This may come as a huge surprise to you if you’re a regular reader of my blog, but I like to have fun. I am a firm believer in the idea that life is too damn short to not have fun while you live it. I really pity people who are burdened with “significance disease”. Everything they do must have some sort of significance to it, be filled with meaning, educate you, broaden your horizons, etc. The idea of doing something really silly and stupid is the antithesis to what they are about, and to them, I say, try it. You just might enjoy being an idiot now and then.
Recently, in talking about my latest indulgence in silliness (more on that below) with one of my friends who is a conspirator in the effort, he told the story of when he was dating his wife. She was talking to a friend about him and said “he’s really a great guy. But the Peter Pan Syndrome is going to take some getting used to.” In case you can’t figure out what that is, it’s the idea that “I don’t want to grow up!”. Growing up is for dead people.
As they said in the movie Risky Business – “Sometimes, you just gotta say ‘what the fuck.’” Sorry for the f-bomb, but they are right. Just say it – “Aw, what the fuck.” And then go do it. To continue to quote that movie: ”What the fuck gives you freedom.”
Some of my favorite pasttimes are just being goofy with friends – watching old movies like Stripes, Caddyshack, Animal House, Sixteen Candles, and shouting all the best lines at the TV as they happen. Our group of friends in Alabama that I have written about have this “being silly” thing down to an art form, and that’s why we love them and love to hang out with them. When we get together with that band of fools, we are guaranteed to laugh until our cheeks hurt. And you know what, there are lessons to be learned. Bill Murray demonstrates the ridiculousness of seriousness, and the power of being silly and insignificant.
My solo indulgences tend in this way too – as you know, I LOVE music – and I love to play guitar and sing. Now you can argue that that’s not being silly and stupid – that it’s mind expanding and all that, and perhaps you’re right. That said, when I do it, which isn’t often enough, it’s just for the pure joy of banging out a song and singing along with our friends. And I love to dance – the nights when we are in Cancun with our friends there and dance every night until our feet throb are the best nights ever. Lose yourself in the music. Laugh, sing, rock out. Heaven.
So, onwards to the latest stupid indulgence. I am now proud partial owner of a decommissioned ambulance that has been converted into a rolling Chicago Bears football tailgating party machine. It’s the ultimate indulgence in silliness. It makes our tailgating parties even more fun, especially as one of our goals is to draw in passersby to our party – this thing will be a draw. All the lights and sirens work, so it is a huge indulgence in being a little kid. What little boy wasn’t fascinated by fire trucks and ambulances and fantasized being the guy that ran the siren and blew the horns? Well, all the stuff works – so we can do that!
My friends that are in on this – Steve, Bill, Corey and Marc – all have a deep stripe of silliness in them. Steve is the guy who told the “Peter Pan Syndrome” story, and Bill and I have been pals for going on 20 years now and every time we get together we spend time plotting on the next stupid thing we’re going to do. All of us recognize the abject absurdity of this giant little boy’s toy, and that’s the beauty of it. Of course, since we’re grown men and have a bit of financial means among us (although the total investment is still very, very small), this is a bit more than buying a Three Stooges DVD set. Nonetheless, all of us have come into this project with a healthy dose of “whatever money we put into this we will never, ever see again.” But we sure are having laughs.
Being goofy and silly has become doubly important to me since discovering I had a serious case of coronary artery disease with a partial blockage that had to be repaired about 4 ½ weeks ago. Again, life is too damn short to not laugh about it.
So, go ahead. Go for it. Do something purely for the silliness of it. Ditch the pretense and the significance. Watch an old favorite movie. Reread a favorite book. Get together with friends and just laugh. Do something silly. Just say “what the fuck.” Trust me, it’s good for you.
As you were,