74 Things That Aren’t “Better Than Nothing”

(Originally appeared in Esquire, May 8 2006.
Written with Ted Travelstead.)

A belated birthday “high five” from your boss

Air mattresses

Spending Thanksgiving at a restaurant that doesn’t take reservations

A handshake from Sly Stallone

Body pillows

Complimentary continental breakfasts

A cross-country drive, with only the musings of Larry the Cable Guy as company

Dry-humpin’ your old lady

Your proficiency with the tambourine

“Destination” weddings

Anything that rolls into its own “drawstring pouch”

Playing Spin-the-Bottle on your fortieth birthday

The smoky Bar-B-Q aroma of “Dipsy Doodles” in a packed elevator

Autographs from team mascots

Receiving a radio “shout out” from your “homey” at law school

A pep talk from Tom Cruise

Fake snow

A framed “Pussy Patrol” certificate

French toast “sticks”

A free tour of the “Two and a Half Men” set


Being listed as “Participant 53” on a gang bang DVD

A degree in business from Trump University

Bluegrass versions of Beatles songs

An in-flight screening of Oliver Stone’s “Alexander”

Sharper Image catalogues as bathroom reading material

Bolo ties

A hand job from a “friend with benefits”

Winning the recurring role as the retard on the local Morning Zoo show

Microwavable pancakes

A lunch date with Tara Reid

Chris De Burgh’s “Lady in Red” as your makeout song of choice

Rubber vaginas

A “Herbie: Fully Loaded” crew jacket

That invaluable BlackBerry device you’ve been relying so heavily on

Any restaurant that features “World’s Best” in its name

Fingerless gloves

A perfectly-sculpted, graying soul patch

Trophy walls

Winning the local air-guitar contest with your kick-ass interpretation of Van Halen’s “Eruption”

Having your all your needs addressed by the strip-club bathroom attendant

Season tickets to the National Indoor Football League

The “social experiments” of Ashton Kutcher

Regaining consciousness in a tricked-out van on I-95 and meeting your “internet friend” for the very first time

Being the best grass skier in the world

The “newspaper umbrella”

Your very own midget sidekick

An invitation to the star-studded premiere of “Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction”

Deodorant “crystals”

The “multi-angle” feature on porn DVDs

A one-on-one acoustic jam with ex-Creed front man Scott Stapp

A lifetime subscription to Soap Opera Digest

Generic Oreos

“Scarface” on TBS

A closet full of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” CDs

Buying hermit crabs for the companionship

A bylined “Letter to the Editor” in Swank

Any song by Lenny Kravitz, at any point in his career, from the very beginning, onward through eternity

Dancing bear decals on the back of minivans

That “one-of-a-kind” Lord of the Rings sculpture from The Franklin Mint

The middle urinal

Relationship advice from Flavor Flav

The two hundred and forty-six hours of TiVo’ed Winter Olympics

Banana chips

Beer-themed vanity mirrors

The watchful eye of the Guardian Angels

The phrase “kick it” as an e-mail sign-off

A relaxing Saturday evening spent at home, just you and a Ken Burns documentary

Extreme-fighting stats

Bonus features on Vin Diesel DVDs

Stephen Baldwin’s tough-talkin’ brand of skateboard evangelism

Canes when used solely as a fashion accessory

X-rated candles