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Its the simple pleasures. . .
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Elections, gorilla shot in zoo, BLD boosting prices, the heat is driving me mad – just a few of the problems my friends wanted the column to touch on this week.
Sometimes even the curmudgeon soul that stirs this column feels the need to reach out and smell the roses. I recall many moons ago watching the great Mel Brooks on the Johnny Carson show. He talked about how he wakes up each morning, and immediately writes down 4 things that make him happy. No matter how inane, innocuous, or flat out ridiculous. The things that put a smile on the face of your soul. And he said most importantly – “Don’t over think it...cause the brain loves kickin’ out funny thoughts.” When pressed by Carson, he was quick to include “For instance, I like to flush the toilet when I’m in mid-pee, and then race to finish before it does.”
I was maybe 12 and laughed hysterically because I did the same thing every time. Still do.
Whether Mr. Brooks was instilling a great writer’s implement into my brain, or was just setting up an inane, innocuous, ridiculous punchline, it stuck. Most mornings I jot down on Facebook, or a piece of paper in my room, the first 4 thoughts that put a smile on my face. You should all give it a try, because at some point during a dreary day — one of them will pop back up, and remind you the world isn’t so bad. Here are a few that I’ve found lying around the room — and a few that popped in my head while typing.

 And they are all simple pleasures.

1. Remembering someone’s name that you’ve only met once at a party.

2. Losing the TV controller, but finding it in the cushion crack without having to get up and search.
3. Finding enough change in your car to buy fast food.
4. The smell of the inside of old books.
5. The roar of the lion at the beginning of MGM movies.
6. Reaching down into the center of a new loaf of bread, to find the best 2 slices for my sandwich (cause nobody wants the face or butt).
7. Making a random toddler smile or laugh when they look at you in a store.
8. When someone else does the dishes.
9. Handing the first beer of the day to a friend on a hot summer afternoon.
10. Realizing what wrong case that DVD/CD you are looking for is in, because you remember what movie/band you had listened to just after it 2 weeks before.
13. Day old refrigerator cold KFC.
14. Doing the roller coaster arm wave thing out of a moving car window.
15. Old pictures of your grandparents when they were kids.
16. Answering 5 questions in a row while watching Jeopardy – or just 2 if you happen to be in front of people.
17. Somebody else reaching for the check after dinner – and then doing the required “Are you sure?” (just accept the kind gesture with a Thank You, and move on.)
18. New black socks.
19. Having just enough gas to finish mowing the lawn.
20. Catching your pet dog sneeze – and then laughing at them because they aren’t sure what just happened.
21. The other side of the pillow (If only relationships with the opposite sex were that easy).
22. Sleeping through an entire plane flight (or having the person next to you sleep the whole way).
23. Remembering the name of a random character actor in a movie you’re watching – I call this the “Harry Dean Stanton Effect.”
24. Hi-Fiving a stranger at a sports event.
25. Managing to save a piece of meat that was just about to slide through the BBQ grills – You are a hero.
26. Nailing a parallel park with just 2 moves: The back in, and a wheel cut – Done.
27. Beating a 10-year -old at Monopoly, then watching them pout and cry.
28. Finding a tee shirt you lost years ago – and throwing it on immediately.
29. Sneaking 5-6 fries out of a friend’s box, just before you hand it to them at lunch.
30. Having the Check Engine light mysteriously go off – after being on the last 3 days.
31. The second day of a cabin trip, when everyone has hit their stride.
32. Planning to watch a random History Channel show that is 4 days out – and 4 days later miraculously remembering it starts in 4 minutes.
I asked some people around town to give it a shot...

uGeorge Clausing: Having a lot of work outside and waking to the sound of pouring rain. Finding a coupon for buy one and get one get one free, and the object is 50% off anyway. Getting a call at 2 a.m. from the Sheriff Department about your son and hearing them say “first off he’s alright”. Not having to go to Wal-Mart after all.

uKevin Hefner : Opening a peanut at a ball game and finding 3 nuts inside.

uChristine Adams Mendes: Seeing the people I love laugh till they cry! The down’s usually because of something I’ve done!

uShim Lacy-Watson:  Getting out your winter coat and finding $5 bucks in the pocket. Eating Chinese food and getting two fortunes in my cookie.

uChristine Curry : Running out of shampoo and conditioner at the same time, cause then you can start fresh.
uNate Dycus: Waking up thinking your alarm’s about to go off, seeing you have 3 hours left to sleep. Your wife giving you just enough money to buy something, but then it comes out to be much cheaper and you don’t tell her - cause there’s other stuff you wanna buy but she won’t let you....or so I’ve heard

uDusten Maddox: Couple things I love...catching the first fish of the day, just killing it with the sweet spot both baseball and golf, scaring the crap out of someone with fake spider or mouse, ending a game of pool on a five ball run then retiring for the night, late night TV and catching awesome episode of Cheers or Taxi, and I def love my Fantasy Football draft....just a couple of things.

uSara Marie: People who refill ice trays...There is a special place in Heaven for them – even ahead of Catholics..

uFranco Torrice: Bacon!!

uStacey Bertolotti: Catching your kids being kind and supportive to one another when they don’t think you’re looking.

uJennifer Canfield: Knowing my mom was right when she said I’d have one just like me someday. When someone you were thinking fondly of calls you out of the blue. Sending my Mom flowers on MY  birthday with a card that says “without you there would be no me” knowing she’ll cry at work.
uJack and Parker come home...Congratulations to Ripon’s Jack Mayer and Escalon’s Parker Cosby on being named the TVL Baseball Leagues MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.

Their Manteca to a T connection? Parents Pat and Christie Mayer, and Tisha Herzfeld Cosby both wore the green and white back in their day. Mayer heads into his senior year as the top pitcher in the District. (Leading in both Wins and Strikeouts)...While Parker Cosby takes his catching gear into his junior year. That’s right, a soph won Defensive Player of the Year as the Escalon Cougar’s catcher. No doubt a product of growing up the son of All-Vol pitcher Tisha. (You may remember Tisha from previous columns as the pitcher who struck me out during HS – literally and proverbially.) One can only imagine a 5-year-old Parker in full gear, as mom fired wild pitches at his knees. That’s how you become defensive player of the year.
Manteca to a T has sent both families “transfer of guardianship” forms, and will now wait to see if these boys land out at Camp Teicheira – in hopes of putting them in the right colored uniform.

One of our own...Mantecan Michael Placencia is set to premiere his new movie Hunting Season. The Manteca High grad has been acting for several years, with LA and SF as home bases for his trade. Hunting Season stars Tom Sizemore, Eric Roberts, and Clifton Powell – along with Placencia. A movie premiere takes place Sunday, June 12, at 5 p.m. in Milpitas. The former football star now looks to make his hits on the big screen.

“It’s not Where ya do, It’s What ya do”