Business is booming. If you climbed into a SmartCar, accelerated it to 88 mph, opened the door, jumped out, dusted yourself off, stepped into a time machine, traveled back to the year 2008, and told my recently college-graduated self that I would be a successful businessman in just eight years, I would have screamed and called the police. I know what you’re thinking: “Why the 88 mph SmartCar?” Because it’s a hilarious visual, that’s why. As for the business in question, I am course referring to my meteoric rise as a professional Cat-Sitter. Perhaps you’ve read about it in some of the trade’s most reputed periodicals? Just last week, I was on the cover of BusinessTreat Magazine. And keep your eyes-peeled for a feature write-up on yours truly in an upcoming issue of Furbes. What’s my secret formula to becoming a wildly successful Cat-Sitter in under a decade? Take one part luck, two parts determination, add a dash of catnip and a dollop of Tuna Flavored Furball Remedy Gel, mix it all up in a blender, and then serve that bad-boy on a crystal serving tray, just like they do in the cat food for one-percenters commercials. Repeat this every day for eight years (make sure to clean the blender, or you’ll start attracting raccoons), and one day, your business partner will go on vacation and ask you to feed and medicate his 16-year-old cat (let’s call her “Old Ironsides” to protect her anonymity), and it’s your time to shine. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Checkmate, Cat-Sitter Graduate Schools.
I have regrets. But they’re not the kind you might expect. I mean, I married the right person, I finished college, and I have gone 30 years without once attempting to climb Mount Everest (I intend to continue that streak until I die peacefully in my sleep—not horrifically in a YouTube video called “Amateur Climber Accident – WARNING: DEATH”). The regrets I’m talking about don’t happen over the course of a lifetime, they happen instantaneously. It’s a little phenomenon I like to call InstaRegret. Like, say, when you’re window shopping with Wife, and something catches her eye – e.g. the diamond quilt – and you walk into the boutique and realize the only other person in the store is the owner who seems way, way too happy to see you, and you suddenly feel like a Hobbit in a tunnel who is just beginning to notice that the tunnel has lots of spider webs. Like, more spider webs than a Hobbit-friendly tunnel should typically have. That’s InstaRegret. Or, when you ask the hostess if there’s a table with a view of the water, and, since she’s a hostess working the lunch-rush in a pizza restaurant and you’re a guy asking for a nicer table during the lunch-rush in a pizza restaurant, she hates you and seats you in a shared booth next to a couple of giant man-eating spiders. Big time InstaRegret. The only thing worse than InstaRegret is pre-InstaRegret. Like when you’re standing in line at Subway and you lock eyes with the Sandwich Artist and you both know that what is about to happen will be embarrassing for both of you. Embarrassing for you because no Plimoth Plantation Cornucopia of Spinach, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Green Peppers, and Tomatoes is going to make your steak & cheese sub a responsible decision. And embarrassing for the Sandwich Artist because he only had three more credits to go until graduation, but fell into a bad group of wolf spiders, started dealing and smoking web, and failed out of school. Textbook pre-InstaRegret. So what’s the moral of the story? Stay indoors, avoid all human contact, and you probably won’t be eaten by mutant spiders. Probably.
I just sold out. No, I’m not talking about how, in a moment of hanger, I agreed to the terms and conditions of Domino’s pizza points rewards program without actually reading them, and, consequently, must now divert a portion of Kid’s 529 to fund their secret ranch dipping sauce research facility in Antarctica. But I digress. The epic sell-out I’m referring to is that fact that Nailsbails.com is now the official sponsor of one of the hottest wearable devices on the market. I’m talking, of course, about CatBat®. Developed by the same geniuses who make FitBit, CatBat is the next-gen of activity tracking, calorie counting, and sleep analysis. Not only does the CatBat run on a 100% renewable organic power source, but it’s also completely autonomous. That means no fumbling with charging peripherals, and no chance of accidentally sending it through a spin cycle. Exactly how does the CatBat work, you conveniently, leading-ly ask? Simply head to your local animal shelter, rescue the cat with the highest predatory tendencies, bring it home, and live with crippling anxiety for the next 15-20 years. As an activity tracker, the CatBat outperforms every comparable on the market. No matter where you are in the house at any given moment, CatBat knows how fast your heart is beating, because it can smell fear. And the CatBat’s built-in calorie counter is second to none. Go ahead, try to get to the ice cream in the freezer without being CatBatted™. As for sleep analysis, the CatBat automatically uploads its claws into your legs just as you enter a REM-cycle. Review your flesh wounds the next morning to see how much rest you got! If you’re still not sold on the CatBat, I’m not sure you’re the correct demo. In fact, you might be more suited for the less advanced, but still effective UpPup®. It gets you moving by destroying all your stuff.
Hello darkness my old friend. I’ve come to snack with you again. These are the lyrics to the yet-to-be-produced Weird Al parody song being played at an eleven in my head as I blow the dust off my kitchen scale. A few weeks have passed since that dark, fateful day when the low battery icon on my proudly-made-in-China Taylor 3835 Kitchen Scale began to flash, I glanced around the kitchen to see if anyone was watching, and slowly and deliberately buried the scale in the mass grave of random household junk that is the left-hand drawer on my kitchen island. I can still hear the scale gasping for joules as I covered it with a ziplock bag of rubber bands, four copies of the same thai food take-out menu, and the owner’s manual to something I no longer own. What could lead me to such a depraved and senseless act of scale-slaughter? Was it the countless meals of chicken, broccoli slaw, mayonnaise, mustard, and Chex Mix, all carefully measured in consistent portions, that had slowly driven me to the brink of insanity? Or perhaps it was the PTSD (Post Traumatic Scale Disorder) I experienced every time I went out to eat with Wife and had no way of knowing how many calories was in that f***ing delicious duck confit panini. Whatever it was, it caused me to hit my breaking point, and, unfortunately, my kitchen scale payed the iron price. Well, actually, it was more like the protein, carbohydrate, and fat price, but I don’t want to be yet another nerdtritionist who lectures internet strangers on the importance of hitting macros. Not to worry—this sordid tale has a happy ending. I gained ten pounds, and the scale, blessed with a fresh battery, rose like a phoenix from the ashes. Now, who wants exactly one serving of Chex Mix?
It’s happening. I’m finally going to be an author! I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to know that all the blood (ketchup), sweat (salt), and tears (sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwiches) are finally paying off. Well, actually, I can tell you. It feels very amazing. No, let me rephrase: it feels very much amazing, a lot. Plus, I’m going to make very much amazing, a lot of money. But that’s not why I do what I do. The answer to that burning question (which every literary genius must ask themselves twice a day, every day, and have a New York Times Bestselling Author Mentor ask them every six months (and they better be ready to answer because if they haven’t been asking themselves twice a day, every day, they can bet their bottoms they will be thoroughly roasted by their mentor (mine is Clive Cussler (he’s a tyrant)))), “Why do I write?,” has an equally burning answer. But before we gather ‘round The Bonfire of Burning Answers, we must first gather The Kindling of Inspiration, which, of course, are located in The Forest of Subconscious – what’s that? You don’t care about any of this? You want to know what my book is about? Oh. Ok. It’s a children’s book called Can Cat Jump? It’s just pages and pages of drawings of Cat jumping, soaring through the air, and clawing my legs (he can, in fact, jump). Also, I haven’t actually written it yet. Nor do I have a publisher. But I am accepting pre-orders. Five bucks. If enough people give me five dollars I will write, illustrate, print, and ship Can Cat Jump? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat very much amazing, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.