Neil Pasricha has become a bloggernaut. After winning a Webby for his blog 1,000 Awesome Things, life has to be on an awesome upswing for the 29-year-old Canadian. Pasricha started his site in June of last year, and as he told Misty Harris in The Vancouver Sun, his mother emailed his first post to his dad, and “the traffic suddenly doubled.” When I went to visit the Things today, I was hit number 3,238,602. It comes as no surprise that after winning the prestigious Webby that four anxious literary agents have started wooing Pasricha. Could it get any more awesome?
Apparently the list isn’t exclusive to him though–he’s a 29-year-old guy, afterall. “It’s a celebration of the little things, the little pleasures, the little joys that bring us all together as people,” he explains in The Sun. “It’s about being really tired and about to fall asleep when someone throws a blanket over you.” Yes, that is awesome.
The Things list is bang-on every time, and I found myself nodding and nearly agreeing out loud with Pasricha. “Yes, the smell of crayons is awesome!” I scroll the list and pause to read his in depth rational behind why we love #782: Mixing cookie batter with bare hands. Also hitting the bull’s eye is #784: Celebrity Baby Names, where he has compiled a list of the most notorious, from Gwenyth Paltrow’s Apple to Frank Zappa’s clan of Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva Muffin.
Pasricha has targeted a Chicken Soup for the Soul-weary audience. He has warmed the cockles of blog- savvy, Twittering readers who still find something spiritual in recognizing the feel-goodness of #796: The sound of rain from inside a tent. Or, better yet, #997: Locking people out of the car and pretending to drive away. Reading his list is like the magnetic pull of Facebook. You know you are wasting time looking at the beach holiday album of that “friend” from grade 3, but, by god, it’s like wading deeper and deeper into quicksand as you click through their sunny, smiley pictures. Visiting the 1,000 Things site will also successfully keep you from doing anything constructive for a surprising period of time–but is reading about inspiring Awesome Things so wrong? The good news is that Pasricha is still on the countdown from 1,000 and is at #768, so really, you can only waste your time reading about 232 Awesome Things.
After reading about so many awesome things though, I wondered how long it would take before someone came up with a list of 1,000 Not-So-Awesome Things. And in no time, I had 10. For those times when you don’t want a reminder of saccharine-laced awesome things and need a moment to dwell in a dismal mood, reflect on these:
#10 Unpacking groceries and dropping a Costco-sized bottle of olive oil on the ceramic tile floor, creating your very own Exxon Valdez when you are already five minutes late for work.
#9 Taking a thirsty slug from a beer bottle that was being used as the party’s indoor ashtray.
#8 Sending a gossipy email that was intended for an audience of one and realizing you hit Reply All, sending it to everyone on your list, including the person you were gossiping about. Not so awesome.
#7 Swallowing a bug as big as a praying mantis at the beginning of a race and feeling it crawl up the back of your throat for the next 20 kilometers.
#6 Regifting a bottle of cheap wine to the person who gave you the cheap wine. (Tactic: upon recognizing the expression of “Hey, I gave you that wine,” quickly say, “Wasn’t it you that introduced me to this merlot? You know what, it’s the only kind I buy now.”)
#5 When you work as a massage therapist and your client says, “while you’re at it, you can massage my fat away too,” and you respond: “well, if I could do that I would be here all day.” But, what you meant was, that if you had the ability to massage fat away, in general, that your work would never end because everyone would want a massage to take their fat away. What you didn’t mean was that your client was so obese that it would take a whole day to massage her fat off. Not awesome.
#4 When you comment on your co-worker wearing glasses. “Do you normally wear contacts?” And when the co-worker says her eyes are really bothering her from the pollen, that’s why she is wearing them, but she hates her glasses because they’re ugly and you say, “they suit you.” But then you realize that what you said sounds like her ugly glasses suit her, because she’s ugly too. Argh.
#3 Having underwear fall out of your pantleg in a public place with no time for recovery.
#2 Pre-heating the oven to bake cookies at 350, and melting the handle off the T-fal frying pan you quickly hid in the oven when you had drop-in company. Then, baking those cookies, eating them and having semi-toxic T-fal plastic handle breath.
#1 Submitting a resume and cover letter for your dream job and later realizing that you said that you would be “willing to do shit work.” Shit work? &^$%* SHIFT WORK. I’m willing to do SHIFT WORK. But, it’s too late because it was for an editing job and if you can’t decipher between shit and shift, you’re not really the ideal candidate anyway.
Pasricha’s lollipop and sunshine list can be found at: http://1000awesomethings.com/the-top-1000/
And on Twitter: http://twitter.com/1000awesome