Pet Peeves: Initiatives

By Mark D. Crantz


2 col pet peeves Mark CrantzLaguna Beach.  Another perfect day in Paradise, but oh no, there are initiatives.  Earth Day.  Kelp Day.  Wellness Initiative.  Here are mine.  Snooze Button Initiatives.  Ahhh…ten more minutes.  Ahhh…ten more minutes.  Ahhh…ten more minutes.

Well, the day’s pretty shot.  Burned a lot of day on my REM initiatives.  The fact is that I won’t know about these other initiatives, if it wasn’t for my wife.  She has her best interests at heart.  When I went to get my Indy, it wasn’t there in the driveway.  So knowing that my neighbor doesn’t like me and I’m in the Indy, I didn’t think he’d mine me taking his copy.  That’s what good neighbors are all about and not pooping on their lawn, of course.  When I got back inside, there was another Indy.  My wife must have gotten to the driveway before me.  I knew without looking that my wife redacted our Indy copy.  For those not in the spy business, redact means to black out sensitive material for national security reasons. Normally the blackout occurs only on ‘Pet Peeves.’  My wife insists that my writing is turning readers’ minds into goo.  I don’t think this is true, but I’m scared of my wife. She’s a little bitty thing, but that’s what they said about the Tasmanian devil.  (For purposes of accurate reporting, my wife is cuter, but the Tasmania devil spins better and would make the better contestant on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’)

However, this time my wife had blacked out other articles in addition to mine.  I was intrigued to look into what other writers, beside myself, were writing to turn readers’ minds into goo.  I could use the company. I hate to drink alone because there’s nobody else to pay the tab. The bartender agrees and would appreciate a better tipper.  Here’s a tip.  Get a day job barman.  Show some initiative.  Yes, I’ll just be on my way.  No need to call the police.  I can find my way home.  I dropped bits of Slim Jims on my way over here.  Sure I won’t come back.  There’s not enough Slim Jims for a round trip.

One of the redacted articles dealt with the ‘Living Well Initiative.’ Thanks to my neighbor’s copy a professor of psychiatry from UC Irvine had given a talk to the Woman’s Club on what can we do to promote our well being.  It seems that the diseases exacting the greatest toll on our country, such as, cardiovascular, obesity, diabetes, and cancer, are all lifestyle related.  By making changes in four lifestyle areas, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity and diet could make a major impact that amounts to a 14-year age effect on mortality.  This is good information to know, but I can see why my wife did not want me to know about it.  Bless her heart that she has the best interest of, she does not want me to give up my Slim Jims, pork rinds, cocktails, and cigars, in order to live another 14 years.  It’s obvious that healthy lifestyle changes on my part, would just take years off of hers by having to deal with me for what amounts to two more dog years, an interminable amount of time because our dog likes what I like and my wife can’t deal with the two of us.  I think it affects her blood pressure.  She gets so red in the face that she better think about making a lifestyle change herself.  So the dog and I decided to take some initiative and share our pork rinds with her in order to have her best interests at heart. A family that snacks together stays together for the time being whatever will be the time being.


Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago.  He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.”  His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.

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