Archive for Sports

49. Blind yourself with a camera flash.

You’re at the state fair, and that means only one thing: photo after priceless photo of cows, llamas, prize-winning swine, and, as always, a trick-horseriding chimpanzee.

You first encountered the trick-riding chimp at the fair a few years ago. He looked at you. You stared back at him. It was truly love at first sight. You sat there in the bleachers, marveling at the flips he could execute while riding around on the back of a horse. “That is a monkey!” you yelled at your fellow spectators. “On a horse!” Oh sure, they nodded and politely applauded and didn’t have to watch the rest of the show from the back of a security vehicle, but you know they didn’t really get it.

But you get it. You respect the trick-riding chimp for what it is: one of nature’s greatest miracles. And so, pumped full of coffee and armed with a cheddar-yellow Kodak disposable camera, you take your place in the stands. You pile a bunch of coats and jackets into the spaces next to you, lest someone arrive to ruin your precious time with your favorite primate.

There he is! Waddling out from behind the curtain, holding the hand of his trainer, waving to the “audience” (but you know better – he’s waving to you). As he mounts the trusty steed, you ready the camera in your sweaty hands. This is it! The double triple back swing flip through – his best trick yet! You position your finger over the button, stick your eye into the viewfinder, and prepare to capture this beautiful (and fleeting) moment.

Except that you’re an idiot and didn’t realize the camera is backwards. You hit the button, and are immediately blinded. The flash goes off directly in front of your eye. You scream in pain, causing the trick-riding chimp to become momentarily flummoxed and begin screeching in terror. The entire theater breaks out into chaos, as you fruitlessly grope around and mourn your photographic loss, incomprehensibly yelling something about survival of the hippest.

So if you want to suck at life, blind yourself with a camera flash. You now have a bitchin’ picture of your right cheekbone. Ironically, your retinas are too damaged to ever enjoy it.

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28. Slip ‘n Slide ‘n Skid face first into a tuft of grass.

This is going to be the best pool party EVER. You bought seven different kinds of soda. You’re rockin’ the Doritos, both Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch. You busted out the Fruit Roll-ups. You got a handful of Nerf toys from the bargain bin at Toys R’ Us, along with a smattering of odd looks from a few concerned parents. You even sprung for those massive lawn dart weapons that can kill several people with one poorly aimed toss. This pool party has everything!

Except for a pool, that is.

Oh, so what. You can still have some watery good times! Surely there’s a sprinkler lying around, right? Crap, looks like Dad ran over it with the John Deere again. Well, how about some water balloons? Nope, used them all up in that hilarious Bubonic Plague Halloween costume last fall. Any Super Soakers? Dammit, Crazy Uncle Al stole them all to stockpile for World War VII. He’s just not well.

By now your guests are pelting each other with ice cubes, so desperate they are for anything resembling a water sport. You’ve got to do something. Frantic, you tear open the door to the storage shed, hoping to perhaps find an entire water park within, complete with tube rentals and a lazy river. Alas, all you see is a bunch of rusty rakes, a shovel or two, and Crazy Uncle Al. But what’s that – in the corner? The smallest flash of sunbeam yellow…could it possibly be? It is! Your salvation!

You burst out of the shed, shouting enthusiastically at the disproportionate number of people who seem to be leaving. You swing the rubbery tarp of fun around your head like it’s the Golden Fleece of plastic water toys. You briefly consider fashioning it into a cape, but there’s really no time to be wasted. Slap that puppy down and let the moisture begin!

You unroll it gingerly, as it has not been used in quite some time and it’s doubtful that the years have been kind to the material that began deteriorating immediately after its first use. You pick out the best spot in the lawn (i.e. the stretch of grass deemed worthy enough to turn brown and die for the next week or so), spread it out, and hook it up to the hose. Your friends buzz and twitter in anticipation, so thrilled they are with you and your magical party-saving abilities. Some might call you a hero. You sure would.

You shush the masses, demanding that they watch your inaugural run in an awed, reverent silence. You raise your fists in a triumphant pose, clap your hands together and rub vigorously, assess the wind direction and velocity, and commence running. With long, graceful strides, you launch yourself towards the skinny yellow mat, putting out of your mind the fact that the only thing between you and a week’s worth of painful nipple chafing is a thin, almost negligible skin of water sitting precariously atop a glorified camping tarp.

No matter. You did this when you were ten, there’s certainly no reason to believe that your skills have gotten rusty. You hit the sheet at a frightening speed, dousing your guests with mildewed hose water and thrilling a lucky few with a sneak peak at what lies within your quickly-bunching bathing suit. You continue to hurtle down the length of the plastic, limbs flailing wildly, full of undeserved love and admiration for yourself and your magnificent coasting abilities. But you’re concentrating so hard on keeping both hands in a rigid thumbs-up position that you don’t even realize that your fanciful journey is about to draw to a devastating close.

By the time you can actually feel yourself nearing the brutal end, it’s already far too late to rectify the situation. The utter slickness of the Fluorescent Mat O’ Death casually eliminates all hope for any sort of stoppage or breaking maneuvers. There’s nothing you can do now but close your eyes and pray for the end to be painless and dignified. It is neither. However, it’s fairly swift. Your trip down Slippery Lane ends in an abrupt and jarring face plant into the lawn amidst a spray of grimy, mud-caked sludge. The rest of your body folds up behind you like an accordion, while your nose flattens to a degree previously unseen in human specimens. Dirt flies into your tear ducts. A dandelion jams itself into your retina. Blades of grass wedge between your teeth – you’ll be picking them out for days. Your entire face now resembles The Secret Garden, and all because you couldn’t steer your gangly, uncoordinated oaf of a body down a narrow strip of moldy plastic. For shame.

So if you want to suck, Slip ‘n Slide ‘n skid face first into a tuft of grass. Next time, you might want to think about springing for the Crocodile Mile set with built-in speed bump and splashdown pool. You’ll be the coolest kid on the block, and you won’t end up with a facial burn the size of Wyoming.

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24. Miss a doorknob.

You glance at your watch. Only a few minutes left until closing time. You pick up the pace, doing that weird little running move, the one that consists of a brisk walk punctuated by a spastic series of skips. It’s casual, but still indicates the fact that you are in a hurry. “Get out of my way!” it screams. “Or don’t! That’s also cool!”

Your backpack sags with the weight of the voluminous tomes within. You’ve never been charged a single late fee in your life, and you’re not about to start now. You’re not sure of the library’s laws, whether the cutoff time begins as soon as the doors close, or at midnight, or perhaps an arbitrary time determined by the alignment of the planets and the Dewey Decimal system, but you’re determined as hell and there’s simply no way those books are going to be overdue. Not on your watch.

You eye the door and ready your grasping hand as you approach the entrance. But something catches your eye as you glance inside. Is that a new card catalog? It is! Flo the librarian’s antiquing vacation must have paid off! What a beautiful find. But there’s plenty of time to explore it as soon as you get inside, once Crime and Punishment and Everyone Poops are safely back on their home shelves.

Still, you can’t help but stare. Look at that finely crafted oak! You reach your hand towards the doorknob just as you have a thousand times before, pawing blindly as you continue to gawk at the treasure within. But something’s wrong. Where the hell did the doorknob go?

There’s not enough time to look down, steamrolling as you are into the area that you thought would be clear once the access mechanism was properly turned. But you failed at that. And you’ve built up far too much momentum to be able to slow now. There’s simply nothing left to do but continue barreling straight into the plate glass window with gusto, and pray that Flo has a well-stocked first aid kit, or, failing that, a healthy supply of Windex.

So if you want to suck at life, miss a doorknob. Your hands may not be working properly, but if it’s any consolation, neither is your head.

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22. Miss an actuator on the Aggro Crag.

You’ve been dominating the arena all day. You rafted faster than anyone in the white water rapids challenge. You BMXed your way through the sand trap as if it were an abandoned beach. You bungeed your way to victory on the aerial deck, planting your feet firmly at the 38′ mark, a new record. And you tore your way through the elastic jungle like a wild, elbow-padded animal.

You’re in the lead. You’re won every challenge, crushing the opposition. You’ve blown past Tommy “Thunder” Lewis and Hannah “The Hammer” McCaffery with a frightening fury not seen since your Wild and Crazy Kids days. Mike O’Malley has called you a “Monsterus Extremeus” on more than one occasion. You broke Moe’s stopwatch. Nothing can stop you now. The win is yours for the taking, and the only thing standing in your way is the Aggro Crag.

Dark and foreboding, it looms over the soundstage with a quiet doom. You stand at the beginning of your identical side of the mountain and gaze up at its summit, its fake rocks and ample handholds taunting you mercilessly. You crouch down into a tiger-like stance, hungry for inevitable victory, practically tasting that gold medal. So what if it’s plastic? It’s not like you’re ever going to take it off.

The signal is given. You take off like a helmeted bat out of hell. You tear up the face of the crag, smacking the targets, barreling past storms of distracting glitter and confetti, brushing styrofoam boulders aside as if they were made out of even lighter styrofoam. You see nothing but the end. Your opponents are tiny, pathetic ants behind you, struggling and blinded by the dizzying array of lights. Your muscles burning, you pull yourself up over the final particle board obstacle, stand up triumphantly, and pound the target with a force previously unseen anywhere within the confines of Universal Studios Florida.

But…why the sudden hush settling over the crowd? Why so many shaking heads? Why is Hannah “The Hammer” so damn excited when she reaches the top? Why is your mother crying? There’s only one way to find out: go to Moe for the official results.

And that’s when you see it. The lonely, dark, unactuated actuator. Sitting there at the bottom of your identical side of the mountain, dejected and forgotten. Your entire existence crumbles in that singular moment. How could you have been so STUPID? You’ve been training for this your entire life! You’re the best damn kickball player in your entire gym class! You even installed a bungee cord in your backyard! Sure, its usage permanently injured your little brother, but such setbacks were all supposed to be worth it in the end! And now, this!

Devastated, you begrudgingly take your place upon the third place platform, tears stinging your eyes. The ONLY way for this to STATISTICALLY happen was for you to come in third on the Crag, and that’s exactly what you’ve done. You can’t even look Moe in the eye. As Hannah “The Hammer” raises her Piece Of The Rock above her head in exuberance, all you can do is hang your head in shame. You have brought nothing but disgrace to Soundstage 21. Just take your third-place BK Knights prize and go.

So if you want to suck, miss an actuator on the Aggro Crag. You may have made it onto Guts, but it turns out that you do do do do not, in fact, have it.

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21. Spit all over yourself.

You’ve had this cold for what seems like months. You’re coughy. You’re phlegmy. You can’t remember the last time your nostrils were used for the purpose of breathing. You’re forgotten what food tastes like. So you can be forgiven for breaching the social faux pas of spitting in public. You’ve suffered enough, and there’s no reason all that mucus should go anywhere but into your neighbor’s hydrangea bushes.

So you hock up a really good one, all the way from the back of your throat. Its volume rivals that of the Amazon River Basin. Single-celled organisms have already begun to evolve in its primordial soup. Plus, Iits formation is also accompanied by a symphony of guttural noises that could easily be mistaken for those of a surly velociraptor. And to top off the performance, your face contorts into an arduous grimace that suggests you’ve just consumed the contents of a garbage disposal. All in all, you’re ready to spit.

You’ve never really fancied yourself an athlete, but if you were, this would be your grand slam, your touchdown, your hole-in-one, your “Connect Fooouuur!!”. You rear back, load the cannon, and release the sphere of goo into a graceful arc. It soars majestically through the air, glistening in the sun like a slimy, gelatinous zeppelin. You’d almost stand back to admire your work, if you weren’t in such a hurry. But the 2:05pm viewing of the Hannah Montana movie waits for no man.

As such, you continue walking at a brisk pace, so jazzed in anticipation of hearing the angelic voice of Miley Cyrus that you completely forget that your loogie is still in play. But it certainly hasn’t forgotten. And as luck would have it, this previously calm and wind-free day has suddenly decided to unleash gale-force gusts at the exact moment your beautiful mucus has begun its downward trajectory. It freezes mid-air, pulls a quick U-turn, and suddenly hurls itself directly at your face.

And the fun has just begun. Due to the sheer size of your oozy contribution, the surging downpour continues unabated. It drips down to your shirt, onto your shoes, even finding its way into your crotch, leaving a disconcerting stain. And the wind certainly isn’t helping matters. Its blustery surges cause the snot to spread across the entirety of your face, coating your cheeks and eventually finding a home in your hair, where it will stay for the remainder of the day. You attempt to stop all of this, of course, clawing and futilely thrashing your glutinous hands in the air, but this accomplishes nothing and only makes you further resemble a victim of the playful antics of Slimer.

So if you want to suck at life, spit all over yourself. You might no longer feel quite as endeared to your beloved loogie as you mop it out of your earlobe, but at least you now know what it feels like to be a Ghostbuster.

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19. Get flattened by a bike.

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You believe in saving the environment as much as the next guy. You recycle. You use those crazy-looking light bulbs. You sold your seal-clubbing business, despite increasing profits. So it’s really no surprise that you choose to walk everywhere instead of drive. You respect Mother Nature, dammit! Cars are for evil people!

So you expect a fair bit of karma to accompany you on your jaunts into the vehicular world. You’re cautious, sure – looking both ways before crossing, using the designated pedestrian areas, patiently waiting for the little walk sign featuring the guy with, ironically, no feet. You want no beef with the motorists. You play by their rules. Your constant vigilance knows no bounds. You should be wearing a “Safety Is For Winners!” sandwich board.

No really, you should. The rigid pieces of wood might at least protect your vital organs from the relentless onslaught of pain and humiliation you’re about to suffer.

You feel it a millisecond before it happens. A slight breeze in your ear, or the smallest glimpse of a radioactively orange reflector. But by then, it’s too late. You’re on the ground, a crumpled heap, yet another victim of the Undead Legion of Bicycle Enthusiasts.

Pedestrians, like motorists, have no earthly idea how to coexist with these strange creatures. Stuck halfway between both worlds like a duck-billed platypus, the cyclist occupies all areas of the road, choosing whichever lane happens to strike his or her fancy. Should another human being happen to share that same space, the cyclist will eliminate that human being. It’s just simple math.

And you’re certainly not helping matters. When faced with an imminent crash, pedestrians do one of two things: 1) fruitlessly attempt to get out of the way in the form of a charming little pee-pee dance that features spastic limb movements and frenzied shrieks of “I’M SORRY!”, or 2) go limp and hope for the best. Sometimes a pedestrian will actually hurl themselves directly at the biker, in the off chance they might bounce off their super-shiny aerodynamic helmet and simply glide down the sidewalk to safety.

Whatever the outcome, you have failed. But wait, you may argue, how am I supposed to detect such an ultra-sneaky supersonic street demon? A Ninja of the Road, if you will? Don’t even try to defend your deficiencies, my friend. Cyclists use hand signals and wear flashing lights. Anything that uses flashing lights can’t be wrong. You wouldn’t argue with a pinball machine, would you? And where are YOUR flashing lights? Maybe if you carried around a Christmas tree at all times you never would have gotten yourself into this mess in the first place.

So if you want to suck, get flattened by a bike. All you had to do was walk with your eyes open, and you blew it. Hope you enjoy the taste of asphalt!

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5. Miss a trash receptacle from two feet away.

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Another long, hard day at the office. Your printout of this week’s figures is fairly compelling, if not a little dry and slightly riddled with simple spelling errors. But you’re certain the boss will like it. There’s a pie chart and everything. Corporate gold.

So you’re caught off guard when he cries that this barely qualifies as fourth-grade work and demands that you do it all over again. At 4:45 on a Friday? Surely you jest, good sir! you want to scream. But you shove it all down, way down, knowing that this colossal failure results in at least one small ounce of joy: the crumpling up of the paper and the tossing of said crumple into the wastepaper basket.

You’re not new to such epic challenges. You were on the basketball team in high school. Sure, you took the term “warming the bench” to new levels, not only heating the metal but actually setting the surface aflame, but you’re still fairly confident in your abilities. The trash can is a mere arm’s length away. How hard could it be?

Answer: Infuriatingly impossible. Physics dictates that any mere mortal should be able to plot the trajectory of a balled-up sheet of ordinary, 8.5″x11″ paper, but it would appear that you are the exception. You take careful aim, track wind direction and resistance, shush the roaring crowds, release the shard — and almost immediately realize that both the world and your sweaty palm have conspired against you. That projectile isn’t going anywhere near the gaping maw of the can, no matter how long you leave your outstretched arm in place or how much you stick our your tongue in the style of Michael Jordan. It lands a paltry six inches away from the base, bounding across the floor in a delicate dance of mockery and humiliation. Your co-workers cluck their tongues in general disapproval – the Sales team guys shake their beefy heads, Marketing points and laughs, and the Office Whore explicitly informs you that her services are no longer available to hopeless trainwrecks such as yourself.

So if you want to suck, miss a trash receptacle from two feet away. Not only will you become an office-wide joke, but you’ll also be eternally labeled as a litterbug. And Frank the Brass-Knuckled Tank from Maintenance won’t be too happy about that one.

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