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Last week, I wrote about five things that are far sadder than they ought to be, but because I'm still hoping to lose my competition with John Cheese for Cracked columnist most likely to yell at kids to get off his damn lawn, I thought I'd turn it around this week. Instead, I'm presenting five things that bring me joy. But understand, these aren't obvious things like winning the lottery or tricking barely legal teens into high-risk sex. Instead, these are little things that result in explosive fits of happiness far greater than you would ever expect.

Competent Customer Service.


Horrible customer service is almost expected. It's one of those things we have such diminished expectations for that we grade it on a curve. Like drinking Hamm's canned beer or losing your virginity: you don't expect it to be good; you just want to get it over with and get what you need. Outsourcing doesn't help as most foreigners don't magically obtain a perfect grasp of the English language by pretending their name is Steve instead of Sanjay. Also problematic are the built-in layers of bureaucracy all designed to force consumers to rise higher and higher through the ranks of incompetence until you reach a supervisor with the actual authority to help you. And lastly, global corporations still seem to think customers will be happy if their employees can do nothing more than say,"Sir," "Madame," "please," and "thank you." But most customers aren't concerned with these niceties. Frankly, I don't care if you call me Senor Fuckwad just as long as you promptly take care of my stuff. (Actually, I care a little. I mean, Senor Fuckwad? That's just hurtful. Why would you say that? Are you some kind of jerk?)

That's why on those rare occasions where competent people in a functioning system actually do their job and take care of me, I seriously consider sexually satisfying them. (Regardless of gender or sexual orientation.) I'm just that happy. Such was the case at the Apple store recently. (Yes, Mac fanboys, take a moment to ejaculate in the corner.) My son's Nano stopped working. Simple matter. The on/off switch was stuck in the depressed position. Some sort of internal spring malfunction. I made an appointment online, drove over to the Apple store, and then proceeded to wait 40 minutes past the time of my appointment while overhearing the obnoxious inhabitants of the Genius Bar shower i-Intelligence down upon the masses. It was quite irritating actually.

This is an actual pic of the Genius bar with identities obscured (for legal reasons) by PCs. Why PCs? Because fuck those Mac guys.

BUT, when my turn did come, a nice young lad with hipster glasses took my name, punched his iPad, saw the Nano defect, and replaced the unit with a new one in literally two minutes. My wife was so happy that even though she'd been bitching about using our Mac laptop while her ASUS desktop was in the shop, she instantly converted to a Mac user for life, and I felt a little guilty for making that Steve Jobs joke last month.

ELO's Mr. Blue Sky

You might think you don't know this song, but you do. Even if you don't recognize the band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). Even if the name Jeff Lynne -- the band's creative force, member of The Traveling Wilburys and producer of George Harrison's Cloud Nine, and Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever -- is unknown to you. You know this song. Not just because it's a staple of classic rock radio, but because in recent years, advertisers and Hollywood have recognized its unparalleled joy-inducing properties and have been using it in countless soundtracks and ads.

And you know it because Jeff Lynne's afro commands that you know it.

Because my brothers are 7 and 10 years older than I, I've known this song since I was about 5, and I loved everything about it. The bell percussion. The robot voice. The strings. Everything. It is the perfect end to ELO's Concerto for a Rainy Day on the Out of the Blue Album:

Understand me. I'm not saying I like this song; I'm saying the moment I hear it, I get insanely happy. Even if I'm in a horrible mood, for the 4 minutes and 32 seconds it's on, I am that little boy standing on a chair in Grover slippers and pajamas conducting invisible android orchestras in outer space.

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Not Getting Charged For Something


I love getting stuff for free which is different from getting free stuff. Let me explain. Free stuff is like bumper stickers from a politician or even a toothbrush from your dentist. It sucks. You don't need it, it clogs up your drawers, and, ultimately, you throw it away. But getting stuff free means deciding to buy something, getting it and then realizing you haven't been charged. You'll know when this happens because IT'S AWESOME. And it doesn't matter what it is. The following is a list of things I've gotten without paying for and been delighted about:

Large fries.


A spatula.

More large fries.

I can't remember it all, but that's not the point. Something for nothing. It's amazing. Especially, if it's like takeout or delivery and you don't realize until you're safe in your home. I mean, if I'm at some Mom and Pop shop and Granny on the register forgets to ring something up, I'm probably going to say something. But if Outback Steakhouse's takeout window forgets to charge me for a Bloomin' Onion? Sweet sassy molassy, happy days!

Immigrants Using Expressions Correctly


Something you might not know about me, but I am one of the worst foreign language students in creation. I just suck at it. If you dropped me off on in France and came back six years later, I'd probably still only know how to say Au Bon Pain. Nah, I'm just kidding. If you dropped me off in France, odds are the entire country would surrender to me instantly. That or send me off to the Dreyfuss suite at Devil's Island. Either/or. It's a tough call.

The point is, I'm not good at foreign language so when I meet ESL (English as Second Language) people who can use expressions correctly, it just makes me happy. I'm always way more impressed than I should be and instantly think they must be gifted wonderful people. It also seems somehow flattering that they've decided to forego whatever silly things they say in their weird made-up languages to use some of our real American words!

"Get out of my store before I bust a cap in your ass."

"You don't like this scarf? You must be trippin'!"

"May the road rise to meet you, good sir."

God bless all of you. Or as you say in your country ... well, we're in America now so whatever. God bless, y'all.

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Tiny Karmic Miracles


Tiny Karmic miracles are hard to explain. You just kind of know 'em when you see'em. And I'm not just talking about Schadenfreude -- the act of taking delight from people's suffering. That's not enough. I'm talking about misfortune befalling your enemies in a specific way that gives you a glimpse of justice.

For example, I think we can all agree that traffic sucks. Just a truism like celebs dying in threes or my bones being made of adamantium. When I'm in traffic, I play a game called, "Why am I in traffic?" Then I ponder aloud whether it's an accident or a sporting event or a holiday exodus. It's a good game because when you're done you're still in traffic, but everyone in the car stops hating you because at least you're no longer speculating out loud.

The happy children of some parent who does not play this game.

In any event, there are drivers among us who seem incapable of grasping the concept of traffic. Who believe congestion and delays do not apply to them. Perhaps, these drivers have vision that only extends to your back bumper. Or perhaps, they just have inordinately small penises. Whatever the cause, they're not having it. They've got somewhere to be and clearly you're holding them up because you just don't possess the skill to drive 10 miles over the speed limit or even the speed limit. They'll honk, rev the engine, ride the shoulder, dart dangerously between cars, all to secure a path to freedom.

And sometimes something wonderful happens. After exposing everyone to annoyance and potential vehicular homicide, they find themselves . . . trapped in the slow lane. You cruise by at 20 mph staring at their stationary asses surrounded by cars, and -- if you're anything like me -- you find it difficult to continue driving because your joy erection keeps interfering with the steering wheel. (By the way, to any of the ladies reading and identifying with me: you should probably get that checked out).

Moments like these can make you believe in God. An incredibly petty God who spends His time effing with dbags instead of inventing cancer-curing candy, but a God nonetheless. Or even better are the tiny miracles that convince you God has a sense of humor.

Take political failure and part time JC Penny catalog model Rick Perry for example. In his recent ad (which I'll only link to via Cracked's superior version), the Texas Governor comes down hard on the gay community, citing their right to serve openly in the military as something wrong with our country. A desperate ad from a weak candidate frantically clawing at the Evangelical vote.

And the best thing about the ad? Rick Perry -- defender of God and Country from the sins of gayness -- seems to have slipped into Heath Ledger's Brokeback Mountain jacket. Who's to say why? Perhaps, he was getting dressed in a hurry, in the early morning darkness of a tent before taking his walk of shame to film this ad.

God tells lots of sad stories, but sometimes, man, He is just too funny.

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