101 Ways To Relieve Stress



By:  Kenda




“Rick, did I just see you driving the Power Wagon backwards down the street?”


     “In reverse.”


“Pardon me?”


     “Not backwards, A.J.  In reverse.”


“Regardless of the semantics, I did indeed see you driving your truck backwar...in reverse, down one of the busiest streets in San Diego, didn't I?”




“Rick, you can't go around driving like that!  If there's a problem with the truck's transmission and you can't afford to get it fixed I'll loan you the money.  How much do you need?”


     “I don't need any money, A.J.  I'm relieving my stress.”


“You're what?”


     “Relieving my stress.”


“Where in the world did you get the idea that driving your truck in reverse in rush hour traffic relieves stress?”


     “From Gwendolyn.”


“Who's Gwendolyn?”


     “My bio-feedback therapist.”


“Your who?”


     “My bio-feedback therapist.  She's helpin' me get to know my body.”


“I'll just bet she is.”


     “What was that, A.J.?”


“I said...that's interesting.  And just what types of things is this Gwendolyn person teaching you?”


     “Oh, we talk about everything from the importance of a well-balanced diet to exercise.”


“Since when have you been concerned about the merits of good nutrition and exercise?”


     “Since I met Gwendolyn.   And right now we're concentrating on how the stress in our everyday lives effects not only our mental and emotional health, but also our physical health.”


“That's...reasonable.  So it was Gwendolyn's idea that you drive your truck around the streets of San Diego in reverse?”


     “Well...not really.  She only told me to write down and put into practice a list of things that I would consider stress relievers.  I came up with driving my truck in reverse on my own.”


“And you're quite proud of that fact, too, I see.”




“Rick...it might be a good idea for you to go over the...stress relievers on your list with Gwendolyn before you begin...what the hell are you doing now?”


     “Jamming miniature marshmallows up my nose.”


“I see that.  It looks disgusting!  What the hell are you doing that for?”


     “I'm gonna see if I can sneeze 'em back out.”


“Whatever for?”


     “It's another idea on my list of stress relievers.  I think it will be pretty funny if I can get 'em out.  And you know what they say, A.J.”


“No.  What do they say?”


     “Laughter is the best medicine.  Okay, ready.  Here it goes.  One! Two! Three!  Achoo!  Achoo!  Achoo!”


“Richard Simon!  That's the most revolting thing I've ever seen!”


     “What?  You don't think it's funny?”


“No!  I just think it's gross.”


     “Geez, and I thought it was pretty cool.  Just leave the marshmallows where they landed, A.J.  I'll pick 'em up later.”


“You're damn right you will!”


     “You know, A.J., I think you'd benefit from a few sessions with Gwendolyn.”


“No thank you.”


     “Well then, how about if I let you take a look at my list?  You could use some stress relief in your life.  You're way too uptight, little brother.  Take now for instance.  You're standin' over there like a percolator that's about ready to pop.  I've got the perfect idea for you.”


“I know I'm going to regret asking this question, but I will anyway.  And just what is this perfect idea you have for me?”


     “Come over to my place and dance naked in front of Marlowe.”




     “It's one of the things I wrote down on my list to relieve stress.  Dance naked in front of your pets.  Only you don't have any pets so I'll be more than happy to let you borrow Marlowe.”


“Rick...that's so weird it borders being kinky.”


     “Why?  I mean it's not like Marlowe's gonna really understand what you're doing.  And even if he does, who's he gonna tell?”


“No one, because I'm not doing it.”



     “Okay.  If that's the way you wanna be about it.  But don't say I didn't offer.  I've got another idea though.  You'll appreciate this one.”


“Don't bet on it.”


     “What was that?”

“Nothing.  I didn't say anything.  What's your bright idea?”


     “Make a list of things you've already done.”


“Why would I want to do that?”


     “ 'Cause is relieves stress, dummy.  See, you're always goin' around makin' lists of things you need to do both here at the office and at home.  Then you get yourself all worked up over what you haven't accomplished.  So, rather than be a slave to the list, let the list be a slave to you.  Only write down the things you've finished.”


“How is that going to help me remember the things I have yet to do?”


     “Boy, A.J., you just don't get it do you?” 


“Don't get what?”


     “How this works.  It's easy, but somehow you've managed to complicate it.  But I understand you're new at this, so maybe we should do one together.”


     “Do what together?”


     “A Rick Simon Stress Reliever.  This is one of my favorites, though I haven't tried it yet.  We'll start a nasty rumor about someone and see if we recognize it when it gets back to us.” 


“Why would we want to do that?”


     “Because it would relieve stress, that's why.  I was thinking we could tell one of the rookie cops at the station that Abby moonlights as a topless dancer down at the Girls Will Be Girls Nightclub.”


“Are you nuts?  Abby would hang us out to dry if she ever found out where that rumor came from.” 


     “But that's the whole point.  It might not come back to us anywhere near the way we started it.  It's kinda like playin' telephone.”


“Or it might come back to us exactly like we started it.  In which case your stress reliever would be a bust, because if Abby ever gets wind of the fact that we started such a rumor I have a feeling we'd be under a hell of a lot more stress than we were to begin with.”


     “Think so, huh?  Yeah, I suppose that could happen.  Okay, I'll scratch that one from my list.  I've got one that might suit you better, especially since you like fancy clothes and all.”


“What does dressing professionally have to do with relieving stress?”


     “It's like this, A.J.  You go shopping, buy all the clothes you like regardless of the price, sweat in them, then return them the next day.”


“That's not even worthy of a response.”


     “I think it is.  But fine, have it your way.  And don't stand there and look down your nose at me.  Mark my words, someday when my list of stress relievers are published in the book Gwendolyn's working on, you'll be sorry that I won't be able to give you credit for personally trying this one out.  I was gonna use your name and everything.  Maybe even write you a nice sentimental dedication in the front.”


“Don't do me any favors.”


     “I won't.  And speaking of favors, here's another stress relieving tip I'm gonna pass on to you, and only you, being as how you're my baby brother and all.” 


“I don't know how to thank you enough.”


     “I know you don't.  But that's okay.  Now, try this one on for size.  Thumb through National Geographic and draw underwear on all the natives.”


“That's supposed to relieve stress?”


     “Sure.  I think it will work.  Don't you?”


“Maybe if you're Calvin Klein.  Otherwise I have my doubts.” 


     “Well then here's another one for you.  Use your Mastercard to pay your Visa bill.”


“That sounds like something only you would do, Rick.”


     “Naw.  I bet a lot of people out there would do it if they'd only thought of it first.  And it's not such a bad idea.  It will sure eliminate the ton of stress everyone finds themselves under whenever the end of the month rolls around.  And uh...speaking of that.”


“Speaking of what?”


     “Speaking of Mastercards, and Visas, and the end of the month rollin' around, I guess I'd uh...better tell you.


“Better tell me what?”


     “That I uh...borrowed your Visa a few times this month.”


“You did what?”

     “Borrowed your Visa a few—“


“I heard you the first time.  Rick, I thought we had both agreed quite some time ago that you were never going to borrow, as you put it, my credit cards again!” 


     “Well...yeah, A.J.,...I guess we did, but see I've kinda maxed my cards out and Carlos and I wanted...A.J.,...A.J.,...A.J., I don't like it when you get that look in your eyes.  A.J.,...you're gettin' awful red in the face there, I really think you should calm down.  Maybe try a few of my stress relievers.  Uh...listen, A.J., I really should get goin'.  Me and Gwendolyn are supposed to meet tonight to go over my ideas for the book.”


“Your ideas for the book, huh?”


     “Uh...yeah.  That's right.”


“Then would you mind giving Gwendolyn a few of my ideas?”


     “No...no of course not.   She'll be thrilled to have them.  Just write them down for me and I'll—“


“Oh, I don't need to write them down.  I'll just recite them to you as we practice them.  Number one.  Tie your older brother to the back of his pickup truck and drag him through the city streets in reverse.”


     “That sounds rather drastic to me, A.J.”


“You don't like that one, huh?  Okay, how about this one?  Jam miniature marshmallows up your older brother's nose until he can no longer breathe.”




“Or how about this one?  Make a list of things your older brother has done to torment you throughout your lifetime.  Do every one of those things on that list to him ten times over.”


     “I don't think I like that one at all.”


“You don't?  Funny, Rick, that one's my favorite.  But okay, how about this one?  Instead of starting nasty rumors, why not just tell Mom the truth about all the things your older brother has done in his very checkered past?”


     “I like that one even less.  Listen, A.J.,...I'll work on comin' up with that money I owe you for that Visa bill, okay?


“That would be a wise idea.” 


     “And uh...in return, you won't say anything to Mom, will you?”


“What's wrong, Rick?  Don't you have a stress reliever for Mom's wrath?”


     “Not yet I don't.  But I get the feelin' that if I don't come up with the money for your Visa bill I'm gonna need one.”


“How right you are, Rick.  How right you are.”



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



*This ‘brotherly conversation’ was inspired by a ditty I read years ago that dealt with relieving stress in unusual ways. No author was credited, but to give credit where credit is due, some of Rick’s stress relievers, such as drawing clothes on the natives in National Geographic, came from that piece.   



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