There is so much in our world that confounds and baffles, that irritates and perplexes, so many things that make us stare ahead in bewilderment and ask ourselves, “Why? Just . . . why?”
Climbing Mount Everest. Why? Just . . . why? Attention media: it’s not a tragedy when someone dies on Everest. It’s not even interesting. People die there all the time because it’s EIGHT FREAKING KILOMETRES STRAIGHT UP. Put it this way: if deciding to test the limits of one’s physical stamina were in itself newsworthy, we’d be reading a lot more about Kirstie Alley on that second flight of stairs.
Also, it is said the murderous Yeti can smell the trail mix right on you.
And don’t get the idea that someone successfully reaching the summit is compelling, either. Not anymore. By now, we’ve all read enough about Everest to assume that anyone who makes the peak has basically been pushed, pulled, piggybacked or conveyed in the manner of a human wheelbarrow by Sherpas, for whom reaching the summit is like the end of a dull commute.
Sherpa No. 1: What an accomplishment for you, a humble bond trader from Chicago, to reach Earth’s highest point. Now can you please get out of the BabyBjorn?
Sherpa No. 2: And can we start heading down? I gotta take my kid to soccer practice and pick up some milk.
Everest long ago surrendered its mystery and majesty. Today the mountain is covered in trash, excrement and corpses—it’s basically 1970s Times Square. Making the trek is so trendy that most climbing seasons result in human gridlock near the summit. Did you see the photos from a couple of weeks back? There were more climbers waiting to ascend than in the lineup outside the women’s washroom at a John Mayer concert.
Bud Light Lime Mojito. Why? Just . . . why? When you work at Bud Light, there must be an irresistible temptation to make a version of your beer that tastes like something . . . ANYTHING. And so first we got Bud Light Lime, and now Lime Mojito—because what’s not to like about lime, mint and light beer, other than a liquid combination of those three things? Presumably, next summer all the bros will be sucking back a Bud Light Cool Ranch Dorito and saying things like, “Bro, Cool Ranch me!”—to which the other bro will reply, “Bro!” (I think I’ve got that right. I’ve been studying Rosetta Stone Bro.)
Because I am fearless and dedicated to public service, and also because they were giving away free cans of the stuff outside a recent Blue Jays game, I actually tried Bud Light Lime Mojito by actually placing some of it into my actual mouth. My ensuing eulogy for my taste buds was both heartfelt and profound.
To simulate the experience for yourself, simply coat your tongue with mint toothpaste, let the paste harden into a shell and add a twist of lime and a swig of Bud Light. Then—and this is the most important part—set your eyeballs on fire. The pain will distract you from the agony in your mouth.
National spelling bees. Why? Just . . . why? Exactly what part of the televised spelling bee are we supposed to enjoy? The severe, joyless parents who make the twisted, damaged moms on Toddlers & Tiaras look like nanny material? Or the panic-stricken children whose self-esteem is wrapped up in solving the riddle of vowels and consonants required to spell a word that no one else knows exists? Way to go, kid, you know how to spell “chionablepsia.” Also, you’re 11 and you’ve never been outside.
Am I being too harsh? Maybe. If nothing else, I guess all the kids will remember the event forever, which will be useful in a decade when they need to describe it to their psychiatrists.
The girl who won last week’s Scripps National Spelling Bee reacted with such dead-eyed indifference that her younger brother actually used his fingers to push up the corners of her mouth and help her form a smile. Still, she walks away with $30,000 in cash, a trophy, a $5,000 scholarship and the memory of a decade’s worth of weekends spent staring into a dictionary 12 hours at a time while all the other kids listened to music, played sports and learned to tongue kiss.
Congratulations, little girl, and best of luck in all your future unabombing!