How To Appreciate Things (If You Are Kind Of Spoiled)
We're all at least a little spoiled, in the sense that we're typing this on a computer and you're reading it on one (or on a phone that would have qualified as a secret government supercomputer a decade ago). Sometimes we all need a swift kick in the nethers with the Appreciation Boot. Of course, if you're reading this from the deck of a private zeppelin, or your grandfather owns more than one monocle, you may need a swifter kick than most. This series of inane tasks will both confound your family and help you appreciate all the little things you might otherwise take for granted.
Downgrade your food. If you eat Fruit Loops for breakfast, switch to the generic Color-Flavored Toucan Circles. If you already eat the generic ones, downgrade further to any cereal that seems suspiciously proud about not containing mercury. Eat a bread sandwich. Limit your candy options to anything that has been ridiculed by the internet, and then later by the Department of Public Health. Put Vegemite on something. If you are Australian, take Vegemite off of something.
Wash your own clothes at a laundromat. If you've never done this before, you will probably arrive bright-eyed and optimistic, with dollar bills or even a credit card, unaware that laundromat technology languishes a good fifty years behind the rest of society. Whatever quarters you can coax out of a change machine will be enough to "wash" (ruin) "one load" of laundry (three loads you have crammed into a single washer) and the process will color your whites, whiten your colors, and roughen your delicates. Any remaining quarters will be enough to dry one shirt or pant (singular) for five minutes. You fill find that fully drying several pairs of jeans at a laundromat costs one thousand dollars.
It's been said that you can better appreciate the life of someone less privileged by walking a mile in his shoes. "Hey, jerkface!" you must therefore yell threateningly at the next person you see on the street. "Gimme them shoes!" Later, when you are in jail for simple assault and shoe theft, you will better appreciate all the things you once had on the outside.
If you're used to having a car, it's time to plunge into the enduring mystery of public transportation. This is the practice of swearing enthusiastically in the pouring rain as five buses drive past you until one of them finally deigns to pick you up. Then it will turn out that this bus only travels your route on odd-numbered Tuesdays, and you will be deposited outside an abandoned chemical plant in a neighborhood you have never heard of.
Spend some time reflecting on the little things money can't buy, like a beautiful day or a tiny mouse driving a car.
Shop at a dollar store. Inspect the cases of sandwich-flavored cola. Pick up some milk that has been approved for sale to life forms by the Moldovan Public Works Authority. Buy someone a "toy" that is a pencil that is also a kazoo that doesn't work.
Go camping. This will teach you either that your family is a wondrous gift you will appreciate forever, or that you would eat an entire can of bees for just five minutes of phone reception. Either way, you will appreciate something.
Have you ever done something awful that made you appreciate your life?
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