February 7, 2007

Stick Stuff On Your Head Day 2007



We here in the Cactus-Fish abode like putting stuff on our heads. The tradition is rich and strong. Why? Well, let me see if I can explain. Stick with me here, okay?

When I was a kid growing up, my parents, and therefore I, had some great friends - two couples (Vivian and Steve, Hugh and Sara) who, with their kids, we hung out with every chance we got. We went out to dinner almost every weekend - I distinctly recall one night smashing plates while dancing through a parking lot around a Greek restaurant. We headed to Vivian and Steve's lake house for long stretches at a time most summers. We spent five days and nights rafting down the Rio Grande through the deserts and canyons of west Texas.

Vivian and Steve had two sons, one of whom was learning disabled, the other autistic. Hugh and Sara had two daughters. Hot daughters. They were a couple of years older than I which turned out to be a really pleasant surprise when I hit 12 (Sexual awakening, party of one? Your table is ready.) Oh, where was I?

One December day, Vivian and Steve's autistic son, Stephen, decided, for some unknown reason, that it was time to depart this world. He ended his life. The rest of ours lurched to a screeching halt.

The funeral was terrible. They were Catholic and we were essentially told during the service that hey, he was a nice guy and what happened really sucked but he's going to hell anyway. The reception afterward was the exact opposite. It was hysterical. After the excess hams, official food for funerals everywhere, had been packed into every conceivable space in the refrigerator, someone had the bright idea to head to the closest bookstore and find the filthiest joke books ever written. Then they were read aloud. The gut-busting laughter filled by such base crassness lasted, literally, all night long. It was cathartic. It was perfect. You see, Stephen reached out through his autism to tell jokes. It was the only way he communicated. Just jokes. What we were doing that night was celebrating his life but, perhaps more importantly, we were shooting our collective middle finger at Life, capital F. The life that goes on in spite of the good or the bad that happens, often with little or no sense of humor.


I've never forgotten that and to me sticking stuff on your head is the easiest, silliest way to thumb your nose at Life, to put it in it's place when you've had a shitty day. So I urge all of you to take a minute today and stick something - anything - on your heads. Let life know you're not its bitch. And if you've got a camera or cameraphone handy, snap a shot and sent it to me at rudecactus@gmail.com. Or post them on your own site and send me the link. If I get enough, I'll work a little Photoshop magic and see what we all, collectively, come up with. Come on...you know you wanna! Make February 7th Stick Stuff On Your Head Day!

Posted by Chris at February 7, 2007 7:16 AM
Comments

Hmm..What can I put on my head to make myself look even goofier than usual? I'll have to think on that.

Posted by: Contrary at February 7, 2007 7:46 AM

I would just like to point out that I am 14 months pregnant in that last picture.

Posted by: Mrs. Cactus at February 7, 2007 8:05 AM

I know it wasn't the focal point of your post, so forgive me for digressing on it a little bit, but you cannot seriously tell me that during the mass the priest actually acknowledged that the boy was going to hell. I'm just speechless.

As for the thing on my head thing... check your inbox later.

Posted by: Jeff at February 7, 2007 8:12 AM

I'm in! I think this a GREAT idea. Sometimes the only thing to do is get a bit silly.

And I'm sure that funeral was awful indeed. It's too bad that particular dogma couldn't have kept its mouth shut - especially as it's a load of crap. :)

Posted by: Sam at February 7, 2007 8:17 AM

I think you'll be getting a photograph from me this evening :-)

Posted by: Alissa at February 7, 2007 8:24 AM

Being silly? Putting things on my head? Giving life the finger, today especially? I'm so in.

Posted by: suze at February 7, 2007 8:29 AM

Have you watched the movie "Luther"? The suicide=hell thing was one of the reasons Martin Luther decided to initiate his official 95 "Fuck-Yous" to the Pope.

I love that movie.

Posted by: Leah at February 7, 2007 8:33 AM

Okay, I have my assignment and I will work on this today.
Thanks for the inspiring story.
PS: Tell Beth she looks great even if she was 14 months pregnant!

Posted by: Maribeth at February 7, 2007 8:37 AM

it's been a tradition since forever with my mom that at extremely formal dinners- the ones where you've got good clothes on and three forks and it's christmas and the extremely serious out-laws [aka in-laws, another weird tradition] are over- to place the napkins not beside the plate, but on top of each person's head just before she sits down.

stuff-on-your-head-day = best idea ever.

Posted by: meg at February 7, 2007 8:38 AM

Love it. Now have to remember the camera and send you a pic of something.

Posted by: Heather at February 7, 2007 9:07 AM

I'll put something on my head but you'll have to take my word for it. Someone swiped my camera.

Posted by: ann adams at February 7, 2007 9:30 AM

I will try, but the hubby is out of town on business and photos of myself are tough. (Haven't taught Soxy how to use the camera yet.)

Posted by: Krush at February 7, 2007 9:31 AM

Hmm, this will take some thought and planning (and also getting my camera back from the person whose car I left it in. Doh!) but there will definitely be a link headed your way later!

Posted by: starrynite at February 7, 2007 9:56 AM

Forget thought and planning. I already had something on my head when you brought this up!

http://almostlucid.com

Posted by: Brad at February 7, 2007 10:04 AM

My cubicle mates are all laughing at me right now, but here ya go...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hopers/382767312/

Posted by: Hope at February 7, 2007 10:11 AM

Rock On! I knew there was a reason I woke up early this morning. I love putting random stuff on my head. Question is, what sort do I have in my room?

Posted by: judy at February 7, 2007 10:21 AM

I'll have to try and find a camera one of these day's i'm putting stuff on my head. I'm constantly putting stuff on my head just because. Like last night, my mom spilled a croc pot full of juices, and told me to go grab a beach towel, so while walking back, what do I do? Put the beach towel on my head. =)

Posted by: Secha at February 7, 2007 10:27 AM

This is FABULOUS. I know exactly what I'm going to stick on my head when I get home tonight... we'll just see if it actually works out.

Posted by: Dawn at February 7, 2007 10:28 AM

This idea couldn't have come at a better time! I gave a big f.u. shout out to life last night.

I'll have to see what I can come up with. At our wedding we had english crackers so during the reception everyone was wearing paper crowns. It made for some great wedding photos!!

Posted by: MammaLoves at February 7, 2007 10:37 AM

You just totally made me cry. Fucker.

ANYWAY! Sometime between taking my husband to the airport and crying myself to sleep (this traveling for work thing is getting to me), I'm so going to stick something on my head. It's a much better blog idea for the day than what I had planned, which was to make fun of my husband. Passive aggressive much?

Posted by: Elaine at February 7, 2007 11:21 AM

Where is my viking hat? Or my pink afro wig when I it? When my job sucked ass a few years ago I would keep the pink wig in my car and then put it on for the drive home. Because it's really hard to be pissed with a pink wig on your head. =) I'll be back with a picture, don't you worry.

Posted by: Hannah at February 7, 2007 11:40 AM

Thanks for sharing that story; it was very touching.

And count me in! I usually go for the funny dance version of humor, but the things-on-my-head version is great too. I'll send my picture tomorrow.

Posted by: Jessie at February 7, 2007 11:49 AM

A) You have the best posts ever.
B) Being silly really is sometimes the best medicine for life. In my family, we deal with grief by making jokes, sometimes inappropriate ones. I can't tell you the number of people who have gasped in horror when I relay to them the hilariousness of the morning after my dad returned home from his dad's funeral (his parents lived in Wyoming, we were in Oklahoma, and dad went alone). I was sitting at the table eating a bowl of cereal, chatting with my dad. He went back to brush his teeth or something, then came back out into the kitchen/living room. He put a big urn on the counter next to me and said, "Grandpa wanted to have breakfast with you!" It was sad and funny and horrible, all at once. That joke along with the many others that happened for the next few months helped us all cope with Grandpa's death. It was awesome. I mean, the coping. Not the death.

C) Just so you know, I'm going to spend the entire day in the office trying to find something to put on my head...

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at February 7, 2007 11:59 AM

LOL those pictures are too funny... you crack me up!!

Posted by: Debbie at February 7, 2007 12:00 PM

Inspiring post.

Those pigtails slay me.

I'm pathetic and don't have a digital or camera phone. I have a small pink poodle stuffed animal on my head. (Can you see it?)

Posted by: Maria at February 7, 2007 12:50 PM

OH. I am so down with this. You have no idea what you have asked of me. Pictures forthcoming by end of day... *big grin*

Posted by: smoness at February 7, 2007 1:04 PM

Awesome story. It's funny how different people celebrate life.

I would love to participate in Stick Stuff on Your Head Day.. but alas work and school all day. (Only time for blog reading). Maybe next year! :)

Posted by: ::c:: at February 7, 2007 1:18 PM

not to rain on your happy parade buuuut ...

I stuck something on my husband's head yesterday ... do you want a picture?

Posted by: s@bd at February 7, 2007 1:58 PM

(sometimes I surprise even myself at the baseness of my mind)

Posted by: s@bd at February 7, 2007 1:59 PM

flickr'ed - Blogged

Great idea!

Posted by: Adam at February 7, 2007 2:00 PM

Ooh, ooh! I participated:

http://zandria.us/archives/main/2007/02/07/he-asked-so-very-nicely/

Posted by: Zandria at February 7, 2007 2:19 PM

Great idea! Mine's on the way to you!

That iPod-head pic is hilarious!

Posted by: coolchick at February 7, 2007 2:47 PM

As you wish...

Posted by: trix at February 7, 2007 2:50 PM

Well, I don't think I can send you the same iPod head picture I sent you way back when, so I'll have to think of something else before the end of the day ;-)

Posted by: Heather at February 7, 2007 3:46 PM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tuttletree/383030884

Posted by: emcee at February 7, 2007 3:57 PM

This is a picture of my lil boy with a beanie on not matching nothing he has on at all.

http://sheneeds.blogspot.com/2007/01/moving-day.html

Posted by: Sheena at February 7, 2007 4:20 PM

Why yes, I do want to stick stuff on my head!

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at February 7, 2007 4:39 PM

I am IN! Now, to find something funny to put on my head....

Posted by: FW Sunshine at February 7, 2007 5:08 PM

I'm on it. I will post a picture of just such a thing!

Posted by: BID at February 7, 2007 5:23 PM

Okay, here you go:
http://flickr.com/photos/opal/383100462/

It was this or bananas.

Posted by: Opal at February 7, 2007 5:36 PM

My post and photo is up! So fun! It's easy to amuse us pregnant women.

Posted by: Sam at February 7, 2007 5:58 PM

Well, as promised:

http://theworldaccordingtolaura.blogspot.com/2007/02/stick-stuff-on-your-head-day-2007.html

There is also a little extra one at my flickr account ;)

Posted by: starrynite at February 7, 2007 6:17 PM

Got to it! YAY!

http://www.wannabehippie.com/2007/02/stick_stuff_on_your_head_day.php

Posted by: Elaine at February 7, 2007 7:28 PM

Done! Several photos posted on Flickr...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14911086@N00/

Posted by: Jen at February 7, 2007 8:33 PM

OMG! Have you seen that the go-fug-yourself girls used the word, "asshattish" on their site? They even used the word "wry" in the same sentence. Obviously they've been lurking your blog.
http://gofugyourself.typepad.com/
Not that I read that smut, but thought you might want to know that your word has been 'ished' which means that you are officially almost famous. You'll need to take Friday off for interviews.

Posted by: Jenn Benn at February 7, 2007 8:36 PM

I wanna play!
http://www.pixelgirlstudios.com/blog/2007/2/7/my-optimism-wears-heavy-boots.html

p.s. Coincidinkally, I first started reading your blog after seeing that silly picture of you with Eeyore on your head on Flickr.

Posted by: krystyn at February 7, 2007 8:53 PM

Though I am entirely too lazy to upload a picture of myself, rest assured I am tying this comment with an orange football cone on my head. Happy Stick Stuff on Your Head Day!

Posted by: Kim at February 7, 2007 8:59 PM

And still hot, Mrs. Cactus. Darn you, woman. Darn you to heck!

Posted by: mr lady at February 7, 2007 9:15 PM

you know how i feel about sticking stuff on your head.

thanks for the reminder. :)

Posted by: Jodi at February 7, 2007 9:21 PM

I'm still around!

Here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20348418@N00/383294264/

It's Maddie's, but her head is kinda HUGE.

Posted by: JuJuBee at February 7, 2007 9:45 PM

That makes me want to cry. It's so special. And, I really think you should wear Eeyore on your head to work tomorrow.... It's very professional looking. :)

Posted by: Haley-O at February 7, 2007 10:07 PM

Okay, Mia photos aside...this is now officially my favorite Rude Cactus post.

Posted by: Marilyn at February 7, 2007 10:17 PM

Great idea, Chris! My pic has been sent!

Posted by: ironic1 at February 7, 2007 11:24 PM

Whatever it is, it had better make me look younger.

Posted by: wordgirl at February 8, 2007 12:03 AM

done annnnd DONE!
http://smoness.livejournal.com/101734.html?mode=reply

Posted by: smoness at February 8, 2007 12:23 AM

I stuck a pot on my head while cooking dinner but everyone kept hitting it with cooking implements. Sigh.

Posted by: E :) at February 8, 2007 3:16 AM

What a great idea!
Hmmm... February 7th is also my mother's birthday!
My digital camera currently has a dead battery, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that in the past 15 minutes, I've placed the following items on my head:
1) McDonalds ketchup packet
2) Bottle of blue nail polish
3) Bag of Snyder's "Hot Buffalo Wing" Pretzel pieces
4) CD of the Mozart Requiem

Posted by: Janna at February 8, 2007 3:23 AM

I've been to funerals like that... and it's damned difficult to sit there and not say what I want to say- that maybe someone else should be going to hell for saying someone too scared or unhappy or whatever to live their life ended it will be going there. Ugh. Bad topic. Too many friends that committed suicide or died in stupid ways.

Anyway, otherwise, a great post, and a good way to remember your friend. Life can;t be taken too seriously because then it has the ability to kick your ass. Laugh a lot. :)

Posted by: Debra at February 8, 2007 4:19 AM

I posted stuff on thier heads! Thanks for the smiles

Posted by: ESY at February 8, 2007 9:52 AM

Hi. I cliked on Suzes link to get here. I believe in God and I believe that life is SACRED but I also believe that God knows all and that he knows the inner sufferings going on inside someone that thought life was so bad,they just couldn't go on. I don't believe in HELL as a fiery place of torment and I don't believe God would judge someone who was suffering so terribly as to want to end it all, to such a horrible judgement. It's beliefs like that that give God a bad name. It's too bad.

Oh boy, I'm on a soapbox now. .... I don't know what it is, but I always end up laughing hysterically post funerals. I think it's such a great release! My hubby has already made it clear that I am to pass out a pint of Guiness to everyone after his and just have a huge party.

I love the things on your head idea. I was thinking I couldn't do it because my dig cam battery died. I forgot about my phone cam. I am so doing this. Happy PUT STUFF ON YOUR HEAD DAY!

Posted by: August at February 8, 2007 9:56 AM

Did the priest actually come out and say that this little boy was going to hell? Or how was this implied?

The Catholic Church absolutely does NOT teach that a little autistic (mentally ill) child, or any mentally ill adult for that matter, will go to hell for committing suicide.

Posted by: Leilani at February 8, 2007 10:05 AM

There's something going on with my email at the moment, so I can't email you...hence the second comment. I was just going to say that it might be cool if you started a Flickr group pool for all of these photos...you know, start your own blogosphere phenomenon. ;) (We took photos last night but the camera batteries died...will have to upload later.)

Posted by: Marilyn at February 8, 2007 10:14 AM

Here you go...

http://kellyology.blogspot.com/2007/02/son-you-got-panty-on-your-head-hayseed.html

Posted by: Kelly at February 8, 2007 11:34 AM

I love this idea! Am I too late?

Posted by: Nadine at February 9, 2007 10:23 AM

Great idea, too bad I was late to the party. Swung by from Wannabe Hippie's place. I like it here.

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