Adding scorpions could improve some spectator sports

image On the rare occasion I’ve found myself sitting on the couch watching golf on TV, I’ve often thought, How do dragonflies mate in mid-air?

That’s just how EXCITING sports like golf, bowling and some other “spectator sports” are for people like me, who need to have at least some element of danger involved in order to keep our attention. Otherwise we might as well be watching competitive knitting.

Although, to be fair, Jamie Lee Curtis did use knitting needles to fend off Michael Meyers in Halloween, so at least there’s the potential for a psychopath to suddenly show up at a knitting competition and be mercilessly taken down in a flurry of knitting needles. And then thoughtfully covered in a beautiful handmade quilt. Continue reading

If you want to golf with me, bring your hardhat

image Though I’ve only been golfing a few times in my life, it was clear that my reputation had preceded me at the course last weekend. I know this because golfers immediately traded ball caps for hardhats, then scurried down into the sand bunkers like allied forces preparing for heavy fire. As I took a practice swing, the surrounding trees emptied of all bird species — not in a smooth, organized pattern, but in a frenzied explosion of flapping and panicked birdsong that left three Canada geese lying unconscious in the rough.

Speaking of which, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize once again for the tragic death of that swan near the putting green. Had I known the difference between a putter and a pitching wedge, things might’ve turned out differently for that majestic creature.

Because of my past experiences, I was determined to make things different this time.


By becoming more comfortable with the game. I immediately went online for help and, thanks to the power of the Internet, found myself on a pornography website after typing in the first term on my list:

Mixed foursome.

For anyone else who might be looking to the Internet for golf-term clarifications, I’d also suggest avoiding Scotch foursome, shag bag, hooded club, loose impediments and (this really goes without saying) woodie. Continue reading

Please root for me at the World Soccer Cup

Just a heads up that I’m going to be a little busy today. I think I’m ready for the challenge. I’ve done my stretches and had five Red Bulls. Please root for me as I take on Costa Rica…

I think my biggest challenge will be passing the ball to myself.

I think my biggest challenge will be passing the ball to myself.

I wonder if I will get called for “off-sides?”

Full-contact bowling could get more men to yell at their TVs

(Around here, Sundays are for more than just sleeping in — and my kids make sure of that. It’s also the day I reach way, wayyyy back into the archives, arching my back like an Olympic gymnast in order to retrieve a post from a time when my total followers matched the number of people in my immediate family. On an unrelated note, I could use the name of a good chiropractor…)

Full-contact bowling could add a whole new meaning to the agony of defeat.

Full-contact bowling could add a whole new meaning to the agony of defeat.

Like millions of other red-blooded, unathletic men across America, I will spend a good portion of New Year’s Day sitting on the couch, eating handfuls of assorted snack foods, and whining every time a player from my team makes even the teeniest mistake.

It doesn’t matter that these men are performing feats of athletic skill I can only achieve in my dreams (after which I usually wake up with a pulled groin muscle.) And it doesn’t matter that each of these men possesses more muscle mass than my entire body weight plus a mid-sized SUV. Continue reading

Through self-hypnosis, you can become a better golfer — unless you think you’re a chicken

(Regular readers of this blog — or even readers dealing with irregularity — know Sundays are reserved for flashbacks. And I’m not talking about something that comes as a result of too much tequila the night before. I’m talking about Flashback Sundays, which is when I dust off a post or newspaper column from long ago, back when I was building a readership through the promise of free Sea Monkeys. Today’s flashback is from 2005, when I was asked to return to the scene of a crime where, a year earlier, I had committed the act of golf. I chose this post because now, eight years later, I have been asked to do it once more. The only explanation I have for this is that my publisher has started drinking again…)

Golf is so much more exciting than bowling … OK, not really. Well maybe. Actually, now that I think about it … ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Our universe is full of mysteries:

Easter Island.
The Bermuda Triangle.

And perhaps the biggest mystery:

Why I was chosen to captain our office’s Relay for Life golf team for a second time. Being asked the first time could be attributed to office members not realizing how bad a golfer I really am. Though none of the injuries sustained during last year’s tournament were life threatening, having six golfers (two of whom were playing the hole behind me) knocked unconscious by balls with my initials on them — I thought — would become my golfing swan song.

(Speaking of which, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize once again for the tragic death of that swan near the putting green. Had I known the difference between a putter and a pitching wedge, things might’ve turned out differently for that majestic creature.)

Because of this, I fully expected a letter from the American Golf Association (and PETA) denying me access to any course that doesn’t include a windmill and tokens for a free hot dog. Continue reading

Answering your painful questions about my softball season

(If you’re someone who doesn’t normally have flashbacks on a regular basis, but wants to start having them, this blog can help! And without expensive prescription medication or those annoying side effects, such as abdominal bleeding, thoughts of suicide or liver failure! That’s right! Welcome to Flashback Sunday, when we dig into the archives to a time before I had any readers who weren’t in the coma ward at Hackensaw Hospital; back when talking openly to a woman about your blog led to slap in the face; back when “Freshly Pressed” was a dry cleaners on Crenshaw Blvd. Today’s flashback is from 2004, when readers of my newspaper column wanted to know how my first season of men’s softball was going. You’ll be sorry they asked. I know I was…)

imageA few weeks ago I mentioned joining a men’s softball team after not participating in anything athletic since (conservative estimate) the golden era of dodgeball in the early ‘70s. In response, I have received letters and emails offering encouragement, support and, in an isolated incident, a lucky athletic cup from someone named “Derek.”

Admittedly, I was curious as to what qualified this particular cup as “lucky.” His response should be a lesson to us all regarding the dangers of continuous baseball usage.

“I used to get hit — there — almost every game,” Derek explained. “Sometimes two or three times. But my [censored] never got hurt.”

Though he didn’t mention it, I suspect Derek also has a “lucky” batting helmet. Continue reading

Only REAL men can iron clothes at 3,000 feet

Today’s entry for Flashback Sunday was originally inspired by my need to reclaim my masculinity from somewhere beneath the growing pile of ironing in our home. Being that this falls under my umbrella of responsibilities, it was necessary to make it as dangerous — and therefore manly — as possible. You can be the judge as to whether it was Mission Accomplished or Mission Impossible…

To prepare for the 2013 Extreme Ironing Championships, I have begun training at the Eugene Airport. My cardio and resting heart rate have improved dramatically thanks to my running partners at airport security!

I have reached the conclusion that most of the world’s ironing is now being done by men. I say this because it’s the only explanation I have for a sport called “extreme” ironing, which is actually being lobbied as an Olympic event by “ironing enthusiasts” — a phrase referred to in the Bible as a sign of the coming apocalypse.

“And four horsemen will come from the sky. And they will lay waste to the land, but not before having their robes pressed by ironing enthusiasts.”

It’s easy to understand how extreme ironing evolved if you keep in mind this simple truth about the male species:

Given enough time, any man performing a mundane task will find a way to hurt himself.

And if you can hurt yourself doing it, then it’s practically a sport already. Sure, bowling and golf may appear to be exceptions to this rule. But ask anyone who has ever jammed their finger in the ball return, or inadvertently left a tee in their back pocket, and they’ll tell you there is plenty of danger involved. Continue reading

Striking matadors could result in a lot of bull for Spain

Matador bull Though the story hasn’t received much coverage here in the U.S., Spain’s impending matador strike is big news in Madrid.

Especially if you’re a bull.

Even though no new cases of “Mad Cow” have been documented in fighting bulls — which seems odd, since the whole idea is to get them mad in the first place — Spain’s agricultural ministry insists that an eventual cross-over from cows to bulls to matadors is entirely possible. While some are calling matadors “cowards” for threatening to strike if testing for Mad Cow disease isn’t implemented by the start of bullfighting season in July, others applaud the stance, particularly those within the bovine community, many of whom have started wearing tennis balls on the tips of their horns as a show of support. Continue reading

First step to good golfing: Get a grip

Scottish Foursome When our editor began looking for someone to captain our Boys and Girls Club golf team, it only made sense that she came to me first. That’s because, being that I was once a sports editor, I’m naturally a great golfer.

Just like I’m a great shot-put thrower, quarterback, point guard, stock-car racer, extreme skateboarder, free-style swimmer and calf roper. In fact, I sometimes wonder where I might be today had my sports career not been tragically cut short by my complete lack of athletic talent.

This discovery was made as early as first grade, when, during a dodge ball game, I was knocked unconscious and rushed to the nurse’s office after being hit by the ball.

Forty-seven times.

(And I should mention that recess only lasted 10 minutes in those days.) Continue reading

Teaching a child to bowl is leading cause of sterility in men

Gurney and bowling ball Teaching a child to bowl is truly a bonding experience. And by that I mean you should really consider taking out a bond before entering the bowling alley.

As someone who escaped the experience of teaching his five-year-old nephew to bowl with only a minor skull fracture and minimal orthodontic surgery, I feel I’ve acquired a level of expertise that could be helpful. Let’s begin with shoes. Changing into your bowling shoes while in the carpeted area will give you a false sense of security, making you less prepared for the realization that walking in tractionless shoes on a highly-waxed surface is a lot like strapping soap bars to your feet and trying to cross a wet mirror.

Ironically, children have the natural ability to perform double axels over the same surface. Which isn’t to say that you won’t; it’s just that theirs will be on purpose. Continue reading