I've got this mental list floating around in my head, "Things Every Person Should Do Once a Day." At the top of this list is 1) Hold a Baby. Not a fussy baby. The baby would have to be happy or sleeping. I understand that everyone's busy busy busy, so I'd only require 3 minutes. I've calculated that 3 minutes would provide the perfect amount of time for a person to calm his or her heart rate, take a deep breath to inhale the lovely scent of a baby's head, and then experience an almost immediate improvement in his or her attitude. Just imagine how serene people would be if every day upon arriving at the office, they clocked in, turned to the receptionist, who would hand them a freshly-bathed cooing baby, and then gently jiggled the infant for 3 minutes before starting the work day? Wal-Mart already has greeters in place at their front entrances; how hard would it be for them to stick a couple of babies in an extra cart to hand out to people to hold for 3 minutes before they started shopping?
Second on my list is 2) Stroke a Beagle's Ear. If you've never felt a beagle's ears, you're in for a treat. I don't know what they're made of, but it is the softest material on earth. Softer than the softest fleece blanket. I made this point recently to some dinner guests. We were all sitting around in the living room having dessert when I noticed my 9-year-old daughter petting Daisy's ears. In that slightly loud, strained voice of mine that I use when I'm trying to be the center of attention, I said, "Man, beagles' ears are soooo soft, aren't they?" Everyone nodded, and quietly um-hmmed in agreement. I went on, "What I wouldn't do for a blanket made out of beagle ears. Now that would be one soft blanket." Silence. I kid you not, forks hung in mid-air as people's hands froze halfway between their open mouths and their plates of pie balanced on their laps. I heard a sniffle from my right and turned to see tears welling up in the eyes of my friend's 10-year-old little girl. My peripheral vision caught a slight movement to my left; my daughter was pulling Daisy closer to her in a protective embrace. They all thought I was some kind of depraved Cruella De Vil. "Heh, heh," I laughed weakly. "That didn't come out right."
My point is, if you don't own a beagle, go find one right now and pet her ears! You'll feel lots better.
Dinner last night: chicken pot pie, green salad