I feel lousy.
My car is disintegrating, nothing I eat is safe from "LDL-type" cholesterol, and my girlfriend often compares me to various parts of the human anatomythe ones you can't name in print. My apartment is populated by mutant cockroaches, my cat doesn't love me, and I can't afford Rogaine. Furthermore, I am routinely disappointed by Sex and the City. Is life really worth living?
I distinctly remember being happy once, and not so long ago. Every morning I'd find a new bounce in my step and a new tune in my head. Work was fun. People were interesting. Rock 'n' roll seemed vital and freshimportant, even. And I felt very optimistic about the New World Order.
Now all is in ruins. I've passed my apex and am starting the slow climb downward. No longer do I confidently muse about prospective affairs with Uma Thurman, my impending MacArthur "genius" Grant, or being able to pay off Visa with winnings from the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. No, my greatest victory these days is beating out the meter maid before she can call a tow-truck.
So what to do? Sure, I could turn to therapy, organized religion, or azurite crystals, but I've discovered a different source of helpand I found it at the BP. Yes, inside a squeaky clean British Petroleum gas station, there right next to the cash register, lay my salvation: a rack of tiny tomes entitled "LIFE'S LITTLE TREASURE BOOKS."
You've probably seen or heard of them yourself. They're everywhere. The books first appeared in 1991, with Life's Little Instruction Book. Originally written by Nashville resident H. Jackson Brown Jr. for his son Adam, the book began as a compilation of folksy advice on how to live one's life more fully ("No. 169: Be original.").
Published by Rutledge Hill Press, also in Nashville, the diminutive book became a national number one bestsellerwith over 2 million soldand a franchise. There soon came Life's Little Instruction Book II, and now the aforementioned Life's Little Treasure Books, a four-volume series: On Marriage and Family, On Wisdom, On Success, andmost importantly in my caseOn Joy. Each one gives you specific nuggets of insight on how to achieve each title subject.
Well, heckthis is just what I needed! But could dropping off a pizza at the local police station truly bring me the exultation I so yearned for? Or reading a book about beekeeping? Or wearing audacious underwear under the most solemn business attire? I decided to find out.
What follows is an account of my sincere attempt to follow various directives from Life's Little Treasure Book On Joy.