Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Suicide pills

The health care bill and the voting drama in Congress are really pissing me off right now. Oh, I think reforms need to be made, especially when so many people are losing their jobs and therefore their insurance. Everyone knows that maintenance costs a whole lot less than a problem that suddenly won't let itself be ignored anymore. I have good insurance and would like to keep it; other people don't. However, I have yet to see anyone, Republican or Democrat, who appears interested in anything other than political grandstanding, cutting down opponents, keeping their jobs, whatever. Nobody appears interested in, say, a worker who can no longer afford a medication that keeps him or her alive. I want to be wrong. The one thing I'm sure of is something that Belledame brought up: The Republican Congresspeople who are vocally opposing the health care plan, even talking about destroying Obama, don't seem all that interested in giving up their own taxpayer-paid health care.

Anyway. Did everyone hear the torrent of cussing from the direction of Brooklyn yesterday? Not about the health care debate. We really wanted to see Juan Pablo Montoya win the Brickyard 400, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was such a boring race--not as boring as last year's, where tires kept getting shredded and there was caution every ten laps--but close enough. We did like the idea of Montoya becoming the first driver to win the Indy 500 *and* the Brickyard, and it looked so certain. Then, a speeding penalty. For you non-NASCAR fans, there is a time when a driver has to slow down, and that's when s/he approaches pit road. I understand intellectually that it's for the safety of the crew members and officials. But when Montoya got penalized for going .11 MPH over the pit row speed limit, well, he lost it. And several of us did, too. "This is bullshit! Just bullshit!" yelled one friend. "They want Mark Martin to win it," opined another, and he wasn't the only one with that conspiracy theory. I was real articulate: "Fuck fuck fuck FUCK!" L'Ailee never cusses except in sign, but she joined me this time. Her best friend A. was amused. "I love it when you say 'fuck'," he told her.
"Shut UP!" she growled. He was taken aback. Then his driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., blew an engine. He started cussing himself. Really, none of us were happy to see Jimmie Johnson win at all.

The race was so boring, we played Cyanide *during* it. We usually save this for rain delays and red flags. I've brought it up and explained it quite a bit on sports forums lately, so I'll share it here. Cyanide is a verbal game that my wife and I learned from A., who is a NYC cab driver. He learned it from a group of tipsy partyers in the back of his cab one night a few years ago, and shared it with us. We do not know its original name. I named it "Cyanide" because the poison plays a large role in it. It can be adapted for a number of things. We got through Election 2008 by playing a political version of it, for example. (Cyanide got picked a *lot*.) We played the NHL version throughout intermissions during the Stanley Cup playoffs. And we play it during any boring parts in NASCAR races. Obviously it is not to be played around children, and the NASCAR version will probably not be played by straight men or lesbians.

Questions are asked of the group in this format: Would you have sex with Person A, have sex with Person B, or take the cyanide pill that you keep handy for such an occasion? These are your *only* choices.

Example: "Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., or cyanide?"

The rules of Cyanide are simple and finite:

1. You don't have to stick to celebrities or public figures, but it's very helpful for avoiding hurt feelings in the group.
2. Keep it to pairings of people in somewhat similar positions or who have something in common. For instance, "Joey Logano or Tony Stewart" works because they both drove the #20, and "Greg Zippadelli or Chad Knaus" works because both are crew chiefs, but "Joey Logano or Chad Knaus" is too random.
3. When using dead people, act as if they are still alive and in their prime. Example, "Dale Earnhardt or Alan Kulwicki."
4. "Both" is not an answer.
5. "None of the above" is not an answer.
6. You may not hypothetically force-feed one of the people suggested your hypothetical cyanide pill, no matter how bad you hate them.
7. Defending your choice is not only permitted, it's encouraged. But if you feel like holding out on the group, you don't actually have to defend your choice.

Believe me, you will learn lots of interesting new things about your friends playing this.

Links, links:

WrapAroundCurl is whiling away the hockey offseason with an interesting survey on hockey and how it affects relationships. Of course I contributed. If you want to as well, just e-mail her. She's looking for a wide variety of ages, team affiliations, and experiences.

Interesting piece about the money laundering/organ trafficking scandal in New Jersey and the rabbis involved.

This was really unexpected for me: Wicca in India

The Time Traveler's Wife was perilously close to chick-litty for me, but I really enjoyed the hell out of it once I gave it a chance. I don't know how that thick book can translate to a movie. I stayed away from another movie based on a book I'd read, My Sister's Keeper, this summer, and I'm glad I did. I'll cry for this one, though.

Finally, a moment of silence for the great E. Lynn Harris. He was only 54. I really hate the idea of never having another novel of his to read.


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I thought I heard some cussing from the east coast....glad to know what that was all about.

Insurance...ugh. Its something I've always had for free at my job but now I pay $300 a month for it. Just for kicks I asked my pharmacist what my meds would cost per month without insurance and it was close to $500! Holy Crapoly. I don't know the answers but ragging on Obama and his plan is not helping.

Ange said...

I'm pretty frustrated with the health care debate--coming across as residual behavior from a very long presidential campaign. I was so relieved when 2008 was finally over, but politics has become a professional sport--can't let the other guy win, even if it's for the betterment of the country. It's insane, and probably necessary so that we never end up stuck with a tyrant of fifty or so years, but very disappointing when we were all so exhausted to begin with. Just ONE thing-ONE thing they could agree on would be nice. So tired of feeling like a child living in a home with people who really need to get a divorce.

The Time Traveler's Wife!!
You know I've got a huge Eric Bana thing, right? I'm not sure if I should read the book first. Probably should do it after.
Movies have been an excellent distraction this summer. Funny People's also on the list.

BostonPobble said...

I think I would be pretty dull to play Cyanide with, as I come to sex with neither shame nor guilt about having it or not having it so I could pretty much choose without flinching (I think). Everything else is too depressing to include in my comment so we're gonna stop with shame-and-guiltless sex. ;)

alan said...

I was a bit skeptical of that caution myself...I can see perhaps a couple of mph, but until they have speedometers in the car instead of a rev limiter, there's just no way! "X" rpm in 1st gear with a tailwind is .11 over!

Poor guy came back from Europe to get away from that sort of b.s.!

I'll be skirting your locale next Saturday...dropping a rental truck, 2 cats and all of Bill and Laura's things in Maryland, then heading for Vermont, but couldn't bring myself to take the direct route and am going through Harrisburg instead. I'll blow you a mental kiss on the way by! If only I were riding "solo"...


Christopher said...

Thank you for describing the game Cyanide--seriously, I can't wait to get some friends together and play that. It reminds me of the time a friend and I were watching TV and an ad for Levitra with Mike Ditka came on. My friend said something like, "I wouldn't do Mike Ditka with your genitals." I know he said it a lot more colorfully, but I can't remember exactly how he said it.

Anyway, thanks also for the reminder about the passing of E. Lynn Harris. I'd read about that elsewhere. As kind of a bookish guy I'm ashamed to admit not having read any of his books--yet. So while it's sad that he was taken at such a young age, at least I have reading his books for the first time to look forward to. I've just started on Just As I Am.

Connie in FL said...

Also bummed about all the rained out races. I like the double file restarts except the last 10 laps should be single file.

Why don't the cars have speedometers AND how about showing each car's speed through the pits some way? Not totally sure NASCAR doesn't jack with the penalitys and yellow flags to make it "more exciting for the fans." JMHO