51. Abandon your blog for two weeks to whimsically gallivant around Ireland.

You’ve had enough of the internet. ENOUGH. Insipid Facebook statuses make you want to throw your computer out the window. LOLcats are yowling their way into your increasingly poor-grammared dreams. YouTube is torture. Accuweather is never correct anymore. Google is…well okay, Google’s cool. But if you have to listen to one more Nickelback song blasting out of a MySpace page while pink ducklings dance about a fluorescent orange background, you’re going to set fire to the nearest Apple Store, provided it’s not equipped with a spring-loaded, fire-extinguisher-wielding Steve Jobs. You’re not quite sure how humanity has gotten this far, but you’re almost positive it involves a hell of a lot of dumb luck.

So you’re packing up. Time to blow this popsicle stand. Time for a journey to a land of shamrocks, potatoes, and Colin Farrell. Time to frolic about in the rain and dangle headfirst off a cliff for no good reason. Time to get drunk on Guinness and pass out on top of a sheep.

Time to go to Ireland.

But wait! Won’t that be expensive? Isn’t this a terrible time to travel, what with the economy sucking the way it does? How are you going to make next month’s rent if you’ve stopped working for two weeks? And where in the hell did you last put your passport??

It doesn’t matter! Now is no time for common sense! Pack your bags, kidnap your favorite sibling, fashion a rudimentary but passable government-issued ID, and get on the friggin’ plane! Oh, don’t give a second thought to your precious blog. Pay it no mind as it sits there, withered and dejected, wasting away to nothing while you full-on make out with the Blarney Stone. It’ll be right here when you get back, tumbleweeds blustering through, cobwebs gunking up the dashboard, blog stats plummeting to Mariana Trench levels. That’s just fine. No, you go have your fun. Say hi to the leprechauns. Bring back a goat or two. Punch Bono in the face.

So if you want to suck at life, abandon your blog for two weeks to whimsically gallivant around Ireland. Think of it as research. There are plenty of ways to suck at life in another country, and you’re damn well going to test out and report back on each and every one of them.


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50. Knock over a store display.

You just need to run into the store for, like, five seconds. All you have to buy is a jar of pickles. Your BBQ bash has almost been ruined by the absence of the little hamburger fixings that your hot-dog-addled brain neglected to remember. Now there is a surly mob of hungry picnickers back at your house, and if you don’t hurry back you’re going to get a salad tong to the eye.

So you dash into the supermarket, yelling “Pickles!” at the poor, hapless cashier. She directs you to Aisle 3, where you snatch some Vlassics off the shelf, tuck them under your arm like a football, and set your sights on the ten items or less line. There it is, gleaming like a shiny beacon of expediency. And there’s nothing preventing you from becoming a part of it — except for a massive display of soda cans, which you deftly crash to the ground.

If points were scored for supermarket bowling, you would have just banged out a strike. Cans fly everywhere – soaring up into the air, bouncing off other customers, whizzing down the aisle like little rocket-propelled grenades of deliciousness. You do a little dance of futility, as if hopping around in an embarrassed fashion might somehow re-form the meticulously constructed pyramid. The Vlassic pickle stork looks up at you with a mix of disapproval and pity.

The floor is also now drenched in a deep soda flood, surging forth in a tidal wave of stickiness. Other shoppers prance away with grace and style and a few choked screams, but you remain still, steadfast in the face of adversity and carbonation. The manager – a balding, puffy fellow – waddles over and stares at the mess you’ve made. “Sorry,” you say in a meek voice, pathetically picking up a single can and, after vainly attempting to put it back in the display and not knowing what else to do with it, hand it to him with a weak smile. You are asked never to return.

So if you want to suck, knock over a store display. Not only will you gain fame and recognition within the confines of the produce section, but random items will also stick to you for the rest of the day. Hey, free stuff!

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49. Blind yourself with a camera flash.

You’re at the state fair, and that means only one thing: photo after priceless photo of cows, llamas, prize-winning swine, and, as always, a trick-horseriding chimpanzee.

You first encountered the trick-riding chimp at the fair a few years ago. He looked at you. You stared back at him. It was truly love at first sight. You sat there in the bleachers, marveling at the flips he could execute while riding around on the back of a horse. “That is a monkey!” you yelled at your fellow spectators. “On a horse!” Oh sure, they nodded and politely applauded and didn’t have to watch the rest of the show from the back of a security vehicle, but you know they didn’t really get it.

But you get it. You respect the trick-riding chimp for what it is: one of nature’s greatest miracles. And so, pumped full of coffee and armed with a cheddar-yellow Kodak disposable camera, you take your place in the stands. You pile a bunch of coats and jackets into the spaces next to you, lest someone arrive to ruin your precious time with your favorite primate.

There he is! Waddling out from behind the curtain, holding the hand of his trainer, waving to the “audience” (but you know better – he’s waving to you). As he mounts the trusty steed, you ready the camera in your sweaty hands. This is it! The double triple back swing flip through – his best trick yet! You position your finger over the button, stick your eye into the viewfinder, and prepare to capture this beautiful (and fleeting) moment.

Except that you’re an idiot and didn’t realize the camera is backwards. You hit the button, and are immediately blinded. The flash goes off directly in front of your eye. You scream in pain, causing the trick-riding chimp to become momentarily flummoxed and begin screeching in terror. The entire theater breaks out into chaos, as you fruitlessly grope around and mourn your photographic loss, incomprehensibly yelling something about survival of the hippest.

So if you want to suck at life, blind yourself with a camera flash. You now have a bitchin’ picture of your right cheekbone. Ironically, your retinas are too damaged to ever enjoy it.

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48. Volunteer to participate in a magic show.

You’re sauntering through the mall, grinning at your Bed Bath and Beyond shopping bag that now contains a set of newly-purchased salad tongs, when you notice a commotion over near the fountain. What could it be? Is Sesame Street Live in town? Is the cast of The Young and the Restless on a mall tour? Could it be a bomb scare?

You hurry toward the noise and bustle with no regard for your own safety or precious time, only to find an impromptu magic show unfolding before a myriad of vaguely amused shoppers. Crappo the Magnicifient is waving his silly little wand around like some sort of misplaced orchestra conductor, while a gaggle of small children laugh and continue drooling all over themselves.

After transforming a bottle of Gatorade into a goldfish aquarium, Crappo surveys the audience and asks for a volunteer. Without consulting your brain, your arm immediately shoots up, perhaps in a reflex reaction from your own childhood days of desperately seeking attention from strangers and, oddly enough, magicians. Crappo sees your goofy smile and ushers you to the center of the crowd. He asks you your name and where you’re from, and then proceeds to berate both of those things, as well as your clothing, hair, and general demeanor. This is entertainment.

He then instructs you to take off your shoes. This has nothing to do with the trick, he smarmily points out to the crowd, they’re just horrendously ugly. So now you’re standing there, shoeless, while this hack continues to flourish his wand and inform the crowd of how stupid you are. He then stuffs you into a box, brandishes several razor-sharp sheets of metal, and suddenly thrusts them into your vital organs. A variety of other things happen at this point, but you’re unaware of what they are, as your disoriented head is no longer attached to your body. Now you’re dismembered AND embarrassed. Sparks fly out of his wand, a dove appears from nowhere and perches directly on your decapitated head, and a lovely assistant wearing a sequined dress shimmies her boobs for all to see. It’s pure magic.

So if you want to suck at life, volunteer to participate in a magic show. Among the things that will disappear: your smile, your wallet, and your dignity.

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47. Encounter the dreaded trash juice.

You’ve been in denial for far too long. The Mt. Everest-sized heap of garbage piled up in your kitchen is just about ready to take over the room and, eventually, the entire house. Oh, you’ve crammed item after item into the mush, anything to delay the inevitable. You flattened the box of Rice Krispies. You attempted to smush the carton of milk. You delicately placed the Mama Celeste remnants at the top of the summit, but this precarious situation can no longer hold: it’s time to take out the trash.

In lieu of donning a biohazard suit, you roll up your sleeves and crouch beside the basket. Seizing the little red Ropes of Helpfulness, you try to yank the bag out of the can, but to no avail. That thing is jammed in there so tight, you may just have to retrieve a chainsaw from the garage to free it. But your very, very smart brain has a better idea: tip the basket so you can slide the bag out, instead of lifting it! What could possibly go wrong?

You tilt it ever so gingerly, and the bag finally begins to dislodge itself at roughly the same speed as a glacier. Sweaty and exhausted, you continue to struggle and pull and heave at the damn thing, until all of a sudden it finally dislodges, popping out of the can like a chicken out of a chicken cannon (you watch a lot of Mythbusters). Inordinately pleased with yourself, you tie it up (double knotted for Safety) and begin dragging it through the house, completely unaware of the foul, disgusting trail you are leaving in your wake. Once you get outside, you reach the bin and happily place the bag into its new home. But – what’s that on the side? A tear? And what’s that running down your leg??

Oh dear Lord almighty. It’s trash juice.

“Trash juice!” you begin shouting at the bag, hopping away as if it had suddenly exploded into a fiery ball of spiders. Now jumping around and shrieking “Ew ew ew ew ew” but not actually doing anything to clean up this disaster, you flee into the house, whereupon you discover only more slimy goo waiting for you. Covered in an unidentifiable substance and reeking of a smell that does nothing but prompt wave after wave of nausea, you tear off your clothes in a blind panic and dive headfirst into a shower, where you stay for roughly three hours, scrubbing your skin raw and sobbing. Always with the sobbing.

So if you want to suck at life, encounter the dreaded trash juice. You may be forced to throw out that new pair of $93 jeans, but don’t worry: the stench will stay with you forever.

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46. Spill a tub of popcorn within twenty seconds of purchasing it.

You camped out in line overnight. You haven’t been to work in two days. You’re wearing a costume. And you smell pretty bad. But it doesn’t matter, because you are first in line for the midnight showing of Spiderman IV: Still Really Whiny. This is going to be better than that time you won best Gandalf at the LOTR:ROTK premiere!

After sprinting into the theater, claiming your seat with a large flag, and cordoning off the area with police tape and land mines, you decide that it is safe enough to venture back out into the lobby for refreshments. You waddle up to the counter and assess your choices. Only fifteen bucks for a tub of popcorn, but for only $7.50 more, you can get an entire vat of popcorn, plus an entire keg of soda! You’d be a pretty stupid human-arachnid if you didn’t take advantage of that deal.

So you gleefully place your order, hand over the money to the unamused cashier, and giddily collect your purchases. The soda fizzes away in excitement, and the greasy butter flavoring smell is wafting up to your nostrils, who by now have been trained to ignore the fact that such an odor cannot possibly come from anything natural or even edible.

You step away from the counter, and immediately upon doing so, the slippery lard – pouring forth over the top of the vat with such heart-clogging enthusiasm – comes into contact with your tremendously uncoordinated hands. And it’s all downhill from there. The bucket leaps forth from your grip, showering you, the floor, and the unamused cashier with fatty golden kernels of pure delight. You cry out in horror as the shower continues, until every single piece has emptied itself out of your possession. Unamused cashier smirks as you sink to your knees, cursing the heavens, God, and even Stan Lee. You’re clearly taken leave of your senses. You slink back to your seat, crushed, broke, and above all else, starving.

So if you want to suck at life, spill a tub of popcorn within twenty seconds of purchasing it. No doubt your motor skills have atrophied after years of doing nothing but reading comic books in your mother’s basement. Well done, Captain Butterfingers.

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45. Drop a contact lens.

You’re on the subway, rumbling along to work, staring at a poster for the local community college in which a number of students look really excited to be going to a community college, when something flies into your eye. You don’t know what it could be or how on earth it got there, as you’re pretty sure that a gale force wind blustering through a closed subway car is a rare occurrence. Nevertheless, some foreign object is now perched quite obstinately upon your retina, and you’re terrified it will soon begin eating its way through to your optic nerve if you don’t get it out as quickly as possible.

You begin viciously clawing at your eyeball, much to the horror of those sitting around you, who believe you to be one of those subway crazies who eat their own dandruff. Tears are now streaming uncontrollably, as well as a healthy amount of snot. You beg strangers for a tissue, but they just go on pretending to listen to their iPods while reading the newspaper. Oh, you’re on to their little game. You know there’s no music streaming from those earbuds. They just don’t want any batshit eye-gougers to approach them.

Eventually you manage to scoop out the perpetrator – an insidious eyelash – along with a tiny vision-correcting miracle. Your contact lens, stressed and traumatized from the events of minutes past, sits there pathetically on your finger. Wrinkled and disheveled, it grimaces up at you in pain. You grimace back, since you don’t have any solution on you at the moment and you both know you’re just going to have to shove that sucker right back into your eye without the help of any moisture whatsoever.

So your lens decides that, rather than join you on that little adventure, it will escape. And thus, a new quest begins. It hurls itself down to the ground, amidst a chorus of gasping and groaning from you. You quickly glance down at the disgusting floor of the subway, not wanting to even imagine the kind of bacteria and diseases and bodily fluids wafting around down there. But vision correction does not come cheap these days, and you’re going to need both eyes tonight if you want to enjoy Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance. Those front-row-seat tickets are just burning a hole in your pocket, and you’ll be damned if you only get to witness those world-famous Feet of Flames with one eye!

So you swallow your pride and begin digging around on the floor, sweeping your hand across the sticky surface with grandiose, epic gestures. You make contact with many objects that you’d like to never think about again. Was that fur? Is this a syringe? Keep groping, maybe you’ll stick yourself with the antidote. You’re not even close, of course, as the sheer invisibility of the thing makes it nearly impossible to ever detect again. It could very well have migrated to the other end of the car and gotten off of the train two stops ago, for all you know.

Eventually, you find the little pissant, balled up in a corner and beyond repair. Crusty and shriveled, it mocks you and you self-respect, until all you can do is fling it uselessly into the coffee of the guy next to you.

So if you want to suck at life, drop a contact lens. You may be squinting like a pirate for the rest of the day, but look on the bright side: the left half of the bright side, that is.

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