“Aces and Asses,” Volume 2. The Stupendous and the Stupid.
Welcome to the second edition of the column that takes a closer examination of the stupendous and the just plain stupid that I’ve seen, heard of, or witnessed lately.
Let’s get right to the Asses category. Whilst slowly driving home from work through rush hour today, in the far right lane of a three lane highway, I noticed an East-Indian woman walking on the sidewalk. She wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, just walking on her way. As we crept up to the traffic light around 20 km/h or less, we overtook a late 80’s, primer gray Dodge pickup. The ass-ish part is this: the Caucasian jackass riding shotgun in his buddy’s work truck decided it would be hilarious to imitate an East-Indian accent, and mockingly speak to this lady, who had done absolutely nothing to provoke such a racially slurred exhibition. You can use your imagination as to what it was said, but it was somewhere in the ballpark of a crude Apu from the Kwik-E-Mart impression. With any luck, the lady may have been out of earshot. She, at least, did not qualify the volley. It’s really hard to believe that as far as we have come as a society in terms of racial sensitivity, there are still people who just don’t get that things like this aren’t acceptable anymore (not that is was actually ever acceptable per se, more just common practice, albeit ignorant and still racist) and/or just refuse to make any changes in their thought process in lieu of just entertaining themselves with disrespectful, vulgar remarks.
Coming in as this instalment’s Ace, is “Insane” Usain “Lightning” Bolt (can a person have two nicknames like this?). With newly acquired world records of 9.58 seconds in the 100 m sprint and 19.19 seconds for the 200 m sprint, this guy is the fastest man on the planet. He’s also destroying all conventional schools of thought that say a person of his size should be running like an elephant. In response, he seemingly effortlessly gallops like a gazelle, and obliterates world records. And he does it with a smile on his face. And he’s entertaining to watch, and he makes people actually want to look in their TV guide to see when track meets are on. AND he’s (currently) drug free. What track star has been able to make all of these claims at the same time in the last 10 years? Ben Johnson didn’t exactly leave a positive impression on the running world, Donovan Bailey was cool (especially when embarrassed Michael Johnson at a 1997 150 m “World’s Fastest Man” showdown in Toronto), but he didn’t have staying power, and there have been a few American runners who set records in the last few years, but frankly no one cared about. Bolt’s got all the makings an athlete that should be a star for a long time. As long as he keeps not failing doping tests, he’s an Ace In my book.