The 33 Project



On Sept. 10, 2012, I turned 33. If I were talking to you right now, I would be pausing dramatically to let that sink in:


Am I right?

OK, probably not. This certainly wasn’t a milestone by any sort of conventional, Hallmark-card-giving standard. Previous birthdays had bestowed upon me the inalienable rights to vote, drink alcohol, and rent a Kia Soul. I’d already said goodbye to my 20s but thankfully still had seven good years before going over that proverbial hill, on the other side of which there appears to be a preponderance of lite rock FM and fiber. And I can’t run for president before 35, meaning I’m S-O-L until 2016.

What? Why does everyone think that one’s funny? I am a grossly unqualified white male; where would the American presidency be without people like me?

Wait, don’t answer that.

Anyway, back to my point: 33. “What’s the big deal about that?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. Potentially offensively put, it was my “Jesus year.”

If you’re not familiar with this term, it refers to making the year you’re 33 count a little extra, as this is the age many people think Jesus was when He died, having lived a rather, shall we say, “full” life.

Some use the “Jesus year” birthday as the impetus for a life-changing, sell-all-your-worldly-possessions Eat, Pray, Love walkabout.

Not me, though. You’re shocked, I’m sure. I mean, yes, I am writing a book about being 33, but the full working title is 33: Jesus, Belushi, Farley, and Me. (Yup, they died at 33, too.) As such, I can’t take myself too seriously.

So rather than spend the year breathing deeply and eating gelato, I tried to cross items off a to-do list befitting a 33-year-old American male humor writer who still has to have a day job (albeit a part-time one).

What did that list include, you ask?

Watching Seinfeld straight through, ranking all 172 episodes; breaking 90 for 18 holes of golf on a legit course; teaching my dog to fetch from the fridge—you know, the important stuff.

The list, fittingly enough, was a total of 33 items long, and clearly, I survived it. I’ll be passing along updates about the book it spawned via Twitter (@thetedfox). I hope to see you over there.


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  2. jon

    if you need a wingman for watching seinfeld straight through let me know. i’m pretty good at staying awake for long periods.

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