Five Year Obituary Tradition

Obituaries are no fun if you can’t read them, especially when it’s your own. If everyone else is like me, people like to hear about themselves, both good and bad.  Most people have a yearly review at work to let them know how they are doing. As people, we only get one review and it’s after we die.

I have an idea called the Five Year Obituary.  Every five years, someone should write your obituary. Sum up what you’ve done with your awesome/miserable life. It will either be a tear jerking, reminiscent walk down a path paved with your successes or it will make you realize that you’ve got to get your shit together before you die.

While I have suggest in the past that you should write your own obituary, I think that this one should be written by a close friend that can drop the truth on you without you being too offended by it.  You should go into this with an open mind and allow your life summation to be both a pat on the back and a kick in the butt.

A yearly obituary would be tedious. If you only reflect on your life every ten years, you won’t have good opportunities to get your hearse pointed back in the right direction. 

Find a good friend and ask them to write your obituary. What causes have you donated your time to? Where have you explored? What lives have you changed? Who looks up to you? How many hot dogs can you eat in 10 minutes and how can we get that number up by the next Five Year Obituary?

Try it and let me know how it goes.  Mine currently just has a “born on” date, so I’ve got a bit of work to do with my life.


I met Freckled Jenn and Eric at a brewery called Lineage. She suckered be in by telling me they had a Wheat beer infused with Sour Patch Kids.  I went through two sets of tires driving to the place as fast as I did.

I was the first to arrive, seeing as I drove there so fast that my car tires made the Earth rotate backwards and caused time to reverse. I ordered a Kimmy Gibbler and sat at the high table that faces the parking lot. I only had to wait as long as it took the Earth to catch up with itself for them to arrive.

Freckled Jenn was very interested to hear about my trip to Turkey. I probably talked for 30 minutes straight about salty cheese and feral cats and carpenters that didn’t know how to carpenter. Jenn is a good listener and asked good questions like, “You know that prostitution is cheating, even if you are in a different country,” and “why didn’t you just buy a new pair of underwear?”

Eric rejoined us after speaking with one of his buddies who runs the kitchen. We immediately started discussing the women of Turkey. I hadn’t  an opportunity to go looking for beautiful people, so I had not seen a whole lot. There were a few very pretty people we saw at out and about, but none that I thought were stunning. I was convinced that I wouldn’t see beautiful woman the whole time. But then on my last night, I met one of Metin’s friends. She owns a Nutella store. Holy smokes she was pretty and very nice.  She spoke english and was very interested in what we were doing in Turkey.  But Jenn was tired of hearing about other pretty girls, so we decided to have one more beer and Jenn and I went up to the bar to get a round.

At the bar, we ran into a couple who were sitting near the end. They looked like a couple, but then again, Jenn and I probably looked like a couple. We talked about Bloody Marys and buying liquor as we waiting for the bartender to take our order.  We somehow got into celery salt and Worcestershire when I made a joke about my wife and Jenn’s husband. The other couple questioned if we were a couple and then they got excited and said, “Are you poly?”

Poly. Polly? Poly!

Oh! Polyamorous. Like, we would all go back to your place and roll on the IKEA carpet? I did think it was odd that the guy kept mentioning how he was texting his girlfriend, but that the girl next to him kept affectionately rubbing his back. 

Before I had a chance to say, "yes," Jenn said no, but she heard there were poly couples in the area. Jenn had recently seen an article in 614 Magazine and was familiar. The couple didn’t act disappointed as much as they acted disappointed.  We got our drinks, said our goodbyes and went back over to Eric, telling him about our adventure.  We all stared at them sitting at the bar, waiting for them to try and absorb another couple, but instead they left to go roll on their carpet alone together.

I did end up drinking a Wheat beer infused with Sour Patch Kids. It wasn’t as good as it sounded. I'm wondering what a poly relationship of Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, vodka and wheat beer would be like. Sans the carpet.

Chai, Two Lumps

I was in Turkey for three weeks working at a museum. My assumption before visiting Turkey was that I would be drinking a lot of Turkish coffee. But they don’t drink as much coffee as they do tea or, as they call it, chai. Chai was a part of everyday social interaction, business dealings and every meal. When someone offers you chai, you accept.  I did not accept on a few occasions and always ended up spending more time explaining why we couldn’t stay for chai than it would have been to just have had the drink.

Chai is served hot extremely hot. I secretly think this is so more time can be spent hanging out and talking while it cools down. Chai is traditionally served in hourglass shaped glasses so that any loose chai leaves get caught in the bottom of the glass.  

We were at the museum late one night, waiting for a shipment. In Izmit, large trucks are not allowed on the roads during the day, so we got shipments early or late. And when you are waiting for a shipment, you drink chai.  One of our interpreters, Setar, was helping with delivery and offered me chai via the security guards. I agreed and was asked how many sugars I wanted. I said two because it was late and I was considering this dessert chai. Two sugars is considered a lot.  Almost as many as three or four.  Setar then brought up a memory from his youth.  He said he remembered a Bugs Bunny cartoon where chai was being served and when Bugs Bunny’s nemesis asked for three or four sugars, Bugs hit him on the head.

Here is that clip:

I immediately found this both funny and interesting.  In the translation from English to Macedonian (I didn’t mention that Setar is 24 year old from Macedonia, moved to Turkey to go to school, showed up not speaking a bit of Turkish, was not allowed in school because he couldn’t speak the language and then worked in a restaurant over the next 6 months, picking up the language as he went along. His comment to me, “Once you know how a person is feeling, you can learn what they are saying.”) So in the translation from English to Macedonian, it was just translated as, “How many sugars to you want?” not “How many lumps do you want.” Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack.

Why is this interesting?  When I explained it to him (sugar = lumps = lumps are bumps) he “got it.” But either way, it was still something that he remembered and thought was funny, even though the actual joke was not revealed until 20 years later.   Bugs Bunny has that effect.

This is probably even more interesting because the translation in the cartoon was probably done correctly and that Setar was just humoring me with my observation.  Satar probably saw that I was proud of my clarification of the joke, knew that I was excited about my observation and that it would be best to leave it at that. Everyone happy. Everyone drinking chai.