Sticky Notes - Mind your head.

I arrived in London late last night after spending a long weekend in the English countryside. I won't pretend to know where the hell I was in the English countryside but I got there by taking a series of narrow roads just wide enough to fit a vehicle and a dead badger.

These roads eventually lead to a farmhouse –– or a collection of farmhouses, rather –– where I stayed in a chic cabin that had great big French doors that opened up to a patio that faced a field of wheat.

On this patio sat a wooden bathtub. I'd fill it to my elbows with hot water and spend hours at a time reading, looking at the field, reading, watching the hares pounce through the field, reading, watching the big birds with wings like kites watch the hares from above, reading, etc. 

The wooden bathtub felt as if I was basking in the haul of a ship and when I had my fill, I'd get out to find that both my brain and toes boasted more wrinkles.

(Side note: some experts believe that our fingers and toes "prune" when in water to allow us a better grip on slick surfaces...)

What I like about England is that venturing here feels like spending the night at your friend's house.

It's comfortable and familiar enough to keep you from completely freaking the fuck out. But, there are enough differences that it forces you to take a second look at the ordinary (and if you've been reading me for any time at all, I love taking a second look at the ordinary). 

I recall staying the night at a friend's house growing up and his family making me a strange pasta dish you'd swear they stole from Willy Wonka.

They would take whole wheat penne pasta, boiled it Al dente and then toss it in loads of butter, olive oil, cinnamon, brown sugar and sea salt. 

Upon them first describing the dish to me, I took a step back fearing some Italian God would strike lightning down upon where they stood. But, after trying it myself I thought: not bad... 

The English countryside (and now London), has served me my fair share of cinnamon pasta, most especially in regards to language. 

Here they call fries "chips" and chips "crisps". They don't order something "to-go" but "take-away". If they need a signature they might ask you for a "squiggle" (maybe this was just the barista being cute). They call toilets "bogs", not always but sometimes. In turn, something that is "average" is referred to as "bog-standard". "Daft" means "stupid". "Gaff" means "house". "Cuppa" means "cup of".

And, they're always saying "brilliant" either in agreenace with something you've said, to make you aware they understand something you've said or in a sort of exclamation when something is more than satisfactory. 

(Their profuse use of the word "brilliant" forever leaves me feeling as if I've said something that has never been said before versus ordering my eggs scrambled...)

But, by in large, my favorite English line comes in the form of a sign.

In the states, rarely are there ceilings and beams and door frames built two-sizes-too-small. But, in England, every other thing is too small because they aren't toppling everything other thing over the moment it's more than a decade old. 

To keep taller folks like myself from banging their foreheads against low-hanging objects, they position a small sign above archways and such that read: "Mind your head".

And, well goddamnit, if this isn't the prettiest thing I've ever seen in my life. 

While to natives here, it might look like they're reminding one another not to wind up with a goose egg, to this Southern Indiana boy they're reminding him to 1). not wind up with a Goose egg and 2). not allow his emotions to get the better of him. 

This is what I love about England. Everything is familiar but nothing is the same. 

They're advertising is awful good, too. 

But, more on that next week. 


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Pick-up the tab.

A couple weeks back, I had a gal unsubscribe from my newsletter and leave behind a note so nasty it’d make satan recoil in hell.

Unfortunately, she was unaware that her employer and I have had a wonderful, long-standing, mutually beneficial, working relationship for the better part of five years.

Worst yet, due to either her untameable rage or her sheer stupidity, she sent her nasty note from her employer’s email.

I didn't say anything. I kept mum because, truth be told, it didn’t bother me all that much.

Between my romantic relationship that is fairly pub...

This is a joyous read.

I have many mantras, one of which is…

“Don’t bitch about the roller coaster you got on.”

When you choose to climb aboard a roller coaster, you’re trading a hell of a lot of fun for a few unspoken (but universally understood) costs:

  • violent whiplash

  • motion sickness

  • the off chance of vomiting

  • the off chance of getting vomited on

  • crippling anxiety

  • back sweat

  • ass sweat

  • upper-lip sweat

  • sunburn

  • over-whelming need to piss

  • loss of belongings not tethered down

  • creepy ride workers “checking your harness”

By climbing aboard the Banshee or the Kingda Ka or the Fury 325 or the Manta or the Cannibal or the Intimidator –– all actual roller coaster –– you’re signing your name at the dotted line agreeing to trade “a hell of a lot of fun” for everything I just outlined up above.

So, when you get off the roller coaster whip...

What goes up must come down.
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