Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things That Piss Me Off #24: Jared Fogle



So here's the thing.

I think it's FANTASTIC that Jared has lost a million pounds. Really. That's awesome. Any time someone can drastically change themselves for the better, I think they deserve a FIRM HANDSHAKE and an "Attaboy" from all close friends and family. 

And you know what else? I don't begrudge his monetizing of this achievement because like my dad says, "you make hay while the sun shines." Jared has been making a lot of hay for a long time and good for him.

But you know what my dad also says?: "Pigs gets fed, hogs get slaughtered." I didn't really know what this meant so I won't necessarily expect you to either, but to paraphrase, "Don't be such a greedy little piggy, Jared."

What did it for me was a commercial I heard on the radio. Something about Jared running 500+ miles in training for a marathon. It didn't say it in so many words, but the gist of the ad was, " Isn't Jared awesome? He used to be a REALLY fat guy and now he's training for a marathon!!"  OK ENOUGH.

It's like I'm supposed to have some kind of reaction to the fact that Jared's running a marathon now? I've got nothing else to give you, Jared. You've squeezed out the last drop of former-fat-guy sympathy. I've got NOTHING left. And do you know why?

It's his job to eat sandwiches and not get fat and run marathons. This doesn't make me like him. This makes me uncompromisingly jealous of him. I'm training for a half-marathon and you know how many radio commercial people lavish praise on me for running up and down my local roads like a crippled plowhorse? ZERO.

You know, I would LOVE for my day job to involve being the face (and body) of a sandwich chain. It would be nice to film commercials where I hold pants that could fit a Tyrannosaurus Rex as a contextual aid for how much weight I lost while eating the sandwich chain's food and it would also be nice to rub elbows with famous actors and athletes in these commercials. I like everything I just wrote.

BUT WE DON'T ALL GET TO DO THAT. And thus, I can't muster up any additional excitement for you, Fogle. You've been at this for 10 years now. Maybe it's time to take a different angle. Maybe host an Animal Planet show? Go on Survivor?
 
Do you remember the "Dude, you're getting a Dell" guy? I went to high school with him. Nobody liked him because he always did weird magic shows during study periods, but we all were somewhat happy for him when his commercials started running. 

They went for a while until Dell had the good sense to move on because no one likes seeing the same person haranguing them about a certain product for an extended period of time (I'm looking at you weird Progressive Lady). Like the wise old sage Solomon said, "To everything there is a season..." 

I just think it would be in the best interest of all parties if we all just took a little time to really focus on different things. I don't begrudge the guy anything, but seriously, enough is enough. 

This is like ten years of hearing Uncle Rico talk about how if he had a time machine he could go back and win state...and throw a football over that there mountain. After a while, it just seems wise to mix things up a bit.

How do you feel about Jared?


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Morning Meatloaf


Good Links

Good Reads

Good Pictures





 (Hint: Look at her right side up and try not to scream...)






Good Video
(Late to the party on this one? Maybe. I don't care. This video is that good. Keep an eye out for two underrated things...

Underrated thing #1? His gloves.
Underrated thing #2? How he restates his party name at the end. Because when voters go to the polls, I bet some will be like, "Hey...what party was that crazy guy with? You know, the one with the beard and black gloves. Is it, Rent is Not Too High? Rent May Be a Little High? Oh well, guess I can't vote for him."


Good Search Query Pointing to My Blog
"skit guys retard" 


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Answering Some Reader Mail...



This should need no introduction, but I'm giving you one anyway. Mr. Tyler Tarver and myself receive letters upon letters from readers asking various questions and soliciting our advice. 

For a while, we have privately communicated with them out of the goodness of our respective hearts. But, being capitalistic, we figured, why not get a blog post out of it? 

So we present to you this first edition of Great Moments In Reader Mail History Volume I. Below is part one. Hitch your wagon to this link and click it to see the other part of this mailbag. It's mandatory.
 
Q: I need a "thing." I'm looking for a calling card. Something like a top hat like a rich person or a sweet cane that turns into a sword or something. Do you have any suggestions? If it helps I'm 5'8' 175 lbs and Anglo.
- Vince, Albuquerque

Knox: I feel you. In this huge world, you need a gimmick to set yourself apart. My solution? Go Captain Hook. The guy wore a giant wig and effeminate stockings but yet was largely feared and highly regarded. Most people are gravitating to the robot hands or various prosthetic limbs. Go old school, young man. Essentially, that's what most gimmicks are: shrewd glimpses at trends from another time. It's time for a Captain Hook in Albuquerque.

Tyler: It sounds like you've already got your thing and you just don't know it. I taught Geometry for a few years and it's very rare to come across an "anglo" that can speak for itself. I taught your language to under-intelligent children for years, and I just know it would've been better coming from the angle itself. My best guess is that from your accent you're a bit obtuse, am I right? It shouldn't be difficult finding another straight angle that correlates with your measurement of 5'8", because I'm I'm assuming you're also acute angle.

Q: Hey guys. I'm a husky dude with sensitive skin, but I sweat like a gym coach's inner thighs. How many deodorant swipes should I apply on each under arm? I want coverage, but I don't want to have raw arm pits either.
- Samuel, Chappaquiddick

Knox: Let's think outside of the box. I had a friend, Mark, who was the last remaining human to use spray deodorant. Recently, he gave up the ghost and switched to normal deodorant. Samuel from Chappaquiddick, I think it's time you carry the mantle of spray deodorant.

Tyler: Truly spoken Professor Knox, and while you're at it, just make like a less impressive Human Torch and "spray on". Use one hand to spray on your newly found inner thigh fixer deoderant, the other to spray on your hairspray, the other hand to spray on your cologne (for the gym), and your last hand to put on your body spray (you are Goro, correct?). Hopefully, you should be walking out of there with an aura of delectability similar to PigPen. 

Q: How am I to feel about Karaoke? Is it cool?
- Helena, Saskatchewan

Knox: Listen, Helena, I'm sure you are great and you probably have a great many friends who watch awesome hockey and discuss your idealistic yet fatally flawed health care system. But essentially, your Canadian-ness makes me unwilling to help you. If you need further explanation as to why, review this post as resource material. Elephants don't forget and neither do I.

Tyler: I am legally obligated not to infer any negative or derogatory comments for or against the great state of Canada, due to a minor infraction I had while bareback polar bear riding in the outer limits or because I have some ex-Canadian students. To answer your question: Ice Ice Baby is approved, It's all Coming Back to Me by Celine Dion is not. Not not approved that is! Up top!

Q: What's the best color of toothbrush to make me more masculine but at the same time engage the artistic side of me that can appeal to the lady folk?
- Jerry H., Tacoma

Knox: I think you're going about this all wrong. You're perceiving that a toothbrush can atone for larger social failures in your life. That's like expecting your calculator to explain why people watch Two and a Half Men. Your method is inherently flawed. My advice? Go home and listen to Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight on repeat until you get it. And if you listen to it enough, you will eventually get it. 

Tyler: Ugh, I hate Two and a Half Men, and now I hate you Jerry. 

Q: If you could time travel, and you were allowed to stop one non-serious thing from happening, what would it be and why?
- Alphonso, Cali

Knox: The birth of Dennis Quaid. He's committed more cinematic homicides than Keanu Reeves and Nic Cage combined. He needs to be put down like the rabies-carrying dog from To Kill A Mockingbird.

Tyler: Well iPhoneso, I'd probebly go back and spell probably correctly. 

To see the second portion of this mailbag, bang it here to head over to Tyler's site...

Have an email to send Knox / Tyler? Need advice on something? Would you like a life coach? Then send us an email to mailbag@knoxmccoy.com.


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Defines You?

 
I’m a HUH-yooge Red Sox fan. Not a casual one nor a bandwagon one. I’ve been to Fenway twice, and I cried real human tears when Aaron Freaking Boone hit the home run that eliminated the ’03 Sox from the playoffs. I wore the same pair of red socks without changing in ’04 when the BoSox were vanquishing the Yankees and I once kicked Derek Jeter in the crotch.* 

In other words, IT'S REAL.

Understanding this, I can only consider it the explanation as to why I have so many t-shirts derogatorily referring to the New York Yankees, the natural enemy to my beloved BoSox. There’s several variations on the theme (Yankees Suck, Yankees STILL Suck, Derek Cheater and A-Roid, etc) but the essential thesis statement of these shirts is that I do not like the Yankees and the elemental components that compose their ball club.

You know what’s strange? When I counted, I had significantly more shirts professing my hatred of the Yankees than shirts professing my love for the Sox.

Crazy, right? But is it really that crazy?

When you think about it, a lot of how we define ourselves focuses on what we aren’t instead of what we are.

I hate all democrats / republicans.

I can’t stand whites / blacks / mexicans.

My hatred of homosexuality is justified because of it’s sinfulness.

Isn’t that a strange way to communicate something? Think of it like this: if I’m on a blind date and my companion asks me to tell her a bit about myself, what would it say if I went on and on about all the things I hate / despise / wish plague and despair upon?

My companion would probably not be smitten with me. But yet, that’s how a lot of us choose to project ourselves.

Christians in general seem to be at the forefront of this. We can’t WAIT to tell you what we are anti-. We fly these feelings so righteously and so loudly that they have become what defines us. The love, Christ-likeness, and humbleness we’re supposed to exude is shoved aside so we can bark about how AWFUL homosexuals are. how all scientists descended from Judas, and how Harry Potter is of the Devil.

But this mindset isn’t just focused outward. It’s cannibalistic too. For some strange reason, we seem bent on imploding Christianity from the inside. We have magazines and writers dedicated to uncovering popular Christian figures as the frauds they most assuredly are. Seriously, if I hear one more time how Mark Driscoll or Rob Bell is a false prophet I’m going to punch a kitten.

We’re in the culture of culture, criticism, and snark. While criticism certainly has a time and place, most assuredly the time is not “in perpetuity” and the place is not “everything, everywhere.”

What would the world be like if instead of tearing apart each other and our ideas, we just promoted our thoughts, beliefs, and philosophies? What Christ did stands alone. It doesn’t need all other thoughts and ideas to be demeaned and silenced. It just needs us to act out what He stood for.

What defines you today?


-----------------------
*Not technically true.


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Worship Leaders ATTACK!

Ok. Indulge me a bit. 

Below are two videos. The first is super short and the second is longer, but the ending is SO worth it.

And listen: I get it. Maybe you are super important and you don't have time to watch a couple of videos I recommend. 
You're busy facebook stalking people and refreshing your email in hopes of somebody (ANYBODY!) liking you enough to send you an email, but you can't watch these two short videos. Is that it?

If you're a geologist and you're heading a team of volcano specialists that are trying to prevent another Mt. Vesuvius then that's one thing. But if not, just watch the videos and after you do, continue reading below for expert analysis.

Consider this video the appetizer...



...and this one the main course. If you are super important, fast forward to 4:30.



Did you see it? DID YOU SEE IT? That was a street-style sucker punch, friend. Re-watch the part again and watch the puncher in the moments before the punch.

Doesn't he look like a sexual predator? Isn't he leering at his target like I stare down an order of cheese fries from Outback? He's not even listening to what is being said about Legolas. He's picking out the perfect spot on Tyler's chin in which to THUNDERPUNCH. It's EXPLOSIVE video.

That's it. Go save your stupid volcano now.


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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Straight Up Unmet Expectations...



Do you remember Andrew Garcia? 

Once upon a time he was the buzziest contestant on American Idol. His soulful sound was so sweet that I came THIS close to getting a neck tat to swear my allegiance. But it wasn't just me who got caught up in the buzz. He was regularly a trending topic on Twitter during Idol broadcasts and this public intrigue was due in large part to a song he never even performed live.

It was an acoustic rendition of Paula Abdul's Straight Up and predictably it made Paula speechless. No big shock there right? But it made everybody speechless. It also left the other judges stunned as their reviews of his song were filled with praise and awe like a child discovering cake for the first time.

This single song launched Andrew Garcia into the pop culture stratosphere and was most assuredly going to be the preface to his ascent as a pop star and music icon. When it came time to actually perform, we all waited to hear the immense talent that Straight Up teased.

His first performance was decent. Nothing great, but the first performances never are. There's an adjustment period to the shock of live TV. It's to be expected. But week after week, Andrew kept underwhelming and in the process, he began using up the cache of hype expectation he earned with Straight Up.

To make matters worse, the judges kept referring back to it as though he just had to find his way back to the place where he had previously accessed the ability to supply such a performance. It turned into the elephant in the room as Straight Up was quickly becoming his Ice, Ice Baby. And as a general rule, when you're occupying similar space as Vanilla Ice, something has gone terribly awry.

I can relate to this on some level. Not the Vanilla Ice part. The part of trying to rekindling a flickered out flame. There was a week in Andrew's run where he attempted to acoustify Christina Aguilera's Genie In a Bottle.

On the surface, he had recreated all the aspects of the Paula Abdul performance. A catchy pop starlet song that everybody knew and he slowed it down and spun it all acoustic-like. But it went off flat. No one, not even Simon could properly articulate it, but Andrew just didn't have it anymore.  His verve and rhythm were gone and seemingly he had no idea how to retrieve it. I've totally been there.

There are days where I can feel blessed beyond any inkling of understanding. I can wake up in the morning and be refreshed and my entire day can be one long chain of jubilant interactions where I am treated as though I am Justin Timberlake.

But the very next day, I wake up feeling like a drug mule in Tijuana. The day is one long string of mental terrorism and I'm treated like the bedpan monitor at a nursing home.

Nothing elementally changed, but things were just...different.

Within my spiritual walk, I endure many periods like this where I try to mimic previous times of authentic faith. I try to recreate all the elements and variables that made me successful, but something is off.

It's in these moments that I realize that my preference is to stay in familiar seasons and in the same zone of comfort, but that's not God's intention. He desires growth.

So when things are slightly askance for you, don't look at it as a bad thing. Look at it as an opportunity to change / evolve / grow.  In Andrew Garcia's case, his disappointing run on American Idol wasn't the end of everything. It was the beginning of a new career.

So where ever you are at today, if you're in turmoil, don't see it as being voted out of God's favor. See it as the beginning of a new aspect of your relationship with Him.



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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Beginning of the Robot Apocalypse

One of the inevitabilities of our time is that robots will eventually take over the world. This is clear and undisputed science. It's so factual that scholar and academic Arnold Schwarzenegger even helped raise awareness to this issue in his participation in the Terminator movies.

But even though some things are inevitable, it doesn’t mean we should actively contribute to their development. For instance, we all will die. That is also science. But that still doesn’t mean that we should do silly things like lounge in our pool with electronic devices floating about.

To this end, I read an article recently that discusses scientists studying the different pain levels robots can inflict on human subjects by hitting them. Or in other words, a really really bad idea.

Listen, I’m all for technology, but isn’t this like giving terrorists a map with all the Chick-Fil-A locations on it, giving them weaponry to exterminate those Chick-Fil-A’s, and then telling them to NOT destroy these Chick-Fil-As? Doesn’t it seem a LITTLE counterintuitive?

Some other key points from the article…

“…But the robo-battering is all in a good cause, insists Borut Povše, who has ethical approval for the work from the University of Ljubljana, where he conducted the research. He has persuaded six male colleagues to let a powerful industrial robot repeatedly strike them on the arm, to assess human-robot pain thresholds.”

If in “good cause” you mean giving the robots a two generation head start in enslaving humanity and bringing to fruition the prophecies laid out from The Matrix and The Governator’s aforementioned Terminator chronicles, then yes, in that sense it’s totally good cause. Otherwise, it may be slightly problematic.

“It's not because he thinks the first law of robotics is too constraining to be of any practical use, but rather to help future robots adhere to the rule. "Even robots designed to Asimov's laws can collide with people. We are trying to make sure that when they do, the collision is not too powerful," Povše says. "We are taking the first steps to defining the limits of the speed and acceleration of robots, and the ideal size and shape of the tools they use, so they can safely interact with humans."

First, wait, the laws of robotics are real? I thought they were made up for that terrible Will Smith movie I, Robot. I’m not sure how this makes me feel.

Secondly: Re: Prevention by Instruction…
 Totally. Because when I don’t want an alligator to bite me in half, I show him, in excruciating detail how he would theoretically bite me in half, let him experiment by biting my colleagues in half, and then reiterate how the world is a much better place now that he is clearly aware of how he shouldn’t bite me in half. Totally.

“…They programmed the robot arm to move towards a point in mid-air already occupied by a volunteer's outstretched forearm, so the robot would push the human out of the way. Each volunteer was struck 18 times at different impact energies, with the robot arm fitted with one of two tools - one blunt and round, and one sharper…”

Wait, remind me again why we are giving robots sharp tools to swing at us? Shouldn’t we be making this a little more difficult? Should we give the robots our Paypal passwords and bank account numbers too? Might as well.
 
Back to the tools: Are they Ginsu knives? THEY BETTER NOT BE GINSU KNIVES. Those things cut through COKE CANS, people. COKE CANS.

 “…"It makes sense to study this. However, I would question using pain as an outcome measure," says Michael Liebschner, a biomechanics specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas."

Yeah, Michael. I would question using pain as a measure too. Something tells me that desensitizing robots to the infliction of pain probably doesn’t bode well for our great grandchildren.

"Pain is very subjective. Nobody cares if you have a stinging pain when a robot hits you…”

Um, I care. If a robot is hitting me AT ALL I think that merits some discussion. Discussion like, “Hey, scientist…WHY ARE YOU CREATING A ROBOT THAT IS HITTING ME?”

“…what you want to prevent is injury, because that's when litigation starts…"

Something tells me that in the future world controlled by robots, litigation isn't going to be the preferred method of mediation. Just a hunch.

In conclusion, we've all been warned.


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Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Most Awkward Place In The History of Ever



Can you think of a more awkward place that exists in the universe? I can't.

It would be swell if you tried to though. Just leave your submissions in the comments. 

Let this photo serve to enhance your appreciation of all single commode bathrooms you encounter henceforth.


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Panhandlers, Beggars, and Meth-Heads



Would you like to know something interesting?

I don't know where you hail from, but my little neck of the woods is the panhandling capital of the world. Maybe you dispute that notion or maybe you don't, but the important thing is that you understand the differing pan-handling elements fulfilling this world-renowned label.

1- Meth Heads
These people will approach you an ambush you with a story so dire and sad that you doubt your own humanity if you even think to question them.

Are they covered in open wounds? Do they seem distracted and/or fidgety? Did they jump over a car and sprint across a busy intersection to converse with you? If you said yes to any of those, you're probably talking to a meth addict.

One time in high school, my then-girlfriend-now-wife and I had been on a date when we passed through a gas station. A gentlemen approached me and spun me a tale about how he was put-upon and downtrodden using things like: the military, cancer, starving puppies. I gave him some cash and wished him well.

Two weeks later, my then-girlfriend-now-wife were on another courtship outing when we stopped at the same gas station where I was approached by the same guy who TOLD ME THE SAME STORY. When I confronted him about this reality, I expected a Dr. Phil moment where I would exhibit tough love, but ultimately resurrect this chap's life purpose. Instead he stared back at me as if to say, "Soooooooooo I guess I'm not getting money from you tonight?"...

2 - Vagrant / Drifters / Wandering Souls - 
These are the plow horses of the trade. They can be found at every major interstate exit and their signs explaining their plight work to shame the latte out of your hand.

Silently, we may question them, doubt them or put ourselves in their situation, but we ALWAYS feel uncomfortable because one of two reasons: Either they (1.) represent the worst of humanity if they are scamming people because they are preying on people's generosity. Or (2) they represent a sobering reality that, but by the grace of God, we could end up in a situation that has spiraled so out of control that we are forced to rely on the goodness of motorists at an intersection.

3 - Bucketheads

These fine people are the entire reason for this post.

Usually, you'll find these people at less trafficked intersections. Essentially, their tactic is to approach your window with a bucket and stand expectantly while you give them money. This always REALLY bothers me. Why?

Because with most other situations, there is some kind of exchange taking place. When I give to a guy holding a sign by the interstate, he receives money and I received a charitable feeling. I feel better about myself because I've shared loose change that amounted to $1.26. I didn't say it made sense. I'm just saying it's a mutual transaction.

Even when I buy from school groups selling donuts for $36 box a dozen, I still feel ok with it because at least something was exchanged. So maybe the rate was an exorbitant $3 a donut (MATH!). I still feel ok because I gave to a good cause and now I have a donut in exchange. In the business world,  this is what tycoons like to call a classic win/win scenario.

But bucketheads bring an entirely different experience to the table. Superficially, there is no subconscious warm and fuzzy feeling to be had because their appearance is always moderately well-to-do. Their SUV can be seen sitting idly by in a vacant parking lot and even their buckets are nice as they are colorfully and delightfully designed to explain the purpose of their solicitation (church groups, all-star groups, Shriners, etc). And this bugs me.

For me, if you're going to ask me for something, for money, whatever, at least have the decency to sell me on it. Give me an angle so I can rationalize with myself for dropping some of my money into a bucket. Play the air guitar, break-dance, spin one of those signs around in the air like you are an ad-ninja. Dress up like a big Cup O' Soup and dance to "Soup, There It Is". I DON'T CARE. JUST DON'T STARE AT ME LIKE I OWE YOU SOMETHING BECAUSE YOU ARE HOLDING A BUCKET.


Look I'm all for hustling. Go hit it and work hard and I'll support you. I love helping people who help themselves.

And saying all this makes me realize something about myself: I'm very conditional and transactional. Do for me and I'll do for you.  Everything has a value on it and to secure it, you have to offer me something similarly valuable. Not exactly Christ-like is it?

Especially, when I invert that formula. I have all these expectations for others, but yet I hope just as much for unmerited grace and assistance. Knowing this makes me want to be less about what I'm owed and more about what I can do.

But to be clear, this does not extend to bucketheads. There are lines, ya know. 




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Friday, October 8, 2010

Pickle Lover



Is there something you always want to do, but you just...don't?

Let me give you an example.

Every time I open our fridge, I see a sparsely populated jar of pickles and ALL I want to do is drink straight from the jar. Even as I type this, the taste buds in my mouth are twitching in an unholy celebration of anticipation at such a possibility.

Does this sound bizarre to you? Maybe it is. To be clear, I LOVE pickles and the subsequent juice that flows from them, but it is a forbidden love.

In high school, when our youth group would go on mission trips, I was always able to convince a chaperone to take us to the grocery store so we could load up on sustenance for the week.  

By "sustenance", I mean foods your parents would never buy you. By "foods you parents would never buy you" I mean: the 1 lb bag of peanut butter M&Ms, the plastic jar of individually wrapped beef jerkey, and Cheetos. Also on this list? A jar of pickles.


You might be saying,  "Hey Knox, are you saying your parents never had a jar of pickles in the house? That's just hard to believe." And you know what, Friend? That WOULD be hard  to believe. 

But you're also probably talking about a NORMAL size jar of pickles. I'm talking about  the obnoxiously big, man-sized jar that could preserve two full-sized pig fetuses in it. Be honest: before now, have you ever known someone who bought these? You do now.

I tell you this for a two-fold purpose:
#1. Proof that pickles have always been indelibly weaved into the fabric of who I am. I love them, richly.
#2. If you happened to be in the area where my youth group visited and you happened to interact with a pickle-smelling kid...well I suppose I owe you a belated apology.

See that's the issue with pickles. Their smell is so prolific that it kind of ruins them as fixtures in the social finger food scene. So essentially, giving in to my pickle-loving ways means a weighted choice: eat the pickle and inadvertantly wear the pickle smell as a not-awesome cologne OR refuse it and nurse an unmet desire that strangles the very soul of who I am.

This idea isn't limited to pickles though. 

We all have these decisions where we are forced to strike a balance with who we want to be and who we need to be. Obviously, this goes beyond pickles, but the essential idea remains. What I want to be conflicts with what I need to be. 

I want an iPad. SO bad. So very, very bad. But the money I want to spend on an iPad needs to be appropriated to other areas. More responsible areas.

I want to sleep later in the mornings. But I know I need to get up earlier and do my Bible study, because otherwise, I'll get busy and do nothing.

So who are you today? What's something you're inherently conflicted about?





*Go ahead. Ask. I know you are wondering, "Gee Knox which kind of pickle is your favorite?" Great question and though there are many candidates, the #1 option is CLEARLY Vlasic Zesty spears. They are the Sinatra of pickles.


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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

6 Ways The Church is Like Dodgeball



1. It's always about opposing teams
Inherently, dodgeball is about the primitive art of pegging someone's person with a rubber ball. This makes for very little chumminess between opposing teams because it is very counter-intuitive to wise crack with someone in one instant, when in the next instant, they could be delivering a rubber missile into your gut.

Similarly with churches, there's this church-oriented notion that exists where different denominations and even different churches within those denominations compete like rival colleges. "Our coffee bar TOTALLY wipes them off the map!"

There's very little shop-talk between churchgoers of differing locations because there's an undercurrent of sympathy. "Oh poor, Steve. He goes to that place where the choir still wears robes." Or "Poor Dwight, I hear his church's worship team can't even go electric."

2. There's always some pyschopath throwing entirely too hard

Ok, this is the kid who's either A) destined for a career in the MLB, B) been held back two years so he's actually driving to elementary school, or C) compensating TREMENDOUSLY for low self-esteem. 

Regardless, they spend the game dealing out dodgeball imprints to the forehead like Cesar Milan gives out shushes to his canine proteges. Every team has one and when the flamethrower gets their comeuppance, it's like David slaying Goliath but only about a billion times better.*

In the church, this is the person who speaks in tongues, somersaults down the aisles during worship and has memorized the New Testament in Aramaic. HEY FELLA, WE GET IT. 

You spent time at seminary before they expelled you for being TOO smart. Billy Graham can't look you in the eye and your Christian scout badges are so vast and numerous that a tat of ichthys on your upper chest is simply there to show the scope of your transcendent God-awesomeness. But please. You're scaring the children. And the visitors. And the old people. And me.

3. There's always someone disputing what actually happened.

You know the sound that a rubber ball makes when it impacts flesh at high impact? Well it's a lot different from the sound a rubber ball makes when it hits nothingness. However, a lot of people dispute this fact and argue it as a point of evidence.


From a youth group game I supervised:

"Kid" is to be read as an overcompetitive male teenager who is taking this game as though it is a referendum on his masculinity. Or as I like to call him, "The kid that reminds me of myself."

(Kid is hit by a ball)
Me: You're out, kid.
Kid: WHY?!?! WHAT?!?!?
Me: Um, because you were hit.
Kid: WHAT? BY WHAT? BY WHO?
Me: By whom.
Kid: What?
Me: Look, I saw you get hit. Your leg is red from where you were hit.
Kid: IT'S RED BECAUSE I'M HUSTLING.
Me: Well, you can hustle off the court because you are out, Champ.
Kid: THIS IS STUPID. YOU ARE STUPID.
Me: That may be, but you're still out.
Kid: (inaudible expletives) (throws ball 600 yards in the air and stomps off the court)

*FIN*

In church, this is the person who hears/sees what they want to hear/see.

On what the head of the deacons was up to over the weekend...
"I saw him at The Olive Garden drinking absinthe hand over fist!!" 

On what the pastor wore last Sunday...
"He wore that red tie again. It was clearly meant as a way of disrespecting me for questioning his Communion technique. Remind me: what's the ordained way to run off a pastor?"

On the hairstyles of the Praise and Worship team...
"Last time I saw hair like that on musicians? Woodstock. And I think we all know how THAT ended up."

4. There's always people who hang in the back and do nothing.

This seems pretty self-explanatory in both settings, no? Just replace the dodgeballs with Bibles and I think the point becomes pretty evident.

5. Hoarding goes on.

In dodgeball, these are the people who carry around 3-4 dodgeballs while their teammates are convulsingly trying to avoid being hit by the hailstorm of projectiles. For these individuals, the thought is that if they hold onto multiple dodgeballs, then when the time is right, they can assail their foe with a steady assault of throws that will lead to their opponent being vanquished victory. 


But what USUALLY happens is that they get pegged in the stomach their cache of dodgeballs explodes like Mt. Vesuvius or Kevin Federline's waistline. ZING!
In church, these are the people that go to every service, every sermon, every sunday school class, every bible study in an effort to get more Godly. 

Listen, take it from a recovering hoarder: if you want to get closer to God, serve. Give back. Help others. Gorging yourself with info just makes you feel bloated and pretentious.

6. A headshot never feels as good as it seems in theory.
Listen, I've been on the giving end of some dodgeball headshots in my time, and I've learned two things: You never actually hit the person you want and it never feels as good as you think. Usually, it's a female getting hit on the broadside of her face and then the following occurs: 

- Her face turns red from impact and embarassment.
- Your face turns red from shame.
- The ball ricochets 100 feet in the air.
- The authority figure supervising yells at you.
- You eat your feelings late that night at a breakfast buffet. **

In church, a "headshot" is when you contribute to someone getting told. Maybe this is calling out their hypocrisy, their failures in life, or they way their breath always smells like stale tobacco and dried cat poo. Regardless, the idea always seems WAY better than real life. Instead of glory and adulation, you've really just become a purveyor of shame and embarassment. Is that really who you want to be?

What other ways is church like dodgeball?



*An estimate.
**May just be me on this one.




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