Ah football. Don’t you just love it? The smell of clothes drenched with the sweat and BO of testosterone filled guys. It’s America’s game. Some say that’s baseball, but it’s not. It’s really football. Don’t listen to those baseball fanboys. Listen to me. And I say: football is America’s sport. There really isn’t anything like it. Seriously, I don’t think any other country plays the sport. Correct me if I’m wrong though. Then again, there is rugby, but, in my opinion, that’s way more hardcore than football. I digress.

Now, if you’re thinking that I’m on the football team, you’re sorely mistaken. If you’ve ever seen me in real life, you would know that I would become 50 different kinds of messed up in record time. No, I’m in the band. That’s right, those geeky people doing pelvic thrusts to drum beats as we watch our team lose (usually). Before I go on though, I want to clarify one thing. Marching band isn’t as dumb as the common stereotype makes it out to be. It’s actually physically demanding, if only somewhat. It’s a lot harder than it looks. Especially, when you have a bruised heel bone to deal with. Anyway, back to the story. Today was the second game in the football season. Surprisingly, we actually won the game. I didn’t think it was possible. I guess we have to wait till next week to find out if the streak will keep itself going. That was a nice turn of events, but what wasn’t, was our extremely lackluster performance on the field. I think if I were to describe the show in one word it would have to be “suck.” Though, this isn’t to say that it was all bad. I mean, there were good parts. Like that one…where…you know… Yeah, I got nothin’. I’m not bummed by the fact that we could have done better, but rather the fact that we’re probably gonna be run into the ground during practice on Monday. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people passed out. We’ve already had several occasions where people had to sit out for a while. Pansies…

Sometime in the first half of the game (or was it the second?), I was reminded of one of the strange abilities that are exclusive to women. The Look. Ever heard of it? I think I first saw it on an episode of Home Improvement. I’m not really sure if it’s effective, but it’s definitely there, along with the puppy-dog eyes and pouty-face. I like to think that I’m not easily intimidated, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a bit smaller when an angry woman gives the the Look. Seriously, it can be freakin’ terrifying. I’m not too sure if my friend who did it wants me to use her name, but lets just call her B. Anyway, the story goes: the Clarinet section was playing some really, really annoying music and B threw them a quick the Look and that shut their traps pretty quick. We never heard that music again. A similar effect can be achieved if done correctly if you’re a guy too. A year or two back the sis’s Man stared down a crying baby when on the Metra. It’s safe to say that the baby didn’t cry for the rest of the trip.

For some reason, I had a lot of laughing contests today. It turned into a pretty fun, and sometimes graphic, past time. My friends Charlie and ZTony are pretty good at the game. They had a little one on one and neither would budge for a good 20 minutes. The only thing that made one of them crack was a quote from Russel Peters. As for me, I suck ass at that game. Seriously, I think I have a condition or something. Can someone look that up for me? Much obliged.

Here’s a little thing about our band: after almost every football game we to go to CiCi’s pizza to eat. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s pretty much an all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta buffet type deal for like $5 or something. Their food isn’t the best, and the service isn’t top notch, but damn is it addictive. Every time I go there I leave feeling like crap. But it was worth it…barely. Anyway, on each table they have the traditional jars of Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt. Normally, people would just sprinkle some onto whatever piece of pizza they had but not today. No, today we decided it would be an awesome idea to eat handfuls of that stuff. I think it all started when my friend David, who was sitting across from me, ate a giant handful of red pepper flakes. Let me repeat that: he ate a giant handful of red pepper flakes. That’s when we decided that we should do the same thing to see how “man” we are. Because all real men eat ridiculous amounts of Italian condiments at once to prove their “manliness.” Right? Right.

Thus began our contest to see who was truly man among us. First up was Charlie who, with a little coaxing, ate a weak handful of red pepper flakes, much to our amusement. His eyes turned red and everything! Later, he would go on to eat a handful of the cheese and black pepper. Needless to say, he’s going to be pooing fire later that night. Sorry, man. A guy named Ying tried his hand at cheese, but failed miserably when he realized that one of the “rules” was that you couldn’t drink any liquids until you swallowed it all. I guess that was the insurance we gave ourselves that the victim did what we wanted to the fullest extent. ZTony took his try with cheese and was successful.

Then, after a while, I thought I had escaped. Maybe my manliness was already defined by the fact that I play the Flute, the manliest instrument ever invented. Nope, it wasn’t. ZTony graciously gave me the option to “pick my poison.” I chose cheese because 1. I didn’t feel like burning my mouth off with red pepper at that moment and 2. it seemed the “safer” of the four choices. Man, was I wrong. One would think that red pepper flakes would be the hardest one to tackle. This is a reasonable assumption, but far from the truth. See, red pepper flakes are hot, and you have to chew them which releases the heat, but they are also easy to swallow. Not with cheese though. As soon as that tidal wave of cheesy powder hits your pallet, say goodbye to any hope of swallowing. It literally dries your mouth up and forms itself into a giant, thick clump of cheese. It’s as if the Parmesan is giving you the middle finger whilst grasping for dear life on your tongue. What a trooper. Though, despite the evil that is powdered Parmesan, I managed to swallow all of it and officially prove that I’m a true “man.”

Still, Charlie is pretty damn hardcore for eating three out of the four choices. I can’t imagine what his insides are planning to do for revenge.

Godspeed Charlie. Godspeed.

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