We all could use a respite from the important news of the day. To that end, there is nothing that lightens the atmosphere like some offbeat shenanigans. 


For instance, a Minnesota woman looked out into her back yard and observed something strange. She saw a “dazed-looking squirrel repeatedly lean way back and then jerk forward to catch his balance.” In short, the squirrel looked drunk. 

Then she realized the problem. “She put an old pear from her fridge in her garden for wildlife. The squirrel scampered away with it. He returned and upon seeing his behavior she realized the pears had fermented."


There is something to be learned here. You know that rum soaked fruitcake  Aunt Tallulah sent you? The one you planned to toss out into the yard for the animals? You might want to rethink that to avoid having stoned squirrels tumbling out of trees onto the heads of neighborhood children. (https://www.newser.com/story/299232/2020s-latest-gift-a-drunk-squirrel.html)


One way to escape the cares of the day is to head into the woods for some deer hunting. Just make sure that big buck doesn't try to even the odds, like what happened to a hunter in the Czech Republic. “He was charged by a deer that snagged the man's gun on its antlers and fled into the woods with the weapon.”


Apparently, the deer ran directly at him. “The deer's antlers ripped the man's sleeve and ended up snagged on his rifle.” Another hunter reported spotting a deer with a rifle dangling from its antlers more than half a mile from the scene.


As if that was not embarrassing enough, the hunter had to report the “theft” due to the Czech Republic's Firearms and Ammunition Act. “Excuse me officer, but a deer just stole my rifle.” (https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/11/25/Deer-steals-hunters-gun-flees-into-woods/3701606319899/)


Another way to ease your tension may be to just go on a hiatus. A couple of columns ago I discussed Zoom towns, places to which people are moving because they can now work remotely. Last week, I reported a program that would pay you $10,000 to move to Arkansas. If the Arkansas offer is not of interest to you, maybe another location might be more enticing. Say, Hawaii? 


“The state of Hawaii announced it is offering free round-trip tickets to Honolulu to people who work remotely and are willing to dedicate some of their time toward contributing to the community. The temporary residency program, dubbed 'Movers and Shakas' offers people who work remotely online the chance to do their jobs from the comforts of the tropical state.”


Sound too good to be true (as you fire up your snowblower)? It's legit. “These handpicked individuals will earn a free flight to Hawaii and perks, and will also give back to our islands through community-building activities. These individuals will stay in Hawaii for at least one month, and many will choose to stay longer. The ideal candidate is a fully-employed individual with the flexibility to work anywhere. In addition to the free trip to Hawaii, participants will receive significantly discounted hotel stays, co-working space, and regular community-building opportunities.” You can apply today at: https://www.moversandshakas.org/


Since it's the holidays, perhaps you'd rather just stay home and do something relaxing – like baking cookies. How would you like to get $5000 for doing that? “Reynolds Kitchens is calling on cookie enthusiasts this holiday season for the ultimate gig: get paid to bake (and eat!) cookies. This opportunity will pay one baker $5,000 to be the Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Connoisseur, who will be tapped to create five unique recipes, one of which will be featured on the brand's 21 day Cookie Countdown to 2021.” The key is that recipes need to have at least one “wacky ingredient.”


Time is of the essence on this contest because entries have to be in by December 8 (this coming Tuesday). Applicants need to submit an original cookie recipe to careers@ReynoldsSweetGig.com. See more details at. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/reynolds-kitchens-announces-a-sweet-gig-get-paid-to-bake-cookies-this-holiday-301179947.html.


If even baking cookies is too much for you, how about doing absolutely nothing. Nada. Zone out completely. If this sounds good, get on that interweb thingy and check out Do Nothing For 2 Minutes at: http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/


This is a one-page website that features a photo of a serene sea and a two-minute countdown timer. These are the instructions: “Just relax and listen to the waves. Don't touch your mouse or keyboard.” If you break the cycle and touch your mouse or keyboard, the timer resets. In other words, be calm for two minutes. Try it. A day has 1440 minutes, so using just two of those for a slice of tranquility is time well spent. 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.  See the NeffZone Holidays web page at: https://www.neffzone.com/holidays/