Category Archives: Uncategorized

Premonition

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Earlier, the sky opened momentarily and dropped a few minutes of light rain. Given that the temperature was hovering at ninety, the humidity increased. Despite being fatigued from work, I stopped and picked up a few things at Lowes. Yesterday, the heavy rain prevented me from going outside. The truth is that I could barely move by the time I finished work. As I exited the store on the way home, the rain drenched me with its pendulous drops.

Today, I went out in the backyard, working on my infinite project. I painted a few stepping stones and reseated a few others. While I was on my hands and knees trying to position other heavy stones for the planter, I smelled the intense and overwhelming odor or tires that have skidded on pavement for several seconds. When I looked up at the dark sky, I heard someone shout. In my mind, I saw someone being sideswiped by another driver who had fallen asleep. The smell of burned tires persisted for another couple of seconds.

Whether I experienced a strange and momentary daydream or something else, I’m not sure. I’m not superstitious, though. I finished working outside and came inside and took a shower as cold as the water would go. When I passed through the living room, I saw my copy of the “The Stand” on the little table by the couch. For a brief second, the smell of burning tires hit me again.

Maybe I need to stay out of the heat or perhaps I should stop drinking so much diet tonic water. Whatever the daydream or hallucination was, it is thankfully receding, like a dream that won’t let go.

 

The Never-Ending Yard Project

 

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Using only hand tools, I cut down several trailers of trees, brush, and nonsense the neighbor behind me allowed to encroach. I paid a nice Latinx gentleman I found on social media to haul the mess away. He, among several others, said he’d throw it all over the fence if it was his property. Despite making a living off doing such jobs, he told me he is constantly annoyed by how many people leave it to others to clean up their messes.

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The above two pictures of the back fence ‘before’ actually look better than they should. The condition we received the property was actually much worse. These are after I did a considerable amount of cleaning, cutting, and hauling. That’s a shame, considering none of the mess belonged to me. It’s typical for many areas of Springdale, though.

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The above two accurately represent the way I received the property, despite what the builder promised. The City of Springdale doesn’t really do much to property owners who fail to maintain their lots, even when utility access is involved. That’s a great thing if you’re accustomed to living in an unkempt jungle but not so joyous if you’re trying to enjoy what you have. It was this way at my last house on Cottonwood. We paid several thousand dollars to improve it, especially so for those who don’t maintain their property.

The ax I bought recently at Tractor Supply nearly took my head off. I have one remaining stump along the slovenly neighbor’s back fence. Because I wanted to make a sunflower box in that area, I have been waging war with the stump a little bit each day. It’s winning but I’m incrementally reducing its width, depth, and strength. I was counting down the number of swings I’d give it that afternoon. When I reached the penultimate swing, the ax split and the head surprisingly came up several feet. I’d like to say I dodged it. However, it was over before I realized what happened. (Which is often true in life as well.)

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The next day, I decided to put the sunflower box almost all the way to the left end of the back fence instead of waiting to buy another ax or stick of dynamite to eradicate the stump. I did buy another ax yesterday, though, one that is almost unbreakable. We’ll see if that holds true. I’m still surprised that I was using enough force to break a rugged ax like the one I bought at Tractor Supply.

This morning was cool and windy. Unlike most days, I didn’t go out until after 7. Despite the haze of the Sahara dust, I spent a few hours adding more 12 x 12 painted stepping stones, installing a whiskey barrel planter for daisies, another birdhouse, as well as a couple of other miscellaneous things. I also climbed up to one of the previous birdhouses and stuck a finger inside. The nest therein felt a bit odd to my finger. I didn’t fall off the ladder, though.

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My cat Güino enjoys sitting in the kitchen window, both to watch me as I continue to add things to the back yard, as well as to twitch at the dozens of birds and squirrels that now visit us daily.

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Though the above picture is from a previous stage of my project, the top arrow indicates the picnic table feeder that the squirrels love sitting on. The bottom arrow points to a bird caught in the picture as I snapped it. I’ve discovered that there are unobserved animals in several of my pictures. No Sasquatch or Godzilla appearances yet, though.

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A closer view of the picnic table feeder. I used a horizontal board to allow me to screw the table to the 4 x 4 post in more than one location. I’m not a fan of the ornate birdhouse on top of the blue pole. My wife took this picture this morning and cropped it. We throw a combination of shelled bird peanuts and human peanuts out, as well as putting them in the picnic table feeder.

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The above picture shows the whiskey barrel crate planter on the right, as well as few more stepping stones I placed going left to right. We discovered that a couple of the squirrels sometimes dangle upside down from the upper board to drink from the birdbath.

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Normally, I’d say I’m not a fan of these kinds of planters. My wife got it, so I decided I’d better find a place for it. I put a decent amount of lava rock in the bottom to both reduce the weight and the amount of soil needed to fill it.

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From the back left corner of my yard. I took this picture after a great deal of cleanup on my part, especially removing the horrible barbed wire and chainlink that languished there for a couple of decades.
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Another picture from when I had initially started adding color to the yard.
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Another one from when I barely started.

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This little bird flew into the window one morning. I coaxed him back around the house and finally up to the top of the fence. He finally flew into the safety of the trees, but inexpertly, like an over-sized plane struggling to get aloft.

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I bought an orb for my wife. The cat watched in amazement as it transitioned through the colors.

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The hibiscus has done well. Dawn was reluctant to spend so much on something for a plant. It’s flourished, though, and blossomed at least once a day since we repotted it.

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Coming home this afternoon, I put the components of a gag gift on the bed. He pounced on it, preventing me from assembling the gift box. I could have used the rubber mallet on him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Condition

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Not all my posts make me look good. Here’s one…

I was driving on Crossover, on my way to Lowes to purchase completely pointless items, not too far from the marijuana farm. Some people call it “The Botanical Gardens,” but that is EXACTLY the type of fake name a weed farm would use, isn’t it?

I suddenly had to brake harshly to avoid hitting someone who failed to stop while approaching the main road. Because I was unsure I wouldn’t hit them as they entered the road without stopping, I veered to the left slightly. I don’t always do the ‘veer’ thing if I’m in my Ford Focus. It’s led to meeting some interesting people. It’s hard to say “Hello” when the air is filled with screeching brakes and shouting drivers.

A honk startled me. A white van had swerved to the further left to avoid hitting me from behind. I slowed and pulled over for a second. The white van with an interesting business logo on the side pulled ahead in front of me on the shoulder. I was expecting a giant, angry redneck to emerge. Instead, a woman about my age exited the van and stood about ten feet away from the front of my car. People don’t exit their vehicles unless they are very angry, have bees chasing them, or are in the vehicle with more than one teenager.

“What’s wrong with you?” She asked.

Given that she probably didn’t connect the car running through a stop sign and entering the road in front of me to my swerve, I knew it was pointless. I assumed she was crazy, anyway.

“I have a medical condition! You should be ashamed of yourself” I shouted at her.

“Oh! I’m sorry. What’s wrong with you?”

“Stupidity!” I yelled back at her.

Expecting a tirade or curse, I was surprised when she turned and went back to her van, got in, and drove away. She didn’t even give me a laugh.

I was proud of my impromptu answer.

It is possible to live 20 years without coming up with a rapid-fire quip that both delights and defuses the situation.

PSA For Today, You Say?

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Note: I’m using PSA in this post to indicate “Public Service Announcement,” rather than “Prostate-Specific Antigen.” If you googled that and ended up here accidentally, you are really going to be disappointed.

I have two pieces of actually useful advice today.

First, don’t spit on the carpet, even if it is on fire. And even if you live in a trailer. And it is rented. (Unless you have a double first name.)

Second, almost all Facebook accounts that get cloned are because the victim has his or her friends list visible. There is no viable reason to have your settings permit other people to see your friends list. This is doubly true for women and those who are prone to buying things “As Seen On TV.” If you’re unsure if you are one of those two categories, look at your left foot. Not because it will help resolve your doubt, but because you listen to directions.

Today, I accepted a friend request from just such a cloner/hacker. The person attempted to get me to take the bait regarding the 2020 MUSL grant. I assume that’s something I’m dying to get in on the ground floor. Naturally, I wrote them an increasingly bizarre cascade of replies.

I’m certain that by the time the person read them all, they themselves had become MY victim.

I have two-factor authentication turned on. And I changed my password from ‘password1’ to ‘passwrod1.’ They’ll never figure it out!

This PSA brought to you by Asa Hutchinson’s gardener.

Apple Strudel Monsoon

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I started with the best of intentions: I stopped at Aldi to buy my mother-in-law another loaf of Apple Strudel Breakfast Bread. I first bought it for her as a whim. As such things go, the bread is pretty fabulous. It is with a begrudging spirit that I give any compliments to Aldi. I’m still very cautious about what I buy there. I will admit, however, that they offer a few things that aren’t available in other places. (Other than typhoid and a persistent rash, I mean.) I blame my friend Marjay for reminding me of Aldi. She shared a social media post yesterday about the dynamics of returning one’s cart.

Given that my job has a work limit allegedly due to the COVID crisis, I ran from my job with glee a little while ago. I should have paid more attention to the forecast. If not the forecast, I should have looked behind me as I drove across Springdale. There was a massive dark cell approaching. Had I noticed it, I would have driven directly home. I definitely would not have parked at the furthest part of the lot, either, something I almost always do when the executive committee chairwoman isn’t with me. (That would be my wife.)

I entered Aldi’s to buy three or four things besides the aforementioned delicious Apple Strudel bread. I ended up with a couple of dozen items and had to retrieve a shopping cart to carry them. It was at that point I noted the massive black wall almost on top of the store. Ignoring my instincts, I put my items in the cart and finished shopping. By the time the helpful cashier was throwing my items in my cart like it was an Olympic qualifying event, we could see the sheets of rain, as well as hear them strike the store’s roof.

I bought some bags, piled my stuff in them, and waited by the long window at the front of the store. My three or four items had blossomed into three large bags of food. Anyone looking at me would have thought I might be a huge fan of Aldi. It was a strange coincidence that today was my biggest Aldi haul in years.

There were several customers congregated along the bank of windows, all staring at the massive storm that greeted us. One woman with a full cart didn’t hesitate. She walked into the rain without wincing, unloaded her cart, and walked back to the front to return it to the corral. She resembled an otter that had just emerged from an overflowing creek. I’m assuming she is the mother of several children; only such unavoidable training could result in that kind of resigned demeanor. Additionally, she owned a minivan. It’s common knowledge that driving a minivan is tantamount to tacit approval to get drenched while doing the weekly shopping.

We watched one brave soul exit Aldi with a bag of groceries. In horror, we watched as he ran across 412. Anyone familiar with the danger would understand. Running across through rain so thick we could barely see across the street was an added element of lunacy.

After several minutes, I decided that the storm wasn’t going to abate. Pushing my cart ahead of me, I exited. As I crossed the main door, an unattended cart rolled by at a very fast speed, heading across the lot and destined to crush someone’s car. An employee cursed and then darted to get it. He was drenched by the time he came back. I half-ran, knowing it was futile. The sheets of rain hit me and surprised me by how cold it was.

At this point, I’d like to mention I hadn’t done my work laundry in a few days. As a result, I wore a pair of my old pants, ones with a much larger stretchy waste. I used my belt to tighten it drastically while I worked. Even so, my pants threatened to drop once or twice.

Because of the heavy rain, my pants drooped as I shuffled across the parking lot. As I half-ran, my pants, belt and all, slipped down past my gray underwear. I didn’t hear a round of applause from any of those employees or customers hiding from the rain at the front of the store. I stopped and got my pants to stay more or less and up and continued on to the car.

I crossed a river between the last rows of cars. The water reached my ankles as I crossed. As I opened the rear door of my car, I realized at the last second that the paper bags had become ornamental at that point. By sheer luck, I didn’t drop any of my groceries. I picked the other bags up like cannonballs and dropped them in the back.

Because why not, I walked my cart back up to the store. I told the employee, “My pants fell off on the way. My apologies for the unsolicited reminder to always wear underwear.”

Driving across Springdale on 412 was another adventure. Several vehicles decided to avoid the overflowing storm drains along the edge by driving in both lanes. I didn’t witness any accidents. While driving, I could feel the water puddling in my seat and on the floor.

When I arrived home, my wife had opened the garage door for me. I don’t park in the garage. I had to carry each of the three soaked bags to the inside of the garage one at a time, placing them on the concrete near the inner door. The rain was cascading across the roof of the car and hitting me in the face each time I opened the car door. Afterward, I wasn’t sure the garage door would close against the wind gusts and blowing rain. I had to strip out of my clothes while standing in the garage, surrounded by my valuable groceries.

Note: despite what you’d think, it is not romantic or sexy to watch your drenched husband bring in the groceries. I base this knowledge on the rapidity with which my wife exited the scene.

I could feel the loaf of Apple Strudel bread chuckling at me while I did. “Was I worth all that,” I’m sure it was asking me.

The cat’s been staring at the dryer strangely ever since I put my soaked shoes in there. He was so startled earlier when the shoes knocked the dryer door open that he bolted across the narrow entrance hallway at supersonic speed, smashing directly into the wall. His only comment was a strange, “Meowwwwwww,” even as he weirdly plopped down on the floor.

I can identify with the cat. Whether my greater error was in going to Aldi or doing so during a monsoon is up to you to decide.

 

 

 

Social Media Avatars

*At the risk of being shot, this is tongue-in-cheek.

I woke up this morning to a flood of avatars on Facebook.

Some are great, some are humorous, some are realistic. Some, however, are as far from reality as an alligator playing banjo on Mars.

As someone who has done a lot of photoshop or alternate pictures for years, I knew the day would arrive when Facebook would drop a bomb of avatars to its site. It was inevitable.

We’ve endured the misuse of softening filters for a couple of years. They have their place. Mostly, though, they obscure reality. It can cause grief when people use them and don’t realize they look a bit ‘off’ when using them. We have to pretend their baby isn’t hideous, so to speak, even as we wonder whether they’ll win the Halloween costume contest without the use of a mask.

Maybe I’m being judgmental. I love pictures – and I’ll take them any way I can get them.

The avatar fad that just exploded onto Facebook is a good thing overall. Anything that distracts people with a bit of fun or interest can’t be a bad thing.

It’s just that we all collectively share the same observations when people aren’t being realistic. If my avatar isn’t balding or fails to have a gut, it’s not realistic. It’s true I could simply use a Danny Devito gif to represent me, but that leaves him without a good one to use for himself.

Song: Do You Want To Date My Avatar?

The above song is old by modern standards. It did, however, predict the rise of avatars.

Because I knew she’d like it, I made a png cutout of her avatar so that it would include a bulldog, a symbol that best represents what she’s all about.

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To be an idiot, I made a George Clooney png avatar for myself. When people compare me to others, George Clooney is somewhere around the 5,000,000,000 mark on the list of my possible doppelgangers.

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Now that I’ve contradicted myself, I have to go make a mass of crazy avatars and pictures for other people. Some will challenge their notions of reality.

A Dart In The Foot

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Years before the interstate crossed western Springdale, my cousin owned a big chunk of land where the Springdale Convention Center, Denny’s, and La Quinta now stand. (Little did he know how valuable his land would one day become.) He had one of the region’s largest machine shops there. (If such things matter for the story, he technically was ‘the husband of a 1st cousin 1x removed.’)

Along the road, his parents, Goldie and Ellis, owned a house, followed by a trailer and another little house further down. Pasture framed the property in a large “L.” Like much of the area, it was rural and Highway 412 was a slender ribbon known as 68. 48th Street cut across the highway, uninterrupted by the interstate like it is now. It’s interesting that Springdale is now reconnecting across that area with Gene George Blvd. On our side of the highway, 48th Street was a narrow road to almost nowhere. Close to the road stood several massive oak trees, a couple of them towering high about the landscape. There were pear and apple trees dotted all over the property, as well as a couple of walnut and pecan trees, one of which almost literally killed me, but not for the reason you might imagine. That’s a story for another day. My cousin Jimmy and I both narrowly avoided being blinded near there, which is also a story for another day. My family lived in two trailers and a very small house on the property.

I don’t remember how we ended up in the jon boat sitting in the grass near the trees in front of Goldie’s garage building. It was there for a while, so you had to careful about jumping into it without inspection. Otherwise, you might find yourself jumping right back out with a snake or other critter attached to you.

My cousin Jimmy found a few large darts somewhere. Time has stolen the details about where they originated. While they weren’t the infamous lawn darts that came later, they were larger than standard throwing darts that we’ve all tossed and hit the wall accidentally with, even as we tried to conceal our errant misses.

More than once, I said, “Watch out with those darts, Jimmy!” He was younger than me. He was also was protected by a strange force field of superiority. He was almost Kevin Costner untouchable. Jimmy laughed and threw another one with even more recklessness. It thudded into the wood bottom of the boat. “Darn it, Jimmy, you better not hit me!”

Jimmy stepped several steps further back and, without pausing, launched the heavy dart high into the air, in a long parabola of unknown destination. Naturally, I did the only thing possible: I covered my head and winced. I doubt Jimmy expected me to duck.

It turns out I didn’t need to concern myself with being hit in the head with the dart.

It landed directly on the top of my foot, impaling my left foot almost all the way through. I had a Jim Carrey moment, one in which I stared at the heavy dart impaled in my foot. My brain was taking a bit of a break to process this.

Suddenly, my foot cramped.

Jimmy’s face made an absurdly round “O” as his mouth fell open, as I writed a little bit in agony.

For once, I believed he didn’t intentionally do the thing that just happened. That is what happens when you indiscriminately toss heavy darts above people’s heads, though. That’s a helpful note if you find yourself indiscriminately tossing darts high into the air around other people.

All at once, the pain of the large dart being stuck through my foot reached my brain and I screamed like someone put a firecracker in my open mouth.

Jimmy ran away, already hollering that I was beating him, when in reality I was sitting in the boat with a dart stuck in my foot. I pulled it out without thinking very long about it. It took several seconds for the hole to begin oozing blood. I did not run after him. For the time being, I didn’t care if he had season passes to Dogpatch and free ice cream for me.

After several minutes, I hobbled around the trailer on the backside and tried to go inside. “You better not get blood in here, you little sh!t,” Mom told me between puffs on her cigarette. I went back outside and around to the front of the trailer. Dad was sitting there with Uncle Buck.

My Dad, often the comedian, yelled “Bullseye!” at me. I assumed Jimmy finally admitted he threw a dart into my foot. I still didn’t see Jimmy.

Uncle Buck, in the role of a caring human being, told me to wash the wound out.

“Nonsense,” Dad opined. “Put some ash on it.” Dad unsteadily stood up and with his drunken swagger approached me. He grabbed charcoal out of the burn pile and motioned for me to approach. He smashed it in his fist and rubbed it on top of my foot. I stood perfectly still, hoping his attention would shift so that I could get away. I knew better than to flinch or cry. “Bullseye,” Dad repeated and laughed.

I hobbled away. I found Jimmy a few minutes later sitting on a low branch of one of the apple trees between Goldie’s house and the rear of the machine shop. I didn’t hit him. He was Jimmy – and Jimmy did only what Jimmy did best. I think he found it difficult to relax if I had a dart in my hand, though.

¡ Doh !

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Did you know that being generally unhealthy makes you more prone to other diseases and infections?

A team of researchers in Switzerland spent 19 years investigating the link between underlying health issues and onset diseases. On March 23rd, 2018, Dr. Wayne Kerr was inventorying the medical literature section of Barnes & Noble in Lucerne. Suddenly, he found it, the proof his team spent 19 years and millions of dollars investigating. He stood up, screaming for one of his research team members, who was also in the store.

As Dr. Leigh King ran up to him, Dr. Kerr held up the book he discovered:

“No Sh#t, Sherlock: A Field Guide For Discovering The Obvious.”

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P.S. I wrote this after reading someone’s post on social media. His post was rather smart, a fact that amplified my mirth at the idea floating around in my head as a result…

Did you know that being generally unhealthy makes you more prone to other diseases and infections?

A team of researchers in Switzerland spent 19 years investigating the link between underlying health issues and onset diseases. On March 23rd, 2018, Dr. Wayne Kerr was inventorying the medical literature section of Barnes & Noble in Lucerne. Suddenly, he found it, the proof his team spent 19 years and millions of dollars investigating. He stood up, screaming for one of his research team members, who was also in the store.

As Dr. Leigh King ran up to him, Dr. Kerr held up the book he discovered:

“No Sh#t, Sherlock: A Field Guide For Discovering The Obvious.”

A Wildly Accurate and Inaccurate Post About Badminton

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Many of us, especially those of us whiter than a bleached bag of rice, played badminton in our backyards when we were younger. Let’s admit it: we didn’t know what we were doing. Like a game of Monopoly, we made up the rules as we played. We ran into parked cars, brick walls, and probably smacked each other a few hundred times with the rackets. Sometimes, we even hit each other accidentally.

Whether badminton is a sport is obvious. The intensity with which you argue about this question itself serves as a reliable indicator whether you measure your ice cubes, watch the Harry Potter series with Klingon subtitles, or really ‘feel the burn’ when you walk fast to the garage for another 6-pack of spritzer water.

Joking aside, some matches have recorded hit speeds of 200 mph. Moreover, many people don’t know that the intensity of competitive badminton greatly exceeds that of tennis and typically requires twice as much distance covered per match.

If you already know the correct spelling for the word “badminton,” it’s likely that you also eat ketchup on your mac and cheese, not that there’s anything wrong with that, you psycho.

(Trivia Break) Gerbils can detect the smell of adrenaline in human sweat.

The game was invented in India in the 19th century after Lord Valdemort (no relation) noticed several of his servants waving swatters around in the boudoir. One of the servants accidentally threw a stuffed finch from the bedside display and the others began to swat it playfully back and forth. Although they broke several thousand dollars worth of vases and had to be put to death, the game was born. This entire paragraph is wildly inaccurate.

Despite my aversion to sharing facts, the name of the game owes its origins to the estate of the Dukes of Beaufort on which it was developed, rather than the once-popular theory that two drunk ladies intentionally kept pronouncing their illnesses incorrectly.

(Trivia Break) The Canary Islands were not named after birds, which I am certain most people don’t know. It derives its name as it passes through Spanish and Latin for “dogs.”

It’s no accident that the first 3 letters of the word cleverly telegraph the amount of fun you’re going to have while playing. While some people claim to enjoy playing, some people also like to eat raw hamburger and watch “The Bachelor.” People can’t be trusted.

The word “badminton” itself is offensive enough, but factoring in ‘shuttlecock’ and ‘racquet,’ and you have a guaranteed chuckle for anyone under 15 years of age.

While reading about it, I saw that formal badminton games are played indoors, while casual games are played outdoors.

Again, though I detest facts, competitive badminton is played indoors due to the fact that light winds can affect the shuttlecock as it flies. Whether those light winds are meteorological or gastrointestinal is a subject each family will debate on its own. Thanks to Aunt Maude for the chili.

The disadvantage of playing outdoors is that one runs the risk of other people observing you trying to play.

To my surprise, I discovered it is a summer Olympic sport. I presume it’s played as a literal reenactment of the movie “Dodgeball.” It’s the only explanation that makes sense.

When badminton first became an Olympic sport, over one billion people watched. While I like to joke about it, worldwide it is one of the most popular spectator sports. That still blows my mind, like discovering that you’re 14% more likely to die on your birthday than any other day of the year. (It’s true, by the way.)

A regulation badminton court is 20 X 44 feet, while the net is supposed to be 5 feet in the air. (And presumably connected to the ground, if you were wondering.) Attempts to replace the regulation net with a complex series of barbed wires were rebuffed, despite many advocates for watching the game demanding that barbed wire would result in a more entertaining game, much in the same way that baseball would be more enjoyable to watch if spectators could randomly fire pistols at those playing.

Even though you will think I’m making this up, a traditional shuttlecock or birdie consists of 12-14 duck or goose feathers – and those feathers are required to be from the left wing only of the bird, no matter what the bird might have to say about it.

Quoting from the official rulebook, here’s how the game is played:
1) Each participant should be motivated to play out of sheer boredom 2) Each player should have his or her own mosquito swatter or approved racquet 3) Alcohol or epilepsy help the game 4) Score is kept by constantly arguing about where the net is, how big the play area is, and how afraid you are of your family members. 4) The winner is declared when someone runs facefirst into a car parked too close to the net.

Sports Illustrated tried to do an article of the “5 Most Interesting Things To Happen In Badminton” and could only find one answer: “Nothing.” Not wanting to offend the Badminton World Federation (BWF), which coincidentally is a real thing, the editors instead ran an article mocking lawn bowling, which appeased badminton fans.

Given the competitive disadvantage of many sports, the truth is that a young person could do worse than attend a school with a competitive badminton team. If you can get a scholarship for bowling, Cornhole, fencing, rifle, water polo, and skiing, badminton is a great alternative. (All of those are real, sanctioned sports in the NCAA, if you thought I was joking.) For those considering playing badminton in college, you’ll be able to visit overseas, where badminton is incredibly popular.

One actual theory as to why it’s not as popular here sounds strange: sports that don’t utilize spheroid objects tend to fare worse both in participation and viewership. You might laugh at me to admit this, but this theory made me think way too long about the intangibles of this sort of fact.

In closing, badminton is a very physical sport. It’s much more popular than most Americans realize. Also, even though it’s totally unrelated, if you earn $20,000 a year, you are actually in the top 5% of wage earners in the world. That’s not made up, either.

P.S. I know this post is about badminton; if you read closely, though, you discovered a couple of crazy facts along the way. In closing, the average human body contains just enough fat to create 7 bars of soap.

Random Act of Ice Cream

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Random Act of Kindness: I stopped the ice cream truck as it slowly trolled the neighborhood. I handed the driver a pile of money and told him to give the neighbors down the street a few houses on the left whatever they wanted. I don’t know the family, but there were 6 or 7 young children outside playing. The woman watching the passel of kids reluctantly approached the ice cream truck as he waved and said, “It’s free!” I heard one of the kids scream, “Papi! Free ice cream!!” All the kids ran en masse toward the van, dancing and singing as only young children can. Mom and Dad ended up with ice cream too. I went back outside a couple of minutes later to see the children still excitedly comparing selections and laughing with complete abandon.

I didn’t do much today, but I managed to give a few children a moment of complete joy. Not only did they each unexpectedly get a treat, but they were able to choose whatever their heart desired. Despite my age, I can remember what such a rare treat felt like when I was young in heart and body.

P.S. I teared up a bit.