I am loaded with idiosyncracies. Most of these are bad, such as the fact that I'm scared of camels (I'm worried they'll spit at me). However, every 23.5 years or so, a good idiosyncracy emerges. This weekend, at the fair, that very thing happened, and while my newfound talent may not seem incredibly useful, the discovery thrilled me. I realized that, hold your breath everyone, I'm really, really good at that game where you throw darts at balloons for prizes. If you don't believe me, ask the poor carnie who had to give me a stuffed animal when I hit THREE BALLOONS IN A ROW!
This is surprising for a couple of reasons. First, this activity is vaguely athletic. Judging from my previous forays into sports, I'm surprised that, immediately upon being handed the darts, I didn't trip over my feet and stab a baby in the eye with one. But no, all of the maimed babies that night had nothing to do with me (for once I can say that with total honesty). Secondly, I don't perform well when others are watching. I used to dread it when I'd have to read in front of the entire class. At home, when I read aloud to my fossil collection, I delivered a rapturous performance, performing curtain call after curtain call, leaving nary a dry eye in the house. Then I'd have to do it in front of my class mates, and suddenly I'm stuttering through the first paragraph, screaming the f word, and running into the bathroom so I can gorge myself on bar soap. Not a pretty sight.
But Saturday night, I put all of that behind me. Amidst a sea of pregnant teenagers there to see Uncle Kracker, I took hold of the darts and harkened back to my prehistoric ancestors. In my mind, I stood with them in the tundra, yelling caveman expletives, and hurling spears at wooly mammoths. A thunderous pop greeted each throw, but my bloodlust did not relent. I continued to throw until I collapsed to the ground, exhausted. Just as I faded into unconsciousness, the carnie tossed me my trophy: a yellow fish I named Jaku. My chest heaving, I gasped, "Jaku, you have vindicated me." I sat there for a moment, catching my breath, then I ripped off my shirt and scaled the ferris wheel in celebration. Cavemen represent.Posted by Cody at October 18, 2004 6:39 PM