Challenging the Challenges

I have seen news coverage of the “latest” teen challenge craze, snorting condoms, and I can hold my peace no longer.   Here is a doctor’s warning about the risks associated with snorting condoms.  Again, I am shaking my head that we would even need to warn anyone that this is a stupid idea, on top of all the other warnings issued regarding gulping spoonfuls of cinnamon, eating Tide Pods, wrapping yourself in duct tape, car surfing, and choking yourself until you pass out.

It would seem that condom snorting is a resurrection of a fad first making the rounds in 2013.  It has made a reappearance along with bell bottom jeans, cold shoulder sweaters, jelly shoes, and many other things that should just stay in the past.  In my opinion, kids snorting condoms should wear them to guarantee they don’t breed, and the Tide Pod challenge should include a teenager doing his own laundry and putting it away.

But are teens alone in stupid challenges?  I think not.  Adults are just as guilty, men especially (come on guys, you know it’s true), of doing ridiculous things in rituals called “Hold My Beer” challenges.  These range from jumping off a roof using umbrellas as parachutes to roller-skating on frozen lakes.  Things I have personally witnessed grown men doing include:

  • The firecracker challenge: I am not kidding, I have seen grown men challenge each other to light firecrackers in the waistband of their pants … “to see what happens.”  I mean, honestly. What do they think is going to happen?? I can attest it’s about what you’d expect to have happen.
  • Chicken: I have witnessed versions of this classic played out in trucks, on four wheelers, and on tractors. It never ends well for the drivers or the vehicles of choice. And once, it ended really badly – in the form of a mud bath (it was in a field, so we were all hoping it was mud at any rate) – for a particularly well-dressed bystander who had not planned on said mud bath that evening.
  • Impossible Obstacle Challenge: Let’s pile some debris and boards together and jump them with bicycles, four-wheelers, motorcycles, or heck, even roller-skates and skate boards. One guy thought he would impersonate Superman — you know, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. What could go wrong? Broken bones. That’s what can go wrong. But hey, at least he held onto his beer.
  • The hot pepper challenge: My ex-husband and his friends used to see who could eat the hottest peppers whole. This was fun enough on its own, until wasabi became a thing and the challenge expanded to a whole new level. I think some of those guys still have clear sinuses even today. Of course, the subsequent ulcers are a constant reminder of the “good old days.”

With kids, this sort of behavior is really not too far out of the realm of somewhat kinda sorta normal … I mean, their brains and their impulse control are still developing. However, you’d think the adults would “know better.”  But they don’t. I do think that adults doing stupid things and teens doing stupid things comes down to a few similarities.  Boredom is probably a running theme for all of these challenges.  The need for recognition plays some part, as well; the people performing these challenges feel the need to be acknowledged for doing something, hell, ANYTHING, even if it is dumb.  I think another common trait among people who perform these stunts, adults and teens alike, is a pervasive feeling of invincibility. I’ve talked about this before. These people know that they are doing something stupid and dangerous, and they have read that people have been seriously hurt performing these stunts, but hey; it will never happen to me!

I think that every now and then, things are put into place to promote evolution; this is Darwinism at its finest.  Only the smartest and the strongest will be able to resist snorting a condom, therefore, only the smartest and strongest survive.  If they somehow survive the teenage round of stupidity, they will be tested again as adults in the “Hold My Beer” challenges.  After this, they are granted the wisdom needed to reach old age, and to impart that great wisdom to the next generation. Who, in turn, will ignore the wise elderly citizen, and chomp on a Tide Pod anyway.  This is definitely the new “circle of life.”

Luckily, there is a growing number of young people who not only resist these asinine challenges but show more courage and intelligence than many adults … these are the leaders of the future. Hell, they’re the leaders we need now, but sadly, we’ll have to wait a bit longer for them to come into their own. So, there is hope yet.

As for me, just check my Instagram for the latest challenges I will be performing.  There is the couch-a-thon which involves sitting on my couch for an entire episode of a QVC show while the remote is on the counter in the kitchen, totally out of my reach; then there is the gluttony challenge where I will eat an entire pizza by myself.  It’s dangerous, but I like to shake it up a little and live on the edge.  Then there’s the “rope the remote with the phone charger” challenge. It’s not as easy as it sounds – I almost fell off the couch performing this one, so there’s an added risk to be taken into consideration. Of course, my all-time favorite: eating a whole container of Oreos without milk (bonus points if it’s because you forgot milk at the store when you in fact purchased the Oreos).  Required Disclaimer: Don’t try these at home, people, I am a trained professional.

A Heartfelt Plea

Despite my aforementioned raging hangover headache, yes, my non-alcohol related headache, I’m working frantically to get my weekend chores completed. While ferrying trash and recyclables (hey, I’m nothing if not environmentally conscious) from my inner sanctum to the appropriate cans outside, I can’t help but notice the temperature has taken a serious nose-dive from the pleasantly balmy weather we had yesterday, but, in retrospect, not unlike the wintry weather we had just last week.

To which I say, for the love of god(dess?), Mother Nature, pick a season and stick with it! Please. I’m begging you.

 

 

 

All’s Fair in Love and … Publicity

I think if you’re going to argue with someone on the phone really, really loudly in public while using all types of … um … colorful metaphors and whatnot, you should be required to have it on speakerphone. If the rest of us are going to be subjected to the drama, we at least deserve to hear both sides.

 

 

I’m Not Lazy, I’m Allergic

This has been a hell of a past few months for me.  Thus far, science has vindicated me in that my slovenly lifestyle means I’m a genius, my wine consumption will let me live forever, and now my favorite so far:  I am allergic to exercise.

click to read the Popular Science article (which has way more actual facts than mine)

I always suspected it, to be honest.  Once I rise from the couch, my heart rate soars, I feel the blood rushing to my head, and I crave a chocolate bar.  Classic signs of exercise allergies (it’s true, I swear).  Apparently, exercise-related allergies are worsened when combined with some foods.  For me, eating a Kit Kat on the treadmill has tragic consequences. And not in the way you’d suspect. So of course, to protect myself, I gave up the treadmill.

I can just see my next doctor’s appointment.  I imagine it will go something like this:

Doctor:  So, you’ve gained 55 pounds in the last two months since you’ve been here.

Me:  I’ve had to abstain from all exercise.  I’m allergic.

Doctor:  I’m sorry, what?

Me:  I read it on the internet, so it must be true.  Just to be safe, I’ve installed lift chairs on my stairs.

Doctor:  Well, I think that you…

Me:  And I call a taxi to drive me to the mailbox daily.

Doctor:  Let me guess; you call a taxi to take the trash out?

Me:  Don’t be ridiculous.

Doctor:  Well, that’s good because I…

Me:  I use Lyft for that.

Doctor:  I see you are wearing a Medic Alert necklace.

Me:  Sometimes I need to get off the couch suddenly.  I like to be prepared.

Doctor:  What are you eating?

Me:  Oh, I eat a variety of foods.

Doctor:  Well, that’s good.

Me:  Pizza on Mondays, lo mein and fried rice on Tuesdays, eggplant parm on Wednesdays, pasta Alfredo on Thursdays…

Doctor (interrupting):  That sounds like it’s all delivery food…

Me:  Hey, Doc, I’m not taking any chances.

Ok, so this sounds like a real cop out, I admit, but now that people are coming forward with their exercise allergies, I am ready to come forward with some of my own personal allergies. (Yes, I know being allergic to exercise is a real thing, and my heart goes out to anyone who suffers from such a condition, but that’s not going to stop me from using this scientific finding to my advantage. I mean, come on.)

  1. Laundry: I am filled with an intense feeling of dread whenever I see a pile of laundry.  I have trouble catching my breath, and my eyes water.  This could be because of my kid’s gym socks, but I’m playing it safe.
  2. Dishes: I cringe when I see a sink full of dirty dishes. I find that after doing dishes for an extended period of time, my hands develop a strange, prune-y type skin reaction.  To avoid this, I choose to use paper plates (biodegradable!).  It is a sacrifice I must make for my own good.
  3. Driving: Strange feelings of rage envelop me when I am driving around idiots.  I feel almost blinded by anger, and my mouth makes very odd noises that my friends call “cursing.”  It is very stressful and frightening.
  4. Mirrors and Scales: This is a strange allergy where I cannot recognize the old lady in the mirror and I don’t trust scales.  I live with the mirror allergy, but I avoid the scale allergy at all costs.
  5. Healthy Eating: Tofu makes my stomach heave oddly, as does soy milk.  I find the only cure for this allergy is an immediate stop at a Dairy Queen for a chocolate-dipped ice-cream cone.
  6. Wearing a Bra: Somehow, I get through this one daily with no lasting ill effects.  I have mastered the art of removing the offending garment without taking off my shirt as soon as I walk in the door, just before any lasting harm can be done.
  7. Newscasts: I get sick to my stomach whenever I see any newscasts any more.  I’m afraid this is one allergy that will only get worse, and one that I share with a lot of people. For at least the foreseeable future, there is no known cure.

Vindication is a sweet, sweet word.  I have been proven correct on so many of my theories that I feel unstoppable. What’s next?  Proof that lettuce and rice cakes cause weight gain?  Just wait for it, loyal friends, I haven’t been wrong yet.

If Inspiration was a Person

Maya Angelou would have been 90 years old today. The world suffered a great loss at her passing in May 2014. Ms. Angelou was an amazing talent, a truly loving heart, and a strong, passionate, dedicated woman. Her words have never ceased to move me. The world is a better place for her having been in it.

click for more info on this incredible woman