In our last challenge, we celebrated adult life's daily victories, big and small, for ourselves, our friends and colleagues. This month's challenge is a smidge less optimistic. For Challenge #21, we're (politely and with some degree of anonymity) calling out the rude, the thoughtless, the ignorant, and the assholes with all-purpose citations – traffic ticket not term paper – of our own design.
Purchase several hundred dollars worth of board games, card games, and jigsaw puzzles. Wrap each purchase in Christmas-themed wrapping paper and carefully pack them into a red velvet sack.
Dress in your Santa costume, throw the sack over your shoulder, and head to the nearest senior citizens’ assisted living facility...
Hop in your car, fasten your seat belt, turn on the radio, and head toward the sunset. Let’s face it, whatever you were up to before this moment wasn’t all that great. This is better.
Your car is your personal anonymity device – you get in and you become no one. You don’t have to pretend to like your job, your colleagues, or your friends. You don’t have to pretend to be smart or confident or likable. When you remove yourself from the context of work, home, or relationships, you’re kind of nobody. Right now, you’re just another nameless driver on the road.
Take a photo of where you are now. Take a photo of the people and/or things that surround you. Take a selfie. Post these photos to your preferred social media account.
While you wait for the likes and comments to roll in, scroll through your photo backlog. How many do you have? A thousand? More? Give the screen whirl and stop at a random moment from your past.
Find a group of pictures you don’t recall taking. They’ll begin with a series of landscapes – a blur of trees from a car window, an empty road stretching to the horizon, tall grass along a shoreline...
Visit your nearest airport. Approach a ticketing counter and ask the airline representative for a copy of SkyMall. The representative will inform you that the SkyMall catalog is no longer in print. In fact, SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, only to be purchased by another company and resurrected as an online shopping destination. This new version of SkyMall lacks the whimsy and frivolity of its previous incarnation, stocking neither life-sized yeti statues nor replica swords nor two-person submersible watercraft designed to look like sharks.
Today, play Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Thrift Shop on a continuous loop on your headphones, computer speakers, or preferred music listening device, whatever it may be. The important thing is that you are never out of earshot of this song.
Oh no oh no oh no oh no omg omg omg no no no no no No No NO
Whatever you had planned today, cancel it. No work. No nothing.
Open the windows. Put on your favorite playlist. Make a cup of tea. Sit in your favorite chair and curl up with a book. If the book gets boring, nap. When you wake, stretch, yawn, and stretch some more.
Pack a picnic lunch. Take a walk around the park. Find a shady spot beneath a tree. Throw down your blanket, get settled, and tuck into a sandwich.
A line of ants will appear. They’ll mean you no harm; they’re just here for the crumbs. Wave at the ants. Say hello.
Begin writing advice on how to celebrate National Creamsicle Day. Suggest the reader purchase a large quantity of Creamsicles, pack them in a cooler, and drag the cooler to an open mic night. When it’s their turn on stage, suggest the reader stand at the mic, wordlessly eating a Creamsicle until the joke on its stick is revealed. Tell them to read the joke aloud to the audience. Tell them to continue eating Creamsicles, repeating the process until all Creamsicles are consumed or they are forcibly removed from the premises. Mentally congratulate yourself for coming up with yet another clever bit of nonsense.
If you’re a left-handed person, congratulations: today is your day. Demand acknowledgment from your friends, family, and peers. The world is a more challenging place for you and the 15% of the population who are your brethren. Statistically speaking, puberty starts 4 to 5 months later for you lefties, your average lifespans are 9 to 14 years shorter than righties, and spiral notebooks exist simply to ruin your life...
Hop in your car and cruise your town’s ritzier neighborhoods for a garage sale.
Protip: garage sales are sometimes referred to as “estate sales,” particularly when associated with negative life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, or death. So, bonus points for the opportunity to ghoulishly pick over the remains of another person’s life.
Find an estate sale, park your car, and make your way through the one man’s trash that may soon be your treasure. As you peruse the goods, imagine how the items fit together to tell the story of their previous owner’s life – a collection of commemorative thimbles, the complete Jim Nabors’ discography, a burlap sack of human hair...