Accept No Substitutes

April 22, 2011


For a few, blissful moments today, I had a golden opportunity.

Actually, let me back up a bit.

I love couches. More specifically, I love relaxing on a couch. There’s nothing like the feeling of stretching out on a couch after, say, a day of intense technical writing (something that the day job has me up to my ears in right now), and picking up a good book.

In fact, when I was nineteen, and serving a church mission in the Philippines, the gentleman I was working with asked me a question – what’s the best thing in the world to you? I thought about it for maybe three seconds and responded “The couch, a good book, and a rich, thick chocolate milkshake.”

He asked me then, “If you could have something that could make you feel that good, wouldn’t you-”

I stopped him. “Nope.”


“Sorry, no. The best thing isn’t feeling like I’ve got the couch, the book, and the thick, rich chocolate milkshake. The best thing is the couch, the book, and the thick, rich chocolate milkshake. The couch, the book, and the milkshake are all necessary components.”

I’ll freely admit it. I was a frustrating person to work with.

In my defense, let me first say that my dad makes a mean milkshake. And it was a very good couch. And my mom had a fantastic selection of good reading. Piers Anthony’s early Xanth novels. Robert Lynn Aspirin’s Myth Adventures. David Eddings’ Belgariad. Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger and Flinx books.

If you’ve watched any of the Mad Poet Rant videos, you know how much I love our $40.00 couch.So when the wife mentioned that no one was home, and she had to run an errand, I cleared the couch and prepared for some hard-core relaxation. There’s nothing like it. BUT I allowed myself to get sidetracked by a project involving writing courses and the new family Kindle. Until your daughter comes home and begins insisting that she HAS TO GO SWIMMING RIGHT NOW ZOMG!!!!! (Yes, she used five exclamation points there.) So, there’s two lessons there. #1 – Know what you like. And #2 – Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and all that. No one knows how long you’ve got, so if you’ve got writing, or business, or couch-reading to do, get to it.

Do you have a place like that? A book or books like that? A milkshake analogue? I’m curious.

(Image © spacemanor, used under CC BY 2.0 license, original image here.)


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