There are so many things on my mind with this story (BREAK A LEG). Some obvious things that might also be rattling around in your mind right now, and some personal things specific to me as well. Writing this story filled me with a similar feeling as when I was writing my very first story, “The Toy Rocket.” The feeling, and knowing, that those dearly departed were with me throughout the writing process. My Grandparents, my Uncle Mike, and also more recently, my cousin, Chris. They were a big influence on the characters and the messages flowing throughout. Because I just feel so happy when I think about them. Period.
And that’s a major thing that I really got and grasped from them all, and from so many other people in my life. Which is also the main idea of this story.
That there’s no time like right now… to be happy.
There’s no time like right now to insert some joy and love and fun and good-ness into our own lives and into the lives of those around us. There’s no time like right now.
Regardless of our circumstances. Regardless of our dreams and goals, and where we might stand in relation to achieving them. We can choose to be happy; choose to have fun with the smallest of tasks and the minutest of jobs… right now.
I first think of my Grandad and how he always found a way to interject some singing into the room. Maybe some ingenious harmonica too. There’s a “famous” story regarding my Grandad that gets us all laughing, and proves my point here. We were at Disney World to support my Sister, who was performing there. Naturally, there came a time when we needed to use the bathroom. My Grandad, My Dad, My Uncle Henry, myself, and a perfect stranger are all at the urinals and My Grandad starts to sing. Seriously! Christmas Carols of course… but I’m pretty sure this was in the Springtime. But wait, it gets better. He then pauses mid-verse and proceeds to point to each of us
How about you? Would you have sung, if you were the stranger and my Grandad pointed to you? Whether you can carry a tune or not, would you have tried? And also mind that there was no liquid courage involved, either. This was daytime, and my Grandad didn’t really drink anyway. That was just a happy man. Period. And you know that stranger went and told his family about the crazy experience he just had in the bathroom! And you can imagine his family laughing, and joking about the odd experience. But, laughing, and smiling. The happiness of my Granddad spreading out across Disney World. Infectious. Don’t you see, My Grandad made Disney the happiest place on Earth… Disney didn’t do anything. Duh! Lol.
Ok, let me throw one more story at you. My cousin, Chris. Another happy man. And sorry, there are plenty of happy women in my life. I’m not choosing the men for any reason except for what jumps to the front of my mind first! lol. Ok, so Chris would give me a call and leave me a voicemail. He’d have a show coming up, and wanted to tell me about it, was mostly the deal. But, would Chris say that? Nope. Would he say that it was Chris calling? Nope. I seriously wish I saved some of those voicemails, because they were priceless works of comedy, to me, that I won’t be able to fully explain. Cheesy and ridiculous comedy, but hilarious all the same… for example.
“Hello, This is Farmer Bob, and I’ve got a Tomato problem. It seems the tomatoes are into the Pot.”
[comedy drum hit]
Like I said, I can’t re-create it. It was always some made-up pun with a made-up personality that would fill my voicemail. You couldn’t help but wonder how long he sat there planning his phone call, before dialing. Because even if you answered, that’s how he would start the conversation too! After the joking, he would follow it briefly at the end by what he was actually calling about. They were great. I mean, there can’t be a more straight forward task than leaving a voicemail. Say who you are, why you’re calling, and how to get back to you, right? Or, you can do like Chris did and make it fun because it was fun for me and everyone he left those messages for. It made me smile, and he spread his fun around. It instantly made you want to joke around, and let go; to take the seriousness out of life a bit. With a simple voicemail, and in many many other ways, Chris let everyone around him know there’s room to play. There’s always room to interject a little fun, and not later… but right now.
Last year… yea I lied… one more quick story! Last year, I was at Costco with my wife, Victoria, and we got talking to the guy in front of us in line. Nice man, and in good spirits. We were feeling good already, and his energy and ours fed off each other and we had a really good exchange for about a minute. I still remember him in my mind really clearly a year later. Partly because the conversation was so happy, but then also because when we saw him in the parking lot a minute later, he was riding his cart down the sloping parking lot towards his car like a kid. This man was at least in his 50’s… I’d say 60’s… not that that’s old, but he was no teenager is my point. Not in his 20’s. He was beyond the age when most would consider it socially acceptable to ride their shopping cart through the parking lot. But, why the hell not? So, what do I do every time I leave Costco or any grocery store? I ride that damn cart! And if I’m with Victoria, we take turns. I think that there will be someone who sees and thinks, that looks like fun, why am I not doing that? There’s no time like right now to have some fun; to be happy and free.
I hope today’s episode and story (BREAK A LEG), and these real stories of those who inspire me, inspire you. I hope it inspires you to sing along with a perfect stranger, whether you can or can’t carry a tune; to find a way to play and joke around with the most common place of tasks like leaving a voicemail; and, seriously, maybe I’m risking a lawsuit for this, but ride the damn grocery carts around parking lots! Remember to lean forward so the cart doesn’t fly backwards! Expert tip! Whatever way you manage it, there’s no time like right now to be happy, to interject some fun and joy and play into life.
After all, like Drake sings in his song, like Hank showed us by example…
“Time waits for no one.”