Columnist

Mike Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and published author. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

Dear Mr. John Cena,

It turns out that I am not smarter than a fifth grader. Not even close.

On the Fourth of July, Emma, my cousin Ray’s daughter and a certified fourth-grade graduate, taught me about something called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). It’s popular with all the cool kids.

It took me several attempts to even say, “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.” It’s a tongue twister. Autonomous is a tough word.

Later that day, you could hear me saying, “What’s that Otto Nommy Nom thing again?”

But I digress, like I do. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is, simply put, a pleasing sound that causes you to tingle with a low-grade euphoria.

Emma decided to teach me all about it because I mentioned I like the sound of certain fireworks on Independence Day. I like the ones that sizzle as they die out, and the ones that whistle as they zig-zag through the sky.

She told me about all sorts of noises that people find pleasing. Some of them are fun and some of them are downright annoying. To each their own.

For instance, I didn’t know that some people find it nearly euphoric to listen to an announcer whisper into a microphone. That sort of explains NPR. Sure, I get a certain charge when I hear Terry Gross say, “This is Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” I don’t tingle; not even when she plays that jazzy opening music.

There are people who like the sound of fingernails scratching various surfaces. No thank you. It makes me think that there is someone out there who would enjoy hearing me scratch my armpits when I have a rash, and that makes me uncomfortable (on two levels).

I have a lot of favorite noises, but I don’t know if any of them give me “the feels.” My favorite sounds pop.

I love the “Pop!” of a champagne cork. This particular sound pleases many of my friends – especially if I’m buying.

I love the sound of a golf ball plopping into its designated hole. Ironically, I do not like the sound of people whispering into a microphone. Therefore, I can play golf, but I cannot watch it on TV. Most of the golf I play is of the miniature variety. If there isn’t a windmill or a jungle theme, I’m not really interested.

I love the sound of popcorn. Pop. Pop. Pop.

I also enjoy the accompanying sound of ice cubes clinking in a glass and soda being poured into said container.

That Coca-Cola advertisement before a movie does strike a chord deep within me. I don’t even drink soda, but I like the sound of it being poured into a glass. Those (M)ad men knew what they’re doing when they wrote that commercial. The sound makes my ear happy.

I like the gurgling and bubbling noises a hot tub makes.

If you need me, I’ll be in the hot tub sipping champagne after a fierce round of mini-golf.

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