Category Archives: Humor Columns

You Will Excuse Us Cubs Fans for Maybe Being a Little Nervous (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Chicago Cubs fans are a murderously emotional lot, and by that I mean all of us lined up every spring to be routinely punched in the face for 108 years before finally — FINALLY — enjoying what people in New England call “Yeah, so?” The last time we Cubs fans had to deal with a post-championship hangover, it was 1909 and hangovers basically hadn’t been invented yet, so you will excuse us if we look at Jake Arrieta’s puffening ERA, the pervasive lack of clutch run support and Kris Bryant’s three-day dysentery attack (probably) and think WHELP, SHOW’S OVER, LET’S CHUCK IT ALL AND READ UP ON WHOEVER THE BEARS’ QUARTERBACK WILL BE NEXT YEAR.

It’s probably too early to worry about the Cubs, what with “four months left in the season” or whatever, but, then again, NO IT’S NOT, WE ARE CUBS FANS, WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS.

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Fidget Spinners: Making the End of America a Little More Manageable (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

Whee

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The Loop / Golf Digest — It’s a fidget spinner! You hold it and spin it around, and it spins. It’s like an adorable little propeller/ninja throwing star. You know those prizes you won for crushing 20 straight skeeball games at Celebration Station in 1987? It’s like one of those, except it’s made mostly of Rollerblade bearings, costs $32.99 and will arrive via Chinese steamer in six weeks, after which, in due time, it will end up in a crate in your damp crawlspace making friends with the Tamagotchi.

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How to Host the Andrew Luck Book Club on a Non-$140 Million Budget (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

The Loop / Golf Digest — The Andrew Luck Book Club is, to date, the only consistently active book club captained by a functional NFL quarterback, excepting the one briefly launched by Jim McMahon in 1985. (They mostly read the backs of Van Halen albums.) The Indianapolis Colts QB/only football player on Earth to be regarded favorably as “the team’s librarian” is well-known as one of them fancy readers, and his book club has quietly evolved into a genuine civic joy that promotes literacy and has been adopted by a number of city schools.

The club is currently online, though an audio version is coming to Indianapolis public radio this month. And it’s had the side effect of calming many of our city’s important sports debates about dropping $140 million on this guy. (“A hundred and forty million dollars is ridiculous!” “But ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ is a glimmering parable about the magic of youth and bravery YOU SON OF A BITCH” people will yell before throwing pork tenderloins around.)

Regardless, with Luck as inspiration, you might consider taking it a step further and hosting your own in-person book club. If so, a few tips for getting literate in your very own home:

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What Kind of Long and Painful Run Should You Put Yourself Through? (via The Loop/Golf Digest)

 

The Loop / Golf Digest — If you page back through human history, you’ll find a pretty short list of reasons that people have had to run for long distances, which are all basically some variation of “I was being chased by this thing with blood in its teeth and meat-tearing claws, and what’s with all the questions anyway, Glunk?”

This is, it is logically said, the primary reason our ancestors north on the evolutionary scale developed foot speed in the first place. But in modern times, with the whole hunter-gatherer situation pretty well replaced by a land stuffed with a surfeit of Golden Corrals and/or meat-ish clumps stacked three high and available without your removing yourself from your car, there’s really only one reason people run long distances: they are crazy fools whose brains have been replaced by oatmeal and a deep enjoyment of simply-avoided injury.

Some of us indulge this by running, because when you’re dealing with a thing that basically goes step-step-breathe 400,000 times in a row there’s not a lot of room to get all creative. But there are different kinds of races now: Mud runs, color runs, and our favorite, zombie runs. Which of these would best make your lame boring run more exciting?

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Why Can’t Any Politician Figure Out How Sports Work (via The Loop/Golf Digest)

“Run lengthy and catch this porkskin”

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The Loop / Golf Digest — White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus reportedly emerged from the GOP’s House healthcare victory last week by telling a reporter, “The president stepped up and helped punt the ball into the end zone,” a statement that assumes:

  1. You can score touchdowns while punting.
  2. Punters have helpers, and . . .
  3. Trump wanted to… safely return the ball to the opposing team?

Whatever. We take Preibus’s meaning, and it’s entirely feasible he mixed up metaphors in the giddy thrill of getting a bill a third of the way to completion. But he’s merely the latest example of why politicians should stop with the bringing up of sports.

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Spin Class Forced Me to Confront Many Uncomfortable Truths About Pitbull (via GQ)

GQ — So you’ve never taken a spin class. Well, it’s forty some odd minutes of nonstop pedaling, uphill climbs, perplexing grip-adjustments, gear turns, 74-year-olds, hyperventilating, and a Pitbull track or twelve.

1. There are other guys coming, right? Other guys are coming?

2. I’m sure other guys are coming. Guys are late to things all the time.

3. That’s a girl.

4. Girl.

5. Girl.

6. Girl.

7. That’s a guy, but he’s 74.

 

The rest of the thought process over at GQ.

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Mexican Wrestling’s Biggest Villain is One Bad Trump-Loving Hombre (via GQ)

"Bad dudes!"

“Bad dudes!”

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GQ — In the 1980s, pro wrestling was basically an Old Country Buffet of ethnic stereotypes that today reads like a Steve Bannon doodle book: The Iron Sheik (sported twisty handlebar mustache, like everyone in Iran)! Akeem (wore a red-and-green muumuu and will go down as wrestling’s most evil 400 lb. white African)! Nikolai Volkoff (Cold War holdover cursed with Russian background but blessed with solid singing voice)! The Bushwhackers (prior to two weeks ago, the only Australians we ever feuded with)! And the breathtaking manager Slick, whose intro music was entitled, and I cannot stress how much this is real, “Jive Soul Bro.”

In 2017 wrestling remains yuge in Mexico, where lucha libre—marked as ever by facemasks, ludicrous acrobatics, and deathlessly repeated babyface vs. heel storylines—draws thousands to arenas three nights a week. So if you’re an up-and-coming wrestler looking to make your villainous name in Mexico City, you become a Trump-thumping flag-waving Real American.

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This Enormous Falling Pierogi Pushed Me Right Off Facebook (via Vice Tonic)

pierogi drop 2017 whiting indiana

Real news.

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Vice / Tonic — If there’s one thing we all know to be true, it’s that we should abandon Facebook now. I knew this. And in all likelihood, you know this.

You can’t swing a dead cat around the internet without bumping it into studies proclaiming how we’re all burning the precious gift of life on a yawning vacuum packed with screaming idiots, masked cries for help from vague sad people we no longer know and whatever our exes are doing, which, surprise, doesn’t help anything. (Science, incidentally, also frowns on swinging dead cats, but I couldn’t find any studies on that.)

So while we all should quit for very good reasons, I ended up quitting, like I do most things, because of pierogies. 

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Tastes Like Burning: The Never-Ending Quest to Breed and Consume the World’s Hottest Pepper (via GQ)

gq-reaper-chip-cemetery-mcfadden

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GQ — Late last year, the former guitarist for Guns N’ Roses propped up his camera phone, pressed the record button, produced a cherry-red coffin-shaped box and put its contents directly in his mouth.

The box contained a tortilla chip—one single chip—made from the dust of the Carolina Reaper, the hottest pepper on Earth, designed solely to obliterate the senses.  In the video, the guitarist, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, places the shard of fire on his tongue as his wife of 27 years, Jen, does the same. Incredibly, Jen smiles. Bumblefoot, meanwhile, looks like somebody hit self-destruct on his face.

“If you like pain, you’re gonna like this,” he says, through breaths that grow increasingly panting. “It’s still burning. I’m feeling kind of sweaty.” He grimaces, forces some smiles, the fire inching back up his throat. A few minutes in, he absently brushes his right eye, which, because his immune system works, immediately swells shut. “I no longer have use of my eye,” he says, half-laughing through tears and mucus. Jen, next to him, continues to seem totally fine. A guy who spent eight years with Axl Rose as his boss is getting slaughtered by a tortilla chip while his wife is like, eh, whatever.

This episode goes on for six minutes. Bumblefoot excuses himself to flush his eye with water—which obviously doesn’t work—until the fire finally dies down enough for the couple to record an outro. “Paqui chips,” he says, sweating and one-eyed, “Thank you very much for destroying my life for the next half-hour.”

The full story at GQ.com.

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How We Briefly Sort Of Totally Lost Our Son on the London Underground (via the Washington Post)

london-underground-station-comp

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On Parenting at the Washington Post — One day, during my retirement, if there is still Social Security or whatever, I plan to write a collection of short stories called “Places I Have Lost My Son.” I lost him once in a state park, where, during a verdant and filthy family hike, he ambled ahead 10, then 20, then 500 yards, past a vigorous series of intersections and switchbacks. (We found him at the ranger station, making plans for what to do with his months-long iPhone ban.) I lost him once from his own bedroom when, at age 4, he let himself outside at 1:30 a.m. in a half-sleeping dream state, in search of the Polar Express. (We found him 20 minutes later a quarter-mile down the road, where he’d been discovered by two teenagers named Kevin and Brendan who were most assuredly not Tom Hanks.)

I’ve had to find him in zoos and museums, malls and airports, when something catches his imagination and instinct compels him to follow it. In my son’s brain, imagination is not some zingy, lively Peter Pan-type. It’s a 500-pound sumo wrestler who lumbers in and shoves aside all of the functions used for mindfulness and consciousness and “remembering to look behind him to see WHERE HIS DAD IS.” It’s both delightful, as there is no greater gift than childhood creativity, and god-awful terrifying, as there are few worse feelings than having to ask the nice security guards whether they have seen a 12-year-old in a blue hoodie. Twice.

Which brings me to how we totally lost him on the London subway.

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