These are a few of my favorite Labor Day 2003 things

1. Being able to drop the phrase Two Buck Chuck into drunken backyard barbecue conversation and have an entire tableful of people know exactly what I was talking about.

2. Watching our neighbor Lance pour the last of Jack's "Kill Whitey" barbecue sauce, which had been growing more and more evil in our refrigerator since we got it on a trip to Oakland about six years ago, onto a rack of helpless, innocent ribs that hadn't originally planned on harming anyone but with cholesterol and bad karma.

3. Hearing that after I took Jackson upstairs for bed our other neighbor, who shall not be named because he has a reputation to protect, started burning wine bottle corks in a candle flame. He then proceeded to blacken his face entirely while trying to remember the words to "Mammy."

4. Trying to decide how much pressure I needed to use to tamp down the coffee in the little espresso cup thing the next morning, and having Jack advise me with the usual authority that some pressure was necessary but not to bring on "the hippo hurricane."

5. Having my comments provider's server eat it, so that people who had something Fussy-related to share with me actually had to write e-mail.

6. Receiving an e-mail with the subject line "Kate Moss: mediocre pole dancer" and a link to the new White Stripes video. I am now writing a grant proposal to develop the theory that Kate Moss is just our generation's willing, partly-talented George Plimpton, but I think we should up the ante from pole dancing. Let's put her in a Detroit Lions uniform and then send her to the South Pole with a knife, a can of beans, a carton of cigarettes, and Lennox Lewis, and then force her to accept a case of Two Buck Chuck as an advance to write a book about the whole thing afterward.