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  • Writer's pictureJimmy Mac

Happy Surprises

Life is full of happy surprises.

You hear a story for the first time, and it speaks directly to you. Your cynical world view derails at an unexpected act of grace. You walk into a room expecting the "same ol', same ol'," only to find a long lost relative, the veteran returned, or a birthday celebration when all had seemingly forgotten the date. A "thank you" bonus hides in the paycheck envelope, the grand vista reveals itself at the end of the dark forest path, or the piece of fruit you picked without thought for a quick snack comes to life as the sweet spot of ripe juicy perfection. Good stuff.

The happy surprise provides a nice overall theme to this Saturday's and Sunday's editions of Dave Nemo Weekends. Saturday morning, our topic title is "Well, That Was Unexpected." We're talking the moments in life that felt like "Anything Can Happen Day" on The Mickey Mouse Club.

On the good side, the run in with the old flame at the grocery store, unexpected checks from your local government, or the precise thing you'd been looking for exactly when you weren't looking for it all qualify. But you don't have to limit it to occasions of good luck. Random encounters with weirdos, UFO sightings, and other jack-in-the-box startles are fair game in this game that has no rules. If the moment ends with you saying, "well, that was unexpected," then you probably should give us a call.

We've got some great guests that fit in with the unexpected. Singer/songwriter Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl is dropping by to announce the first single of the latest Jesse James Dupree and Dixie Inc. album: "It Didn't Fall From The Sky (Trucking Uncle Sam)." He'll be followed by author, documentary filmmaker, and veteran policeman David Yuzuk whose 2018 documentary The Giant Killer tells the tale of Robert J. Flaherty, a diminutive ordinary man that turned out to be an extraordinary character. His new book by the same title shares new details.

I mentioned the happy surprise of a perfectly ripe piece of fruit, so it stands to reason that National Garden Association Executive Director Dave Whitinger finishes Saturday with another episode of "Garden Path." Dave's going to give you some ideas that'll help your strawberry fields last forever, make your orchard the apple of your eye, and while coconuts might be out of reach, he should have some ideas about putting the lime into them.

That will set the table for Sunday's "Fruit Fight!" We want to know your favorites, your problems, and your passions when it comes to nature's candy shoppe. Whether you grow 'em or grill 'em, we'd love you to be a part of a conversation that includes two guests who know a thing or two about the natural sweetness of life.

First, we're welcoming a literal top banana. Steve Gelerman of Banana Waves unpeels all the information about that "tasty snack wrapped in a practical joke." And because Dave Nemo Weekends believes in equal time, founder of The Lost Apple Project David Benscoter will detail his organization's remarkable discovery of ten tempting varieties of apples long thought extinct. It was the most found in a single season. We wonder if that gala discovery made any of those fruit sleuths exclaim, "well, that was unexpected!?"

And that brings us back to happy surprises.

Because while happy surprises abound, a single word that captures the meaning of "happy surprise" does not. Neither in English nor any other language for that matter. Try it. Think of the word that perfectly encapsulates it. You cannot.

Stunned, overwhelmed, flabbergasted, gobsmacked, flustered, floored, tickled, touched...

Nope, nada, not happening. I betcha you're coming up with a whole bunch only to back off your choice when think about it long enough with the phrase, "that's not quite it." And off you go again, looking in the hopes that next word will solve the riddle.

There is one possibility, but it is loaded with too much of another meaning. That word is rapture. Even without the limiting adjective "the" in front of it, "rapture" conjures a sudden shock of joyful revelation that one is instantly saved, and that reality will perpetuate ad infinitum. To put it simple, you will feel wonder forever.

However, if we precede "rapture" with the prefix "en-," we might have it: enraptured. Stopped in our tracks and pulled into joy. It is strictly positive in meaning, has a negative version in "ensnared," and even has a diametric opposite in "disgusted."

But as close as it comes, it misses by one second, because it deals with the moment after the shock. It is the delight after the surprise. Maybe this really isn't one moment but two, back-to-back, so close in their timing that we cannot distinguish between their give and take. Perhaps it's two songs on a concept rock album where one song passes into another creating something distinct from either song: "Back in the USSR's" plane ferociously hitting the tarmac while the hauntingly mystical guitar notes of "Dear Prudence" slowly rise.

That reasoning might explain why some DJs can move a room to raise a roof while others build a force field around the dance floor.

I'm not frustrated by not having quite found the proper word. I am in a sort of a delighted awe at the term's lack of joyous revelation. If it in fact exists, the missing word's ability to escape has left me wowed.

We'll keep looking this weekend.


Jimmy Mac and Clare Marie are live from 7-11am ET on SiriusXM 146. Call in! 615-292-6366

Don't have SiriusXM? Our channel is free through May 31.


8:30am ET: Sleeper Cab Library--The Giant Killer

10:30am ET: Garden Path


8:30am ET: Steve Gelerman goes bananas.

cover photo by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash


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