Senior Editor

The Inertia

I can remember it like it was yesterday. Kind of. Drinking beers in the car with a high-school girlfriend, feeling the world around me get much smaller as my confidence grew in infinite proportions. I could do anything after three Ice Houses: get into Stanford with my 2.7 GPA, surf Pipe. And I could definitely streak though that nice hotel lobby butt-ass naked. It would be funny. It would make for a legendary story. I thought it was genius. My girlfriend thought I was a dumbass.

But we convinced her to pull up to valet parking in front of the hotel, and to my luck, it was empty. With a buddy goading me on relentlessly from the backseat, the girl as my getaway driver, I stripped to the buck and promised to run through the automatic doors to the other end of the lobby, drink from the water fountain, and sprint back to the car.

I took off like a pasty-white bolt of lightning. It was working. I made it to the fountain, touched the water to my lips and turned, already in a full sprint. But then a young concierge–albeit somewhat overweight, and thankfully slow–brilliantly extended his leg and tripped me at full speed. In an act of sheer bad luck, I skidded head-first onto my man parts (alright, teenage parts at the time), but had so much momentum after the skid I did a summersault and sprung back to my feet, scurrying out the front door and jumping into the waiting car in nearly perfect synchronicity. I did end up with a hellacious strawberry on my scrotum from the rug burn which took a ridiculously long time to heal (moisture). But I’d made it. It was the dumbest thing I’d ever done.

But that’s what kids do. Dumb things. Like this brilliant trend of jumping into the gargantuan aquariums at Bass Pro Shops around the country. Which, unbeknownst to me, has been happening for years. You can relate, right? Your first taste of alcohol can do that to you. Some people don’t even need alcohol. You live, learn and take home several scabs in bad places. And you get to tell cool stories after, depending on your definition of cool. These things make us better. The jump referenced in the news report above was way back in May and it sounds like the kid knocked himself silly, fracturing his skull after jumping from 30 feet into the tank. The shop promised to press charges but I couldn’t get any info on whether it happened as the perps name was withheld due to the fact he was a minor.

But does it matter? If you’ve ever been in a Bass Pro Shop you know they’re pretty stiff places. In between all the dead, stuffed animals and the plaid shirts and motorized fishing SUPs, are these gaudy aquariums. And who wouldn’t want to jump in? I’ve thought about it myself. It would probably only be the third or fourth dumbest thing I’d ever done.


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