Singing while riding a bicycle:

Easier if you’re on flat ground or going downhill, but I’ll sing in between breaths up a hill as well.

Dancing alone in the house:

It started at five years old with my record player and a Temptations album and decades later it hasn’t stopped.

Walking in the City:

Shaking hands with people you know. Meeting new people. Nodding your head at fellow mustached men.

The Mighty Boosh:

Always funny, watching The Boosh is like getting tickled by an angel.


Twirling tongues, oh such sweet intimacy.


I’m not a jock, I’m an artist dammit. But when it comes to the San Francisco Giants I keep up. On my birthday last year, Jonathan Sanchez pitched a no-hitter. The first Giants no-hitter since 1976. That no-hitter will last a lifetime.

Getting that phone number:

It could lead to growing old with a beautiful woman; a few dates and running far away when she wants you to meet her family in Portugal and asks if you own a tuxedo or the number sweats off your hand before you ever make the call, but you still got a phone number.

Shooting live sperm:

My ex-wife wanted me to get snipped. To shoot blanks. She was adamant about not wanting to have kids. I couldn’t do it, and looking back and very glad I didn’t do it for her. There are a few things that men actually do that precede survival instincts. We eat, we drink, we pee, we shit, we come. Women have a little more work actually pushing out the kid and nursing it, etc. I’m glad I stuck to my guns and still have a chance to have a kid.

Prostate exams:

Oh, that finger feels like you’re in a lab on a spaceship and aliens are doing an invasive anal probe. Then there’s that awkward moment when the doctor is finished, when you feel like you need a post coital cigarette. Unfortunately, it’s the only action I’ve received lately and I feel like calling my doctor to discuss my feelings and see if he owns a tuxedo and would like to meet my family.

When the lights dim before Nick Cave performs:

My heart always skips a beat as he walks onstage. I’ve been lucky to interview him a few times, and set aside my internal screaming little girl for a good article, but being in that crowd, and the lights go down and that first song kicks in. Pure bliss.

Getting that book deal:

A phone call that stirs up a mix of emotions….after enough rejections, there’s disbelief…then there’s the, holy shit I’m in…which leads to, of course it’s getting published, that was three years of meticulous work. Then as the months roll on towards publication you learn the process of writing the book and getting the deal are only one piece of the pie.

Women orgasms:

Are awesome.


Having enough fiber in your diet to go twice a day. I like to shadow box after a good one.

Reading a book:

One of the sexiest things in the world is reading a novel at a cafe or wine bar. I feel sexy a lot. You ladies are sexy as well.

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TONY DUSHANE lives in San Francisco. He's the author of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk, published by Soft Skull Press.

He hosts the radio show (www.drinkswithtony.com) and his column Bandwidth, appears every Thursday in the San Francisco Chronicle. He also has written for The Believer, Mother Jones, The Bold Italic and many other fine publications.

DuShane is a novel writing teacher at San Francisco Writers' College, his next class starts in January. Full details will be announced next week on www.tonydushane.com.

Upcoming readings:

November 17, 2010 - Space Gallery, San Francisco
December 8, 2010 - Bawdy Storytelling at Blue Macaw, San Francisco

He also likes taking long walks in his walk-in closet.

23 responses to “My Short List of the Good Life”

  1. Andy Fietz says:

    It’s so cool to share your love for the Giants Tony!!! I’ll never forget us walking through “The Stick” chanting “Giants gonna win the pennant …. YO!!!” That was ’92 and they stunk that year. And about having kids, all I have to say is “it’s the most challenging job in the world and the most rewarding.”

  2. Irene Zion says:

    I don’t understand anything about sports, but I think a no-hitter is amazing and the pitcher should get to go to the moon or something to celebrate.

    I think live sperm is good too.
    But never mind about that.

    • Tony DuShane says:

      and the no-hitter was on my birthday….it felt like i was getting word from above that life’s sucker punches will get softer and some may come with a hug.

      • Irene Zion says:

        I’m no one to talk, but you might could raise your standards, Tony.

        • Tony DuShane says:

          i don’t understand what you mean regarding standards. here i was looking at the little things in life….with love and romance, my standards are very high, even though i play with low standards for comedic effect in my writing.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Sorry, I wasn’t clear, I was kidding too. (The dialect was supposed to give it away.)
          Playing on the sucker punches.
          I’ll work out what I say next time, or, better still, I’ll have some coffee before I speak.

  3. Matt says:

    It’s really struck me lately, in the midst of my current state of prolonged bachelorhood, just how much I miss making out. You’re right, my good sir: there’s nothing quite like it, and the immense pleasure generated by so simple an action is worth celebrating.

  4. New Orleans Lady says:

    I loved your list and agree with most. I’m a die-hard Saints fan so when they won the SUPERBOWL I cried. Still, writing this, I have goose-bumps and watery eyes.

    You’ll have to update this list once you do have children. Everything changes. My heart sores when my 4 year old tells me he loves me out of the blue. His laugh is better than any music I’ve ever heard and he is the only person on this planet that can make me smile when all I want to do is kill someone.

    He also challenges everything I ever thought I knew. About anything.

    Great list.

  5. Gloria says:

    Shadow boxing after a good BM. Wow. That must be one spectacular movement.

    Fun, lovely list.

  6. M.J. Fievre says:

    Yes, there’ something quite sexy about a man reading a book πŸ˜‰

  7. Mark Sutz says:

    An inspired list. I think it would be good reading for depressives and Republicans. I’ll forward it to my family. They haven’t heard from me in a while.


  8. Simon Smithson says:

    Throwing something and hitting exactly the target you were aiming for.

    That, for me, is a tiny moment of divinity in day to day living.

    It gets less tiny the harder I throw the something.

    If I really peg it, for instance. Like when my friend Luke was running and I threw a 1.25lt bottle of coke and caught him square in the knee, making him fall.


  9. Mindy Mcready says:

    When I was a kid, the rumor was going around that a kid on the ‘Bozo’ show after winning some lame consolation prize said “Fuck You Bozo!” now this was in the 60’s.. we all laughed so hard we dropped.. it was like, the pressure was off you could be a slacker later in life.

    We had fun with it and Clowns became the enemy ..”Fuck You Bozo” became a catch phrase

    I want to soooooo bad go to a Mega-Church and plant myself sceintifically with the use of GPS in the center of about 3,000 people…and at that moment of silent prayer and invitation..rise up and yell .”Fuck You Yahweh!”

  10. I’m a big Giants fan too, Tony. Lived in SF for 20 yrs. They’re en fuego. Listen Birthday Party in my last post as well, Nick Cave getting a mention for his ability to raise the squealing female in anyone….

  11. sheree says:

    Enjoyed this post immensely. Good for you for standing your ground and not getting snipped. It was her place to get a snip job, not yours. Thanks for the read.

  12. Carolyn DeRoo says:

    It concerns me that although your posts are a series of babe-magnets (you express a yearning for kissing, the female orgasm, and fatherhood, you “listen without a stethoscope”) you say that the only action you are getting is a prostate exam.

    I’m here to offer help. Add some Rumi quotes to your posts and/or OKCupid.com profile and watch the babes come a runnin’. Fertile thirtysomething gals are powerless to resist a good Rumi quote. Rumi is to gals in their 30s what Duran Duran was to those very same gals at age 11. Rumi is the sparkly unicorn Trapper Keeper of the woman in mid-life. Use him well, my friend.

    Go forward, quote, date, impregnate.

    • Tony DuShane says:

      i owe you a phone call….it’s been busy over here.

      online dating is very foreign to me as well as being single. i’m not looking to sperm ladies yet, but i like having the option down the road.

      re: getting action beyond prostate exams, that’s my next essay that will run here and ruin my slight exaggeration. πŸ™‚

      • Carolyn DeRoo says:

        Ok…I will hold out hope for a phone call πŸ˜‰

        For the record, online dating is *grim* (she says just seconds before checking her OKCupid.com inbox…)

        Looking forward to your next essay.

        (FYI, I hear that Sandra Tsing Loh is single again. Not that I want to dissuade you from calling me but you really can’t do better than Sandra. And she writes a fair amount about farting, too.)

  13. dwoz says:

    Ok, so I’m looking at the 200+ word blurb on the back cover of that (er..photoshopped) cover in the hands of the erstwhile young Jodie Foster-of-the-aughts.

    Who wrote you a 200+ word blurb?

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