Friday, November 13, 2009

My Twenties Bucket List

As some of you may know, but probably most of you do not, I turned 29 the other day. Yes, I am now just one year away from being 30 years old. I've sort of shut myself up in my apartment for the last few days just thinking about what this means for me. It will be the end of my twenties.... and the end of an era really. I figure I'll have to finally grow up and start acting like an adult. So before I turn 30, I figured there's some things that I should do. It's my twenties bucket list.

My Twenties Bucket List

1. Win just one arm-wrestle match: I've never been very good at arm-wrestling, which is a shame because I love arm-wrestling. In fact, I'll do almost anything to win just one match. I'd even consider arm-wrestling a child just to feel the rush from slamming someone's hand down on a table.

2. Make an amazing meatloaf: I like meatloaf but have never been able to make my own. The solution is simple: make my own amazing meatloaf.

3. Start a bar fight: What could be more exciting than starting a good, old-fashioned bar fight? I'm talking like a good Western-style bar fight.... smashing beer bottles, breaking chairs on backs, and, of course, sliding bodies down the entire length of the bar.

4. Learn how to speak Norwegian: This just seems like a cool language. Very few people that I know speak it.... in fact, I think that very few people even speak it. Outside of Norway, who is speaking it? And Norway can't have more than a couple of hundred people. If I learn Norwegian, I'll immediately be the talk of the party.... and really, who wouldn't find Norwegian intriguing?

5. Quiet an angry mob by firing a gun into the air: I imagine myself doing this after the bar fight from #3 has gone on for too long and has gotten a bit out of hand. I'll start by trying to quiet people down by saying, "Guys, we need to quiet down." And then when no one quiets down, I'll yell real loud, "Hey, guys! Quiet down!" When that inevitably does not work, I'll pull out my pistol and fire a single shot above my head. And that will get there attention. Everyone will stop and turn towards me. I'll slowly put my gun back in its holster and looking down at the blood on my boots I'll say very calmly, "Party's over. You folks go on back to your homes."

6. Wrestle with a grizzly bear: I want to prove that it can be done and put all these Davy Crockett nay-sayers to shame. And I'll do it.... even if I have to dress someone up in a bear suit.... I'll do it.

7. Film my own reality show: This is a long-time idea of mine to film my own reality show. I imagine it as chronicling my daily routine.... just what I do in a normal day. Like one episode I might just sit in my underwear wasting time on Facebook for 30 minutes. I don't know.... maybe my phone rings, but I don't answer it because I don't recognize the number.... but then that person calls again, so I answer it. And it's an old friend who I haven't spoken to in years, and he wants to know what I'm doing these days. And I reply, "Oh, I'm a doctor performing surgery right now. Yeah, you just caused me to ruin the entire procedure. Thanks!" And I hang up and go back to Facebook.

8. Slap someone in the face: This is closely related to the bar fight. I'm realizing now that I have a lot of pent aggression. Oh well.

9. Tell a woman, "I'm just not into you": This one is going to sound a little bitter, and there's probably nothing I can do to stop that. It's been a long-time dream of mine to reject an attractive woman regardless of whether or not she's into me. For example, I picture myself in a bar (perhaps right before I start the fight) where there's the most beautiful woman imaginable. I just want to be able to walk right up and reject her. I don't know.... perhaps I'm just really bitter. Maybe her boyfriend will come over and ask, "What the hell is your problem, buddy?" And I'll say, "My problem is I'm about to kick your ass!" That's when I'll break my beer bottle and start going crazy.... bar fight ensues.

10. Become a father: This one might seem weird, but I'm only half-joking. It would be nice to get a girl pregnant, marry her, and then ask her out on a date.... something like that. If there's one thing I can't stand it's having society tell me what to do. I'll court a woman how I please. And I know what you all are thinking.... No, I'm not going to break any laws here. I'll just ask a woman politely, "Excuse me, miss. Would you like to be the mother of my child?" And eventually someone will say "yes." It's just a simple matter of probability.

I love synthesizing things, and I'm realizing now that my bucket list could be merged into a single, amazing event.... perhaps the day before I turn 30. Here's how it goes. I make an amazing meatloaf (#2) that I bring to a bar where I win an arm-wrestling match (#1). I walk over to the loser's girlfriend and reject her (#9). Her boyfriend comes up and asks what the hell I'm doing. I slap him in the face (#8) and bar fight begins (#3). Somehow in this bar fight, a grizzly bear attacks me, and I'm forced to wrestle him (#6). Realizing this is getting out of hand, I end the fight by firing my pistol in the air (#5). At this point the beautiful woman is impressed with what she sees. So I walk up to her and ask her if she'd be the mother of my child. She doesn't speak English, though, so I try asking her in Norwegian (#4). She understands completely. "Yes," she says (in Norwegian) (#10). Meanwhile, this is all being filmed for my reality show (#7).

Then I turn 30.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Bar Fight Sequel

Yes, it's true. I'm ceasing with Beard Challenge Fall 2009.... at least for now. Well, the truth is I don't feel like posting photos anymore. Plus, my beard has blossomed into maturity now and is ready to be on its own.

I thought, instead, that I might finish the story I began last week. If you'll remember, Ross and I had gotten into a bloody bar fight. There were darts and stools flying everywhere. There is one correction I'd like to make though. The young lady whom Ross knocked out with a bar stool was not a cute little thing as I had originally described her. In short, she was a hag. Just a real ugly person. I think society will be much more accepting of this scenario. So that's taken care of.

If you'll remember, at the end of last week's story, I had managed to drag an enraged Ross out of the bar. This is where things got messy. As I escaped down York Ave., I had Ross flung over my shoulder.

"Put me down, damn it! I can take her!" Ross was still screaming. I had forgotten that he was never one to give up a fight. I tried to calm him down before some cop noticed us.

"You gotta shut it. Easy there, man. This ain't no Western." But in my heart I knew this was exactly like a Western. I was John Wayne to Ross's Glen Campbell in True Grit. Suddenly, Ross got quiet. He was breathing fast and hard. "Finally," I thought, "maybe we'll make it out of here without anymore trouble." Just then I noticed some drops of blood running down my right arm - the arm holding Ross up on my shoulder.

"Dear God, no!" I whispered. Had I been cut? Was I bleeding?

I turned into the nearest dark alley and laid Ross down against the wall of an abandoned building. I pulled up my sleeve and examined my arm. Nothing. Ross grabbed the right side of his stomach. He was wincing and having trouble breathing.

"She got me, Mike," he said quietly. "While you were kicking the fat guy on the floor, the ugly one grabbed a broken piece of the stool and took a swipe at my side."

"Don't you worry, Ross. I can fix this."
"No. She got me real good. It's all over now. Get out of here before the cops come."
"I'm not going anywhere," I said. "I got you into this mess with my damn beard. It's all my fault. Maybe I should never have grown this stupid thing. Maybe the world would be better off without it."
"Don't you say that, you bastard!" Ross shrieked coughing up some blood. "Don't you ever say that.... not while I'm here. Now get out of here! You and that beard go make somebody happy."
But I wasn't going to budge. I had seen enough medical shows on television and knew that I could save him. I just needed to stop the bleeding and sew up the wound. But where could I find a needle and some string? Where?

Just then out of the farthest corner of that alley emerged a dark figure. He was a typical hobo - no teeth, grizzly gray beard, raggedy overcoat - except that he was carrying a medical bag. "I'll sell you this medical kit. It has everything you need," he said.
"Of course! Anything. What do you want for it?" I asked.
"Your beard versus mine."
"What? You want our beards to battle each other?"
"Yes," he said, "they fight, and if yours wins you get the medical kit."

This was absurd, but I was desperate. When you're desperate, you'll do some crazy things. So my beard battled the hobo's gray beard. I won't even try to describe it. There are just some things that words can not capture, where language becomes no longer adequate. Suffice it to say, my beard won the fight, and the hobo handed over the bag of medical supplies.

"Fine, you can have it," he said, "but why didn't you just got to the emergency room?"
"Because it's too dangerous. There'd be too many questions. The cops would find us for sure." In hind sight we probably didn't need to be so worried about the cops, but at the time it seemed like a real danger.

Everything that I needed was in that bag: needle, string, bandages, and even a bottle of whiskey. It was a very old medical bag. I rolled up Ross's shirt to examine the wound.
"Wait!" he yelled and grabbed the old whiskey bottle. He took a long swig and then poured some over the wound.
"I'm not going to sugar coat this for you. It's going to hurt real bad. But look at me.... you're going to make it," I said. Just then I remembered that I had been carrying a pen in my pocket.
"There. Now chomp down on this."
As I stitched up his side, Ross chomped down so hard on that pen that it snapped in two. By then the pain got so great that he just passed out. The stitching up went ok. But Ross was out cold, and not knowing if something was wrong with him, I began to panic.

"Why, God?! Why?!" I screamed with hands raised to the night sky.
"Don't you die on me, damn it!" I scooped him up in my arms. "Don't you dare die on me, Ross! Don't you die on me!" By now I was sobbing heavily. This continued for 45 minutes as Ross was out cold.

A few days later I realized that my medical care may not have been as skillful as first thought. The wound had turned black and, according to Ross, felt like a burning coal had been placed inside of him. So I ended up taking him to the hospital after all. It turns out that the needle was the last thing that should have been touching anyone's blood. The doctor thought it best to run some tests to make sure Ross hadn't picked up any diseases. We're still waiting for the results.