The Sun

  1. One side of a complicated, long-distance relationship
  2. Huge flaming gasbag that is constantly trying to kill us

Usage Example: “Hey kids! Don’t forget to put on a hat and cover yourselves in sunscreen before you go outside. If you don’t, the Sun will try to give you cancer.”

Background: Humans continue to struggle through a complicated long distance relationship with an enormous flaming ball of gas in outer space.

Figure 1 - What a jerk.

Figure 1 – What a jerk.

On one hand, we need the Sun to live. The Sun holds our planet in orbit, thereby allowing Earth to enjoy livable temperatures. Light from the Sun also helps humans generate vitamin D and keeps plants alive.

However, the Sun is also a huge jerk that is constantly trying to kill mankind. For some reason, the Sun wants to give everyone cancer. Because of this threat, packing for a family beach trip is like packing for a South Pole expedition. We need hundreds of pounds of gear to survive the Sun’s attacks. Hats, umbrellas and sunscreen are just some of the items that we haul around to protect us from that bully.

The Sun is also incredibly vain and aloof. The Sun is so full of itself, that it won’t even let anyone look at it. If you stare at it for too long, that vindictive punk will make you go blind (or at least that’s what parents tell their kids). The Sun is also kind enough to give us a beautiful eclipse every decade or so… But guess what? You can’t look at that either!

Even if we are lucky enough to avoid cancer and blindness from the Sun, that jerk has one final trick up its sleeve. Eventually, the Sun will morph into a “red giant” and completely destroy our entire planet. Thanks, Sun.

No one knows why the Sun is so vindictive. We haven’t been seeing other stars…Honestly. We need the Sun… But we also hate the Sun. What a jerk.

Daily Multivitamin

  1. Pellet of compressed sawdust designed to help people feel better about their decisions
  2. Edible Fitbit

Usage Example: “This daily multivitamin only has 40 mcg of chromium. That is not acceptable.”

Background: The daily multivitamin comes in many forms. The most commonly available multivitamins are the standard compressed sawdust variety. However, the water-filled plastic pellet and gummy placebo forms are also available. Regardless of the form, multivitamins serve a single important purpose: to help adults feel better about ordering the triple-bacon-cheeseburger with unlimited fries.

Ingesting a daily multivitamin feels like a healthy decision. This helps people justify participating in a nine hour Storage Wars marathon with a fifty gallon drum of cheese balls. Similar to buying a gym membership or wearing a Fitbit, a multivitamin doesn’t actually do anything, but it makes people feel healthier. This opens the door to all kinds of unhealthy activities.

Adults who choose to take gummy vitamins are people who enjoy making unhealthy decisions disguised as healthy decisions, in order to make more unhealthy decisions later. In short: they are geniuses. However, after taking their daily candy medicine, they are constantly faced with the temptation to eat the entire jar…It’s a good thing they don’t really do anything.

Vegetable Garden

  1. The best and worst decision of the year
  2. A battleground

Usage Example: “I’m looking for a powerful chemical that will instantly kill giant spiders in my vegetable garden, but will still allow me to say that the vegetables are organic… Do you have anything like that?”

Background: The home vegetable garden is a battleground. The choice to grow vegetables at home is both a peace treaty and a declaration of war on nature. The home gardener must work with nature by watering and nurturing plants, and work against nature by waging war on weeds, insects and animals.

At first, a home gardener may naively plant a few vegetables, water them, and sit back, assuming that they will have a crop of beautiful vegetables in a few weeks. However, it doesn’t take long for these rookies to realize that nature hates them, and will do anything that it can to destroy their precious little weekend project. Gardeners generally follow this pattern:

  1. Decide to plant an organic garden after seeing beautiful vegetables at the farmers market and on Facebook
  2. Prepare the ground through backbreaking labor
  3. Purchase and plant vegetables
  4. Water seeds and plants
  5. Weed
  6. Realize that an animal is eating the plants
  7. Purchase and set up a fence
  8. Weed
  9. Realize that an animal is still eating the plants
  10. Purchase liquid animal repellents
  11. Weed
  12. Battle a giant spider
  13. Weed
  14. Search the internet to identify strange looking insects
  15. Search the internet to figure out what is making those tiny holes in your leaves
  16. Purchase an organic insect repellent
  17. Weed
  18. Search the internet to figure out why your leaves are yellow
  19. Purchase and install an extra-large fence
  20. Purchase and use chemical insect repellents that actually work
  21. Weed
  22. Battle a giant spider
  23. Harvest three small tomatoes and five misshapen squash
  24. Decide that your Facebook friends are liars
  25. Vow to never plant a vegetable garden again… But those vegetables did taste really good…maybe just one more try…

And, just like the addicts that they are, gardeners keep fighting the battle year after year – hoping that the next year won’t contain huge spiders.

Tiny House

  1. A large dollhouse on a trailer
  2. Covert status symbol in the housing arms race

Usage Example: “People in big houses are so materialistic… I can’t wait to buy all of these specialized materials to build my tiny house. That will show everyone how non-materialistic I am.”

Background: In order to combat the perceived materialism found in the large American home, a group of men in skinny-jeans reacted in the only sane way possible: they built large dollhouses on trailers and wedged themselves into them.

The tiny house movement started booming after the mortgage crisis of 2008. This was a time in which people sought simpler ways of living. People wanted fewer material possessions, and desired to be tightly wrapped in building materials. They disdained the large American house as a wasteful status symbol, and embraced the tiny house as a fun-sized status symbol.

The tiny house movement represents the latest step in the time-honored American tradition of one-upping friends and family through better living arrangements. Americans have been engaging in this housing arms race since the 1950’s. As a result, the average American home continued to grow in size. This trend persisted until even the most creative mortgages couldn’t sustain any further growth. Left with few options, the tiny house pioneers decided to one-up the owners of the largest homes by declaring them “materialistic.” They then chose to move into homemade shoeboxes, in the ultimate show of one-upsmanship.

In essence, the tiny house advocates picked up the ball and went home… but when they got there, they couldn’t actually fit the ball in their homes, unless they folded up the stairs and desk first.