Doin’ the Butt (Drag)

Yesterday, the C-level officers of met at a local undisclosed pizza place for lunch. Here we compared ourselves to the framers of the constitution (true), came up with a far-fetched embezzlement scheme to make us wildly rich (true), and talked about the strategic future of this here website (not true). We also talked about the butt drag. Read this. (Then come back.) Huh. In middle school, we had two weeks of

wrestling during gym class. I think this might have been an Austin thing, as one of the two gym teachers was also the wrestling coach. I hope so– those years were bad enough without having to climb on top of one of your same-sex classmates wearing just a t-shirt and shorts in the name of exercise. In addition, you were paired up with someone roughly your same weight. This makes sense, in general; however, when you’re the second-to-most-overweight kid in the class and the most overweight kid is reeeeeally overweight.. well, let’s just not go there, k? For me, the most remarkable is the quote from former Fresno State wrestling coach Dennis DeLiddo regarding the butt drag: “I’ve never heard this move used as being ugly or dirty.” That’s right, he doesn’t think the practice of one wrestler sticking his fingers up the anus of another wrestler is ugly or dirty. I guess he showers a lot. Anyway, my point. I think “butt drag” is a rather uncreative name for this move. “Checking the oil” is much better, but I think we can top it. As such, I’m announcing the Let’s Come Up With A Better Name For When A Wrestler Sticks His Fingers Up Another Wrestler’s Anus contest. Leave your entries in the comments section. The top name gets a free year-long subscription to! Oh, and some dijon mustard.

R.I.P., Leslie Nielsen

I learned late last night that Leslie Nielsen passed away, succumbing to complications from a recent bout of pneumonia. I was surprised to learn that he was 84 years old; to me, he seemed ageless, looking the same in 1980’s Airplane! as he did in 2006’s Scary Movie 4. His peak, though, was the Naked Gun series of the late 80’s and early 90’s, where he played Lieutenant Frank Drebin, successfully defusing kidnappings, bomb plots, assassinations, and O.J. Simpson one-liners with his typical bumbling style.

My favorite humor is the kind that doesn’t need to hit you over the head. A straight man being unaware of his own foolish irony will always make me laugh more than a well-executed pratfall. As such, many lines from Neilsen’s films have made their way into my comedic repertoire (such as it is) over the past 25 years. I feel a special kind of pity for people who have had to endure my frequent “Yes, yes, I remember, I had lasagna”s and “You can tell me. I’m a doctor”s and “but that’s not important right now”s over the years. Frank Drebin was Steve Carrell without the painful awkwardness, Will Ferrell with better timing. His subtlety will be missed.

Feel free to leave your favorite Nielsen quote in the comments.

Letter Never Sent

Dear Mr. Harwell,

I am reluctant to admit that I have spent most of my life being barely aware of your existence. I remember there being a bit of a ruckus when you got fired by a college football coach, and that everyone was happy when the guy from Little Caesar’s hired you back the next year. But that was about it; beyond that, you were a trivia fact that rattled around my brain like so many others do. The second video ever played on MTV was Pat Benetar’s “You Better Run.” Minnesota became a state in 1858. And Ernie Harwell was the voice of the Detroit Tigers.

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Bathroom Words

Unlike others I know (*cough* wadE *cough* Jason), I’ve never had trouble with the affliction known informally as “pee-shyness“. The thought of whether I’m next to someone else or not doesn’t even cross my mind. Wait, does that make me pee-cocky? That’s fun in a couple of ways, isn’t it? Hee hee.

Where was I? Oh, right. Despite my lack of modesty in the men’s room, I don’t go out of my way to shoulder up to fellow relievers. Bathroom, uh, tasks are private ones; I want to give people as much space as possible, and expect the same in return. Hence, I bring up the topic of stall etiquette. (Oddly, Alex and I both ran into this separately one day last week, and were similarly perplexed.

Imagine, if you will, the following bathroom layout, where X = urinal, O = little boy urinal, and | = divider. This is the loo layout at work:

X | X | O

When nobody else is around, I take the far left position. If that’s occupied, I take the far right. If those are both occupied, I take the middle, but that’s the only time. (If all three are occupied, I go in the sink.) (Just kidding.) (Sorta.) We’ve recently taken on a fair number of non-Minnesota native workers here, though and I’ve noticed is that most of them will come in and pick the middle slot, even if all three are open.

I would never, ever do such a thing. Would you? Do these people not consider that weird? Are they more pee-cocky than me? Is this a Minnesota thing? I’m not sure. I wish they’d hurry up and start paying heed to local convention; at some point, someone’s going to catch me going in the sink.

Feeling Brevity’s Pull

My first post for this little website measured in at a cool 807 words. I was always more of a bullet-point guy than a screeder, but, even so, my posts from that era routinely topped 1,000 words. In 2003, at roughly the same time, we introduced both the Gambit and the Forum. The former was a avenue for us to do a daily, while shorter, update; the latter was your standard web bulletin board (except with way smarter comments and cooler avatars). By definition, my writings got shorter. The Forum dried up a couple years later, and, soon after, so did the institutionalized Gambit. (A Gambit still got posted occasionally, but not according to any specific schedule). After a brief flurry of publishing after implementing our snazzy new WordPress publishing tool, I pretty much stopped posting entirely. My last single-authored post was 14 months ago; even that one was pretty brief. These days, my sole avenue for written creativity comes courtesy of Facebook’s status update feature. That’s a max of 140 characters, in case you’re scoring at home. (Or if you’re by yourself.)

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