Better in Theory . . .

(Originally appeared in Esquire, May 17 2005.
Written with Ted Travelstead.)

Doin’ it in a hot tub

Being pampered by a bathroom attendant

The plot arc to “Stairway to Heaven”

Movies that feature hot-air balloons, elephants or Ben Stiller

Armed revolution

“Secret songs” at the end of CDs

Menu items described as “beer battered”

Documentaries on incredibly violent, yet surprisingly kind-hearted pimps

All-star games of any kind

Soft-shell crabs

Visible Henna tattoos

Participating in a food fight

Wearing tie-die on “casual Fridays”

The comedic chemistry between Luke Wilson and anyone

Unwinding at a drum circle

Hand ball

Telling it like it is

Charlie Chaplin’s silent antics

Goin’ tubin’

Cinco de Mayo

Winning a limo ride and backstage passes to a concert by being the 39th caller

Extra cheese


Getting in touch with nature

Eating on the toilet

“Old Tymey” photo portraits

Mister Softee trucks

Deep-sea fishing with the guys

Your dog’s degree from obedience school

Playing practical jokes on your best buds

Tug of war

Themed hotel rooms

Sampling the food at street fairs

Boat shoes

Meeting Courtney Love

Dressing up as a penis or vagina for Halloween

Your tax refund

The back story to the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds”

Rodeo clowns

Hand jobs in public

Beer that has been “beachwood aged”


Thanksgiving with the relatives

Realistic portrayals of Christ’s last days

Realistic portrayals of anyone’s last days

Spike Lee films

“Lite” ice cream

Driving a convertible after the age of 19

Audience participation

Swimming holes

Petting zoos

Flavored toothpicks


Homeland security

Singing in the rain

One-armed push-ups

“Overstuffed” sandwiches

Watching actors stretch their improv chops

Lap dances in the “VIP Room”

Communicating with relatives beyond the grave

Boardwalk fudge

Following your dream

Doo wop

The salad bar “sneeze guard”

The carefree hobo lifestyle

Changing your name to a one word verb

Attending all-day, outdoor jam-band festivals

Shark repellent

PBS documentaries on punk

Over-the-counter acne cream

Electric bass solos

Cordless power tools


Opening your heart to shy loners

Frisbee golf

Getting your wife to smoke a cigar while wearing only stiletto heels

The “playful” compositions of John Cage

Flying Hooters Air

Renting a tandem bike

Getting laid on the internet

Growing facial hair to look “rugged”

Befriending a grizzly

Accentuating a joke with a rakish wink

Chasing tornadoes

Leashes for children

Front row seats to the Blue Man Group

Vanity plates that announce your occupation sans vowels

This list

–with Ted Travelstead