I recently received a pamphlet in the mail soliciting an entry to an essay contest. (That’s right, I’m not afraid to spread the word and get a little competition.) There’s money involved, so I was pretty excited to enter, especially because the topic is this: What is your approach to life? Reveal your personal philosophy.

Naturally, I immediately took out my typewriter and began dictating to my imaginary helper tapeworm Steve:

“Ahem [like most self-important people, I dramatically clear my throat before dictating]. Life is like a can of beans…”

But then I stopped. I didn’t like where this was heading. Life is like a can of beans? What, it’s fiber-filled and will give you gas? That’s no good, even if it is true. And so I instructed Steve to scrap that and start again.

“Ahem. From the second I was born, I knew I wanted to grab life by the intestines and live the sh*t out of it.”

I was satisfied for a second until I noticed Steve. He had a tear in his imaginary little wormy eye and squeaked out, “That’s so beautiful,” before he curled up all eight feet of himself into the fetal position and balled like a baby. This outrageous show of imaginary emotion made me once again rethink my approach to this essay. My personal philosophy shouldn’t make a tapeworms shed single tears. Instead, it should nudge at the heart of humanity. Right? At the very least, it probably shouldn’t include any fart jokes.

And so, with this new wave of seriousness, I kicked Steve off the typewriter and decided to type something myself. What a terrible, imaginary muse he turned out to be. It was time to start the real essay:




I had nothing. I guess my approach to life isn’t that serious. Instead, I just kind of go with it, make decisions that seem right at the time and tell fart jokes along the way because, honestly, life without a little gastrointestinal humor isn’t worth living.

Life is about laughter. It’s about finding humor in the mundane, the interesting, the sophisticated and the juvenile. It’s about letting your inner Beavis coexist with your outer Eustace Tilley in The New Yorker cartoon that is life.

Indeed, that is my personal philosophy. Now I just need 500 more words… Preferably all fart jokes — sophisticated, interesting, Tilley-approved fart jokes.