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Showing Up Big

So today I saw a pretty remarkable video that’s been floating out there on the inter-webs. You’ve probably seen it, I’ll put a link at the end.

What starts out as a very boring home video from somebody’s African safari quickly becomes more fascinating than an animal planet movie featuring the those wily Kratt brothers.

It’s so amazing, that I’m telling you about it right now.

In the video, a baby water buffalo is kidnapped from his mother by a pride (that’s a professional term for herd) of lions.

They chase it and it falls into the river.

While the lions are trying to pull the baby water buffalo out of the river, a crocodile (I’m not making this up) swims up and grabs the water buffalo’s tail with its jaws.

This means that a tug of war for the baby water buffalo breaks out between the crocodile and lions.

Just when it looks really bad for that baby water buffalo (what with all the teeth and claws), guess what happens? A whole herd (that’s a water buffalo term for pride) of mama and poppa water buffaloes rolls up on the scene!

The herd charges in and starts thumping on the lions left and right (I’m really not making this up) until all of the lions run away, and the baby water buffalo is rescued alive.

Now I know what you are thinking; “This is probably going to become a lesson about how we shouldn’t leave our precious ‘baby water buffaloes’ laying around to be menaced by ferocious savannah predators.”


Always take care of friends when bad things happen.”

Except I know that you probably already know all about that.


The MisSpelling Bee

Have you ever been really embarrassed in front of people? I mean by something you said, or something you did?

Experience has taught me that it’s bad to mess up, and worse to do it in front of an audience.

This is the main reason that I hate the Spelling Bee.

The elementary school Spelling Bee is pretty much an involuntary mental inquisition about letters, in front of an assembling of every person you know.

When a flame-out is public it’s usually fairly easy to determine if people are laughing “with you” or “at you.”

Normal people don’t enjoy being laughed at.

Compounding this stress is the silent understanding that all but one person on the Spelling Bee stage is eventually going to blow it in front of the crowd.

Standing up there, you are faced with the inevitable countdown to your own extinction.

I clearly remember extinction coming to me in the first round of the 6th grade spelling bee.

You know what word I got out on? Kleenex.

That’s right, Kleenex.

I spelled Kleenex with a “c”:

“C-L-E-E-N-E-X. Cleenex.”

Before you begin publicly mocking me, like the other 6th graders, think about this; there is a “C” in clean, and Kleenex “cleans” your nose, so who is the idiot, a 11 year-old with phonics and reasoning skills far beyond that of a 1940’s era marketing department or a tissue corporation that tried to get cute by using 5 point consonants when 4 pointers were already getting the job done?

Of course this line of thinking, and the esoteric scrabble reference, were completely lost on my neanderthalic classmates.

Everyone laughed.

At me.


Celebrity Sighting

Growing up in Southern California my family’s airport of choice was Los Angeles International.  There is very little that is good about LAX.  It’s too old to be nice or clean and too new to be considered classic or unique.  The only thing LAX has going for it is celebrity-sighting.

When they travel internationally, and they certainly do, most Hollywood celebrities fly in and out of LAX.  This means that if you keep a sharp eye out for tiny people with big heads wearing sunglasses indoors, you’re likely to spot at least one mid-grade actor near a Starbucks. Even if it is just Gilbert Gottfried.

Because of this I don’t usually get tongue-tied or starstruck when I run into someone like Danny Glover at the Smarte Carte return.  I just smile and keep moving.

The closest I’ve ever come to making a fool out of myself was the time I saw Diane Lane buying a copy of USA Today.  I was 22 and I had just turned around from the register after purchasing some mints. We were face to face.

Hers, a face that’s launched a thousand ships, mine a ship of fools.

I said, “Pardon me”, nodded my head, and sidestepped her.  As I walked to my gate I congratulated myself on not saying or doing something embarrassing or untoward.  I realized then that I do pretty well when I’m around people whom others lose their minds over.

I was once nearly trampled by a throng of Michael Jackson fans just outside the Log Jammer at Knott’s Berry Farm.  I kept my cool while he walked right by.

One of my good friends told Jennifer Love Hewitt that “he loved her” when we bumped into her at Disneyland.  Her response, “I know…”.  I just kept walking.

I thought that this was because I was somehow “immune” to celebrity.  Like maybe I had seen enough of it and now I was so mature that it didn’t affect me.

That was until I made a complete nincompoop out of myself in front of someone I really admire. (more…)

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