The Carolina Crud, the ILM Ickies, The Plague, The Two-Day Disaster. These are just some of the names given to the stomach bug on steroids that seems to be making its’ rounds recently amongst our friends. For a 48-hour stretch one is knocked completely out of commission and dead to the world. It feels like someone or something yelled ‘FIRE!’ in your lower intestines forcing your insides to bum rush every available exit way. Let’s just say it is not a pretty sight or smell. The only benefit of this bug is that you finally have a legitimate excuse to lounge on the couch in your pajamas and watch reruns of Judge Judy all afternoon.
The outbreak incubator begins to heat up especially if you have children. Luckily, so far (fingers crossed) our family has been spared the torture of bowing down in worship to the porcelain God. Not wanting any possible bad mojo to come our way, I have avoided crossing the “O” and “U” shelf at Blockbuster just to make sure I have no possible contact with the movies Outbreak and Quarantine.
Judging by the Facebook statuses of my family and friends, a different virus seems to be spreading. It appears to be a mutation of a vicious strand of the 25 Random Things About Me which reached its’ potency peak in January of this year. Nearly 20 million people in the United States alone visited the Notes section of Facebook during that month. To put this number in perspective, this is roughly 4 times more people than the usual traffic it gets.
How quickly the disease went viral was mind-boggling. At first, it appeared to only target the self-obsessed individual who updated their status every 5 seconds just to be sure everyone knew how much they loved Fruity Pebbles. Then something unexpected happened. A glorified forwarded email became all the rage allowing the disease to spread and get stronger. Suddenly, no one seemed to be immune to its’ clutches, even your retired grandmother in Florida who got tagged by all of her Red Hat society friends.
Every time you logged on to Facebook you nervously wondered if this was finally the day you were tagged. When the initial signs of outbreak made an appearance, the choices were to quickly take antibiotics (hitting ignore) and get better or allow it to fester and leave yourself vulnerable for infestation. The mind became weak as you began to wonder what pieces of information you could share. The nuggets included the highly personal (you’re a bi-polar schizophrenic who has daddy issues), completely random (you only eat Green M&M’s) and stuff bordering on TMI (your feet smell like corn nuts).
Some withheld giving in, but many contradicted this mini autobiography disease. Unfortunately, a new mutated gene has quickly become a hot bed of activity flooding my news feed. The viral marketers of LivingSocial.com have cloned the DNA from the “25 Things About Me” craze by creating the “Pick Your 5.” I guess you could say that 5 is the new 25.
The premise seems simple enough, which explains why it so addictive. Pick the 5 televisions shows you’ve seen every episode, your 5 all time favorite movies or the 5 albums that you can listen to from beginning to end. Come up with your contenders, whittle down the list, make your final decision and then post for the world to see.
Back in January, I humored you (or bored you…depending on who you ask) by completing the 25 Random Things About Me in an effort to cure my socially stunted disorder, which just happened to be the focus for that month. Fast forward to today. March is coming to a close and I need to know if I have made any progress towards my goal of curing my chronic indecisiveness. Considering the wealth of time I waste filling my noggin with random pieces of pop culture, deciding on something like the 5 CD’s that defined my college years would seem to be near to impossible. But, I’m going to give it a shot by filling out a few of these lists. So, here it goes.
Five Albums That Shaped Me
1. August And Everything After by Counting Crows
2. Under The Table And Dreaming by Dave Matthews Band
3. Room For Squares by John Mayer
4. The Joshua Tree by U2
5. MTV Unplugged by Dashboard Confessional
Five Recent Albums I Dig
1. Let The Woman by Andy Davis
2. The Bens by The Bens
3. We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things by Jason Mraz
4. Gossip In The Grain by Ray LaMontagne
5. The Glass Passenger by Jack’s Mannequin
Five Best Television Shows
2. How I Met Your Mother
3. The Office
5. Friday Night Lights
Five Books I Recommend
1. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
2. Half-Life Die Already: How I Died And Lived To Tell About It by Mark Steele
3. Divine Nobodies: Shredding Religion To Find God (and the unlikely people who help you) by Jim Palmer
4. The Year Of Living Bibilcally: One Man’s Humble Quest To Follow The Bible As Literally As Possible by A.J. Jacobs
5. A Walk In The Woods: Rediscovering America On The Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
Five Movies That I Will Watch Over and Over Again
1. Office Space
3. Good Will Hunting
4. Old School
Alright, as riveting and difficult as this is for me, I’ll stop while I am ahead. I think we can all agree on two things if you have read this far: (1) You must be extremely bored or have way too much free time on your hands (2) One cannot stop a Facebook phenomenon; you can only hope to contain them.