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Jim Walker: And now for something completely different

Don't Take Me Seriously

Posted: June 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

There have been some recent changes at The Signal, my friends. And, no, I'm not talking about anything that directly affects you, the reader.

I'm talking about the kinds of things that lift staff morale and, thereby, give us the energy to create a better product for you.

I'm talking about things such as: moving the candy dispensers to the other side of the break room, turning the coffee-making machine so it faces south instead of east, and, correspondingly, sliding the coffee pots to a different side of the table.

Whoever thought of this feng shui fest is an absolute genius.

I mean, when I walked into the break room on that first morning after the big moves ... well, I felt, just for a moment, as if I'd stepped into a Moroccan marketplace.

I was on a sudden and free vacation to a storybook land, where life held untold adventures and anything was possible. Orchestras played Marrakech movie themes and colors burst forth in surreal brightness.

Then I went to my desk and all that sputtered away with a WHA-WHA in the soundtrack because, there, nothing had changed at all.

My bad.

It's the little tweaks that make big differences in life, mes amis ... at least in a world screwed down tightly by recession and afraid of its own shadow. These small changes stay below our twitch-levels, yet freshen our days like Febreze.

And, best of all, they are cost-free.

Here are some things you might try:

Staying on the "coffee" theme, maybe ...

- Hold your coffee cup with the "other" hand. It will feel delightfully different and pump up your off-hand noodle-arm at the same time. Your lips will learn new ways as well - at least after a few drips on your shirt.

- If you have the choices on hand, instead of sticking with straight "Hawaiian blend," why not mix in something such as "breakfast" or "vanilla." It will be a party on your palate, and changing the percentages in the mix allows you nearly infinite recipes to spice up life's dull days.

- If you normally take your coffee with cream and sugar, man up and force yourself to try it black. You might give up coffee altogether, or you might find yourself wearing work boots with your business suit, which is a great conversation-starter.

In other comestible considerations ...

- When out at a restaurant, eat your dessert first, entrée second and salad last. It's fun to mess with your waiter's head, and the salad-last part I hear is very European.

- At home, change up where everyone sits at the dinner table. And, whenever possible, put a "lefty" directly to the right of a "righty." Silverware fencing is great entertainment, my friends.

Commuters ...

- When you leave for your commute in the morning, go the "other way" around the block. It will make you feel more alive, and you may meet new and friendly people - you know, those you have not, yet, filled with road rage.

Scents of change ...

- Mix every type of cologne, aftershave or perfume you have in one container and wear that "new" scent as your signature aroma. It's guaranteed no one else will have your particular bouquet, it will eliminate clutter on your dresser or in the bathroom cabinet, it will make you feel like a totally different person and, best of all, it will make your spouse wonder what you're up to.

And more ...

- Change your computer's desktop.

- Like Yoda speaking, spend a day.

- Wear your tennis shoes on the opposite feet.

- Change the angle on your steering wheel.

- Change your ring tone.

- Part your hair on the "strange" side.

- Greet people with a kiss on both cheeks.

- Refer to yourself in the third person.

- Avoid all direct eye contact.

- Add a spoonful of sugar ... to everything.

- Obey speed limits.

- Watch a different morning news channel.

- Plan your day's driving with only right turns.

- Go commando.

- Stop shaving your head and find out how old you really look.

These are just a few suggestions to spice up life, my friends. I'm sure you can think of many more. So season as needed.

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