Eat An Abba Zabba Bar

When so many of us still have Halloween candy stuck between our teeth, here’s something by Noah that you might want to chew on. Enjoy…..

Eat An Abba Zabba Bar


Noah benShea

Ladies and gentlemen, a moment of your time because moments are all we have.

“A man opened the bottom drawer of his wife’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. ‘This,’ he said, ‘is not a slip. This is lingerie.’ He discarded the tissue and handed his friend the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. ‘Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion.’

“He took the slip from his friend and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he simply and quietly shut the drawer.”

“The meaning of life,” said Kafka, “ is that it stops.”

Life is short. And then you die. Forget about whatever is making you crazy today. There will be new things making you crazy tomorrow. Or the day after.

You want to know what you should do today? You should go out and buy an Abba Zabba Bar. You remember what that is? It’s a kind of candy with a striped package that you probably haven’t eaten since the fifth grade. And even then you were warned that it would rot your teeth. Or pull out the fillings on teeth that had already rotted. And they were right, Abba Zabba isn’t good for you teeth. It may, however, be very good for your spirits.

Eating an Abba Zabba Bar is a good idea because it probably isn’t an idea you’ve had in a while. Sometimes the best new idea we can visit is an old idea revisited. Eating this zany candy bar would probably be an out-of-the-ordinary experience. It may, however, remind you that sometimes nothing is healthier than doing something out of the ordinary. Eating healthy food doesn’t necessarily make you a healthy of spirit. Hitler was a vegetarian. Being sensible sometimes just doesn’t make sense. People who are always right are usually wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting a diet of Abba Zabba. Though, speaking of ideas that are all wet, what about the guy who swears he lost 250 pounds eating nothing but Submarine sandwiches.
Nor am I suggesting you eat Abba Zabba to drop a few pounds. I know that’s not reasonable. I am suggesting you eat an Abba Zabba to drop the excessive reasonableness that often weighs our life down. By the way, if you can’t get to a store immediately, but do want to drop a few pounds of reasonableness immediately, try saying Abba Zabba 20 times as fast as you can. Yabba, dabba, dabba, just see if you can do it.

Eating an Abba Zabba is a symbol of doing something that is ridiculous but won’t kill you or hurt others. Want another idea? Why not wrap a tortilla around an O Henry bar? Or why not get out your kids’ poster paints and paint one of your feet purple? Or paint the space between your toes in any color, then wait for the paint to dry, put on your socks and shoes, and go to work, but don’t tell anyone else. All day long you will be laughing to yourself. Others will think you’re up to something. “Why else would she be laughing?”

Remember the lingerie left in the drawer? The moment before we die there will inevitably be a few things we’ve done that we’re sorry for. And while that’s true for all of us, it won’t be because you ate an Abba Zabba bar. Eating an Abba Zabba when you’re old enough to sit through an evening with a life insurance agent won’t be one of your regrets. In fact, little assures us of a life that has meaning than driving a nail into the day and hanging up a sign on our soul that says: “Gone fishing.”

“Fishing for a good time,” sings Tom Waits, “starts with throwing in a line.” Some of us are so busy fishing for success or happiness we forget what real success is or what makes us happy. Two scoops please.

Most of us are breast-fed on social success notions. By the time we grow up we often forget how easy it is to make ourselves happy. “If you really want to be happy;” said Sister Mary Tricky, “nobody can stop you.” Don’t worry. Be happy. Or at least be happy you only have your problems.

Guilt, a friend likes to remind me, is somebody else’s emotion. Forget about it. Forget about guilt. If you have to blame someone, blame your mother or your father. They may not be guilty but are probably the most used to taking the blame. If all else fails think about changing who you are, and/or what or who you’re blaming for who you’re not. “The greater part of our happiness or our misery,” said Martha Washington, “depends most often on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.”

If you want to leave your kids something leave them laughing. Or, leave them a picture of you smiling.

Little lifts spirits like being in good spirits. Doing something silly isn’t silly. Anymore than doing something seriously necessarily makes it serious stuff. Want some ideas? Think of the best joke you can tell and tell your friends one at a time, and record them laughing, and give them a copy of the tape so they can play it back sometime when they’re not laughing. Or take a run, in the rain, wearing pajamas. Or rent a tux and take yourself out for dinner to a hamburger joint, and drive up to valet parking on your kid’s tricycle. Or take a hot bath wearing Groucho glasses and line the tub’s rim with chocolate covered bonbons. You won’t drown but your momentary concerns may.

When my daughter was a child she was given a bathrobe. She was told, “It’s for the hot tub.” Sure enough. My daughter put on the robe and walked straight into the hot tub. Telling that story still makes me laugh. Her wearing the bathrobe into the hot tub made the memory precious. Doing something that is ridiculous, that makes you look ridiculous isn’t ridiculous. What’s ridiculous is wearing an emotional straitjacket to life’s banquet and wondering why our soul is starving.

The number one illness in North America today is Depression. And the number one cause for Depression today is stress. And the number one cause of stress today is people is the frustration of trying to control events that are not in our control. In order to find our way in life we have to lose stress. My suggestions is to go Teflon not Velcro. Let the stress that others lay on you, or you lay on yourself, slide off like two fried eggs in a well-greased pan. People who are stuck on themselves get stuck in themselves. There is no quicksand like ego. Get stuck in it and you’re sunk. Ego, ergo, I go.

When you realize that you really can’t afford that car or the Prada purse that you thought you needed to make you happy, buy an Abba Zabba Bar. You’ll find out how much sweeter it is to want less and enjoy more. Desire fuels desire. Getting what we want doesn’t keep us from wanting – anymore than getting who we want keeps many of us from looking at who else we might want.

“Thou shall not covet,” says scripture. Or as Bart Simpson says: “Keep your fingers off my Butterfinger.” The stuff that looks sweet in life is seldom sweeter than the look we give it. Remember mama Martha Washington. Life is sweeter when we’re sweet on life. Give your self some smiling room because too soon we’re all taken away to make more room.

I’d like you to stop and think for a moment about what was the most ridiculous thing you ever did that others do or don’t know about. Now tell me, when you think back on this event isn’t it one of the moments in your life you most treasure? And tell me if one day, when maybe your grandkids are sitting next to you and you want to share a laugh, won’t they get a kick out of hearing that story. For sure, you will.

Life is short. Laugh more. Do something silly for yourself. And by the way, I’d check the mirror. I think you have a piece of Abba Zabba stuck between your teeth.

Noah benShea, Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved