Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quick Takes - We are all just delicate flowers

This post does not apply to you.

I really like seeing things that remind our species of our delicate fragility. I don't mean watching a man-eating lion (hyena) maul a child at a zoo in China or something. That's just macabre (except when they don't shoot the animal to death, then it's okay). What I'm talking about are the little things. Things like stubbing a toe. Something so small and insignificant, a toe, a measly toe, can bring a grown man to the verge of tears and a hospital visit for X-rays and a walking boot. It's brilliant. I don't like to stub my toe, I don't willingly jam my foot into hard objects to experience my humanity to the fullest, I just like seeing other people do it.

I especially enjoy seeing someone trip on a slightly-raised bit of sidewalk, where her gaze is too high to perceive the miniscule height difference between concrete slabs and it takes all the two-legged balance of our evolutionary gate to stay upright. It kills me. Or watching someone walk down stairs and not realize that there aren't any stairs left, so he thumps down a horse-legged stomp on the ground and glances around sheepishly to see if anyone saw. I saw, my good sir, I saw, and I'm delighted.

We spend so much time trying to maintain the perception people have of us, even complete strangers who have no interest whatsoever. We want to be more than just an animal, we want to be perfect. No slip ups, no injuries, no awkward moments (unless you're Larry David, and then you're an awkwardness reactor), we must be pristine at all times! It's embarrassing to trip and fall in public, it's embarrassing to become frightened in a revolving door (not that I've ... done that ...), it's embarrassing to have to walk around with a cast and explain to people that you "got a little crazy" playing Wii, but what are we so embarrassed about? We're just animals.

Does a bear turn red when he swipes at a salmon and misses? No way, he just keeps swiping, because, well shit, he's hungry. Does a dog feel embarrassed when he has to go #2 in public? Not a chance, he rather seems to be enjoying himself. We're all just fragile creatures, delicately balanced in the ecosystem (although humans aren't exactly down with the whole "balance" thing anymore). We need not be ashamed by the occasional stubbed toe or paper cut on the skin between fingers (ugh). We need not be ashamed when the concrete isn't level or the sidewalk is a bit icy. Just laugh at how delicate we really are, because if you don't, then I'll just be that guy who's laughing at everyone, and then I'll be embarrassed.

  • NBA players, owners, and a mediator met for 16 hours yesterday to try to negotiate a new deal. They were unsuccessful, but I heard Pizza Hut had a record sales day.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu passed a concussion test and looks like he could be ready to play on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. From what I've heard, the concussion test consists of a pop quiz against Vince Young. Beat him, and you're ready for some football!
  • So the World Series starts tonight (hopefully filled with ads of children enjoying chewing tobacco), and I couldn't be happier for Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, who's become the toast of Major League Baseball this year. If you didn't know, Washington used to dabble in cocaine (like a year ago), but the team stuck with him and now they're being rewarded with a World Series trip. Everyone keeps talking about how fun and laid back Washington is, which means he's for sure still clean, but I have to say, if I dabbled in cocaine, I can't imagine my employer a) not firing me immediately, and b) rewarding me with a contract extension and then parading me around town when I hit some corporate sales mark thingy (I don't know anything about the real world).
  • Speaking of drugs! Doc Gooden said in an interview that he missed the New York Mets' 1986 World Series parade because he was in a drug dealer's apartment, too high and paranoid to join in on the festivities. Baseball was so much more fun when the players were high and not the managers ... Anyway, my favorite drugs + baseball story is that of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, who threw a no-hitter in 1970 against the San Diego Padres while on LSD. I'll let him tell the story, "I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the glove, but I didn't hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters and the bases were loaded two or three times. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. They say I had about three to four fielding chances. I remember diving out of the way of a ball I thought was a line drive. I jumped, but the ball wasn't hit hard and never reached me." He finished the game with eight walks, but the Pirates won 2-0 and Ellis' legend was born.
  • A 52-year-old man slapped Chicago Bears WR Devin Hester in the back of the head at a casino as Hester stood innocently in an ATM line and was arrested and charged with battery. There had been no prior confrontation between the two men, which proves, once again, that alcohol and Bears fans are a troubling combination.

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