I was talking to a friend the other day who was bragging about having run a marathon. I asked him “Did you win?” He gave me a weird look and said something along the lines of “it isn’t about winning.” So I asked “It is a race, right?” He replied “Yeah, but that isn’t the point.” It’s a fucking race! How isn’t that the point? You can go outside right now and run 27 miles. You will win the exact same thing… nothing. So why go and pay MONEY to do it? You are literally paying someone to give you a commemorative medal that means “congratulations, you lost!” Next time someone tells you they ran a marathon ask them if they won. When they give you a weird look or some bull-crap about that not being the point just say, in a very conciliatory tone, “ah, well maybe next year.” And if you are someone who has ever run a marathon… you probably suck.
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Went camping the other day. One of the guys who was camping with us had quite a Napoleon complex. He was probably 5′ 2″ or 5′ 3″ and was always doing crazy shit. He would climb trees, and run up steep hills, and swim across swift currents in the river. Which was fine by me. It was sort of like being around a large, angry spider monkey. Amusing, yet with the potential for extreme slapstick hilarity. However, what was not fine by me was that he always had to challenge someone, usually me, whenever he attempted these stunts. ”Come on, pussy, I bet I can beat you up that hill… I bet I can climb that tree and you can’t…” and so on. After a couple of days of this I got tired of the monkey-man so after he challenged me with “I bet I can throw this rock over the river and you can’t” I said to him “I bet I can grow taller than five foot five and you can’t.” Then the monkey went off. He turned red and lifted the rock, and aimed it at me. ”What did you say to me?” He asked, in a high pitched voice. Seeing that I angered him more than intended… and having a rock aimed at my head… I said “Look, there’s no need to always challenge everyone. Just chill out some.” He lowered the rock, but he was still red. He said, “Don’t tell me what to do, I’ll do whatever I want.” So I replied, “Well, it’s not going to make you any taller.” The monkey went off again. He shrugged off his backpack and threw the rock down on the ground. He began to pace and hop back and forth and said “OK, lets go, bitch!” Then he said over and over “The bigger they are, the harder they fall! The bigger they are, the harder they fall!” After maybe 5 repetitions of this, I said, “Yeah, I have a saying too. ’The bigger they are, the harder they can punch you in the face.’” The monkey went wild. He pulled off his boy-sized shirt and began to almost hyperventilate. ”Hold me back!” He yelled. ”Hold me back or I’m going to kill him!” He puffed up his chest, but no one held him back. After a few seconds he looked around, spotted his girlfriend and said. “HOLD ME BACK!!” So she slowly walked up and grabbed one of his arms gingerly. His nostrils flared and his whole body was red, as if he were sun-burnt. He stuck his head out at me and said “you’re lucky my girlfriend is here, bitch!” Then he stormed off. I looked around, more confused than anything else, and saw the same expression on everyone else’s faces. I shrugged, and so did everyone else. Oh, except my girlfriend, she was pissed.
Was camping the other day. I had to take a dump so I walked to an out of the way location and did my business. I’m not all that picky about where I take a crap, like some people are. I figure that if I’m getting all the waste out of my body I don’t mind where the smelly, nasty, shit goes as long as it is far away from where I am. However, I refuse to wipe with anything that nature provides. So, my girlfriend was nice enough to buy a roll of toilet paper just for our excursion. This, in theory, was great. But the problem was that she somehow bought the cheapest, roughest, toilet paper ever created. It was like wiping my ass with a cactus. It was so bad that it brought me to tears. Let me tell you, those were two actions that were never meant to go together. I’ve wanted to cry before a poop before, and I’ve wanted to cry during a poop, but usually the wiping stage is the relief stage of the bowel-movement process. Not so in this case. I actually began to wonder why someone would release something so torturous into the world. I would have gladly accepted a bidet-waterboarding over the painful glass-shard-toilet-paper-wiping. In fact, I think the experience did irreparable harm to me both physically and mentally. Now, no toilet paper seems to be good enough. I yearn for a TP that is softer than any material on Earth. I want to wipe my ass with a cloud. Its so bad that I’m thinking of starting up my own business of making toilet paper. I’ll make the TP out of butter, and my tagline will be “Don’t Hate Your Anus.” I’m sure it would sell like crazy. I mean, who doesn’t want to wipe their ass with a stick of butter? Think about it.
Our fist day of camping actually had a highlight. We decided to camp the first night along a river. This part of the river was actually frequented by visitors canoeing and kayaking. We chose an area that formed a small peninsula in the river, but we had no idea that our spot was as good as setting camp on a goldmine. When the first canoeist (I had to look that up, I thought it should be conoer… but it didn’t look right) came by we saw the value of our campsite. There was a large rock just a little upstream from the peninsula, and the waters were really swift at that point. Then, just at the peak of the peninsula there was a large tree that had fallen into the river, so that it only left a narrow, swift, channel between it and the land. So, when the first canoeist came by we saw a scene that was repeated at least 20 times before we even had our tents up. The canoe hit the rock with a THUNK, then the canoe was dragged along the rock and around it where the water swirled. The people and contents of the canoe were all thrown into the water. Then, canoe, former conoeists, and contents all thudded into the tree, bounced off and were carried around the rest of the peninsula and then out of sight around another bend. The first time we thought we were just witnessing something special, but, as I said, it happened many times after and only varied slightly from one indecent to another. Sometimes a rider would hang on after the collision with the rock, but then they were doomed at the tree. Other times, they’d see their fate coming and would row away from the rock, but against the current. But that only made everything happen slower. In some ways I enjoyed that more. It allowed me to savor the moment in slow motion. However, there was one case that was exceptional. The pinnacle of the day. There was a kayaker who was barreling down the river at top speed. He was in a bright yellow kayak, he had no shirt on, and he had sunglasses on. Just by the look of him I knew his type… I’m sure you do too. I was looking forward to watching this. But, as fast as he was going the kayaker still dodged the big rock deftly, somehow, and started down the swift current behind it going almost sideways, but at top speed. Impressed I yelled out “Wow, good job, man!” The kayaker looked over at me and gave a sly, cocky, smile. Maybe too cocky, because by turning to look at me, he neglected to notice the large tree. THUNK. He hit the tree hard, skidding sideways into it. His paddle flew from his hands and was swept off in the current. He hit with such force that his kayak actually slid up the tree a bit, but partway up it turned over due to being top heavy. The kayaker flipped, and was upside down in his kayak for a moment or two as the current carried him around the peninsula, then he flipped upright and tilted left and right a few times, dunking him halfway each time, his arms flailing. Just before he turned the corner out of site he screamed “FUCK YOU.” And he was gone. It was the only time I can remember truly enjoying hiking. I’m still not sure if he was yelling at me, or himself, or the tree, but I like to think that it was all three. A perfect circle. In that moment, I actually understood what some hiking fanatics rant on about with being one with nature… me, the tree, the cocky douchebag kayaker… in that moment we were all connected. In a perfect, beautiful event that I will tell the story of to my children and their children, and will probably be continued to be retold for generations.
On the way to go camping we had to drive over a road in great disrepair. Off of the shoulder of the road on one particular turn with large potholes and a close, dizzying, vertical drop there was a sign that said “Adopt a road” and it had a person’s name on the sign. I don’t remember it exactly but it was something like “Larry ‘Buzz’ Smith”. I remember thinking that it was sad to see that the adoption system for roads is as bad as for kids. Someone needed to either call Larry to tell him to get his ass out there with a shovel and some asphalt, or call the road-repair equivalent of CPS. Though what I found more amusing was how they added the guy’s nickname, “Buzz”. I’ve seen that before on road signs dedicated to people. It makes me wonder if they’d add that if someone had a nickname that wasn’t so conventional. For instance, what if it was dedicated to someone who had an ‘interesting’ college experience which his Frat brothers monikered him after. It would be funny to see one of those signs with “Larry ‘Jizzface’ Smith” or “Chad ‘Dirty Broomhandle’ Moore.”
A little while ago I went camping. The next few updates will be excerpts from the notes I made on the trip. I wanted to preface it with saying that I went into the trip thinking that, as a stroll is a euphemism for a short hike, camping is a euphemism for a multi-day hike. But I was wrong… oh so very wrong! Each day of a camping trip is exponentially worse than the day before. Camping is like a torture that gets progressively worse over time. Like being tied down on a bed of bamboo plants. Or getting married.
I told a friend that I went hiking the other day. He asked if I had a good time. Of course I didn’t have a good time. I was surprised that he asked, actually. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who understands that hiking inherently isn’t fun. It is not an enjoyable experience. You walk for an extended period of time, how freakin’ awesome! I mean, haven’t you heard the phrase “Take a hike?” It’s meant to be a derogatory statement. It correctly implies that taking a hike is a form of punishment. Someone very wise must have started that saying.
Went to the beach the other day. Unlike hiking, I usually enjoy the beach. The reason I say “usually” is because I learned a valuable lesson this latest time. I learned that the beach can suck as much as hiking if you’re not careful. What happened was this: My girlfriend and I were out wading in the water and I noticed that at this particular beach (which I’d never been to before) there was a sandbar out about 100 yards off shore. There were several groups of people on the sandbar. I said that I wanted to swim out there to check it out. My girlfriend said “I don’t think that’s a good idea, that’s really far.” I took another look out to the sand bar and saw that there were extremely fat people, and old people, and out of shape people all over it. I pointed this out and she repeated “that looks far.” So, of course, I got pissed. ”If they can make it out there I can!” I told her. She shrugged. Now I was really pissed, and I knew I had to show her. If some fucking obese asshole who probably gets winded brushing his teeth can swim out there, I knew I could. So I took off. It wasn’t hard… for a while. About half way to the sand bar it started to get a little tough. I had enjoyed swimming before that moment, but then and there I realized something. Swimming is just an aquatic form of hiking. Swimming is bullshit. I stopped for a second and took a look at the people on the sandbar. The old and fat dipshits were staring at me. ”Fuck them” I thought and started swimming again. I started pushing myself harder, I wasn’t going to let some lard-nuts show me up. After about a minute of swimming like this I felt a sharp pain in my ankle. I looked down and then something hit me in the chest and knocked the wind out of me. I tried to swear – as I am wont to do – but since I had no breath it just came out as a sort of pathetic wailing sound. After flailing for a second I finally noticed something large under me. I probably would have wet myself if I weren’t so busy trying to flail and breath. I thought it was a shark for a moment, but then I realized what it was. It was some sort of fucking coral reef. I had run right into it. I looked up and all those elderly fat shit-nuggets were looking at me, they weren’t but a few feet away and they were all wearing the same look of “what the fuck is this guy’s problem?” Then, I noticed something that took the wind out of me even worse than the coral had. They were all on floats and rafts. Every one of those motherfuckers had floated out there. I looked back at my girlfriend… so far away I could barely recognize her. I wanted to scream like a little girl “help, please! I’m an idiot!” But instead, of course, I just waved at her. I tried to stand up triumphantly but I slipped on the slick choral and fell on my ass. I hoped it looked like a macho fall. I turned around and the whale-wannabees had floated off, obviously annoyed by me. For a split second…. and you must understand it was an extremely small split… I thought to ask one of them to help float me back. But I knew what had to be done… all pride rode on it. I had to swim back myself or die. It would be much better to have everyone read in the paper the next day of how I died trying to accomplish such a daring feat, rather than hear my girlfriend tell her friends about how I had to be floated back to shore by some 300 pound wet gorilla of a man riding on a couple of pink water noodles. So I started back. I was tired WAY before the halfway point this time. In fact, after a few seconds I could no longer swim the standard front-stroke way. So I turned and did the back stroke for a while, then when that got tiring I tried the side stroke, then my other side, then I doggie-paddled (I shit you not) then I was trying strokes never heard of. In a matter of minutes I probably invented strokes that would revolutionize the swimming world, but all I was trying to do was use any muscle not yet failing me. Then, when I was a little past the halfway point I stopped and treaded water in order to get catch my breath. I looked over at my girlfriend and I noticed the life guard out, with his little red float, looking right at me. FUCK THAT! “FUCK YOU” I thought. I’d rather be brought back in by the fat-pack back there than have some shirtless baywatch reject bring me in to my girlfriend. FUCK THAT. Before I even started swimming again I had it planned out. If he came to get me I’d punch him in the face. I’d beat the shit out of him with the last of my energy and we’d both go down. Then the story would be that conditions were so bad that not even a lifeguard could endure. FUCK THAT GUY! I started again. This time I plowed through the pain. My arms would fall off, I was sure of it. I was going to make it to shore. And I did. It probably should have been one of the proudest moments of my life. The lifeguard put his stupid red float away and sulked back into his watchtower. The bulky-bunch floated out at the coral reef, undisturbed and barely moving. And I was standing on shore. It should have been a proud moment, indeed, but I looked at my girlfriend and she said “So are you done? That was dumb.” and walked back to our spot on the beach. I followed her, barely able to make it, and crumbled up in the fetal position for a few hours. Oh, and I had massive diarrhea that night, but I have no idea if that was related.
Went hiking the other day. We visited the information center before starting and the ranger there mentioned some hikers before us had said they’d seen a bear, so we should be careful. My girlfriend asked what we should do if we came across a bear and the ranger said you should stay as still as possible. Fuck that. OK, I’m no bear expert, but I’m pretty sure the worst advice you can ever take when you face a bear is to stand still. There’s a reason that when we are in stressful conditions we experience “fight or flight” not “fight, flight, or stand fucking still.” Its funny to me that people who are the biggest nature lovers… like this dickbutt ranger… choose to go against nature’s biggest influence: evolution. The only reason you and I are standing here is because we had an ancestor somewhere down the line that faced a bear, and said to him/herself “holy shit, I better run” and then ran. And that instinct got passed down to us. In contrast, the humans who had the instinct to stand still as a board when being pursued by a ravenous, large, beast are partly the reason for the bears’ existence today by giving them sustenance.