Monday, September 19, 2011

King of the Jungle

So I was watching TV with my neighbors when a commercial came on announcing that The Lion King was making its way back to theaters, this time in 3-D.

Frankly, I haven't been this excited by something I saw on TV since the day I first saw a Snuggie infomercial. In my opinion, The Lion King is one of, if not the greatest children's film of all time. You are very welcome to argue that point, at which time I will stick my fingers in my ear and sing “NAAAAH Sabenya chacha be someho choo choo hoo ben yen mama blah blah yah,” or whatever the heck the words are to the first part of that song. To this day I don't think anybody knows for sure. I just remember that I had a classmate in high school who could sing that first note eerily well. By all other accounts she was a normal person, but this ability scared me, especially since she would do it at very unexpected times, which can be startling.

Teacher: So if you turn to page three, you will see -

Classmate: "NAAAAAH..."

Anyway, the music is just one of the great things about that movie. The next time you are in a group of people, just start singing “A wimoweh a wimoweh a wimoweh.” I guarantee everybody in the group will instantly follow along and before you know it the whole room will be singing that song. I once started it in a group of guys while we were too drunk to stand, much less harmonize. But without communicating at all, we instantly synched up and each of us took a different part of the song.

**WARNING: Do not attempt this in job interviews, funerals, senate floor hearings and lecture halls. Wait, scratch that, an entire lecture hall singing that song would be awesome. But definitely not funerals.**

And it's not just the soundtrack, the movie teaches us so many life lessons. The circle of life for instance. This movie taught me that I have a role in the circle of life, and that role is to eat lots of large animals. Me eating enormous quantities of cows and pigs is frankly the only thing that is keeping our delicate ecosystem working, according to Elton John. I'm assuming that vegans never watched The Lion King growing up. Maybe if the vegans had done their job, there wouldn’t have been any cows to trample Mufasa to death.

But as you would probably expect, my favorite characters in the movie are Timon and Pumba. Their motto of Hakuna matata, no worries, is still the credo that I live my life by. So technically I never do any work and ignore all of my responsibilities because of my religion. So for you to mock me for these things is really insensitive and bigoted when you think about it. I hope you are ashamed of yourself.

The only problem is -

"NAAAAAAH..."

Dammit now I lost my train of thought. Anyway, they just don’t make kids movies like they used to. I’m just sad that my kids will grow up without ever seeing some of these great movies. I mean, they’re already going to be forced to live in a world with global warming, overpopulation, scarce jobs and whatever season of Real World they’ll be on by that time. Without Disney movies to teach them ethics, I fear all of our kids are going to grow up to be sociopathic killers.

Then again, there are people who are convinced The Lion King is also sending negative messages. For instance, Rafiki clearly abuses drugs. And then there is the infamous secret message, which spells out the word “sex.” Or possibly “sty.” Or “Styx.” Or it’s a map of I-25. Seeing as most kids don’t know what sex is I don’t see how it matters (I don’t think I even knew how to read when I watched these movies.)

So make fun of me all you want, but I might seriously go see this movie. And early box office returns show that I’m not the only one. I’m holding out hope that most of those are new parents taking an entire new generation of kids to go see this movie, because that’s how the circle of life works, according to Mufasa. And you do not mess with Mufasa. I’m looking at you, vegans.

"NAAAAAAAH..."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Triker Gang

Now, as a staunch environmentalist I am very much in favor of any event that combines an alternative, fuel-free form of healthy transportation with large quantities of beer. So you can understand why I think I have now found my favorite event of all time. It's a truly magical experience involving three wheels, two riders, one bar and no shame: Trike Night.

Trike Night is an event at my local bar that basically consists of drunk people riding around on a large tricycle. It truly is one of the great athletic showcases of our generation.

So here is basically what happens: You find a partner, pick a team name and a theme song (and yes, just in case you were wondering, everybody picks Queen's “Bicycle”). The rest is pretty easy. You ride around in a circle in the bar, and the best time wins.

Simple right? Well it is, but that is why they add booze. Both riders must take a shot halfway through and then chug a beer at the end of the ride. Alcohol has the magical property of turning even the most simple and mundane of tasks into an adventure full of dangerous obstacles. Walls for instance.

It really is pretty entertaining to watch people so drunk they can hardly stand try to pedal in furious little circles on a tricycle that doesn't really work. The only way it would be more entertaining is if they used a unicycle. Also, watching women chug beer is sort of like what I imagine it will be like watching Chaz Bono do the tango: it's slow, it's not pretty, but you just can't turn away from the wreckage. Plus it's the only time you can legally ride tricycles drunk without getting a BUI.

So despite all of the inherent dangers of drinking on a Tuesday night, me and three friends decided to a few weeks ago. Now, for my two friends Baddie and Midget, this was their first trike night. But for me and my old roommate Chris, this was a chance at redemption, because our last trike night experience had more hitches than a Charles Barkley golf swing.

It all started when Chris' turn came up. Now, you could say Chris was slightly inebriated, but it would probably be more accurate to say he was hammered. Anyway, he made it through the first half fine. Then he went to take his shot from a tray of drinks. And in one smooth motion that the late Michael Jackson would have been proud of, he knocked over the entire table of shots.

Now I'm not saying I did any better. I forgot to spin around on the bar stool (yes, that is a step) and ran over a woman's toe and crashed into a guy's butt. So we had a chip on our shoulders that night.

We almost were robbed of our chance at redemption, because some wasted girl managed to crash and break the tricycle. At least I think she was drunk. She may have just crashed because she is a woman. But they took the tricycle in the back room, and in a process that I am assuming somehow involves duct tape and Elmer's glue, fixed it. Sort of.

So as our turn finally arrived, and we got together for a final huddle before the moment of truth, a moment of clarity before the crucial seconds. Just like Elway before “The Drive,” Jordan before “The Shot,” Bilbo before “The Hobbit,” we stared at each other with steely-eyed determination and made a final declaration: “Let's just try not to spill beer on ourselves.”

Which for the most part we did not. Both our team and the girls made it through unscathed. (By the way, I told Baddie and Midget, who are identical twins, to use the team name “Twins on Schwins.” I thought it was hilarious and clever. They did not, but then again, they also have no idea what a Schwin is.) Of course, the best team name must go to two lesbians who dubbed themselves "Dykes on Trikes."

All in all it was a successful night, and I plan on going back often. It helps that the bar is literally 50 yards away from my apartment. After all, I always said I needed to start exercising.