25 Things That Are Underrated

1) The Cool-Lookingness of Clouds. Imagine that clouds were extremely rare. But there was this one part of Alaska where it was just the right temperature that vapor collected above the Earth and formed these bizarre white shapes. You’d see pictures of them throughout your life, and when someone asked you what you’d like to see most in the world you’d be like, “I’d love to see the Pyramids. Or the Alaskan clouds.” And people would be like, “Yeah.”

But because clouds are always up in our grill wherever we go, we just ignore them and complain about them. Look at these jaded fools sitting there not marveling at the incredible clouds in front of them-

2) Municipal Services.
You take them for granted. I take them for granted. If they stopped, the roads would be undrivable, crime would be rampant, and poop would be everywhere.

3) Stretching. You’re sitting on a plane for six hours. It finally lands, and all the idiots stand up immediately, even though it’s gonna be ten minutes before anyone can leave the plane. So you sit and continue reading your delicious book or watching your riveting show. Finally shit starts moving and you stand up. But before you get your luggage from the overhead compartment (which you do carefully because you’ve been warned that items may have shifted during the flight), you do a big, euphoric stretch. This is as good as any orgasm. And yet, stretches are underrated. People like to say things are “better than sex.” But what if I was like, “My GOD—this fondue is better than stretching.” People would be really creeped out.

The downside of stretching is that if you’re with a complete dick, they might murder your climax by doing something heinous, like tickling you. Little makes me angrier than someone tickling me in the midst of a glorious stretch. What if someone tried to tickle you during an orgasm? Would you be like, “Ha ha—that was funny!” No, you’d be like, “But seriously, if you ever do that again, I might have to hit you.” Why should stretching be treated differently?

4) Reptiles’ Cuteness: I know I’ve gone into this before, but c’mon:

5) Blind People. But seriously, next time you’re outside on the street, or in a hotel lobby, or at a baseball game, or anywhere, try closing your eyes and see how long you last. Blind people should be revered. That blind people live reasonably normal lives is mind-boggling, and beyond impressive. If I close my eyes in public, the thought of walking down the street and doing normal things—walking stick or no walking stick—is unimaginable. Not just the disorientation—but also the paranoia and vulnerability at all times—would drive me insane. I gained the full level of respect for blind people after having dinner in the pitch black.

6) The Balls of the Dunkin Donuts Logo Designer. So imagine that a company commissions you to design a logo for them. And you come up with this ridiculous shit:

And you’re like, “Damn it, it just might work.” It’s at that point that a normal person says, “Nah, that would never fly” or “That would clearly end my career.” Only a person with huge effing balls shows up to the final meeting with the execs, slaps that shit on the table, and is like, “Yeah, that’s right. What of it?” I imagine that wherever this manly graphic designer is now, he lives with an element of frustration, feeling like the diameter of his balls is under-appreciated and underrated by most people.

7) Ice Water. When you’re mad thirsty, people are like, “Have a beer,” or, “Have this cola.” But when you’re really thirsty, how absurdly delicious is ice water?

8) How Allergic I am to Horses. No but seriously. When I was like 12 my family was on some trip in Wyoming or somewhere and we decided to ride horses. I spent the next 18 hours feeling like I did the time I ate Sbarro’s in a shopping mall and threw up 64 times that night. Not good times. I haven’t ridden a horse since, but even when I hang out near these dudes, bad things happen. I feel like this is a generally under-appreciated fact by my friends, family, and the general public.

9) Nitrogen. Our atmosphere is composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other stuff. 78%. Does anyone talk about nitrogen? Do you ever hear anyone being like, “Thank god for all this nitrogen”? or “Isn’t it weird that we spend our lives bathing in nitrogen?” No. All anyone ever talks about is oxygen. This is how the Hutu must have felt, being the vast majority but getting the shaft all the time. Too soon? Possibly. The point is that oxygen is obsessed with being in the spotlight, definitely googles itself all the time, and should be put in its place at some point.

10) The Terribleness of Death Toll Headlines about Third World Countries. There are always these headlines like, “Mudslide in Haiti Kills 92,” and you’re like, “That really sucks. What a sad story. Who won the Pistons game?” But what the hell? 92 people. Dead! 92 mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, husbands and wives just died in an unbelievably tragic event, but you’re just kind of immune to, and emotionally removed from those headlines by now and it doesn’t even really jump off the page. And it’s not all our fault. CNN.com will crunch that headline between shit like, “Limbaugh blasts Powell Attack” and “Girl, 12, wins Doodle 4 Google contest.” I guess it's just easier to be numb to tragedy.

11) Indigo.
Such a pretty color.

But no one talks about it.

12) Health. I know it’s hard for something this prominently appreciated and high-rated to still be underappreciated and underrated, but it is. Health is the single most important thing. When something is wrong with your body, it ruins everything else. When something is really wrong with your body, it ends your life. But when health is good, which for most of us, thankfully, it usually is, we completely take it for granted—even though we constantly see bad health diminishing or ruining lives all around us.

13) The Size, Scariness, and Amount of Water in the Ocean. But seriously—how big is the ocean? Could anything possibly be bigger or contain more water? When I’m standing on the beach here in LA, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, I am in perpetual awe of the fact that this thing stretches a third of the way across planet. And looking at it, I can’t help but say, “That’s a lot of water.” None of this is to mention the sheer terror that lies within. My god there are a lot of scary things in the Pacific Ocean.

14) The Upsettingness of Death. Not to be a downer. But we’re all going to spend nearly all of the rest of eternity NOT existing. This fact is perpetually upsetting to me. I really enjoy existing. It’s something I prefer to do. And sometimes I’m even like, “Well, maybe I won’t die.” But then I look at the data. So far, everyone has died. Everyone. The odds are strongly against me continuing to exist. What a shitty part of all this.

15) How Excited They Must Have Been When They Found Hot Springs Fifty Thousand Years Ago. Imagine it. They were like, “Here I am—hunting, gathering, trying to get laid, trying not to get murdered or raped or made a cuckold of, trying to keep my shit warm at night"—and then, one day, they’re walking through some upsetting forest trying to find something to eat…and they come across hot springs. They’d run back and get their tribe and be like, “No but seriously, stop whatever you’re doing and follow me right now.” And the tribe would clearly set up camp and stay there forever, in their 500th-Century BC luxury crib. Speaking of which…

16) The amount of time humans biologically identical to us have been around. It’s like 100,000 years. I think people think it’s like 10,000.

17) The Radness of America’s Forefathers.
People know they were rad. But do they appreciate just how rad they were? No, they’re underratedly rad. They led a successful revolution against the most powerful government in the world while simultaneously inventing democracy and creating the United States of America. Name another group of 50 dudes who have done anything that impressive or monumental.

18) The Grossness of Touching an Earthworm.
People, including myself, will pick up an earthworm and be like, “Whatever.” But why? If you were like, “Which hand??” and I was like, “Hmmmm, left??” and you extended your left hand and opened it and dropped a slug into my hand, I’d immediately throw it and then be like, “What the hell?!” Seriously, think about it—would you ever reach down and pick up a slug? No. But you’d probably be pretty okay picking up an earthworm. Lord knows this guy is—

19) The Badness of Getting a Speeding Ticket. I think people think it’s like four times worse than getting a parking ticket. But here’s what it is: A parking ticket is about $30. A speeding ticket is like $200 or so, plus a point on your license. A point on your license makes your insurance go up like $250 a year for three years. So a speeding ticket actually costs about $1,000 dollars. Making it 30 times worse than a parking ticket. I feel like people don’t realize quite how bad it is to get a speeding ticket.

20) A Hot Shower. Worse than sex. But less worse than people acknowledge.

21) Velcro. So incredibly brilliant. The zipper and bicycle almost made the list too, but I feel like people tend to better appreciate the brilliance of those inventions.

22) The Fact That You Can See Stars With Your Naked Eye. People are always like, “This eagle has amazing sight and can see a grasshopper from across a football field!” A football field? You can see things that are BILLIONS OF LIGHTYEARS AWAY you dick.

23) The Coolness of The Golden Ratio. It’s found everywhere. From several places on the human body to pine cones to seashells to galaxies to the Pyramids to Mozart’s music. I feel like people don’t talk about this enough.

24) The Size of Kazakhstan. Check that shit out. It's about the same size as India. Did you have any idea?

25) Hands. Anytime I’m in a bad mood, I stop to appreciate my hands, and I feel better. Hands are so impossibly useful it’s hard to believe they’re real. I’ll let Steven Pinker take this one over for me:

Nearly two thousand years ago, the Greek physician Galen pointed out the exquisite natural engineering behind the human hand. It is a single tool that manipulates objects of an astonishing range of sizes, shapes, and weights, from a log to a millet seed. “Man handles them all,” Galen noted, “as well as if his hands had been made for the sake of each one of them alone.” The hand can be configured into a hook grip (to lift a pail), a scissors grip (to hold a cigarette), a five-jaw chuck (to lift a coaster), a three-jaw chuck (to hold a pencil), a two-jaw pad-to-pad chuck (to thread a needle), a two-jaw pad-to-side chuck (to turn a key), a squeeze grip (to hold a hammer), a disc grip (to open a jar), and a spherical grip (to hold a ball). Each grip needs a precise combination of muscle tensions that mold the hand into the right shape and keep it there as the load tries to bend it back. Think of lifting a milk carton. Too loose a grasp, and you drop it; too tight, and you crush it; and with some gentle rocking, you can even use the tugging on your fingertips as a gauge of how much milk is inside!

Meanwhile, my hands just danced around this keyboard to type that. When all else sucks, at least your hands are incredible.


Anonymous said...

More great nuggets from the king of nuggets. Don't change when you move to New York. Tell me things about New York. Tell me how much better New England is than New York. Tell me you will miss California. And then post when you actually DO.

Remember that stupid song about Wear Your Sunscreen ... in it ... it says ... live in Northern California once and leave before it makes you soft ... live in New York once and leave before it makes you hard.

Good luck doing that.


Anonymous said...

Seriously, I was feeling so fucking bad before I read this, then I did, spent about 10 minutes looking at my hands and got all happy.

You're doing the world a favor. I wish you could be the first person to never die. So yeah, if there ever were like world wide elections to decide the one person that should live forever you'd totally have my vote. Even though you'd never be able to fully appreciate life because you can't ride a horse, but still.

H said...

i think about these things sometimes too and agree with you on a lot of them. for example, the thing you said about how we won't be existing for most of the eternity. i think about that a lot...and yea, it gets pretty depressing. whenever i look at the sky at night, and think about the vastness of the universe and how i might not live to see the next next time Halley's Comet comes by earth.

on an unrelated note, have you ever thought about auditioning for The Amazing Race? i think it'd be awesome if you were on it. (that and so you can blog about all the behind the scenes stuff :D)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh Hah Haah oh man you had me at
the lounging lizard ,perfectly set

Kermit helmed.

Kermit The Frog ...

Anonymous said...

You are a fascinating human being. Please keep blogging.

Anonymous said...

I love ur blog, dude! I was pretty upset with my own life a moment ago before I read your piece..now I am looking at the map of kazakhstan and got all happy!

Thanks! btw, are u gonna drop your business in CA and start sth new in NY?

Keep blogging!

Emperor Paolo said...

Get a twitter account! Seriously, get one.

Jodie said...

Your blog is so amazing. I will forever envy your impeccably long but thoughtful entries and your amusing but insightful lists. I regret not visiting more often over the past few months.

Anonymous said...

you forgot the show How I Met Your Mother. It should have the Emmy for best comedy for 3 times now..


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Sumit said...

Tim, you are such a fantastic and incredibly funny writer. I wish there were more than of these kinds of blog posts from you now a days.