Spring is here, the season of renewal. The weather is warm, the flowers are blooming and the winter doldrums have officially melted away. It’s a great time to assess your garbage, be it, physical or mental, and give it the ol’ heave ho. That’s what made IKEA in New Haven such a perfect fit to host Episode 42 of the Real Life Survival Guide. It’s a little known fact that in addition to giving the world IKEA, the Swedish also invented spring cleaning. Over a thousand years ago, every spring, Swedish Vikings would get in their longboats, sail to where you live, and then take away all your stuff. Free of charge! And just like the Viking berserkers of yore, this week’s guest editors tackled problems, crushed them into submission and then celebrated over a lavish feast. So grab your Allen wrenches, pile up a big plate of fermented herring and read along as I break down Episode 42.
The first issue to be slain was spring cleaning. Guest editor Paudi Barry lives in a shoebox so he cleans throughout the year. Doug Tenaglia goes big and rents a dumpster. Being a bit of a hoarder, I’m just happy when I clear away my pile of junk and only find a dozen or so kittens living underneath it. Brent Robertson discussed the horrible task of eliminating your kids’ playthings. The Toy Story franchise has made every parent leery of throwing away toys. Try to throw away a Barbie Doll without hearing Sarah McLaughlin’s tear jerker, When She Loved Me, playing in your head. I don’t want to throw away my son’s Optimus Prime just to find out that he was a caring, sentient, being with a loving transformer family. So the toys stay…and watch our every move.
The next skirmish was self care. Even with Dr. Harry Schwartz in the house, much of the discussion was spent praising bacon. We did learn that Duo doesn’t dig doctors but does dig potato chips and Suzi Craig is trying to adopt a healthier diet by slowly adding new foods and subtracting the unhealthy ones. She also explained the fine art of pairing new foods with old standbys. If you want kids to eat bean patties, pair them with tater tots. Napoleon Dynamite keeps tater tots in his pants and so should we all.
The group then ran amok on car salesmen. The question was, how do you make the experience of buying a car a good one? The consensus was to go into the dealership knowing as much as you possibly can about your purchase. My answer; bring a flask. Every time the salesperson lies, do a shot. The experience should become more pleasurable within a few minutes.
Rowing for home, our radio marauders tackled whether or not our addiction to technology is bringing about the demise of the family dinner. Should we blame the iPhone and the Nintendo DS or are families just too busy in today’s world to find the time to sit and eat dinner together? While opinions varied, there was agreement that anytime you can get everyone together, be it for breakfast or at a restaurant, then that time is special.
By the hammer of Thor, we have made it home. We conquered new lands, utterly annihilated modern problems and pleased the gods who dwell high in radio Valhalla. My work is done; you can now set me adrift in a burning longboat.