Thursday, April 27, 2006

Does This Make Me a Bad Person?

By guest blogger, Boris Yankanitov

So I'm sitting at ASU enjoying my work day when an unusual sight caught my eye. I looked up from my computer screen toward the fountain outside the MU. There, on the ground, was a man lying on his back. At first I thought that ASU's ridiculous tuition hike had finally killed someone, but then he got up. He brushed himself off, retrieved his skateboard, and scooted off. I figured the poor schmuck must have hit a cord or something that threw him from his board. To my amusement, it turned out that this wasn't just a freak accident.

Within seconds, I saw the same yellow shirted skateboarder. This time he was accelerating toward the fountain. He jumped his board over the three steps up to the fountain level. He proceeded along his path, aiming for the steps down. Then, to my absolute delight, he flopped down the steps, flailed wildly, and promptly fell backward. He lay there for a few moments, then got back up, retrieved his board, and skated off for what appeared to be another attempt.

It was at this point that I took out my cell phone. I'm not a big fan of camera phones and that sort of thing, but I think I may have found a new interest in the topic. You see, my phone has the ability to record 15 second video clips. On this poor guy's next attempt, I recorded the action with my phone. I couldn't help but smile as he biffed once more and fell to the ground.

Let me just say at this point that I am not a mean person. However, I am a human, and as a human, I tend to find pleasure in watching people fall down. I think an explanation for this comes from the theory of evolution, of all places. You see, to the Evolutionists, we were once a quadripedal race. Once we learned to walk on two legs, things really started working out for us. At the moment we developed the ability to walk upright, we also developed the ability to laugh at those who failed to do so. I believe we take walking for granted; I think that somewhere in the ancient marsupial regions of our brains, it scares the hell out of us. I mean, how many other critters walk on two legs? It's certainly easier to walk on 4 - it's more stable as well. And when we see a fellow marsupial descendent fail to walk on two legs, we get giddy with nervous laughter. Whatever the explanation for it, it certainly is damn funny.

Back to the story..

As I said, I'm not a mean person, and if I knew the guy was getting hurt, I wouldn't think it was nearly as funny. Funny, yes, but not nearly as funny. Now, here I am, filming a poor guy fall repeatedly in vain attempts to... to... to do whatever he intended to do. And every time this guy falls, he flops around on the ground for a few moments, then gets back up and throws himself upon the ground again. It was almost as if he was doing this solely for my amusement.

And to make it even funnier for me, I just happened to be listening to Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" song. My personal music tastes aside; I hope you can appreciate my joy at watching this guy slam himself repeatedly into the cement as I listen to such lines as "Watch the monkey get hurt..."

Ah - that made my day. Enjoy the Quicktime videos.

skater attempt 1
skater attempt 2
skater attempt 3

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