If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


At the dragon boat (Dracheboot) regatta, one of the activities was mechanical bull riding. We watched for a while and maybe 6 adults tried it. In between, a bunch of kids did too but the host/operator knew that to get the laughs and the big crowds, you needed adults making fools of themselves. (Don't get ahead of me here.)

We were watching the proceedings from a shady spot behind the operator. He had just let two kids in a row go and knew he needed an adult. Preferably male. Preferably someone who stood out with obvious jokable qualities. As he scanned and cajoled the crowd he finally turned to me saying who-knows-what in German (probably something like "How about you scarecrow?") . I started emptying my pockets. He said something "sprecken?" and I assumed he had asked me if I spoke German. I replied "No sprecken" which is the only thing I said until I was on the bull. I decided later that he probably asked me a question first (maybe my name, like he asked everyone else) and when I said nothing he asked me "Do you speak?" And I dutifully replied "I don't speak."

On the bull, he spun me around, cracking jokes to the audience's delight. I guess he asked in English, where I was from and I tried to yell "the U.S." over my shoulder. He spun me back toward him and asked if I spoke English and when I said "yes" he asked if I was from South Africa. I repeated, "the U.S." And he joked "But not from Texas?" We started on level 2, to get the feel of things. Notice in the first picture how delighted the kids are to have a gangly American using up time on their bull.
OK. Level 2 wasn't bad. You need to stay on 16 seconds to advance to the next level. Except for the first person we saw (a woman who got past level 4) nobody had been passed level 3. And the guys that had gone were not scrawny like me...but looks can be deceiving...

Plus, look at the position. Right hand grasping firmly between the legs. Muscles tense. Total concentration. Like the geeky girl in Jurassic Park when she logs onto the Unix computer, I thought to myself, "I know this!" Check out that white-knuckle death grip I've got.

Notice the kids keenly studying my technique while other laugh derisively at the Magerjudencowboy.

Level 3 goes by and suddenly, things aren't so funny any more. Maybe Haarausfallmagerjudencowboy is for real. I even got that hand-in-the-air thing going.

At this point, the operator let me know that nobody had made it past level 5. If I could get past 4, I'd be in a tie for best of the idiots.

Cut to about 15 years ago. A few friends and I went to the local comedy club where two comedians performed. I don't recall either of their names. I don't recall anything about the second comedian at all but the first was a juggling comedian.

He started off juggling a few things and telling a few jokes. One of his first jokes was explaining how when he started juggling, his friends were impressed but quickly were asking him, "Can you do four balls?" He then explained that it took a few months to learn but he was finaly able to to do it.

His friends were again impressed but soon bored. "Can you do five?" they asked. He went on explaining how hard this was and how some guy (maybe the world record holder?) spent 8 hours a day, every day, practicing and eventually was able to juggle eleven rings at once. Still, this guy juggled 5 balls for a few seconds and it was pretty good. He went on juggling knives and axes and all sorts of things and then came the finale.

He brought out 3 bowling balls, hoisted them up and juggled them maybe 10 times. There was some applause. He came up to the mic to thank the audience when I screamed, "Can you do four?"

Personally, I found it hard to believe that nobody had yelled this before, but his less than snappy retort "Do you have one in your car?" told me otherwise.

Back to the present time.

By this point my right forearm had swelled to twice its normal size. The big question was, "Could I do 4?"

After about 6 seconds this was my position.
Alas, that's as far as things went. I did win a game for getting as far as I did. The only other person I saw get a game was the first woman.

Yahtzee anyone?

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