Being an audience member isn’t just a passive process of watching and absorbing. It requires engagement.
Ian Pike 9 a.m., May 4
A few observations from a day earlier this week.
I went to LA Fitness for a basketball game. They have some kind of stair climbing machines they place right in front of the window. It’s sometimes distracting when attractive women are using them, and you try to throw the ball to some idiot on your team that is just watching them climb.
One woman looked like she was struggling hard on the machine, and it got me thinking. I paid $99 to join, and $30 a month. I assume she paid a similar price, but why? Can’t she just go find stairs somewhere for free? If you’re going to do a fitness place, use the machines you don’t have at home, or can’t just find at any mall.
Another woman, in her late 30s, climbed onto the machine. She was wearing sweatpants that said “Juicy” on the butt, and a shirt that said something sexually suggestive. I felt like telling her she looked moronic.
I then did something moronic. I went to meet a friend at Wings N Things for lunch (so much for those calories I just burned off on the courts).
As I waited in line, I noticed the gumball machines. They all required quarters. I wondered why they didn’t have at least one that took other change. Sure, I remember a time when I was a little kid, that they had machines that took pennies. I understand that wouldn’t be profitable. And I don’t want to turn into my grandmother, who thought this $2.75 mud pie I got at a restaurant, was “an outrageous price to pay for ice cream!”
But, you’d think they’d have a machine that takes dimes. The one that has five stale Skittles, perhaps. To me, it just makes good business sense (cents). Parents wouldn’t mind throwing a dime at their kids to put in those machines; which probably have more germs where the kids put their hands, than any of those hotels they use the black lights on in undercover shows.
There was a huge four foot gumball machine. Now, talk about value for your quarter. You get a gumball the size of a softball, and you get to watch it thru the glass as it rolls down.
There were SpongeBob Squarepants stickers for $.50. Next to that, there were these toys called “Homies”. I’m not making this up. They were little characters, that all looked like gangstas. A guy with chains around his neck, throwing his arms in the air. I have no clue what parents would let their kids buy these.
Later that evening, I took my dog to a park on Adams Avenue. A “pro life” group was setting up to do some kind of protest. Police drove up and were checking things out. A truck with Port-a-Potties drove up onto the grass.
The weirdest thing was this huge poster they pinned up. It had a hangar on it, with a circle around it, and a line crossing it out.
Really? This is the logo they came up with? C’mon! Is it 1938? This seems like a poster that would’ve been more appropriate hanging in Joan Crawfords closet.
Later in the evening, it was game night with some friends. We all went with Scattegories, one of the best games around.
Everyone has the same card, giving you a list of things: name an author, a movie title, breakfast food…and a letter is rolled. Everyone uses the same letter, to come up with an item in each category. If you picked one that someone else had, neither of you get a point. So you go for the obscure, but not so obscure that nobody knows it. If they don’t, you don’t get a point.
Well, my group of friends always has some interesting debates during this. It stems from the two different camps interpreting the rules. The rules state that if you’re being “clever” that counts. So, if the category is “a type of sandwich” and the letter is “k” – you could write “knuckle”.
We had a woman once that had some answers that we didn’t want to let fly. For a weapon, the letter was “g”. She put “glock gun” (this would give her two points, for using the letter twice; Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mantle, and names like that are valuable in this game, but Hugh Hefner cost me, when someone else used that). Anyway, I claimed that “glock” is a type of gun, and saying “glock gun” is like saying you drive a “Mustang car.” I was voted down. It seems, people want to be nice and let others slide with their answers. But it didn’t fly when the same woman wanted to use “box” for “things found in the desert.” She claimed that you could drive out to any desert, and you’d probably see a few boxes there. We all argued that, using that logic, you could name anything, and claim that at one time or another, it’s been out in the desert.
We had a debate when one woman wrote “racing” for a sport. I had “roller derby”. Someone had racquetball, two had rugby. But one guy didn’t want to let “racing” be accepted. He said “You’d have to name a specific kind of race.” I told him that it didn’t matter. He said “Racing is an event, not a sport.” I said “Is it a ‘sporting event’?” He smiled, but said the answer shouldn’t be allowed. But we did as we always do, went with the majority. And “racing” stayed. When I wrote “rice” for an “ethnic food” that was voted down. When I wrote “Rattlesnake!” for things you shout – that was also voted down. I’m not sure why. I was going to write “rape!” or “Run!” But, I figured nobody else would write “rattlesnake”. The group said you don’t yell that, and I argued “If one is at your hiking partners foot, I’m guessing you would.”
I then asked him why, when the category was “toys” he put “Risk”. I said “Using your logic…I’ll ask…isn’t Risk a board game? That’s not a toy. Sure, you can play with board games, the way kids play with toys. But it’s not a specific toy. It would be in a game category, not a toy one.”
He argued. And this is exactly why I hate debating. Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than a healthy argument; even if I end up being wrong. The only problem is…I’ll admit when I’m wrong, or if someone brings a good point to the table. Others don’t seem to do that.