Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thank You, Please Come Again.

So I'm sitting here at my computer, avoiding productivity at all costs because, DUH, I LIVE ON A TROPICAL ISLAND. And I'm feeling a little like Jabba the Hutt physically and I don't know why. I mean, it might have something to do with the entire frozen pizza and half gallon of cookies and cream ice cream that I consumed all by myself at 10:00 PM last night. But, whatever. Enough with the judging! Do I judge you!?

I stopped by the store last night to buy the pizza and ice cream after wandering the jungle to visit a bunch of church members to see how they were doing, a story in and of itself. Inside the grocery store I saw like 14 people I know so I had to try to hide the two items I was trying to purchase because it was so embarrassing and I have Fear of Purchase Judgment (FPJ), which is why I always use the self-checkout in the states.

I know. Probably an overreaction. The way I was acting, you would think I was trying to buy Barbie cars. Again.

Then one guy spotted me and I immediately walked over to the produce and selected a large bag of apples.

Guys. I bought apples at the grocery store last night only because someone saw me purchasing a frozen pizza and ice cream at 9:00 and I was embarrassed.

Anyway none of this is at all relevant to what I'm here to tell you today. 

So I'm sitting here at my computer, avoiding productivity at all costs because, DUH, I . . . oh wait, we covered this.

Then I saw that an old friend had shared a blog post through what the kids are calling "social media" so I clicked on it because I had no idea she had a blog and I was curious. And the blog was like this really inspirational and motivational thing full of heart-wrenching stories about people overcoming adversity and retaining faith against insurmountable opposition.

And I was like, "wow! I haven't talked to this person in years. Her blog is so thought-provoking!"

And then I wondered what one of my old friends would think if they found out that I had a blog and then visited it. So, pretending to be one of them, I opened up It Just Gets Stranger and scanned the first page, which was full of post titles like "Emails with a Polygamist," "A Post About Nothing," and "Sex, STDs, and Hieroglyphics." And a further scan resulted in badly photoshopped pictures of mole rats and WAY too many references to a pet cat that doesn't even exist.

And I was like, "what the Hell have I done with my life."

Note, the punctuation at the end of that thought is correct. It's not a question. It's an observation.

And then I went to the Stranger Facebook page and saw that somehow there are about 16,000 people who have liked Stranger on Facebook. And I suddenly had this weird Twilight Zone moment where I wasn't sure if I was living in a very strange dream. And then I got really mad because if this is a dream WHY AM I NOT FLYING?! And WHERE'S PAUL SIMON?!

But then I decided that this isn't a dream because I'm wearing too many clothes and I never wear clothes in my dreams. So if this isn't a dream that means that I really do spend my time writing on the Internet about peeing my pants and wearing Snuggies and there really are tens of thousands of people reading those writings every day and seriously contemplating them.

And it hit me how strange it is that I can make a comment on the interwebs about the Queen of Colors or The First Eye or Trixy Meowman or Leotrix or I can say stuff like "twice up the barrel, once down the side" and "I don't want no bunny banana frog ok no way!" And there are tons of people I've never met in places I've never been who are nodding along because they know exactly what I'm talking about.

And Strangers, THAT IS SO WEIRD. And in all of this "realizing" I all of A sudden felt really grateful for all of your support. (Note, I have corrected my former "all of THE sudden" ways because a Stranger FREAKED the Hell out about how many times I have screwed that one up).

I mean, I was grateful already, but today I'm feeling even more grateful. Probably indigestion from the ENTIRE frozen pizza I consumed.

So, I just wanted to say thank you. Maybe this blog isn't curing cancer or visiting orphans or solving the world hunger crisis. But it makes me feel happy and connected to wonderful people and I think it has done the same for some of you. And for now, that's enough for me.

But, like, next year, it's going to need to cure cancer to justify its existence.

~It Just Gets Stranger

60 comments:

  1. First, your hair looks fabulous. Are you doing something new?
    Second, those frozen pizzas can be rather small if we are being completely honest here.
    Plus when you buy pizza and ice cream together you can call it pie a la mode and look as cool as a kid on the inter webs that says once up the barrel. Pie a la mode is classy.
    Buying apples because of what other people will think is just hilarious.

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  2. hahaha! Classic. I hate when I go to a grocery store to buy candy or a package of oreos, and they don't have self checkout. I totally get the FPJ syndrome. Hilarious as always
    Dani
    www.thatfitnesschic.blogspot.com

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  3. Laughter can cure the worst ailments :) at least for a little while anyway.

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    1. “Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.” Jack Handy quote

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  4. When I started reading this blog, I was an emotional wreck (and if you search this blog enough, you'd find my comment explaining it). But then, after I realized there's a new post every weekday, that's just as funny as the last, I kept coming back. And I got happier. And so very excited to open my browser every morning, just for Stranger. So thank YOU for giving me something to want to be around here for. :) This blog brings a lot of people happiness.

    But a lot of fear, too. I live in a small town in the countryside and I'm constantly looking out for the Q of C's now. What did I do with MY life? :?

    Twice up the barrel, once down the side, I suppose.

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    1. I agree with Jenn. Sometimes life gets tough and the first thing I do after logging in at work is pull up your sight. You have a way with words and humor that is like an umbrella on cloudy days.
      Thank you... (and I still am looking for the post that explains the 'twice up the barrel, once down the side' but only in 2008 so I have a while to go.

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    2. Here's the most recent mention of it:
      http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/2013/02/dont-eat-that.html

      It was introduced earlier that month (Feb 2013).

      You're welcome. ;)

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  5. When I go to the grocery store, I like to play a game called "What Did They Really Come Here For?" I always check out everyone else's cart, to figure out the real list versus the impulse buys. I even make the check-out person play it, and I ask: "What did I really come to buy tonight?" They NEVER guess ice cream and frozen pizza. They always guess the fruit, shampoo and deoderant. Hmmm.

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  6. Just an FYI - I am part of the great unwashed mob who read you every day... and never pushed the like button on the Face Book. So... guess what - you have way more than 16,000 reading you - you have, well, who knows how many - a lot of us are afraid of pushing cyber buttons cause, well, who know what really happens. Maybe it grabs your credit card number and spits it out to someone on a desert island somewhere buying frozen pizzas, ice cream and apples. I'm betting the apples aren't very good.

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    1. nodding in agreement - I never "liked" the page on facebook either... and for the same reasons. as a matter of fact, I wouldn't have facebook at all if I didn't need it to get to the scrabble games.

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  7. First of all, I love your blog. Fantastic.
    Second, if you're really going for correct grammar, then I was told that "all of a sudden" is never right. Apparently, according to my English teacher, "suddenly" is the word we should use. For example, I suddenly realized how amazing this blog is. :)

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    1. I vote for keeping 'all of the' or even 'all of a' and replacing 'sudden' with any word/phrase/explitive of your choice.

      All of a Nordic track...
      All of the robot head...
      All of a Daniel...
      All of the Netherlands...
      All of a Leotrix...
      All of a monkey's uncle...
      All of a snuggie...

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    2. oh, Hello, I am Kristi, you are SO "once up the barrel" here. I applaud you. Eli should definitely take up the mantle and make this a real THING that you have suggested!

      (I particularly like Nordic Trak and Snuggie as replacements)

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    3. This is the most sincere compliment anyone has ever paid me. I'm going to print this off for my journal... "Dear Diary, today Anonymous said the NICEST thing to me!"

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  8. While my husband was deployed, I spent about $50 on candy and cookies to send him. That's all I bought. I have no shame.

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  9. I'm overweight so whenever I buy anything that isn't fruits or veggies, I always get that feeling that someone is judging me. And if it's my local grocery store, you can be sure when I've got my arms full of junk food, I'll run into my parents.

    As for you blog, I read it all the time but this is my first time actually commenting. Just because it doesn't cure cancer doesn't mean it's not worth while. You provide some humour to many days that just don't seem worth while. And by doing so, you're making a difference in a lot of lives.

    Thanks for making me happy.

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    1. Laughter is the best medicine. WHO KNOWS what you are curing via Stranger?! You don't have to be like the others, because if you started to be like them -- there'd be no one like you. And then 16,000 people would be laughing a lot less. Just be you man, everyone else is taken.

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  10. Your blog does something better than cure cancer, it brings smiles to the faces of many people living in mundane lives. It brings joy to life. It reminds us all, that sometimes we don't have to be so serious, we can lighten up and have fun and everything is going to be okay. And most of all it makes us feel not so alone in this world. THANK YOU!

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  11. I love you...and I've never even met you. And I love your damn cat too...

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  12. You're still very popular on Pinterest too! I saw last night your Snuggie article pinned twice on the humor boards and I was all "Pfffffffffff....so old news, why isn't EVERYONE IN THE WORLD reading Eli EVERY SINGLE DAY?!" Seriously, when your latest blog pops up on my Newsfeed everything stops and I read. Because I know it'll make me laugh, and I almost always need to laugh. Thank you for making me laugh until I cry, and for those entries that make me stop and think. :)
    Meg

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  13. I agree with Danielle, your hair is looking fabulous lately. And remember: Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself.

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    1. hahahaha "every pizza is a pizza is a personal pizza" :D

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  14. You just needed extra attention today...didn't you. Ok..I'll bite. Eli!! You are awesome. We all love you, and your imaginary cat. And just cause you haven't cured cancer doesn't mean that you haven't helped out a really cool friend named Dean get his dream...and he has cancer...so it's almost as if you have cured cancer! wow...you are amazing.

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    1. Here, here... Eli you helped make Dean's dream come true and that you should be grateful for.

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    2. That's right, Tami!! Eli, you are the reason that Dean was brought to our attention! What an amazing thing you did for him and because of you I got to be apart of it too! You make a BIG difference in all our lives!

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  15. I just came across your blog a week ago and honey, where have you been all my life? I wish you worked in my office but since we'd both end up fired and living in cardboard boxes along a highway, perhaps it's for the best that we don't.

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  16. You're welcome. And thank you.

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  17. Once, I saw a guy pick up female products and then grabbed chips and a candy bar while in line. Poor poor guy, I would never do that to my hubby. It was bad enough my dad had 6 girls and only 1 boy.

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  18. I TOTALLY use the self-checkout for that reason!! Also because I'm a social-phobe or something like that.

    Sharing your humor with us every day is quite a feat. Some of us neeeeeeed that little laugh every day. And some of us wish our blogs were as funny as yours.

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  19. You are a spot of sunshine in a world that needs some. . .desperately! Don't change a thing!

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  20. Clementina ThornicroftJune 19, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Eli, I have to tell you, your blog DID cure my cancer.
    I was lying in a hospital bed, my body thin and wasted, gasping my last breaths....when I heard my brother start laughing. LAUGHING. At my deathbed. "What on EARTH is that funny?" I demanded angrily. How dare he ruin my moment! "Uh....It Just Gets Stranger," he replied awkwardly, slipping his phone into his back pocket so it would look like he had been paying attention to me the entire time.
    "And WHAT is THAT?" My wrath once kindled is fierce. "Some sort of dirty movie? Is THAT what you're watching WHILE I DIE?"
    "No, no, just a blog." I didn't care how innocent and appealing he looked. He had been ignoring me as I died! All I had ever wanted was to die from cancer. It was my lifelong dream. And then my family could wear shirts with my name on them and stuff. It would be almost like being famous. And here he was, that little brat, ruining my dream!
    In that moment, a realization hit me. If there was something out there more interesting than death by cancer, I had better find out what it was. So I immediately recovered and have been following your blog ever since. Thank you for saving my life. I owe you one. Next time, the pizza and ice cream's on me.

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    1. Florimel and Lady Clementina Thornicroft, the same who in the park rebuked Malcolm for his treatment of Kelpie, had met several times during the spring, and had been mutually attracted Florimel as to a nature larger, more developed, more self supporting than her own, and Lady Clementina as to one who, it was plain, stood in sore need of what countenance and encouragement to good and free action the friendship of one more experienced might afford her.

      George MacDonald, The Marquis of Lossie

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    2. Clementina ThornicroftJune 20, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      OH MY GOODNESS YOU KNOW GEORGE MACDONALD! I've read those books about 15 times. Well, not quite. But close. I've always been too much of a stalker to actually use my own name....so I just pretend my name is Clementina Thornicroft. SO much more interesting than my real name. I didn't think anyone would recognize the source, though. You are now my best friend. (But don't tell Florimel. She would be hurt.)

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  21. My husband used to say "all of the sudden". Almost ruined our marriage...

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  22. Gah! can you please direct me to the post that explains the phrase "twice up the barrel and once down the side", please?

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    1. This is the most recent one: http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/2013/02/dont-eat-that.html

      And it was introduced earlier that month (February 2013).

      You're welcome ;)

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  23. You and your blog are most likely curing cancer because laughter is the best medicine! The first thing I do when I get to work is open your blog and read it. And since I am usually cracking up, my co-workers say, "You're reading your favorite blog again, aren't you." You are bringing so much laughter, happiness and joy into thousands of peoples lives every day! You DO make a difference! I love you, Eli, and I don't even know you personally! :) We all love you! Never quit writing! Can't wait for your book!!

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  24. Want to feel better? I went to the store last night and bought Klondike bars, Little Debbie Fancy Cakes and mini chocolate chip cookies. Oh and a 2 litre of Pepsi and a bag of ice. I did have one small moment of embarrassment, but got over it and headed to self-checkout ;) Oh and hey, they (those all knowing people who know everything) say laughter is the best medicine and this definitely makes one laugh.

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  25. Try cooking the pizza first next time. It should help with the indigestion.

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  26. Ice cream = dairy
    Pizza = veggies, meat, dairy & wheat
    You were just making a health run - nothing to be ashamed about.

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  27. To be honest i'd MUCH rather follow a humorous blog than an inspirational one anyday... keep up the good work! you've got me for life! haha

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  28. i think the real question here is whether or not you ate the pizza still frozen, or if you cooked it? Also, your blog is my favorite not-pay-attention-to-professors-past-time which is problematic, considering i have to keep myself from laughing and giving myself away.

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  29. I usually don't worry about my food choices being judged, but I do have a moment of FPJ if I realize the items I'm buying paint a disturbing picture when you put them all together.
    For example:
    cotton balls and nail polish remover (restocking the bathroom cupboard)
    Cheez-it crackers (snack)
    X-Acto knife, glue, and magnets (craft project)
    and a mouse trap (heard a mouse in the basement)
    Halfway to the front of the store I realize it looks like I intend to decorate my fridge with DIY taxidermy rodents, and I panic.

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  30. First of all, true story, this is my first comment on any blog, EVER. Second, also a true story, you are the only "blog" I "subscribe" to, (is that what you call it, as I don't recall paying a subscription fee). Anywho, I'm kind of a techtard, which is one of the many reasons I'm posting "anonymous" as I have no idea what a URL thingy is, and I really wanted to comment. (it only took me 17 minutes to figure out where to post a comment).

    So Eli, thank you for "Stranger" I have been a faithful follower for exactly one week now, and I very much enjoy your humor! I found you/snuggie texts on Pinterest, and like many others...was instantly enamored and unable to concentrate at work ever since!

    So, there is this game going around right now, (you've probably already heard of it), you go to Wal Mart, and you can only buy 3 items, and the game is which 3 items will freak out the cashier...so it's a FPJ game I suppose you can say! (one example I saw was "Fifty Shades of Grey", a rope and a cucumber).

    Ok, well when I figure out this whole blogging technology and shiz, I'll comment more! Until then....thanks for your delightful stories!

    Debs

    dsimmons130@yahoo.com

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    1. hahahahaha!! I totally have to try that! I've never heard of such a game! Thank you, this will provide endless hours of entertainment :)

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  31. I love your blog! I actually come into work, log onto my computer, and check your blog, 9 times out of 10, before I check my work e-mail. If I don't get to it first thing because things are crazy, I check it later for a pick me up. Thank you for all your awesomeness, because lets face it, the world needs more people like you, and less like Leotrix.

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  32. Who cares what random people think? What you should REALLY be worried about is what your children will say.

    PS--I'm not your mom hinting that you should get married and have children.

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  33. Feeling grateful, saying it, and showing kindness and gratitude to your Strangers, many of which contribute to the popularity of and jokes in your blog. Good thing to remember. :)

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  34. Love your work mate... Especially on a "Jabba Day!"
    (In sunny, tropical, Cairns... Australia.)

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  35. You may not have found the cure to cancer, but you certainly have found the cure to depression. Your blog is always just what I need to make me feel happy, grateful, thoughtful, and real joy. I recently moved away from my hometown, and I don't have many friends anymore. Although the conversation isn't back and forth, I enjoy feeling like we're both apart of each other's lives. In a way you're like my friend. You give me advice, make me laugh, and I feel like we have so many inside jokes :) It's cool how people thousands of miles apart who honestly don't know each other at all can make an impact on each other's lives. I would like to say thank you, for making my day every day :) (even on weekends when I go back and read your old posts). I hope this doesn't sound creepy in any way. I'm certainly not a stalker and I'm not obsessed with you. I just enjoy spending time at your blog. You're one of my favorite authors. Don't ever think that you don't make a difference, because thousands of people would beg to differ :)

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  36. Wait, Trixie is real!?!? Thanks for ruining my life!

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  37. I have to agree, I love your hair! Like seriously I could add your scalp with my collection....that I don't have cause that would be weird.

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  38. Ever order 2 combos so the pimply faced guy at the drive-thru thinks you're ordering for 2 people?? ya, me neither....

    ~T

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  39. I mostly shop at Trader Joe's, because marvelous and cheap; but, they don't have everything I need. So every now and then I go to Safeway, to stock up on the other things. I always find myself in line with, like, nine cans of espresso and eight bottles of that wine that TJ's doesn't have [as a Mormon, I know you don't know about this] and, oh I don't know, a tub of cottage cheese and three bottles of conditioner. And I wonder what everyone thinks, and then I think, Who cares? :-)

    Anyway, I never comment here but I read you all the time, and you are marvelous, and thank you!

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  40. Hey, I was on vacation on the highway between Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint Idaho and I saw this giant chicken statue and I was all "Hey, there's the Queen of Colors." And my husband was all, "What?" And I had to say, "Oh, there's this guy who blogs about . . . never mind." So yeah, you make me laugh and I feel all connected and I don't EVEN know you! Ha!

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  41. Eli, you bring joy to people. You are an excellent writer and seem to know how to tell a story in a way that captivates your audience. I love waking up to find what new shinanagans you are writing about today. Keep it up. Oh and I wont judge you on your pizza and ice cream if you dont judge me on the excessive amounts of chinese food i had last night...

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  42. Please tell me the pizza wasn't still frozen when you ate it. I mean, I know it's hot down there, but ew.

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  43. when i do that, i always look at people like "i could eat this whole thing and still look better than you"

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  44. I frequent the self check out when supplied with a slim fast or a lean cuisine and a bag of chips.

    In a few cases where I was forced to check out with an actual person... I would grab something that clearly said "I'm buying this for my husband (men's fitness), or my child (goldfish crackers)" and it's likely who the chips are for.

    Works everytime,..

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