Friday, March 30, 2012

Things that terrified me (but probably shouldn't have)

Fear is a very powerful force. It can cause a person to go to extreme lengths to avoid what they feel is a harbinger of doom. It can cause a young layabout (me) to turn things around and start getting straight A's (the fear of a mother's wrath can do wonders). It can cause a middle aged man (my father) to leap out of a window well like an Olympic athlete going for the gold (Snakes! There are snakes everywhere!). It can even cause a grown man to squeal like a girl when he gets his arm touched in the dark (Coombsy).

He probably just saw a bunch of spiders...or his 401K

Some fears, like the ones listed above are completely rational (for the most part). Some on the other hand make absolutely no sense at all. As I was growing up I will have to admit I had some of the most ridiculous fears. I wasn't afraid of global war or diseases or even girls, but I was afraid of random things like...

Losing my toenails while jumping feet first into the water 

To be fair this is a fear that was pressed on me by an older sibling. I was at a very impressionable age and I thought my sisters cared about me and my best interest. That being the case I listened when I was told that if I didn't carefully curl my toes my toenails would go all confederate on me and try to secede from the union that is my body (that is exactly how she put it). I was understandably not cool with the thought of having no toenails and that a little bit of water could wreak such havoc. In the following years I did what I had to (or thought I had to) in order to keep my little piggies happy. In lieu of jumping in feet first I would dive or flip or even belly flop all because I thought my toenails were one misstep away from a mutiny.

For the love of all that is holy keep those feet up!

After a while I started to learn more about science and the human body and I came to a shocking conclusion. My sister had been messing with me the whole time. The world I knew was shattered I was no longer a trusting and innocent youth. I had been jaded and subjected to the wiles of the world, but at least I was able to lose my irrational hatred for my toenails although we are still embroiled in an uneasy standoff to this day.

Don't fail me now toenails!

Sneezing while driving

As I was learning how to drive the strangest thought popped into my head. What would happen to me if I sneezed while driving? As I contemplated this I started imagining some of the most horrific things possible. I imagined swerving into oncoming traffic and ramming head on with a semi full of gas or other explosives. I saw myself possibly flying of a cliff because of an ill timed nose tickle. Basically every scenario involved tons of collateral damage and a wounded or dead me. So naturally I took these strange imaginings as truth. I came to believe that a car sneeze meant death and I had to do anything at all costs to avoid it.

See this bird gets it.
This is the way I felt for years. I managed to get by without sneezing through a combination of luck and sheer determination, but that all ended on fateful day when I couldn't hold it back any longer and...AND...nothing happened. I couldn't believe I was still alive. I checked all my limbs to make sure they hadn't been horrifically removed somehow mid-sneeze, and much to my surprise they hadn't been. That day marked a new phase of my life. I was free. No longer did I live in constant fear of sneeze induced death or maiming. If only the same thing could be said about...

Ice skating

This one still scares me to this day. I don't have any logical explanation as to why it scares me it just does. The kicker is that it didn't bother me at all as a child. I could get out there and do things like a regular Boitano. Okay so I wasn't as good as all that but I could go forward and backward so that is something. I guess too much time passed between the skating days of my youth and the time that I finally went back in the rink because as I put on my skates I began to tremble and I broke out into a cold sweat. As the drops rolled down my chilled spine I knew in my heart that each breath and each step could be my last.

He saw the sign. He ventured out at his own peril.

If you think I am exaggerating you might be right, but as the Dukes can attest I was not of fan of the skating rink our last time out. I do have a theory however. My legs are enormous, and my calves are probably the size of some people's waists. That being the case when I put on ice skates that go up to mid calf I have absolutely no ankle support. Imagine you are trying to balance a bowling ball on a Pringles can. Now imagine you are trying to brace said bowling ball by wrapping some yarn around it. That really isn't going to work. You need to shore up the foundation that is the Pringles can if you have any hope of success. That being said the Pringles can that is my ankle has no support whatsoever with those darn ice skates and it terrifies me.

After reading this post you may be asking yourself "What is wrong with this guy? I am glad I am not him." but to you I say for shame. At least I had the courage (or stupidity) to go out and share my random fears with you people. I could have pretended to be perfectly normal without any irrational thoughts floating through my head but I didn't think that was fair to any potential friends and associates out there. Also I am sure that you all have your fair share of phobias even if they aren't as bizarre as mine. Just remember fear is normal and can actually be useful in some situations. Just make sure you recognize it for what it is, the opportunity you have been waiting for to impress that special someone with your bravery and awesomeness. Just hope for your sake that moment isn't broadcast on national television. Like this guy below.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Deaf with Rage: A True Story of Things I Hate

For the most part I would say I am a very calm fellow. I am often compared to a teddy bear and my passing is often marked with the phrase "awwwe I just want to squeeze him" (From time to time these feeling get acted upon). I wear glasses and button up shirts and I have the gentle voice of a much smaller man (I like to think of this smaller man as a horse whisperer or a narrator for a children's television series) I do not like confrontation and I get along with pretty much everyone that crosses my path, but in the spirit of full disclosure there are a few exceptions to that rule. This post is meant as a catharsis of some of these feelings. I will share my hate in an attempt to lessen it, or at worst to convert some of you to the cause.

1. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and anything to do with the Patriots*.

I am a Colts fan and as such I have been conditioned to hate the Patriots. Although I feel that I might take it a wee bit too far. To explain myself here I will try and describe fully what I feel about them. If I saw Tom Brady (or Bill Belichick) on the street I would literally jump out of my car and leave it to the mercy of the road gods and sprint towards him as fast as my hefty frame would let me and once I arrived I would dragon kick him in the face.

Substitute the baby for Tom Brady and this image is pretty spot on.

My hatred is almost fanatical. At times I almost feel a loss for the Patriots is better than a win for the Colts. If a win for the Colts can be compared to getting a free cupcake then a loss for the Patriots would be like getting to punch Tom Brady in the face (even my analogies involve hating the Patriots). Both things are quite awesome but it does make it pretty hard to compare my feeling and say which I enjoy more.

*Exception: Vince Wilfork

There is only one thing about the Patriots that I don't hate and that is the nose tackle Vince Wilfork. No matter how hard I try it is just not possible for me to hate him. He is an enormous man. He makes me look petite and that is really not a common occurrence. He is very easy going and seems to have a good time on the field while at the same time performing quite admirably. The only thing that would make this man better would be if he were to join another team. Any team. I mean seriously any team would do.

How can you not like this man?

2. 100%+

As most of you out there know I love me some numbers and counting, but there is one thing I cannot stand. It is when people say they are going to give more than 100%. It isn't possible!! If you have 10 apples can you give me 110% of them? No you can't! You can't magically give me 11 apples out of your 10 and if you try there must be something seriously wrong with you. Gah! Just thinking about this has me all hot and bothered.


There are a few exceptions to this rule and the first is if a teacher gives extra credit. If that happens it means that the test/paper can have a score over 100% and I am totally cool with that. Next if you are quantifying an increase in terms of percentage there are many situations in which the number will be over 100%. For example you could say that national debt per person has increased 450% since the 70's (taking into account inflation) and I wouldn't have a problem with that (well the percentage part of it anyways).

I love you whoever wrote this.

3. Using the wrong direction term.

I am quite good at directions and I really never get lost so that being the case I am not super forgiving when it comes to some things involving directions. Let us say we are going on a trip to Canada. We are going to have a grand time for sure but when we tell people about the trip we might say something like "we are going up to Canada for the week to hunt bears". It is fairly common to say something along those lines, but sometimes people say it more like this, " we are going down to Canada to be eaten by bears because apparently we are too stupid to realize that Canada is north of us so clearly we aren't going down to Canada, but due to our lack of intelligence we will probably forget our guns and become bear fodder."

In the grand scheme of things it is not a big deal but man it rankles me so much. Next time you hear someone say the wrong term I would request that you give that person a solid punch or at least a glare if the person is really big and scary looking.

Exception: If you are talking about elevation there is chance I will let it slide as long as you make me aware that elevation is your focus.

4. Snitches

This one shouldn't need a lot of discussion. Snitches get stitches and that is all there is to it.

I dedicate this to you random person in the Taylorsville 2nd ward.
Exception: None

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: 21 Jump Street

Who likes the 80's? I am guessing that question brought some mixed feelings. For some the 80's just seem like an embarrassing time full of hair crimping, Duran Duran and parachute pants. The rest of you probably feel some fondness for that decade since it did give the world at least one amazing thing, me (also remember Skip-It, Reading Rainbow, The California Raisins, the rest of the Dukes, ALF, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ecto Cooler and D.A.R.E.).

You didn't think I would forget Super Mario Bros. did you?

We also have the 80's to thank for Johnny Depp's popularity. He started out his career in the original Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984, but he really got noticed when he started on the TV show 21 Jump Street in 1987. Also as I have stated several times in my posts, Johnny Depp makes everything better (see: Rango).

So when I heard they were remaking 21 Jump Street I got all nostalgic and started thinking about the original series and a young Johnny Depp. After a moment I processed the rest of the news I had heard that Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum were starring in the remake. I thought to myself "but wait, the original series was a drama and this clearly seems set up to be a comedy. How is that going to work out?! Also can Channing Tatum be funny?! I have only ever seen him as a romantic or action lead! Did I turn off the light in my room?! Why am I still shouting questions in my head?!"

As you can see from my train of thought I was more than just a little unsure of how it was going to end up. After a few more months the first preview finally came out and with it a reprieve from some of my worries (I was still worried about wasting electricity). The preview made the movie look hilarious and I decided that this was one movie that I was going to see for sure (along with quite a few more since I might (read: do) have a slight addiction to movies).

Me after 122 movie-less hours

As the show begins we see Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) as they are in high school. Jenko is super popular and gets poor grades. Schmidt is a loner but does well in school. Years later they reunite in the police academy and it seems like not a lot has changed. Jenko is still blessed with his physical attributes but struggles with the written portions. Schmidt is the opposite. They see this and decide they should be friends so they can help each other out (makes sense).

After graduation they end up as partners on the force, but they are total screw ups. Because of this and their youthful appearance they are placed in a special undercover unit that infiltrates high schools. Jenko and Schmidt are tasked with taking town a synthetic drug ring whose product recently had killed a student. Hilarity ensues.

This movie really is full of quite a lot of laugh out loud moments. I probably missed a few things because I couldn't hear the dialogue over the raucous laughter in our theater. I was surprised by the comedic timing and chops that Channing Tatum showed. Also the chemistry between the two leads was amazing. I should warn you that this movie is not for children. The F-word is used 123 times in the movie (half are probably said by Ice Cube in his role as the captain of the jump street unit). For those of you wondering no, I wasn't the one to count them (I was counting other things) but I can imagine who did.

One of my heroes

The plot follows a fairly predictable path, but that is to be expected in this type of comedy.  The movie did provide enough surprises and random events to make this movie feel fresh. During one of the chase scenes nothing blows up or reacts the way that the characters expected. Also the scene where they start tripping on  the drug is great. I won't be able to look at an ice cream cone the same way again. One of the best moments of the film is when Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise have their cameo. Both of them reprise their role from the TV series, but decades from where the show left off. It turns out Johnny Depp really liked the idea of a cameo but said he wouldn't do it without Peter. When Depp showed up on set he pretty much ad-libbed the entire scene. They liked what he said so much that they pretty much just left it alone.

On the whole I really enjoyed the film. It was well made and it did its job in making me laugh. As you should know by now this is where I like to put random facts about the movie. In the movie, Tatum and Hill are discussing how high school had changed and how the popular kids were different. Tatum responds with this gem, "You know who I blame? I blame GLEE. F**K GLEE!" That made me chuckle but when I made the connection to an actual episode of GLEE it really made me laugh. In the 2010 Christmas special of GLEE, Chang has a wish for Santa. He says to Santa "I wish Channing Tatum would stop being in stuff". I guess Channing was none too pleased with this and he used this movie as a chance to get back at them. I had wondered why it didn't look like he was acting in that scene.

Rating 4 Stars

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Operation: Kill Frederick

A few weeks ago the Dukes decided to enter into a new and difficult mission. This mission would involve killing Frederick. "Who is Frederick and why should we care?" you might ask. Frederick is the name I have given my stomach and you should care because it involves me and I am awesome (citation needed). Recently we (Ricky and I) decided enough was enough.  It was time to make a commitment to weight loss. My big moment of realization came when I saw a picture of myself hiding another person with my body. Oh yes there is another person lying down past me. It isn't even a child it is a 200 pound man who happens to be named Coombsy.

How long have I had four legs?!

 Being my size is not something new to me. At the tender age of twelve I was nearly 6'2" and weighed in at a solid 287. I was so big that the librarian of my junior high tried to kick me out stating "this library is for students only!" I answered back meekly "but I do go to school here." I then showed my student ID and the librarian was speechless (so speechless she never said another word to me during my time in that school). My lifelong dream has been to be 6'4". At twelve things were looking good but for some reason fate decided to leave me half an inch short of 6'3". I hate you so much fate. Give me my inch and a half!! Oh sorry I lost myself for a moment in my rage and it caused me to get off topic.

I like who I am and I love my life but there are a few things I would enjoy if I lost some weight. Since I love lists and bullets points you can kind of guess what is coming. I would love to...

  • Be able to buy clothes at a normal retail store and not online. Don't get me wrong I love online shopping but clothes can be a gamble if you aren't able to try them on. Also I can't trust pictures I see of the clothes. I swear they are out to trick me and force me into buying a shirt that appears to be the color of a highlighter that is hopped up on a cocktail of steroids and crack.
  • Be able to tie my shoes like a normal person. A friend once told me you could tell an overweight person just by looking at shoelaces. A skinny person ties it in the middle whereas a larger person often has the knot on the side. It is a simple fact that bending over with a stomach causes the legs to go out wider and changes the angle of attack on the shoe.
My shoe as I write this post. I know I need to shine them. Don't judge me.
  • Be able to jump. Right now when I play basketball my guess is you would be hard pressed to get a piece of paper between my shoe and the floor. I can only imagine what it would be like to go shredding through the strata like some kind of magical sky leopard.
  • Be able to touch my toes. This is one that has left me only in recent years. I have been able to touch my toes most of my life but now I find myself a few inches away. Cutting a few inches off the waist should do the trick (that or actually stretching or doing yoga).
  • Be able to win at hide and seek (or any game that involves concealing your person). Right now my hiding places are quite limited. I can only go where a bull rhino would also be able to tread and since that is the case I am usually pretty easy to find. 
Losing weight doesn't mean everything will be all grand and life will be strewn with flowers. There also is a bit of a downside that I feel like I need to share.

  • The torpedo of doom will become the torpedo of meh. For those of you that are confused the torpedo of doom is an event that involves a few things: one water slide, one water slide pad, and nearly 800 pounds of men. This is a special treat that we usually serve up at Crystal Hot Springs. It involves Coombsy, Ricky and I going down at the same time on one pad. It is one of the greatest things involved in our trips there. That being the case if we lose weight we will lose part of the fun of these trips. 
  • I will not be able to absorb a punch or a cannonball to the stomach nearly as well when Frederick is gone. I have not had to take a cannonball yet but I am sure one day it will be needed and won't I look foolish if that day comes and I have lost my padding.
I know this day is coming.

  • I will no longer be mistaken as an albino Polynesian or as a Buddha with hair.  I like it when that happens and if I lose the weight that will be gone. 
  • My post called May the Guessing game Continue will be irrelevant. As a recreational writer I don't know if I could handle that blow.
All in all it looks like I should go ahead and lose the weight (partly because my sister is a registered dietitian and she feels shame every time she looks at food choices).   So since we have decided to take this plunge you out there should be our support. For example if you see me going for a second cookie don't hesitate to take me down (I would recommend going for the knees).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie:John Carter

Many people have not heard of John Carter or the story it came from "The Princess of Mars" and because of this they make some really random statements and judgments that are ridiculous at best. I have heard people say that they just stole from Star Wars or Avatar and included a ton of cliched sci-fi plot points. To these people I say pfff. The original story of John Carter predates all of the aforementioned movies and created most the the so called cliche sci-fi bits.If anything George Lucas is nothing more than a dirty  thief (the George Lucas that gave us Jar-Jar Binks not the one that gave us Han Solo. I can say nothing bad about the early years George Lucas.) and the same goes for you James Cameron.

Going into this movie I wasn't expecting a ton. After seeing the previews I felt that the acting looked wooden and it didn't seem to have a great story. Also we are still in March and with February movies still fresh in my mind (see: Ghost Rider) I am leery of anything being put out by Hollywood. With that in my head and a lack of other movie options we headed to the theater.

As the movie started I felt myself warming towards it. The irascible John Carter did not like Bryan Cranston's character at all and made several escalating attempts to escape. The scenes were quite entertaining and they helped build our idea of what John Carter stood for and how his life had shaped him. As he is engaging in his latest escape attempt he manages to get on the bad side of some local Apache Indians. As he is trying to avoid them he comes across a strange cave full of gold and random symbols. While inside he gets attacked by a strange being but the creature gets shot. As the creature lay dying he activates a pendant, which John grabs. As he looks at the pendant it glows and the next thing he knows he is waking up in the middle of some random desert.  Welcome to Mars John Carter!

I don't want to delve too deeply into the rest of the plot for several reasons. The first and most important reason is that I am a very lazy man. I just don't want to write that much. Also it has quite a complex plot that would need a lot of time to talk about and to read (you are welcome). Lastly I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but back to the second point. I was reading reviews from a few other people and they said the plot was too complex and hard for them to understand. My feelings are if you can't understand this movie I weep for our future (even more than I already do). So instead of talking about the plot I will focus on other factors in this film.

 I thought the movie had decent acting. I really was a fan of Princess Dejah but since she is also an accomplished Shakespearean actress that makes sense. I also enjoyed the graphics and thought the entire film was well placed. Going into a movie you need to have a willing suspension of disbelief but I have my limits and it usually has to do with something science-y. Because of the different atmosphere and gravity of Mars John Carter has amazing strength and a great leaping ability. I could handle that just fine. The part that got me was when he jumped several hundred feet off of a boat that appeared to be made of palm fronds or something equally weak. If he were to push off the boat with enough force to jump hundreds of feet the boat would have exploded as he took off but instead it just shook a bit. I know it is a small thing but I usually have issues with some of the smaller details in films.

   How the movie saw it             How it really should have looked

As always I feel like sharing some random facts about this movie with you. The first should be interesting for all of the local readers. The story of John Carter was written in Utah and much of the filming was done here as well  almost exactly 100 years apart. The character played by the nephew is named Edgar Rice Burroughs. That is also the name of the man who wrote the story which makes sense since in the original book Mr. Burroughs writes as if it really is the story his uncle left behind for him. Last but not least this movie was in "development hell" for 79 years which marks the longest time any movie has been in the works. (It was originally meant to be an animated feature and had it been made it would have beat Snow White to be the first animated feature ever.)

It would have looked something like this.
Rating 3.75 Stars

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

On the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Seuss, (His birthday some might say. I wouldn't because he is dead but I guess that is just semantics. Also I think we should commemorate the day of his passing and I promise that it has nothing to do with the fact that it happens to be on my birthday.) we decided to go see the film version of one of his popular tales. I am a huge Seuss fan. I own a lot of his books and I really enjoy his work including his propaganda for World War II.

This sneetch has more than a star on thar.

His work is a staple for almost every child in the United States and accounts for 78 percent of people being able to tell a red fish from a blue fish. (not confirmed) Since his work has influenced so many people it was inevitable that films would be made of his stories. When they are done well I love them and think that the world is a grand place (How the Grinch Stole Christmas), but when they are poorly done I wish I had the physical capability to gouge out my eyes in hopes of removing from my memory what I had just seen. (the live action Cat in the Hat)

So when it came time to see the Lorax I was worried but still quite hopeful. I mean the title character was being voiced by Danny DeVito. He is a great voice actor and he even looks like the Lorax, just paint him orange and toss on a mustache.  Also it has Betty White in it. Betty White makes everything better.

The Lorax marks the first book where Dr. Seuss gave in to his second wife. She was quite the environmentalist and she wanted him to write a book about protecting the environment. It gets its message across quite well but "I speak for the trees" would not be a good slogan for myself or any of the rest of the Dukes. It isn't that we hate trees, that isn't it at all. I am sure we would get along fine if we got to know them, but we just really like using axes and chainsaws.

We have an incredible amount of photos involving tree murder.

Having read the book I had a good idea of what the story would entail. Since most of you have probably read it as well I will spare you all a very long and overly detailed plot synopsis. Instead I will just give you a quick reminder. A young boy lives in a super polluted world where everything is manufactured and there are no plants. This boy goes to visit the Once-ler to find out what happened and why there are no more trees. The Once-ler explains that he came to this land and started chopping down all the trees to make a product he insisted everyone needed. The Lorax appeared to him and said that he spoke for the trees. He begged with the Once-ler to stop. He did not and in the end all of the trees were gone and all the animals were forced to move away. I won't give the ending away because I don't want to ruin the book if you haven't read it or if you really hate spoilers.

One thing that surprised me about this movie was the fact that it was a musical and a lot of you know I love musicals (don't judge me). The songs fit in well the movie and if anything added to the overall film rather than detracted. The film was well made and had a very cohesive plot that I think fit in well with the original story. At times the movie was quite hilarious and others made you sad and contemplative. The various silent animal characters added a ton in comedy value. My personal favorites were the three singing fish due to their timing and harmony.

If you are in a mood for a kids movie or you just love Dr. Seuss I would recommend this movie to you. It will keep you entertained for the full 90 minute run time. I love trivia so here I go again. The main characters in the movie are named Ted and Audrey. This was done in homage to Dr. Seuss (whose real name is Theodore) and his second wife Audrey Geisel. 

Rating 4 stars

Sunday, March 4, 2012

5 reasons why women should not trust the Dukes

This post is not an easy one for me to write for several reasons. First off this is severely going to hinder our chances at getting dates, but I figure that there are some things that you ladies need to know before you get involved with us. Secondly this post fills me with shame for the things we have done.

We as a group try our best to be chivalrous. We open doors for ladies, automatic shotgun goes to the lady and we try and compliment more than criticize (except with Andrea and I am not quite sure why). As you read through this post try and remember that we aren't bad guys at heart. We just had some poor lapses in judgment.

I mean look at our childlike sense of wonder. We could never do any harm on purpose.

ONE: Zac values the safety of a tire over that of a girl.

I figured I would but mine in first to get the pain over with. On a lovely fall weekend we decided it would be a great idea to go camping. We spent an awesome night cavorting and chopping things down (only dead trees so stop judging). The morning came and after we cleaned up we were spending the last of our time playing horse shoes, cards and the like.

In that atmosphere I decided I would engage in a feat of strength (it wasn't even for Festivus). It was a foolhardy move, one that I have regretted in the past few years. Nearby there were a few poles that had tires cemented to the bottom to be used for volleyball (or tether-ball if you are really lonely). In my sleep deprived state I thought "you know what would be a great idea? We should tip this pole over and have someone cling to the tire free end and I will dead lift the whole apparatus." I decided to ignore the fact that the pole is much thicker than the weight lifting bars and the fact that these poles love to rotate once you have them in hand. Right now I find myself at a loss for words so I will just show you the video.

Oh the shame I feel! This type of event cannot be justified but I will let you in on what I was thinking during the event.

ME: Okay I have her in the air now time to focus on the tire.
ME: The tire is starting to come up so that is good.
ME: Oh no Coombsy is no longer holding on to the tire and the bar is starting to rotate like they are wont to do!
ME: I had better let this tire down gently.
ME: Perfect. The tire is on the ground.
ME: I can just let go of the other end because there isn't anything I am forgett...ASHLEY!
ME: Phew she is okay.
ME: I guess it is time for me to give the camera a sheepish grin

There you have it, one big reason why I can't be trusted by the ladies. The worst part is that I tried this again with a dude and you guessed it. I did not drop him.

Pictured: Me NOT dropping him.
TWO: Ricky is a not a lover but a fighter ( a slapper and a biter)

Ricky is probably the last person I would accuse of being violent towards women. He has had chivalrous notions pounded into his head for decades by his mother (who happens to be a saint so don't tell Ricky otherwise). That in mind makes these following stories all the more shocking.

Can you see any harm in this man?

The first takes place like most good stories in Ricky's dimly lit basement (I am talking about movie watching. Get your mind in check.). We had just finished watching something entertaining and a girl decided it would be a good idea to repeatedly poke Ricky in the side. Jokingly Ricky threatened to backhand her with his ring hand since he had just purchased a new large ring. To demonstrate this threat Ricky started to move his hand in the back handing motion. Unfortunately (mainly for her) McKell decided to lean in for another poke at the same time.

SMACK! His hand went across her face and the room had been shocked into silence. I am not proud to admit this but I just started to laugh.  This next story also made me laugh because in this case he meant to do it and it was well deserved.

Sadly I was not able to witness this one first hand so I had to gather together the statements of all parties involved so I could write about this event that has nearly become legend. A group of our friends had gone to Lagoon. I didn't go because I was working and I just don't like Lagoon. While waiting in line Ricky said some snarky comment. (this is Ricky so you shouldn't be shocked.) In response to this a girl started to dig her fingernails into his face.

As you can imagine he did not like this one bit. As she was digging away, her thumb entered Ricky's mouth. He told her to stop or he would bite. She didn't stop so he chomped down. Hard.

Molding of Ricky's teeth
Instead of letting go this girl started digging even more. As you can imagine Ricky bit down harder. Eventually she let go and Ricky was declared the victor. "How can there be a victor?" you might ask. The answer is tears. Her tears were proof that she had clearly lost that encounter.

THREE: Danny hits every girl in the face with anything that can be thrown, rolled, tossed or pitched.

Danny likes to throw things. It can be stones in a pond or footballs in a park. Normally that is not a bad thing. It is a good way to get off his boyish energy. Every once in a while the dark side of this rears its ugly head and he hits people in the face with things repeatedly.

Shown here throwing himself

I am not going to put down too many individual tales since this is a very common occurrence but I will give you just a taste. Back in high school Danny and I were in a few plays as musicals together. On one such occasion we were not needed on the stage so we were passing the time rolling a large nut back and forth (as in a nut and bolt). It was quite entertaining to us until Danny decided to give it a good shove. It took a wicked curve and headed straight towards the prone form of a napping girl. As it collided with her eyebrow it made a metallic clang. The sound is what shocked us the most. My guess is that the girl was actually a robot (If you ignore the blood and stitches that were required), but it still was a girl and he hit her in the face .

Other things that he has thrown at people include: snowballs(many times) footballs, baseballs, baseball bats, candy pumpkins, basketballs, skittles...and the list goes on and on. So the big thing you should take from this is if you hear us yell duck we really do mean it.

FOUR: Coombsy squeals like a girl when frightened

I couldn't finish this list if I hadn't included all of the Dukes so I dug deep to find something for Coombsy which was hard since he is such a nice guy. After a while of brainstorming I remembered one event that happened many(read: 2) years ago...

It was a dark and eerie night. We had concluded a night of movie watching in Ricky's basement. All the lights were out and even the glow of the T.V. had been shut off. We were busily engaged in chatting when I noticed some movement at my side. For this story to make sense I need to give you guys some perspective on the layout of the room. The T.V is against the east wall. On the opposite side starting at the northern most item we had a couch, a recliner and a lovesac. Coombsy was on the couch, I was in the recliner and Danny was on the lovesac.

The movement I had noticed was Danny sliding off the love sac and creeping slowly behind my chair. When he noticed I saw him he motioned for me to remain quiet and to pretend I was talking to him in his original spot. Slowly he moved behind me. Once he passed the obstacle he slowly rose up, but no one had seen him so he went back down. The next time he came up he was closer still. Finally Coombsy noticed him. Danny slowly reached out his hand and as he touched Coombsy's leg we heard the girliest squeal/scream/shriek any of us had ever heard. It was amazing. He had seen Danny rise up and he hadn't been fazed. It wasn't until he had been touched that his lady noises came out.

Take away the mustache and touch his leg and he could pass as a girl.

  FIVE: Movies

As should be pretty evident by now we are big movie watchers. With this comes the fact that we will see some terrible shows in our quest for entertainment. Women have often been forced to suffer through these movies because we don't warn them beforehand what we are planning on watching. It is a big problem for us seeing as how the complaint we hear the most often is "That was a terrible movie! Why did you make me watch that?"  The thing is we don't have an answer. We don't know why we watched that, but it is too late for us to unwatch it.

We always have hope that a movie will be entertaining or if worst comes to worst that we will be able to ridicule it into submission Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. We don't promise that they will all be winners but we will do our darnedest to make it an enjoyable issue. This is something that we should tell people before they come over but what can I say? We are not to be trusted.

I hope that after recoiling in horror at reading what we have done that you will be able to see how these events have shaped us and come to forgive us. If you are unable to do so I will understand. This is my hope and my prayer. I bid thee adieu.