is good for you, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Especially if you’ve ever wanted to make your own backyard catapult.

–Books.  I love books.  I own many. If you’re a big reader, then you’re probably like me, in that you have a large stack of books on your “to-read” list, but this never prevents you from buying new ones. But now the bookstores are temporarily closed.  So devour that “to-read” list! Devour it like a hungry zombie that’s fresh out of brains and stumbled into a Mensa convention!

These are just a few suggestions on how to keep yourself occupied while you’re bunkered up at home.  Remembering how to live our lives is important. Because when this is over, and it will be eventually, appreciating all that life has to offer will be taken much less for granted.  People will have a new love for game nights with friends, sporting events will be jam-packed, and restaurants will have a wait time of about twelve years. And most importantly, speaking as a Californian, the taco trucks will return.

We just have to do our part.  Stay home, have a pint, and wait for all this to blow over.

The Pizza Conspiracy

One of my first jobs was as a pizza delivery guy.  I’m sure some of you are thinking that everyday as a pizza guy is like it is in porn.  You know…where the delivery guy shows up to the door and a scantily clad goddess answers the door wearing only a thong made from Red Vines?  She tells you she doesn’t have any money, but if you come inside, you could work “something” out. That “something” usually involves extra sausage.

Let the sexy times ensue.  Am I right? Anyone? I guess you didn’t see that one.

Well, I can assure you this never once happened to me.  Who knew that the world of 1980s porn wasn’t real? They should prepare high school seniors for this reality.  Anyway, I wanted to recount an interesting phenomenon I encountered during several deliveries. It is something both fascinating and somewhat concerning, but not as concerning as devouring three packages of Double-Stuff Oreos in one sitting while watching Meg Ryan movies…not that I would know (he writes with suspicious innocence).

Continue reading “The Pizza Conspiracy”

Sporks In The Road

My name is M.A.D. Hagan, and I  was born and raised in California.  Even though I’ve lived most of my life in the Golden State, the land of movie stars and $3,807.23 per gallon gas, countless farms and pothole-filled roads that resemble the Western Front’s “no man’s land”, and an amazingly diverse, melting-pot population and junkies, I’ve also lived in other places.  

Life has a way of providing each of us with a bunch of choices, opportunities, or a seemingly endless series of forks in the road.  Where your life takes you, the adventures you have, your trials and tribulations, your triumphs and defeats, everything that happens to you or the things you do, or the things that will happen to you or the things that you will do, has its foundation in those life choices.  Do I join the military or the circus? Do I try to go to college or become a phone sex operator? Do I eat a healthy-ish meal of rice cakes smothered in strawberry jam, or consume an entire box of Fruit Loops?

I call these life choices, “Sporks In The Road.”

Sometimes these life choices bring you to a Waffle House in the Florida Panhandle at 2:37am, shoveling down smothered & covered hash browns with syrup and chili (and of course a waffle on top, we’re not savages) in order to soothe your troubled innards, burning and burbling with too much rum, cheap beer, and destroyed inhibitions.  You do this while giggling at the drunken characters that always frequent every Waffle House in Anytown, USA until you realize you were merely gazing and giggling at your own hazy reflection in the restaurant’s window panes, which are already moist from Florida’s inhumane humidity and your own drool.  

Like I said, Sporks In The Road. 

If you think about it, all of us live out our lives and make our choices, choosing directions on that flimsy, plastic tine on the Spork In The Road in front of us, leading us to a life of interesting and great experiences, even if we don’t see it that way.  I think we’ve been conditioned to never feel satisfied in life, that we have to be wealthy, famous, rockstar athlete CEOs with 2.7 trillion Instagram followers in order to not be a failure. Well…that’s bullshit.

If you’re feeling like your life has sucked, that you haven’t been super-duper successful, and that the Magic Wand of Wealth, Happiness, and Free Tacos (™ ) never bonked you on the forehead, then perhaps you just need a little perspective.  Allow me to use myself as an example.

I’m not rich, not famous (don’t want to be), and I have less than a hundred Instagram followers.  However, I’ve lived a life where my choices, my seemingly random direction changes, my feelings of restlessness, have led me to a lot of interesting and amusing experiences.  I’ve always felt like I was just bumbling along in life, just getting by. But in retrospect, my life has contained so many unique, yet different things.  

For instance:

-I went pub-crawling in Dublin with the local Irish.  And survived.

-I went mountain biking in Panama to explore an old Spanish fortress, and saw the Panama Canal too.  It’s rusty.

-I accidentally stumbled into the red light district in Frankfurt (seriously, it was an accident…I just stumbled in…I didn’t know where I was…stop laughing), and was accosted by a gauntlet of German street pimps.  Those fuckers are aggressive. And sexy.

-I am a pretty good musician.  I’ve played guitar for over two decades.  Even though I started playing mainly to learn my favorite Megadeth and Metallica songs, my musical tastes have since greatly expanded.  This includes Irish traditional & Celtic music, classic rock, flamenco, and big band swing music. And not country.

-I served eight years in the US Navy, got involved in the intelligence community, and earned a top secret clearance. With this experience, and newly gained knowledge, I can confidently tell you, assure you, that positively 100%, there are absolutely no grey aliens in the government.  Stay away from those conspiracy sites.

-I once drove from Pensacola, FL to Sacramento, CA in two and half days.  I did this by making myself as Caffeinated As All Fuck (Caffeinated As All Fuck is defined as “enough caffeine to make a water buffalo’s heart explode”).  Afterwards, I slept for twelve hours. I will never do that again.

-I have eaten at a Waffle House in the Florida Panhandle while drunk at 2:37am.  And survived.

-The Navy sent me to Monterey, CA to attend the prestigious Defense Language Institute (DLI) where I would learn a foreign language quickly.  During the 18 months I spent there, the languages I learned were Bullshit, Alcohol Consumption, and Arabic.

-I lived in Bahrain for a year, working as a command investigator for the US Navy base there.  What was that like, you ask? Well, it was so hot and humid there it was like walking into Jabba the Hutt’s taint.

-I have climbed on Mayan Pyramids in Belize where another tourist asked, in utter disbelief, why an escalator was not installed on the pyramid.  I’m serious.  

-I was once married for a decade, in what became the longest relationship of my life.  But that is another story.

I listed all of those things to give examples of how, if you put events in your life into proper perspective, it can make you realize that life is amazing.  Go wherever your life choices take you. My mother, at age 20, decided she wanted a family, and raised me and my brother. One of her joys in life has been seeing us grow into the people we became, that we grew up to be healthy and happy.  

If you don’t think your life was that interesting because you’ve only been raising your family, what about the time that you laughed your ass off when one of your kids coated the family dog in a bag of flour, and the dog then ran off into the neighbor’s yard during their Sunday football barbeque, leaving a white, dusty cloud in its wake, and causing the neighbors to sneeze uncontrollably?  Or when your kids used permanent markers to draw beards (and maybe a penis) on their faces the morning of school picture day? Or how proud you felt when your child became an adult?

It’s all about perspective.  When you look back at all the directions you took, the tines you chose for each Spork In The Road of your life, you realize that life is pretty amazing.  Try to always enjoy where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. Learn from your mistakes and the bad things that happened, and appreciate all the good things that happened.  So here’s to all of you, especially if you’re reading this while on your phone at 3:00am, may all the choices in your Sporks In The Road of life lead you to happiness and free tacos.