The Badass of the Week.
-- Cool People --
Update 26 January 2007 by Amazing Ben


I write a lot of material for this site about people I consider to be badass.  They're either war heroes that killed eight hundred men with their bare hands and a rusty Slinky, survivalists that lived through having their heads chopped off by swords, mythological creatures that shoot spikes out of their faces or historical figures who conquered seventeen countries in a half an hour with an army of fifteen vicious squirrels, but almost all of them are larger-than-life hardasses who destroy faces, crush their enemies, or perform unrivaled acts of heroism or bravery that distinguish themselves from everyday folks like you or me.  Well there are a lot of cool people out there who aren't necessarily what I would consider "badasses", but who I would hang out with if I got back-stage passes to VIP events (hint hint).  They're the folks who I would sit on the couch and play Xbox with, but who I wouldn't necessarily call if I needed a dragon slain or a sniper nest suppressed.  Here are some of those people.


Mike Rowe

It takes a special kind of guy to go to work rolling around in animal shit and jumping into pits of shoulder-deep brown sludge while having crossbows loaded dead trout shot at them by ex-American Gladiators.  Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs does ridiculous shit like that once a week on national television, and he does it with a smile and a look of "WTF?" on his face.

The premise of Dirty Jobs, for those of you who have never seen the show, is that former professional opera singer Mike Rowe visits people across the country who have the sorts of jobs that would make normal people want to kill themselves slowly and painfully with whatever pointy items they can get their hands on.  In order to learn more about what these people do, Mike works side-by-side with them for an entire day.  This usually involves him getting incredibly dirty and covered with horrible disgusting shit.

The thing I like about Mike is that he can go out and eat worms, get bitten by poisonous snakes and cover himself with five layers of radioactive gunk and not even complain about it.  Shit, I sit at a desk staring blankly at a computer for eight hours a day, and I never stop bitching about how much my job sucks.  I think if my job was to inspect whale assholes all day, I'd just hack off my arms with a machete and then jump face-first into a blender.  But Mike seems to get a kick out of it, which is respectable.  He's always able to come up with jokes and shit, which is admirable.  Plus it's nice to see a TV personality who doesn't mind doing a hard day's work.  Seeing all the awful jobs he does will really give you an appreciation for how good I have it, because no matter how boring your work can be, it's a hell of a lot better than being a professional worm farmer or shit-eater or something.





Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico

The Emperor Joshua A. Norton was a crazy dude who lost all his money and wandered the streets of San Francisco in the mid-1800s.  He suffered these awesome delusions of grandeur and eventually declared himself to be the Emperor of the United States.  Unlike many other crazy homeless folks however, Emperor Norton actually gained a measure of respect from his "citizens" - local businesses accepted the Imperial money he printed up as legal tender, restaurants gave him free food, theater productions always reserved him a seat at their openings, police officers saluted him on the street... even the U.S. Census Bureau listed his official occupation as "Emperor".

The best part is that he would walk up and down the streets of San Francisco dressed in a full U.S. Military Uniform with a crazy peacock-feather pimp hat, and would pass declarations and decrees he demanded the government to follow.  When people wronged him and then apologized, he would issue an official paper "Imperial Pardon".  Though he held little sway over the nation he claimed to rule (he once issued an Imperial Decree ordering Congress to be disbanded which was largely ignored), he was so loved by his native San Franciscans that they attempted to humor him whenever possible.  When he finally passed away, the city bought him a tombstone reading "Emperor Norton I" and his funeral was attended by over 30,000 people.

This is awesome.  Emperor Norton took the "crazy homeless guy" schtick to the next level, creating a persona that was so loved by the people of his city that they treated him like the royalty he believed himself to be.  He's the sort of guy I wish I had the opportunity to have met.




Prince

Prince has been getting a lot of heat recently by people who don't think he should be playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl this year.  Fuck that.  Not only does Prince rock, and have the ability to sing notes only audible to dogs and bats, but his presence at the Super Bowl will be the final step towards representing the ultimate duality of man.  Allow me to present this chart to explain my position.

Things Men Are Good At:
1.  Scoring with Chicks
2.  Killing other Men

Now, football is all about the killing.  It's just twenty-two guys on a one hundred yard field running around at top speed trying to use their shoulders to take each other's heads completely off of their bodies.  It's like war out there, except the big difference is that soldiers don't get paid extra if they're especially good at killing people.  Football players can make millions of dollars by demonstrating this talent.

Prince, on the other hand, is all chicks.  I probably wouldn't bet on him to win a steel-cage Ultimate Fighting Championship match with Scarlett Johansson, but for some reason the man gets more tail than a squirrel furrier in the Yukon.  He sleeps with more hot babes in a single night than most men will get in their entire lives.  Being the quintessential "all-chicks, no-killing" guy means that he represents the half of men that are are otherwise unspoken for in a football game of this caliber.

Allow me to further illustrate my point with this crappy graph:



As you can see, the "All-Chicks, No-Killing" end of the spectrum is Prince, while the "All-Killing, No-Chicks" side is represented by toothless Hall of Fame Steelers Linebacker Jack Lambert.  Both of these men represent the two extremes of mankind.  I chose Sean Connery as James Bond to represent the midpoint;  the perfect blending of chicks and killing.

Now most men fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.  Unfortunately, in a top-level football game, there really isn't a whole lot of representation on the "chicks" side.  Sure, you have guys like Peyton Manning who are more to the left of this chart than say, Brian Urlacher, but the whole point of football is to laud the killing qualities and ignore the chicks qualities.  Like when you watch the game, you will probably hear the announcers spend at least an hour talking about Peyton's "toughness" or "gutsiness", but I'd wager two million dollars that you won't hear Phil Simms say something like, "man that Peyton Manning gets more play than a Hank Williams Junior album in a seedy Alabama bar".  It just won't happen.  Ergo, you need to balance out the true nature of man by bringing in a guy like Prince to represent the "chicks" aspect of mankind.

It's layers upon layers.  Like an onion.


Bus Stop Dog

I mentioned before that I'm taking the bus in to work and not relying on the train to get around anymore.  The best part of this is the crazy ass dog that lives across from the outbound bus stop.  Every single day, when I get off the bus going home, this crazy fucking golden retriever comes barreling out from behind a house, crashes his body into the chain-link fence separating his yard from the bus stop, and starts barking SUPER LOUD in peoples' faces the second they get off the bus.  He seriously waits and listens for the bus to pull up, which triggers his natural instinct to run out at top speed and bark at people.  I find this hilarious, because it usually makes people jump ten feet in the air when they look up and find themselves about six inches away from a giant woofing dog face.  Most people yelp or scream or start crying, and I think this is awesome.



WOOF WOOF WOOF







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