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  1. My 16-year-old cousin angrily yelling at his sister: “You have no friends!”
  2. Making fun of Finland’s rooflines.
  3. A four year-old’s scream of joy that sounded vaguely like an angry badger being surprised by a drunken hobo.  (It was made over a selection of Hot Wheels that included a helicopter and a school bus that had been inexplicably painted with black flames, like Otto from The Simpsons had custom ordered it.)
  4. My sister-in-law saying that she had woken up feeling like she “had sucked on some dirty carpet.”   It was followed by me snickering.
  5. Baby receiving her first pair of Wellington boots for tromping around in the muck with Grandpa and Gigi.
  6. Getting a shirt that shows the evolution of man, ending in a picture of Wolverine.
  7. Watching my beautiful wife laughing with her mother and sister until all three were crying and threatening to pee themselves.
  8. Being the only people eating at Tillsonburg’s nicest restaurant on a Sunday night; this was a good thing, since my dad’s family can be a bit loud and obnoxious (with me leading the charge on both fronts).
  9. My Grandma being excited that we are having a baby girl in the spring, then following her excitement with, “It’s okay; you’ll have time to have boys afterward.”
  10. My brother and I building Bionicle Lego figures that we then pitted against each other in a gentlemanly game of “Deadly Spike Ball Launching.”
  11. The very first time that I have ever been paid for something that I wrote.  (Thanks, Cracked.com!)
  12. Being super-excited to show my sister-in-law how to use the Spirograph set I bought her, opening everything, loading the wheely thing into the open gear bit, and triumphantly making a an oval that ran in the exact same track without making any kind of pattern at all.
  13. Getting a signed picture of Randy Couture and declaring that it will go in my bedroom next to the wedding picture.  (Alternate locations for it include above the baby’s crib or on the back of the bathroom door, so that I can start each day with “The Natural” looking over my shoulder in the mirror.)