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How Oregon turned my wife into a hippie

I saw the warning signs and chose to ignore them. Only now do I realize how much blood is on my hands.

Two years ago my wife was a (mostly) normal person, but I didn’t mind her abnormal traits. Those made her enjoyable, specifically her groundbreaking work as the choreographer who spawned the “What? Dance” — a shimmy that involves bizarre gyrations, shrugged shoulders and a puzzled look on your face similar to this.

Then we moved to Oregon, the Home of the Hippies. Guess which club my wife now belongs to?

She doesn’t have dreadlocks that are a nesting place for squirrels, nor does she smell like she just emerged from inside a homeless man’s corpse, but her actions over the past year lead me to believe that she might someday suggest we wash and reuse our toilet paper.

I desperately wanted to believe it was a fleeting phase, one that would pass as quickly as her foray into knitting (total time: 19 minutes). But there’s something in the water in Oregon that, at least partially, forces a person to wrap their arms around hippiedom.

My wife and me in 50 years, if this trend continues.

Let me make a quick clarification: I know the difference between a) the original hippies of the 1960s, who protested global injustice while dropping acid and having sex with everyone whose name starts with a letter, b) the modern hippie, who rails against the ills of plastic bags while eating an algae-and-tofu sandwich on gluten-free cardboard, and c) the pseudo-hippie, who is mentally unstable and randomly declares that nearly all mainstream food and manufactured goods are agents of death.

My wife is a rising star in the pseudo-hippie culture. The past few weeks have been especially alarming, and one incident in particular is causing me notable anguish.

Here’s a curious question: Am I able to amend my marriage license to include the clause, “Both parties must use real deodorant for human beings and not a stick of chalk that a group of chimpanzees stuck in a plastic container and miraculously sold to the local hippie store” … ? Is that legal? Because that’s the No. 1 thought in my brain today.

Last week, my wife read an article on the dangers of anti-perspirants because they contain aluminum that may lead to breast cancer. So the natural solution, she thought, was to find an aluminum-free deodorant. I understand her concerns, but deodorants don’t really deodorize anything, especially not the brands made by people who drink tree bark-and-dirt smoothies.

Everyone needs anti-perspirant. This is non-negotiable. If you merely wear deodorant, you’re trying to mask an unmaskable problem. It’s like chopping off all your fingers and then saying, “I’m going to wear this new wristwatch to divert your attention from the pool of blood gathering at my feet.”

I should state clearly that my wife doesn’t stink, at least not to non-husbands. She’s well aware of how ineffective her salt crystal deodorant is at close range. The sticker on the bottle says it’s “cruelty free,” but I assure you that I’m suffering.

Sadly, she’ll use this deodorant for the rest of her life.

This is just the latest of the many changes to our lives since moving to Oregon. We now make our own laundry detergent, a painstaking process that requires you to grate bars of soap into a fine powder that results in about 1 cup of detergent.

But, lucky us, we only need to use a tablespoon of soap for each load of wash. (I’m gonna go out on a limb and say your clothes are cleaner than mine.)

Mmmm, stomach bile. Bottoms up!

We have a juice maker the size of a small car, but it has only been used to make healthy (nasty) vegetable smoothies. These are all the rage in Oregon. My wife blends kale, chard, broccoli, apples, celery, spinach and water into the most horrid-looking concoction the world has ever seen.

Have you seen the fluid that comes out of a woman when she gives birth? That’s what our juicer produces, only the birth goo probably tastes better.

There’s also been a switch from normal milk to almond milk; the purchase of environmentally friendly light bulbs that require an act of God to emit any light; an effort to recycle everything that enters our home, including used Q-tips; and a desire to conserve water by her peeing outside on the grass instead of in the toilet. (OK, so I made up a couple of those things, but you get the point.)

You might say all this makes her a healthier person and one who has less of a harmful impact on the planet. I agree. It also makes her a weirdo. In fact, Merriam-Webster’s definition of hippie is exactly that:

hippie [hipยทpie] n. a weirdo

I could have done more to prevent her brain from malfunctioning on such a severe level, but I was in a state of denial. And I blame Oregon. Surely you understand. I hope you do, because I’m probably gonna need to come to your house soon and borrow some toilet paper.

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A list of people who are trying to kill you

Hey, kid. Wanna know what heaven looks like?

The world is filled with fearmongers, people who will have you believe that terrorists and criminals sit next to us on the bus or stand behind us in line at the grocery store.

But I can’t live with that much mistrust in my life, so — to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling — I prefer to believe the best in everyone.

There are a few major exceptions, though.

The following types of people are the scum of the Earth and are actively trying to kill you. You’ve been warned:

Adults who no longer like kids’ cereals: At what age do you murder your own soul and decide that you dislike Lucky Charms or Cookie Crisp? If you don’t want to start your day with a bowl full of mini chocolate chip cookies, then you don’t deserve happiness. Worse than that, you thrive on being unhappy, and you want to see other people suffer.

If you see someone sleeping like this, the world might soon explode.

People who can fall asleep anytime, anywhere: Think about it like this: If the world were about to end, what would you do? Call your loved ones? Say a prayer? Not me. I’d take a nap. That way, when the meteor hits Earth, I’m dreamin’ about Cookie Crisp and won’t feel a thing. People who can fall asleep at will are aware of this, and they are hardwired to know when Armageddon is coming. So every time I see someone just randomly nod off, I run to the nearest bomb shelter. You should, too.

People who don’t drink water with their meals: How is it possible that someone eats an entire meal without drinking liquids? My wife does this three times a day, and it’s completely unnatural. If you don’t drink something, you will choke. If you choke, you can’t breathe. Clearly, people who don’t drink with their meals cannot breathe and are lifeless zombies who should be destroyed.

People who don’t own a VCR: If you grew up before the year 2000, you had your home movies filmed on a VHS cassette tape. But most of you don’t own VCRs anymore, which means you don’t want any part of your past and obviously have something to hide. How many puppies did you kill in the third grade, jerkface? God sees your sins.

People who have no idea what a cassette tape is: I’m looking at you, youth of America. You have no redeeming qualities, and this is Exhibit A.

People who don’t wear socks with their shoes: Women do this with slip-on shoes in the dead of winter, willing to let their feet freeze as part of a fashion statement. Men do it with loafers in the summer and let pools of sweat gather under their toes. If you don’t wear socks with your shoes, something is clearly wrong with your brain and you’d probably shank me if you had the chance.

Guys who wear skinny jeans: ‘Cause anyone who walks out of the house looking that ridiculous doesn’t give a f*** about anything.

“Look, Dolores. This is where we’re gonna drop the nukes!”

Elderly ladies: They all smell the same. It’s a good smell, but it’s like they belong to a secret society in which they share the same lotions, perfumes and detergents. And those items are all filled with chemicals. So let’s add it up: A group of women no one would suspect of any wrongdoing + a secret society + chemical agents = the world’s most dangerous terrorist group. But, hey, at least the bombs they drop will smell like lavender.

People who don’t like movies: Even at their worst, movies provide a nice escape from the everyday rigors of life. People who don’t like movies obviously revel in life’s misery and want to be best friends with Satan.

People who don’t like dogs: There is not a single redeeming quality about someone who doesn’t like dogs. You can be more of a “cat person,” but if you don’t like dogs, then you’re on a bullet train to hell.

People who eat mushrooms: Let’s ignore for a moment that they grow in poop. Just kidding, because it’s impossible to ignore the fact that mushrooms grow in poop. If I gave you a T-bone steak and said, “This was created in a big pile of manure,” would you still eat it? If so, you’re probably a murderer.