Vespa’s Unlikely Triumph in the 1951 Sei Giorni Internazionale di Varese

Ah, the 1950s in Italia—a time when the nation was rising from the ashes of war and embracing a new era of prosperità. The streets of her cities buzzed with energia and ottimismo in this period known as the miracolo economico italiano, a time marked by rapid industrial growth and an explosion of cultural expression. It was the moment when filmmaker Federico Fellini was beginning to shape Italian cinema with his distinctive voice, and actors like Gina Lollobrigida, Marcello Mastroianni, and Sophia Loren, became symbols of Italian style and sofisticazione—their names synonymous with la dolce vita, the sweet life that Italy had rediscovered after bitter years of conflict.

In this fertile landscape, cinema italiano blossomed, with the master gardener Fellini tending to its most exquisite blooms. His visionario films, infused with surrealismo and a touch of the carnivalesque, flickered across the silver screen, captivating audiences with their dreamlike narratives and imagery that Gore Vidal once described as “nothing short of extraordinary . . . each frame a carefully crafted piece of art.”

Gina Lollobrigida, riding a Vespa, became a symbol of Italian beauty and elegance, as shown here when she attended the Great Film Garden Party at Morden Hall Park in Surrey in 1952, arriving on a Vespa to promote an Italian Film Festival.

Amid this sociale and culturale backdrop, a modest campione (champion) emerged from the Piaggio factory—the Vespa scooter. Born out of the necessity for cost-effective transportation in post-war Italy, the Vespa quickly became a symbol of modernità, resilienza, and libertà. Its sleek disegno (design) and practicality won the hearts of many, but it would soon prove to the world that it was more than just a bella faccia (pretty face).

The name Vespa, meaning “wasp” in Italian, was inspired by the scooter’s distintivo disegno and buzzing sound. Enrico Piaggio, upon seeing the prototype, remarked that its narrow waist and wide rear resembled a wasp, thus christening it Vespa, which aptly captured its nimble nature. Moreover, the scooter’s compact and efficient design made it perfetto for navigating the narrow, bustling streets of Italian cities. It also offered an affordable and elegante way for Italians to experience freedom, forge a new identità, and escape memories of wartime scarcity and rationing.

The Vespa was not just transportation but a catalyst for social rejuvenation and a brighter, more connected future. After the fall of Mussolini’s oppressive rule, Italians were eager to break free from the stifling social constraints of fascismo and the Vespa symbolized a new era of social growth, encouraging people to connect more freely and openly as they rebuilt their communities and participated in a cultural revolution that celebrated creatività and innovazione.

The original Vespa 98 produced in 1946.

This brings me to the main subject of this story. In the summer of 1951, from September 18-23, the town of Varese in Northern Italy hosted the Sei Giorni Internazionale di Varese, also known as the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE). This grueling event was also known as the “Olympics of motorcycling,” and it tested the endurance of riders and the durability of their machines over six days of off-road racing. Typically, motociclette designed for rugged terrains were the usual contenders, roaring through the challenging courses with their powerful engines and robust frames. However, Piaggio decided to raid the picnic with an unlikely entrant—a Vespa scooter. However, this was no ordinary scooter.

The Vespa 125 Sei Giorni was a specially modified scoot, tailored to meet the estremo demands of the race. Engineers at Piaggio equipped it with più grande (larger) fuel tanks for extended range, promising it could cover long distanze without frequent refueling stops. They reinforced the suspension to handle the rough, uneven terrains that would have easily rattled apart a standard scooter. Additional tweaks included strengthening the chassis and enhancing the engine’s performance to withstand the relentless strain of six days of intense racing. The team of riders, handpicked for their skill and tenacity, were ready to challenge the status quo, determined to prove that a humble scooter could compete with the mightiest of motociclette in one of the toughest motociclismo events in the world.

As the race began, spectators and competitors watched in amazement as the Vespa scooters tackled the rugged trails with surprising agility. Usually seen zipping through cobblestone streets, these sleek scooters climbing rocky hills and splashing through muddy paths was both bewildering and inspiring. The Vespa riders, with their characteristic Italian flair, approached the race with a mix of determinazione and nonchalance, embodying the spirit of post-war Italiaresilienza, innovazione e stile.

The Vespa team’s performance was mind-boggling as they confounded expectations by winning nine gold medals, stunning the motorcycling world. The successo of the Vespa 125 Sei Giorni cemented the Vespa’s reputazione, not only as an urban icon but as a macchina capable of much more. It inspired future models and modern iterations like the Vespa Sei Giorni 300, which pays homage to the original’s daring spirit and classic design.

In the end, the 1951 Sei Giorni Internazionale di Varese was more than just a race. It was a celebration of resilienza, innovazione, and the sheer gioia of overcoming the odds. It reminded the world that even in the face of daunting challenges, a little bit of style and a great deal of determinazione can lead to extraordinary achievements. Just as Italy was rebuilding and reimagining itself in the post-war era, the Vespa scooter raced into history, proving that even the most unexpected contenders could become campioni.

As the 1950s continued, Italy’s cultural renaissance blossomed. Fellini, with films like La Strada and La Dolce Vita, defined cinema italiano, projecting Italy’s newfound vibrancy and creativity to the world.

The Vespa, rooted in this era, became an enduring symbol of that golden age.

Harlan Ellison vs the Radar Angels

Gandalf’s Den in the Atrium Building hosted an autograph party for Harlan Ellison today, ahead of his Thursday evening speaking engagement at the EMU Ballroom, an event sponsored by the Eugene chapter of the campaign to elect John Anderson for President. I joined the campaign as a volunteer because I’m a sixteen year old sci-fi freak and I wanted to meet the dark prince of American letters. I was surprised to see that Ellison was several inches shorter than me and my hope to befriend him died the minute I realized he’d probabaly dismiss me as just a kid teenager with a pedestrian taste in literature.

Ellison had a carry-on luggage bag on rollers filled with numbered editions of his new book, “Shatterday,” which was a collection of sixteen short stories due to be published at the end of the month. The book features his Hugo and Nebula award-winning story, “Jeffty Is Five,” which I’d read in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Mike Stamm, who worked at Gandalf’s Den, was tasked with the job of interviewing Ellison for the Oregon Daily Emerald, but the curmudgeon who said that Star Wars was a halfwit Wild West adventure in outer space couldn’t be corralled long enough for a one-on-one sit-down, so Mike had to cobble together an article from Ellison’s bookstore appearance.

I wish I could say that I was enamored by Ellison’s brilliance and wit, but to me he came off as a conceited jerk and a grumpy nitpicker, dumping on science fiction readers for using the term “sci-fi” and saying the genre was mostly junk. The more he spoke, the more I was left with the same feeling I had when I met R. Crumb and he criticized me for reading Spider-Man comics. Suddenly, a group of women marched into the shop like an angry mob of Transylvanian villagers chanting, “Fee Fi Fo Fum, we want the blood of an Ellison!” It was the Radar Angels.

~ Eugene, Oregon – October 17, 1980

Rumble at the chalk-in

My best guess is this photo was snapped in 1966, the year the Beach Boys played at McArthur Court. Most likely in front of the New World Coffee House near the university campus.

Brandy Feldman, the girl who doesn’t dig Mike and Carl’s music, made the local news the following year when she participated with other college students in an unsanctioned afternoon of making street art.

What happened was a group of so-called beatniks and hippies, armed with colored chalk, wrote slogans and drew flowers and other symbols of peace and love on the sidewalk in front of the student union. The backlash from the football-fraternity mentality for this “chalk-in” was swift, as members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity (already notorious on campus for their sport of hippie baiting) responded first with threats of violence against the group, and then with spitting, shoving, kicking, and pulling hair.

By the end of the fracas, the ATO frat-bros dumped buckets of water on the sidewalk to erase the hippie graffiti that had so offended them.

The New World Coffee House opened in 1964 at 1249 Alder St.

The chalk-in kerfuffle at the EMU was on April 12, 1967.

Generation Me

British punk rock guitarist William Broad was twenty-one years old in 1976 when he took on the roles of frontman and lead singer for his band, Generation X. The band drew inspiration for their name from the book “Generation X” by British journalists Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett, which delved into the experiences of teenagers involved in the Mod subculture. Published in 1964, the book emerged during a time when the future punk icon known as Billy Idol, was still a few years away from being a teenager but old enough to begin identifying with and emulating the older kids he grew up with in the 1960s.

The original “Generation X

Canadian author Douglas Coupland was almost thirty years old when he entered the literary scene with his book “Generation X” in 1991. Coupland’s choice of title was in turn influenced by Billy Idol’s fledgling band, as he sought to capture the perspectives and frustrations of individuals born between between 1954 and 1964, a group he believed was wrongly classified as Baby Boomers. Coupland wanted to express the thoughts and challenges faced by his cohort. He felt they were a generation that was often overlooked and misunderstood. When he was interviewed by the press the year his book came out, he made it very clear. “I just want to show society what people born after 1960 think about things,” he told the Boston Globe. “We’re sick of stupid labels. We’re sick of being marginalized in lousy jobs, and we’re tired of hearing about ourselves from others.” Famous first words.

The next wave Generation X

In the 1990s and well into the 21st century, Generation X was typically considered by the mainstream in English speaking countries to include individuals born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s. Flash forward to the year 2024, as I write this, and the general consensus is that Generation X spans from around 1965 to 1980. Those dates kick Billy Idol and Douglas Coupland out of the club in which they both claimed to belong and demotes them to Boomers.

~ 2 ~

There are typically five generational cohorts that are commonly recognized in the study of demographics and consumer behavior. Generational cohorts are groups of individuals who were born around the same time that share similar characteristics. The Silent Generation (1928-1945), Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X, (1965-1980), Millennials (1981-1996), and Generation Z (1997-2012), are labels for generations that have their own unique characteristics and experiences based on the historical events and societal trends that shaped their formative years.

I was born in 1964, which places me in the last year of the Baby Boom era. However, I don’t identify with Boomers, and neither does my mother’s sister, born in 1958. In those days, my aunt might have been called a Sputnik baby, because she was born the year after the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth was launched by the Soviet Union. When I entered the world six years later, in the same month the US declared war with Vietnam, the country was in the midst of an unprecedented exceleration of knowledge due to all the technological advances from the space race, especially in computers.

My formative years really began in the 1970s, at the tail end of Vietnam during Watergate and the oil crisis, which places me in a generational limbo filled with “cuspers”—people who fall on the border or overlap between two generational cohorts. My mother is also a cusper, born in the last Silent Generation year, and she doesn’t identify with that cohort either; instead embracing the hippie counterculture shortly after I was born, which gave me a very different perspective on mainstream cultural narratives.

As a member of a generational cohort in America born between 1956 to 1970, individuals like myself (approximately 57.5 million of us) have witnessed remarkable cultural shifts and historical events, extraordinary progress in the Civil Rights Movement, and the evolution of rock ‘n’ roll music. These experiences have shaped my perspective in unique ways, offering a different lens through which I view the world compared to preceding generations.

~ 3 ~


I met Stupid in the spring of 1977 while he was selling socialist newspapers at the Eugene Saturday Market and I was working as a sandwich board man to advertise for the venue.

One of my earliest gigs at the market was working as a human billboard, or a “sandwich board boy,” in my case, which earned me a dollar an hour plus a food voucher for a meal from any food vendor. It was quick cash for a twelve-year-old on a Saturday morning. All I had to do was wear a canvas sandwich board, like a 19th-century ad man from London or New York, and leisurely stroll around downtown Eugene for a few hours, luring other pedestrians to visit the top of the butterfly parking lot where the market was located.

So, naturally, my labor drew the attention of a man named Stupid, who was an old Wobbly. The Wobblies, a nickname for members of the Industrial Workers of the World, were a labor union founded in 1905. Their aim was to unite all workers into one big union to advocate for better working conditions and workers’ rights through militant tactics and a commitment to social and economic justice. I soon learned that Stupid was also something of a local celebrity who peddled handwritten photocopied pamphlets brimming with verse and meandering musings on street corners near the University of Oregon.

Stupid was a confirmed leftist and fervent advocate for societal change with a larger-than-life backstory. He was born in a Michigan logging camp in 1899 as Russell Dell, an heir to the Dell Publishing Company—an accident of birth that might have given him a life of wealth and privilege had he not been the black sheep of the family. He claimed to have worked as a logger, sailor, machinist, writer, and printer, among other professions, and he had old-duffer bushy eyebrows. Sometime before he moved to Eugene in 1973, he legally changed his name to Stupid to amaze his friends and confuse his enemies.

Uncle Ray

On a cold winter day in Eugene, Oregon, Uncle Ray was found by a woman searching for her missing cat. His body was wrapped in a tattered carpet that lay rolled up in a garage at the corner of Lawrence and Broadway. Officer Slim Carter was called to the scene and it seemed to him that Ray had probably been dead for a few days. Slim was a local cop that had a history of run-ins with Ray, sometimes arresting him for disorderly conduct. I was shocked by Ray’s death, even though he seemed to live purely on alcohol, coffee, and cigarettes. For a dozen years I thought he was an ancient and possibly immortal hobo.

I first laid eyes on Uncle Ray at the end of the summer of ‘76, when I was a boy of twelve and just arrived in Eugene to stay. He struck me as a grizzled old drunk from a television western that stumbled out of the tube and staggered into the real world. The sort of vagrant one might find in the margins of a Bukowski novel. He was sitting at a curb on Alder Street in front of the Homefried Truckstop on campus, next to a shopping cart stuffed with clothing and other items of unspeakable origin. If you’d asked me to guess Ray’s age I’d say he was born sometime between the Taft presidency and the year they started putting prizes in Cracker Jack boxes. I figured he was just north of sixty, with an extra decade of hard living in his back pocket. Truth is, Ray was only fifty-six years old that day. Maybe he was aging in dog years.

Uncle Ray at the Kiva in Scarborough Faire (1971)

Raymond Greig was born on July 18, 1920 in Bottineau, North Dakota. The first year of the Prohibition Era. He was raised, by all accounts, as a typical Dakota farm boy. When he grew up, he married a girl named Meryl. They had a kid. When America entered the war in 1942, Ray enlisted in the Army and served in the South Pacific. Those are the facts, but beneath the layers of truth lay a tapestry of tall tales and half-truths, woven by Ray’s tobacco-stained fingers. One such tale is the claim he served under the command of Eleanor Roosevelt, who apparently led the charge at Okinawa and drove the men into battle, crying out, “Follow me to victory!”


At some point during his service, Ray received a Dear John letter from his wife. When he was discharged in ‘46 he returned to the states a lonely and bitter man.

After his stint in the army, Ray stashed away the medals that Eleanor Roosevelt had pinned to his chest and drifted through post-war America, riding the rails and living the life of an itinerant worker. The iron tracks eventually led him to the rugged terrain of Oregon, where he found himself settling in Vanport, a city of transient laborers north of Portland that was built to house workers at the Kaiser Shipyards during wartime.

It was in Vanport that Ray witnessed a merciless force of nature that swept through the city like a vengeful god, leaving destruction and despair in its wake. It was a flood that swept through the city on the afternoon of May 30, 1948. In its wake, fifteen people were lost to the unforgiving waters, and by nightfall, the city lay submerged, its streets silent and its buildings swallowed by the murky depths, casting 17,500 souls adrift in a sea of despair, leaving them destitute and homeless.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, Ray found himself grappling with the harsh reality of a world that could change in the blink of an eye, a world where even the strongest foundations could be washed away in an instant. I imagine Ray wandering the streets of Portland like a ghostly vagabond, haunted by his own past. He was only twenty-eight years old, his face aged beyond his years, and marked by war and a life filled with loss and tragedy that shattered his world and washed away his hopes.

Uncle Ray had two guardian angels in Eugene—Hershel Bloom and Poppi Cottam. Hershel, a hippie street poet who worked at White Bird Clinic during the day and cooked omelettes at Lenny’s Nosh Bar at night, was the angel Clarence to Ray’s down-and-out George Bailey. He made sure Ray was always squared away, escorting him to the clinic for medical care when he was sick. Hershel also made sure Ray got paid, by helping him sort out his social security and veteran benefits.

Poppi, the proprietor of the Greek Taverna next to Lenny’s, was Ray’s other guardian. She made sure he never went hungry, serving him chicken and hot chocolate from the back door of her restaurant. Most of the time. When Ray showed up drunk, Poppi gave him a cup of black coffee and sent him away, with orders to come back when he was sober. He’d often tidy up the courtyard as a quid pro quo gesture and Poppi invited him to her house one year for Thanksgiving dinner. She said he was a perfect gentleman, dressed in his Sunday best, and he played chess and discussed politics with her husband.

Depending on who you asked, Uncle Ray was a sage, a mad saint, and a royal pain-in-the-ass. He was a divisive figure in town, frequently getting kicked out of places for bad behavior. Some people called the cops on him when he rummaged through their garbage cans looking for bottles while others showed him kindness by buying him beers or meals or sitting with him at the curb to soak up his stories. He had a gravelly voice, a mischievous grin, and tittered like an old coot. A couple of decades of college kids living on campus would give him their empty beer bottles, and sometimes let him to sleep in their frat houses after he snuck in to get out of the rain.

When he drank socially, Ray often told rambling but coherent autobiographical stories that gradually morphed into incoherent bearded gibberish. Other times, he’d make dad jokes—like the one he said one day while standing across the street from Max’s Tavern. “I’d like to get up on that roof so I could have a drink on the house, hee hee hee!” He certainly couldn’t have a drink inside, because he was on the permanent ban list. Ray was also notoriously misogynistic. My friend Anne tells me she realized he was a woman-hater when she heard him say, “behind every man on the street is a woman who pushed him there.”

And yet, my friend Debbie loved him. She’d bum smokes off Ray and sit with him at the curb and they would drink together and get wasted while he took her on what she describes as “an odyssey of rancor, philosophy, and nonsense.” He reminded Debbie of her father, a tragic alcoholic who was a smart man that could be “as charming and glamourous as Dean Martin” one moment and “as mean and frightening as Buffalo Bill” the next. Debbie felt honored that Uncle Ray shared his curb with her.

Ray died wearing two pair of pants, two shirts, a sweater, and a jacket. In his pockets were two wallets, three pens, a corn cob pipe, a tire gauge, and a hole punch—talismans of a personal mythology known only to Ray himself. On the middle finger of his left hand was the silver ring he always wore and a harmonica was clutched in his right fist. Possibly the same harmonica he was playing at the Truckstop when I first saw him almost twelve years before he died.

The most likely explanation for the cause of Uncle Ray’s death was exposure. There was no evidence of foul play. February of 1988 began with a cold snap, with four days of weather that dropped to the low to mid-twenties. By the fifth and sixth days the temperature had risen five degrees, gradually increasing to the low to mid-thirties. By the 10th, that garage may have well been a walk-in freezer. Uncle Ray likely wrapped himself in the carpet to get warmer.

Five days later, some three dozen people gathered on the steps of Poppi’s Greek Taverna (shuttered since December) to raise a glass to Uncle Ray and share stories. I arrived with a bouquet of wilted flowers I fished out of the dumpster behind the floral shop across the street. Just like Ray used to do on the regular. I spoke about the time I was a kid and competed with him for refundable empty bottles, which I cashed in for comic books and movies instead of booze, and imagined his crusty old spirit cussing me out one last time before he faded away . . . a faint echo of music coming from his transistor radio.

High Street Coffee Gallery (1978)

A review of a new coffeehouse recently opened in Eugene, circa November 1978, written by *Lamont Cranston, a Lenny’s Nosh Bar regular and journalist for various underground zines in Eugene from 1976-1985.


Hoping to attract a more intellectual crowd of conversationalists instead of drawing a mob of rabble rousers plotting to overthrow mainstream culture, Ann Blandin and Josephine Cole have opened a new cofffeehouse and art gallery in a cozy house built at the start of the Mexican Revolution that features a fireplace, high-ceiling rooms, large windows, and creaky floorboards.

Not to say that nouveau beatniks in Eugene aren’t welcome, but the proprietors of the place between East 12th and East 13th avenues are striving to create a more European-style esthetic instead of a beat vibe. A place for people to hang out, sip coffee, and exchange ideas. In fact, the sign in front of High Street Coffee Gallery seems to set the stage for high culture, by illustrating the picture of a dapper-looking Dickensian gent facing a lady in Renaissance Faire drag, as he pours her a cup of jamoke by tipping his gooseneck coffee pot top hat into her coffee cup bonnet.

Even richer culture can be had in your belly from the pastries served with your coffee, especially a fancy French pastry called Paris-Brest; a delectable almond-encrusted bicycle-wheel-shaped pâte à choux filled with praline cream.

Best of all, Lenny Nathan is the in-house chef, and one of his specialties is chocolate rum cheesecake (as well as strawberry, eggnog, and plain cheesecakes) which he’s been making and selling at the Eugene Saturday Market since he moved to town to open a restaurant this year with his son, Nano. That restaurant fell through, but Lenny is treating it like a temporary setback and he’s making the best of things by cooking for the coffeehouse—preparing daily soups, served with locally made French bread, as well as whipping up Saturday brunch omelettes and Sunday brunch crêpes.

The background music in the gallery is either classical or jazz, the art on the walls is locally sourced, and a brick patio is available for seating when the weather is nice.

Chess players are welcome and boards are provided. Smoking is prohibited.

High Street Coffee Gallery is located at 1243 High Street.

Open 7:00am-12:00am Weekdays
9:00am-1:00am Saturday & 11:00am-2:00pm Sunday


*Lamont Cranston is not the same man as the alter-ego of The Shadow but he is definitely a pseudonym and may also be a fictional character.

Resolution #1 • Make Memorable Impressions

I want to get out more often and meet strangers at parties, without the usual excuses that most people have when contemplating attending a social gathering.

I’m not a hardcore introvert that revels in being reserved and I don’t need a lot of solitude. Social anxiety doesn’t paralyze me to the point of panicking at the thought of speaking to strangers in public spaces. My social awkwardness feels normal and pedestrian. A bit of insecurity, a dash of shyness and fear of saying something inappropriate—the usual glitches in self-esteem that most people feel around others to some degree.

And so, before going to a holiday party and gift exchange the other night, at a house in a town in a state where the only people I knew were the two people that invited me, I decided, without forethought of acting in a certain way or saying something specific, to bring something that has usually eased my discomfort when navigating unfamiliar social situations.

I brought my sense of humor. It’s my superpower, release valve, and security blanket.

My ability to think quickly, improvise, and play with words, is my greatest asset. And, the trick for me is to not be too flashy or loud, or try too hard or too much; but wait for the right moment, in a pause in conversation, and the right context—to say the one thing that will be memorable to the strangers in my midst.

To make an impression by saying something provocative and funny.

So, when I went to select my gift at the Christmas tree, I stepped up boldly and asked the group to raise their hands if I should open it. The masses spoke so I did.

It was a large plastic jar of mayonnaise.

Appalled by the incredible lameness of the present, I dared not show on my face the crushing disappointment I felt. Instead, I said with an exaggerated smile of delight:

“This is exactly what I wanted! I’m saving it for the orgy later.”

New Year’s Resolutions.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these end-of-the-year desperate attempts to decide firmly on a course of action to either do, or not do, something (most commonly to change habits, patterns, and behaviors) will be made every year by billions of people all over the world. Even though many of us know from past experience that, for most people, these resolutions have a low probability of being honored and a high probability of being broken or ignored or forgotten.

So, why do we proclaim our intentions to better ourselves at the beginning of a “New Year” instead of just making incremental positive changes over the course of 365 days — or even more generally, over the course of a lifetime?

Why do temporal landmarks—like birthdays and holidays, and the start of a week, a month, or a year—motivate aspirational behavior?

What makes us think that a calendar date has any relevance whatsoever to the success of making profound changes in our lives?

The key to answering those questions about resolutions can be found by understanding the connection between the root causes of procrastination, temporal landmarks, and something called “the fresh start effect.”

Even though a temporal landmark, such as a birthday or a new year, is a social construct, it is perceived by most people to be the beginning of a distinctly new cycle—analogous to the transition of winter into spring, with all the expectant metaphors of death and rebirth. This seems like the perfect time and opportunity for many people to jettison bad habits and set positive goals that will create the best version of the person they see when they look in a mirror.

And, when a person pairs their life changing goals with a temporal landmark, they are essentially wishing and willing their past and present self to die and begin the process of distancing themselves from those selves by creating a list of ingredients [resolutions] that will give them a fresh start to become a newly reborn better future self.

And what is the number one obstacle to change? It’s procrastination, of course.

You can say you want to start losing weight tomorrow, or quit smoking a pack of cigarettes a day starting on Monday, or stop drinking a bottle of wine every night starting on January 1, but it ain’t gonna happen if you keep procrastinating and postponing yours goals for another day.

Procrastination is the enemy of self-growth and evolution. It’s the invisible golem on your shoulder that will give you a dozen or more reasons why you shouldn’t even attempt to do something that, deep down to your core being, you know you should do to survive and thrive. “Why bother,” the golem says. “You will probably fail.” And if that’s not enough to discourage you: “You’re a perfectionist and results may vary so what’s the point. You’re depressed and depressed people lack motivation. You’re indecisive, you have poor time management skills, you don’t prioritize, you’re full of anxiety, you have health issues, you have ADHD, and blah blah blah.”

Do not listen to the procrastination golem. It is a Frankenstein’s monster of your own creation. You brought it into existence and you can take it out. Visualize it, slap a piece of duct tape over its mouth, and destroy it. Go nuclear, if that’s what it takes to annihilate your inner critic and primary obstacle to positive self-change and growth.

By the way, when most people proclaim their resolutions, they are not simply stating their intentions to a broader audience—it is actually a cry for help. These people are asking others for accountability because they are self-aware enough to know they lack the willpower or motivation to ignore the negative nattering of their personal procrastination golems and keep their promises to themselves, if they keep their resolutions to themselves.

So, my advice to you, my friends, is to set your goals and make your resolutions and proclaim them for others to read — and forget about using calendar dates as temporal landmarks.

Our lives are not measured in birthdays and “new” years, they’re measured in heartbeats. And the average number of heartbeats we have is approximately sixty to a hundred beats every minute, a hundred thousand beats every day, and about thirty-five million beats in a year.

Resolve to make each one of those heartbeats a beat shift in the through line of your life and a step forward in the exact direction you want to take yourself.

We’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty.

One would think the range of a telemarketer’s reach would have a limit, but 336 Journal has received a report from the other side that dispels this notion, according to one irate spirit.

Most of us have received the notorious robocall regarding an extended warranty on our car. This scam has been around since 2007, and memes about it have been shared online in social media spaces since 2016. But, until recently, only living people have been targeted.

“These people are relentless,” the spirit (whom I contacted via Ouija board) tells me. “And now it seems they can reach you anywhere—even in Hell.”

His claim seems farfetched, and I say so, but he bangs his fists on the table with fury.

“I have friend—a demon who shall remain nameless because naming her will summon her to Earth—that is routinely interrupted by telemarketers while she’s torturing damned souls! This is a real problem for everyone.”

The spirit apologizes for his outburst.

“Look, I was a confused and angry spirit when I first crossed over. A real poltergeist. The kind that would knock books off shelves and shake beds. But, I’ve mellowed over the decades and I’ve finally accepted my demise. I just want to enjoy my afterlife without being dragged back into petty issues that plague the living.”

I ask the spirit if he even owned a car when he was alive. Judging by his appearance and clothing, I’d guess he expired sometime at the end of the 19th century.

“Oh yes, I had one of the earliest models built by Karl Benz,” he says, perking up with the memory. “I bought it with my life’s savings in the late 1800s.”

“Did you purchase an extended warranty?”

The spirit laughs bitterly and tells me there was no such thing in his day. And, besides, he says, “That car was a death trap!”

I ask if he died in his car.

“Are you kidding? I died of pneumonia, like almost everyone else in those days.”