13 Awesome Photos That Will Make You Happy to Be Alive
Sometimes you need to take a few moments to wipe away the world's grime from your eyes and refill your soul with anything that brings you joy. We've got a few options for a quick happiness reload:
2. Roll around in fresh puppies.
3. Bum rush your eye holes with as many joyful images as you can find.
I'm all out of pudding and puppies, so here you go.
The Friendliest Shark
"HI! I'M A SHARK! PLEASED TO MEET YOU!!!"
I know what you're thinking: "Do we already have concept art for the sequel to Finding Nemo? Is this Bruce the Shark's step-brother who only wants to study aboriginal pottery? Is his name Nigel?" The answer to all of those terrible questions is no. Pixar isn't the only one that can transform the pool hustler of the sea into a creature so eager to please that you assume he's hiding fresh daisies behind his back. Mother Nature can pull that trick as well. Which is weird, because every time I see a picture of a shark, his eyes are filled with the darkness of a million years and his mouth beckons as a cave to hell ... but the really bad hell. The one where you're stabbed by rows and rows of Satan's horns before you meet Lucifer himself. And Lucifer is played by Jon Lovitz, and he's so hammy that you want to gag.
This shark, on the other hand, looks like he plays the drums for an underwater pop group called the Neptunes.
When Jabberjaw wants to take a 20-minute drum solo, nobody says a damn word.
This shark wants to see the picture that you just took of him, then he squees and asks you to tag him on Facebook. Here's his best friend, Angela.
"I'm Dory's older sister who is addicted to plastic surgery."
Little Girl Loves Life
This is a picture of me, taken last week.
OK, you got me. I've never been caught dancing to Southern street musician Scruffy Matthew McConaughey, but we've all had moments when we hear or see someone being astounding and we want to stop and listen, just to be a part of that moment. And if you haven't, shame on you, because you're terrible.
There are four people in the picture, but two of them are in their own world. Scratch that -- two are in the same universe, one of them is on Planet Joyful, and she revolves around the sun known as Ecstasy. I don't know if the girl is performing with Mr. Glad Rags or if she was just a passerby who got swept up in his jangly melodies. Judging how she's dressed versus how he's dressed, plus the gaggle of loaded baby diapers at his feet, I'm thinking it's the latter. But who knows? Maybe they're the Bojangles and Shirley Temple of the street musician world. All I know is that for one brief shining moment, a little girl was so happy that she gave the whole universe a hug. And we accepted it.
One Lion Wearing Another for a Hat
What do you do when you're looking for your spirit animal hat and your spirit animal is yourself? This lion has figured out the answer: scoop up another of your kind and plop that sucker on your head. He can't help it that his hat is backward; there aren't any mirrors on the savannah. Or maybe he's wearing it backward on purpose, because he's a Kriss Kross fan. Either that or they're playing hide and seek and the lioness is totally winning.
Chimp and Girl Are Best Friends
Before parents got wise to the beauty of natural outside portraiture, whole families would load into the shaggy station wagon and drive to the shaggy portrait studio, prop up their kids with shag-covered boxes, and get their pictures taken. Which is presumably what happened here, only instead of filling up the frame with awkward shaggy-haired children, the photographer had the blessing of snapping this little girl and her brother, the chimp. Let's call him Mr. Ricky. Mr. Ricky is missing teeth, because he's a child and he's adorable. I've spent my whole life trying to convey "happy" and "carefree" and "It's fine, everything's fine" in pictures, and I'm pretty sure I'll never come close to these two. And although I know that I'm loved unconditionally by a handful of people, I don't think they'll ever love me with the innocence and intensity of Mr. Ricky and Lisa Jo. That's right. I named her Lisa Jo. Do you have a better name?
Little known fact: Immediately after this picture was taken, the entire universe was sucked into the gaping gullet that is this woman's mouth, and that's where we all live now -- inside the guts of an aging Miss Teen USA winner. She took it all; the sun, the moon, the stars, our hopes and fears and faith. She even got the photographer and all the film processing equipment, and that's why we have this picture today. Sorry for the bummer. Or maybe it's not a bummer, depending on how you feel about living inside a Miss Teen USA winner. As for me and mine, we seem to be doing alright, so please don't break out the ipecac.
On a scale of "not one bit" to "desperately," how badly do you need a llama RIGHT NOW? Do you need someone to carry your camping supplies up a mountain ... NOW? Are you cold and in need of llama fiber for a new coat or mittens ... NOW? Are you blue and need a laugh ... NOW? Can't go wrong with a llama.
"I even poop all in one place for easy cleanup!"
There comes a point in every man's life when a camel or alpaca or truck or backpack won't do. When that day comes, Dial*A*Llama has got your back, or hump, as the case may be. (I'm imagining llamas are using Dial*A*Llama as an escort service.)
Sammy and Martin
There are only two occasions when I hunch up my shoulders like Martin Luther King Jr. is doing in this picture: one, when I don't know the answer to a funny question, and two, when someone is tickling me. So Sammy Davis Jr. is either asking MLK "When is a door not a door?" or digging his jazzy fingers into Martin's ribs out of the frame. In either case, Martin looks like a kid caught in a slightly uncomfortable, but in an OK way situation, which is refreshing. It's like seeing Steve McQueen squirt milk out of his nose or the Fonz just being the Fonz.
Also, when it's ajar!!!!
When you're little, your whole world revolves around swiping sugary cereal from the pantry and your parents. So if you're a kid and one of your parents has to leave for a long period of time, specifically to live in a dangerous situation, a gray mist of uncertainty descends down on you. You can eat a slice of cake, play with your friends, watch your favorite shows, whatever it is that makes you happiest, but the ghost of something terrible is always sitting on your shoulder. Whether it's World War II or it's the war in the Gulf or you're one of the Hatfields and McCoys -- it's all the same. You can try to push the thought of the worst that could happen out of your mind, but it never leaves.
Then, if you're lucky, he comes home, and the weight of a mountain of worry is lifted off your shoulders, and you feel so light that only your dad can keep you on the ground.
Weighing a Baby Giraffe
Did you hear the one about the zookeeper who had to weigh a baby giraffe? This is it. This is that one. It turns out China doesn't make a scale specifically calibrated for skittish newborn giraffes who aren't physically capable of standing yet. So zookeepers have to hold the 6-foot, hundred-plus-pound baby, then subtract their own weight to get the newborn's number. It's also my New Year's resolution to insist on getting weighed this way the next time I go to the doctor.
End of Sweet Rations
In addition to dealing with the Blitz, having to evacuate to the countryside, and, uh, Nazis, British children had the quadruple misfortune of tackling the horrors of war while under the specter of a sweet ration. Actually, all their foods were rationed, but -- you know -- chocolate. The picture above was taken in 1953, when all rations were removed and kids were finally allowed to gorge themselves on nature's greatest gift outside of wayward-eyed pugs -- candy. 1953 -- 10 years after rationing began. Most of the kids in this picture had never gorged themselves on anything, much less sweets. So you can appreciate the Wonka-esque stampede above.
Drawing on a Bull Terrier
Usually, when we hear about scary looking dogs and children, it's bad news. Maulings and cage fighting and bad party music and whatnot. Then you see this docile sweetheart lying like a corpse while an ill-clad, unsupervised child recreates the Rosetta Stone on her belly muscles and you think, "Welp, at least I'm not the owners of those two." And they're thinking the same thing, about you, I mean.
Couple in Love
Imagine it's 1964 and you've nabbed tickets to a Beatles concert. Or it's 1956 and you're seeing young, hot, pre-banana and peanut butter sandwich loving Elvis Presley. Or it's 1844 and you find yourself at a Franz Liszt concert. The crowd is throbbing with the heat of hundreds of frenzied women working themselves into a communal orgasm, but you don't notice because she just inched a little bit closer. No one is looking. Her hand hovers, then lands lightly on your lap. It's over. The concert and whatever is happening in the audience is over. It doesn't matter anymore, does it? Here are two people who hid in the spastic fever of an audience watching the biggest rock stars of all time and their eyes are fixed on one another.
Speaking of true love ...
The Wedding Must Go On
Forget what you've seen on Bridezillas or Say Yes to the Dress or whatever the show is with the bride having a nuclear meltdown over the reception's fish smell wafting toward Uncle Ishmael. Forget all that. When Filipino couple Ramoncito "Romantico" Campo and Hernelie Ruazol Campo were warned that a flood would destroy everything they planned for their beautiful day, they said, "NOT ON OUR WATCH." Or something very close to that effect. Their first plan of catching the rain and funneling it to the American Midwest didn't work out, so they did the next best thing -- nothing.
"No, you're still not allowed to wear flip-flops with your tux."