Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
As your What The Hell life coach, I’d like to help you avoid problems this summer with your vacation plans. Many people bite off more than they can chew and wind up paying for their vacation for years to come. They also waste precious time learning languages they’ll use only on the one trip, so the first thing I’d advise is let your host country’s people speaky the Englais. It’s the universal tongue. Don’t worry about it, but get used to repeating the one phrase that people the world over expect to hear from Americans: “Can you supersize that?”
Actually, my first piece of advice is not to go on vacation at all. You can experience everything you’d experience on vacation by spending a few hours touring the world on Google Street View. Or, if you must, drive down to your city’s Chinatown and marvel at the live turtles in dish tubs on the sidewalks. That’s some good eatin’.
Local vacations are perfectly enjoyable too. Visit sites of historical interest, like the spot where we gave the Native Americans blankets infected with smallpox. Lessons the kiddies will remember forever. Odds are that one president or another was born within five hundred miles of you. Pop in and have a look at his strangely cramped childhood home, where his father forced him to shovel cow manure for twenty hours a day, which gave him the fortitude to become president. (This doesn’t apply to Donald Trump. He shovels cow manure twenty hours a day now.)
You can also kill a few days renting a cabin on the lake. Lakes are plentiful. You’ll likely drink too much beer there, however, and you’ll return home with the worst sunburn of your life, because you’ll have ignored my next piece of advice:
Drench yourself in 80 SPF sunscreen every fifteen minutes. Alternatively, spare yourself the risk and never go outside at all. That lake isn’t going anywhere.
When flying on domestic airlines, remember that a set of brass knuckles can be improvised easily by putting your keys outward through your fingers and punching at whoever comes at you.
If you decide to go to a theme park with your children, don’t sit beside them on the roller coaster after they’ve eaten chili dogs for lunch. For that matter, don’t sit behind them either.
For picnics in hot weather, don’t forget that mayonnaise achieves fatal toxicity when exposed to direct sunlight.
Here’s a fun idea: Go to the public pool in your neighborhood and try to guess how much urine is in the water by the degree to which your eyes sting. Tip: It’s not chlorine that makes your eyes sting.
Nature outings are a great alternative to the physical and psychological torture that travel is these days. Take the family on a hike, for example, but be cautious where wild animals are concerned. As one expert says, “If the bear attacks, play dead and spread your legs. If it starts eating you, it is no longer defensive and it is time to fight back.” [True! Via the SF Chronicle.]
Well, I hope all of this helps you plan a successful vacation this summer, or better yet that it convinces you that a life of ascetic routine is preferable to exposing yourself to the menaces that lurk out there in the wider world. Take it from me: No one can hurt you if you lock yourself in a room with your iPad and some Cheetos (unless, that is, you binge on 2 Broke Girls and forget to take your antidepressants).
Summertime can be fun for everyone — if you vacation smart.