Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Wide World of Sports

Sports sometimes fail to translate across cultures and borders.

Soccer (football, to many of you) presents a good example. It ignites passion almost everywhere around the globe—except in the most powerful country on the planet.

Curling is a funny one, too, boring just about everyone except people in Canada, Scandinavia, and pockets in central Europe.

OK, maybe in Minnesota.

Then there are the questionable “sports.” Last week, German women ran a 100 meter race—which doesn’t seem odd until you note that they sprinted while wearing heels. And Finns, Estonians, and a few random others love the sport of wife-carrying.

And today I heard about another one—also, oddly enough, from our friends in Finland—which takes the cake: The seventh annual World Mobile Phone Throwing Championship.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell Finnish readers that the big prize went to Lassi Etelaetalo, who hurled his headset almost 100 yards, just short of the world record. (Yes, folks—that means somebody keeps track of world records for activities like for cell phone throwing.)

We can all understand the desire to toss a phone that fails to ring when a call comes in. Or runs out of power randomly. Or drops calls.

Or rings at full volume with the sounds of Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.”

Getting your anger out by flinging something as far as you can is an idea with legs. Once the idea of heaving objects reaches full acceptance in David Amulet-land, watch out.

Early candidates for flinging include:

My television. Other than reruns of Dead Like Me and Dark Angel, occasional sports, and a few quality documentaries, this new 55” plasma hasn’t been giving me my money’s worth.

I don’t even have it on very often … but in a week I flip by more crap than I’ve excreted in my lifetime. This TV is begging to be tossed.

Some little blond boy at a Mexican restaurant in northern Virginia. There I was, minding my own business (which, by the way, is how most good stories start), just eating lunch quietly last weekend with a buddy of mine. This hellion toddler marches along the shared booth seat from the next table over and jumps down to the floor—using my table, specifically my chicken burrito platter, as his springboard.

And his useless, waste-of-space mother and father parents didn’t do a damn thing. If they weren’t 300+ pounds each, I’d throw them, too.

John Mark Karr … and Boulder, Colorado authorities. A man confesses to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey to get a free business-class plane ride to the US from Thailand. Only he didn’t do it. This jackass and the keystone cops put her family—and the segment of the US population that still cares one scintilla more about this case than the thousands of other unsolved crimes—through 10 days of hell.

And the media, showing their usual keen insight into what truly matters in the world, overwhelmed the rest of us with coverage of every step, every car ride, and every breath this perv took. Add these ass-clowns to HurlFest ’06.

My cell phone. I never should have downloaded “SexyBack.”

Get ready. This might be a world-record throw.


At August 30, 2006 4:34 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Are those sports on ESPN8 "The OCHO" along with Dodgeball?

As a side note, please tell me that you have either a High Def cable/satellite box! Otherwise the picture that you paid for is going to waste!

At August 30, 2006 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Hey! Curling is a wonderful sport. It has ice. Um...brooms. And ah, uh...rock. Men who shout "HURRY! HURRY HARD!" And *yawn* it's VERY exciting.

And why aren't you watching curling on this kick ass tv of yours? Yeesh.

At August 30, 2006 8:06 PM, Blogger OnMyWatch replied to my musings ...

This brings new meaning to Finnish line.

At August 30, 2006 8:43 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Wait a second, there. the night ice crew at Madison square garden care about curling, after all, they ALMOST won a medal in Sarajevo. Hey, here's a fun sport I actually compete in: Cyclocross. Simply put, you ride a not quite road not quite mountain bike in the crap weather of the fall and early winter around courses that have mud, snow, (depending on weather), pavement, grass, gravel etc. Not so bad, except that there are barriers you have to carry your bike over, so you have to do a moving dismount and remount. Someday I'll send a pic of it, but it really is useless now that I think about it. I mean, why get off a perfectly good bike? Better yet, why ride it in rain and snow and freeze? Where's my chessboard...

At August 30, 2006 8:45 PM, Blogger Mimi replied to my musings ...

I have a few friends who are real into that curling. I am not even sure what it is.

I would have jumped on those parents in the restaurant. At 300 pounds they would have made good spring boards!

At August 30, 2006 8:51 PM, Blogger Maggie replied to my musings ...

I'm still trying to figure out how to get rid of "my hump" on my cell.
Yea, that's just what the mayor likes to hear.

At August 30, 2006 10:15 PM, Blogger Mr. Friendly replied to my musings ...

Instead of throwing the larger items like tvs and computers, try dropping them off a building's roof.

Largest crater wins.

At August 30, 2006 11:08 PM, Blogger Michael C replied to my musings ...

I really like your blog and your commentary on the cell phone toss. Those dang things have become so entrenched in our lives.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I appreciate it. I'll admit here and nowhere else on the ringtone is Just The Good Ole Boys -- The Dukes Oh Hazzard Theme. Yep, you guessed it, my coworkers HATE me!

At August 30, 2006 11:44 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

You trying to tell us you're not bringing sexy back?

The little boy story was pretty funny I wish I could have seen that haha. I have seen the wife carrying competitions on tv before, I would not allow my wife to eat for like 2 days before.

Soccer isn't a sport come on! it's a bore-a-thon

At August 31, 2006 2:24 AM, Blogger CT replied to my musings ...

hey I didn't tell you to download that song, and I still got bumped... LOL

At August 31, 2006 7:17 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Mike: Yes, I've got the full set-up--thanks.

Jenna, Mimi: Curling is a funny thing. Even with 8.3 million channels, I don't have The Curling Channel. Damn those cable operators.

OMW: Brava! A great addition.

Mike: How about this new sport: You can play chess while riding your bike. On ice.

Maggie: Putting "hump" together with "cell phone" could lead to some interesting visits to the emergency room.

Mr. Friendly: I like that--the David Letterman mode of conflict resolution.

Michael: If it shows that video of Jessica Simpson, then I'm all in favor.

Phats: Sexy never left, no need to bring it back. Those wife-carrying competitions do NOT fall into the sexy category, however.

CT: Bumped? Are you talking about a virtual bump across the blogosphere?

-- david

At August 31, 2006 7:25 AM, Blogger Beth replied to my musings ...

What about the BlackBerry grab-and-toss? You know, when you're meeting with someone and he keeps reading his BlackBerry instead of listening to you? Yep, I'm gonna start grabbing and tossing those suckers.

At August 31, 2006 7:45 AM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

Maybe it's a good thing they stuck Karr up front. Whether he did it or not I wouldn't want to sit next to him in coach.

At August 31, 2006 9:16 AM, Blogger Curare_Z replied to my musings ...

I like Beth's idea about the Blackberry grab-n-toss. That would make cell phone tossing more fun. You're in a restaurant. Some jerkwad is talking on his or her cell phone as loudly as possible about the wart on his or her ass. You calmly walk up, grab the phone, scream "here it goes" and give the cell phone a hurl.

Sign me up.

At August 31, 2006 10:12 AM, Blogger Metal Mark replied to my musings ...

Here's a "sport" for you. Recently I heard about speed stacking which essentially stacking empty cups real fast. Mainly kids are into it, but they have competitions for it and a company that sells the official cups and mats for it. There is even an organization called the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA). I see it as an acitivity, but can't see how they can call it a sport.

At August 31, 2006 11:53 AM, Blogger Paige Burns replied to my musings ...

Well Mike #1 beat me to my OCHO comment and my thoughts on making sure you had the full HD set up (my hubby would be so proud) so where does that leave me?

I can't think of anythin or anyone to toss but I'll volunteer to keep track of ya'alls records!

At August 31, 2006 12:24 PM, Blogger Ben Heller replied to my musings ...

What a great piece of self promotion for Finland and its biggest export....yes you guessed it...NOKIA

At August 31, 2006 12:39 PM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

I am 100% with you on the Boulder "authorities". They couldn't find their asses with a telescope.
And don't even get me started on parents who let their kids run amok...

At August 31, 2006 1:13 PM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

I often get the urge to hurl my computer across the room.

BTW it's not your poor tv's fault there's nothing good on 300+ channels. Throw a network programming executive instead ;-)

At August 31, 2006 1:55 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

I was at Target yesterday, minding my own business (as I always do as well) when I saw a family of four walking up...each one on their own cell phone.

How nice.

At August 31, 2006 3:42 PM, Blogger Blonde Vigilante replied to my musings ...

I've sprinted 100 meters in heels...I have the blisters to prove it.

At August 31, 2006 3:55 PM, Blogger Janet replied to my musings ...

I still say curling is a joke created by the sports world to see how much we'll actually put up with, not unlike Nicole Richie's success for doing whatever it is she does.

At August 31, 2006 4:27 PM, Blogger missy replied to my musings ...

Watching curling is so addictive!

At August 31, 2006 4:27 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Beth, Curare: I'll join you. We can make the news with the first contest of its kind!

Fuzz: In that case, they could have just put him in the cargo hold.

Mark: I've seen that in ads. I don't get the appeal. I'd rather drink out of cups than stack and re-stack them.

Paige: You have officially become the World Record Keeper of this quarter of the blogosphere. Congrats.

Ben: Don't forget Finland's best export: the sauna.

Bruce: I've never tried to find my ass with a telescope ... maybe it's not as easy as it sounds.

Cube: You are correct; let's toss the executives!

Phoenix: That's just sad. I wonder if any of the four were speaking with each other.

BV: I hope you were running to someone and not from someone.

Janet: I suspect that wife-carrying, mobile-phone throwing, and cup stacking fit into the same category.

-- david

At August 31, 2006 5:45 PM, Blogger CT replied to my musings ...

no bumped off the almighty amulet blogroll... I guess I've been a bad blogger... LOL

At August 31, 2006 7:13 PM, Blogger An80sNut replied to my musings ...

What amazes me most is how excited the media was over Karr even with no evidence and his being just one of the people claiming to have taken Ramsey's life. And, I would have lost it on the little boy's family if he decided to jump on my table. I then might have claimed to have been assaulted by an illegal immigrant.

At August 31, 2006 8:03 PM, Blogger Grafs replied to my musings ...

Oooo...I like this flinging game. I would definitely fling my phone...The "off" button just doesn't do it for anger diffusal (not a word, but it should be).

At August 31, 2006 11:46 PM, Blogger Jeff replied to my musings ...

Oh wow, what would I choose to fling. It seems like there would be so much, but my old computer put me through hell so I would have to nominate that. Although I've kicked the case off and did some major damage to it, nothing would be like throwing it off a bridge or something.

At August 31, 2006 11:48 PM, Blogger MIA replied to my musings ...

I still enjoy the sport of turkey bowling. Or cock fighting,Then again there is midget tossing, the list is endless. Sometimes I wish I could throw the person on the cell phone in the car in front of me off a bridge. They're not paying attention anyway so it's not like they would notice.
come see me...

At September 01, 2006 3:25 AM, Blogger Carmel replied to my musings ...

Oh I hear you on the John Mark Karr stuff. I was surprised to see him in business class and even transported to the US before looking into it more. He is truly gross, perverted and has got way too much media attention.
I was surprised to see his face everywhere.

Soccer! I was surprised that it wasn't big over there, I love it.

At September 01, 2006 9:50 AM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

hey! Toss that 52" TV *MY* way ;)

At September 01, 2006 11:33 AM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

Hi David,
I love "Dead Like Me" and "Dark Angel"!

I downloaded "SexyBack" too... what the hell was in the water this week?

At September 01, 2006 12:24 PM, Blogger Minka replied to my musings ... forgot to mention GLIMA!
Give it a try and google ;)

And since the leading mobile phone company in Europe is NOKIA, and they construct some in such a way that you ahve to buy a new one each year 'cuas ethese things seem to self-destruct after a while....I am not surprised they made a sport of mobile phone throwing. Easy Access!

At September 01, 2006 1:04 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

CT: Your'e back on, sorry about that. Operator error on this end.

80s Nut, Carmel: Thankfully, I've heard little about Karr in the past couple of days. I've already heard too much.

Grafs, Jeff: It seems electronic items are near the top of the flinging list for most people. Right up there with them are the people who misuese said devices.

Mia: Turkey bowling? I must have led a sheltered life ...

Dabich: Sorry. I've been convinced by earlier comments that the problem is the netowrk execs, not the TV. It stays.

GW: You have damn good taste, if I do say so myself. (But I have a little secret--I didn't actually download "SexyBack," that was just for comedic effect. Ben, Metal Mark, BarBarA, et al. wouldn't ever speak to me again if I really did download it.)

Minka: I tried it; the main hits refer to a hurricane name or a bad misspelling of the "Gilmore Girls." Anyway, I've had my current phone for about 9 months and I'm ready for a new one.

-- david

At September 01, 2006 4:16 PM, Blogger LocuTus of Borg replied to my musings ...

Ouch David .. SexyBack ... ummm ok ... moving on >:P

Boy that kid in the restaurants sounds like the bundle of joy that you read about in my airplane trip. John Karr is an attention getter, don't even get me started!

I love my TV for HD Sports =)

At September 01, 2006 4:58 PM, Blogger charlie replied to my musings ...

Why no mention for the extemely useful Scottish sport of tossing one's caber, which I now do rarely, having outgrown such pastimes.

At September 01, 2006 8:58 PM, Blogger Trundling Grunt replied to my musings ...

I did cover bog-snorkelling, but I think political candidate bouncing could catch on?

At September 02, 2006 9:40 AM, Anonymous LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

I see women sprinting with heels all the time in NYC. I never thought of it as a sport though ;-)

At September 02, 2006 10:17 AM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

David ~ You Trickster!!! I really did download the song (hiding my head in shame... bleeding from the ears)

At September 02, 2006 10:53 AM, Blogger LostInTX replied to my musings ...

They should have left Karr in Thailand so 'they' could have punished him appropriately since he was about to be investigated for improper sexual conduct over there. I bet that's why he confessed so he could avoid being beheaded or having his penis removed. He's disgusting. period.

TV sucks more and more every day. I refuse to pay for cable (because it's such a waste) but consequently I am forever playing with rabbit ears so that I can watch the few shows I care about. You know the networks are desperate when they advertise a 'true' tv movie about Different Strokes! Gag...

At September 02, 2006 11:13 AM, Blogger Lee Ann replied to my musings ...

The stilleto running race is unbelieveable. I hate walking in them, let alone running!

At September 02, 2006 2:26 PM, Blogger Pixie replied to my musings ...

Football certainly does overtake some lives. I know a woman whos hubby threw the TV out of the (closed) window when his team lost one day :\
It's quite refreshing overhere not to have footy mania all over when the big games are on.

At September 02, 2006 6:33 PM, Anonymous mojotek replied to my musings ...

Too bad about your widescreen... it seems that the only reason to invest in one nowadays is to watch good-looking movies at home. Television programming is about as shitty as its ever been.

At September 02, 2006 11:36 PM, Blogger Gyrobo replied to my musings ...

The next time someone uses your food for a springboard, just look 'em straight in the eye and say "Hugaba babo rubbu!"

Speaking gibberish menacingly is a great way to get people to avoid you.

At September 03, 2006 1:31 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

LoCoTus, GW: At the time, I hadn't downloaded it ... but now I have. I'm hosting a party tonight, after all, so it's good to have some current music ...

Charlie: My bad, I left out all everything remotely connected to the highland games.

Grunt: Political candidate bouncing has a future. It's just another way of saying "vote out the incubents."

Lisa, Lee Ann: Hell-runners are all athletes ... kind of. Maybe it'll be the next Olympic sport.

Lost in TX: I didn't watch "Diff'rent Strokes" when it was on, I can't imagine why I'd watch a movie about it.

Pixie: You may avoid that part of sports madness, but Sunday afternoons in most of America are the same way for American football.

Mojotek: Yeah, it's worth it for DVDs. A well-directed movie like Fight Club looks really good on the widescreen.

Gyrobo: I do that with kids sometime to make them go away, but more often they stick around because somebody is finally speaking the language as it's meant to be spoken.

-- david

At September 03, 2006 9:55 PM, Blogger MIA replied to my musings ...

Seriously? They have charity events usually around Thanksgiving and you bowl with a frozen Turkey. I cheat and use pot pies.


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