Category: Stories

Trump: ‘Hundreds more’ would have died; Silicon Valley’s homeless; an autistic stage actor; and more stories

Just sharing some articles I read today that I thought others might enjoy. Click the links to read the full stories.

Los Angeles Times Trump: ‘Hundreds more’ would have died in Texas shooting if there was more vetting for gun buyers

Donald Trump speaking in Korea (AFP)

Los Angeles Times: Trump: ‘Hundreds more’ would have died in Texas shooting if there was more vetting for gun buyers

President Trump said that even with tighter vetting of gun buyers, “there would have been no difference” for those killed in the mass shooting at a South Texas church on Sunday.

Trump made the comments during a news conference in Seoul with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in response to a question about why his promised “extreme vetting” for visa applicants shouldn’t also be applied to gun purchases.

The New York Times: Harvey Weinstein Expelled From Television Academy Over Abuse Claims

Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer accused of sexual harassment and assault by several women, has been banned for life from the Television Academy because of “widespread examples of this horrific behavior.”

His ouster from the Television Academy is the latest in a series of professional condemnations since widespread accusations about his treatment of women were published last month. Since the accusations surfaced, he has been kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and fired from the Weinstein Company, which he co-founded.

Associated Press: In Silicon Valley, the homeless illustrate a growing divide

Continue reading “Trump: ‘Hundreds more’ would have died; Silicon Valley’s homeless; an autistic stage actor; and more stories” »

Post-midnight thoughts 9.17.2017: Night Train Lane

A legendary footballer. Really just a baller. And an unrelated story about a really stupid professor. These are the things matt thinks about past midnight.

Night Train Lane

It’s football season again. I’ve been getting into that football mood – I’m reading everything about every team, I’m watching and re-watching Gifs of great plays from over the weekend, my day is ruined because I stop to pause for 3 hours watching the Tennessee-Florida game (what a finish huh?!), and I’m up late looking up facts about the late Night Train Lane.

This isn’t a train that you ride on tracks that go “choo! choo!” across the countryside. But he’ll hit like one, and take you for a ride – straight into the turf! Night. Night. Welcome to one of the most ferocious and feared footballers in American history.

Night Train Lane picks a pass off in a game (1952)

Richard Lane (April 16, 1928 – January 29, 2002), commonly known as Dick “Night Train” Lane, was an American football player who played cornerback for the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Cardinals (now Arizona), and Detroit Lions, and Pro Football Hall of Famer (1974).

“MY OBJECT IS TO STOP THE GUY BEFORE HE GAINS ANOTHER INCH. I’M USUALLY DEALING WITH ENDS WHO ARE TRYING TO CATCH PASSES, AND IF I HIT THEM IN THE LEGS THEY MAY FALL FORWARD FOR A FIRST DOWN. THERE IS NOTHING I HATE WORSE THAN A FIRST DOWN.” – Dick “Night Train” Lane

At the end of 14 seasons, Night Train Lane had amassed 68 career INTs, 1207 return yards, 6 All-NFL selections of 7 Pro-Bowls to boot. But outside of numbers, Night Train Lane’s most iconic aspect is his tackling, the ferociousness, the sheer primal violence that exudes from the force of his hits. He absolutely loved to hit.

Continue reading “Post-midnight thoughts 9.17.2017: Night Train Lane” »

No, Ann Coulter does not believe Houston is being punished for a lesbian mayor.

POTUS Donald Trump accidentally called to attention a phenomenon that has infuriated matt for years now. Ann Coulter is the latest victim of fake news. These are matt’s opinions and don’t reflect those of the other authors affiliated with FactsB.

**Let me first make it clear that I do not agree with this tweet at all and think Ann Coulter is a crazy person.

Below is a tweet from conservative pundit Ann Coulter from August 28, 2017:

For the uninformed reader, Ann Coulter is a popular conservative pundit, television personality, and author of several books. She’s renowned, perhaps infamous, for her political insights and is a frequent guest on political talk shows. She’s a Presbyterian with a traditional, conservative sense of American politics and society, and honestly is often reviled by many moderates and left-wingers alike.

One should also understand that pro-conservative parties in the United States are currently pushing the idea that the idea of climate change due to human activity is false and should be disregarded as a serious threat to our earth. This is something that they are believing, whether by choice or by political agenda. Ann Coulter is one of mind with these very people.

Continue reading “No, Ann Coulter does not believe Houston is being punished for a lesbian mayor.” »

Post-election Thoughts: Donald Trump must suppress new emboldened racists

Donald Trump is now the president-elect and waits for January. Has his rise also given way to casual racism and bigotry, from both sides of the deal? If he wants the nation’s respect, then he needs to say “Yes,” and then deal with it.

The election has come and gone and the unimaginable has happened: Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. Though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a slim margin, the electoral college opted to select the Republican candidate this time around, and honestly I cannot even blame them.

How can the average American feel okay with a president who has spouted racist and bigoted rhetoric before? One who has so far demonstrated at best a bare minimum knowledge of policy matters? I mean, how can I sit comfortably knowing that the dude from The Apprentice pretending to be a mean old bully is now waiting to become one of the most powerful people on the planet, complete with a side of a loaded Congress and access to the Supreme Court?

The answer: I’m really not thrilled.

portland-protest-1-2000
Protester holds up a peace sign flag during peaceful protest in Portland. Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/AP (Click Image for Story)

But: Donald Trump won’t be the worst president of all time I assure you. If I was forced to vote, I would have voted Trump. I didn’t vote, but that’s besides the point. At this point I trust Donald Trump more than Hillary Clinton. However, he has a long laundry list of problems to resolve after this election cycle. His immediate concern was addressing the protests that turned violent Thursday night, and though his initial response was typical Trump venom, a softer response appeared on Friday.

What I’d really like to home in on here is the fact that Donald Trump probably isn’t actually a warmongering Muslim-hating racist that wants gay marriages nullified. An old friend of the Clinton family, Trump has said before that he would take advantage of American Republicans to win an election if he ever ran. Donald Trump simply put his money where his mouth is. He’s got big money and a big mouth, apparently.

For a country that touts the individuality of its citizens as one of its greatest strengths, the US population is, at least on the surface, deeply polarized when it comes to politics. Party lines define political needs and social boundaries. You vote by the red or blue you identify with, or at least the one that resembles them the most. Donald Trump took advantage of this, for a cost.

Continue reading “Post-election Thoughts: Donald Trump must suppress new emboldened racists” »

Embarrassing Childhood Crush Stories

When you’re very young and in love, you don’t have it quite figured out yet. More than likely, you’ve done something absurd to hopefully attract your elementary or middle school crush. I asked a few of my friends what their most notable childhood crush experience was, and found I wasn’t alone in being a complete weirdo as a tween.

 

My Story

When I was 14 years old, I had a crush on my neighbor who lived across the street. She always sat out on her stoop, texting on her pink motorola razr v3. (Probably in t9 predictive text mode.) She had a scene girl fringe haircut, so I assumed she liked emo and pop punk music. It was a pretty stupid assumption because it was 2007 and every girl had that haircut.

I was a shy kid back then, so I was too afraid to go up and talk to her. Instead I decided to point my speakers out the window and blast Taking Back Sunday and Fall Out Boy for days on end, hoping she’d notice me because we liked the same music.

Her family moved a few months later. I never ended up speaking to her, but I feel that trying to get her attention was a big part of me becoming a soft alt kid and listening to depressed teenage girl music for the rest of my life.

 

Ian

It was 1st or 2nd grade and I was at recess awkwardly hanging out with my crush. The place they had us lineup at before we headed back inside had some stairs nearby.
They looked like this. Except the top and bottom rails were closer together.

Well one of the other guys there stuck his head in between the rails. I don’t remember exactly what was said but she was very impressed. So I did the only logical thing and also stuck my head between the rails. The problem is I was a lot bigger than the kid who did it before and got stuck. They went to get a teacher for help but I was stuck real good. After about 5 minutes the teacher went in to get some lube from a custodian. Thankfully I managed to got unstuck before they came back, but I never lived that down. I remember trying to talk to them in middle school and make a move and the first thing they did was bring that up.

 

Sam

When I was 13, I was playing footsie with a girl I sat next to on a bus ride for a field trip. I was getting all excited that this cute girl was actually paying attention to me, and doing it slyly….she never stopped talking to her friends, but any time I pushed my foot against hers, she’d push back just as hard. Never even moved her body away from mine. It was like, our own little secret crush.

Then we got to our destination and she stood up and started to leave. But I was still playing footsie with her somehow.

Turns out I had been rubbing up against the leg of the seat the entire time.

 

Jose

In 9th grade I asked my dad to get me a guitar for christmas so I could learn the songs that my crush had on her MySpace. I learned Hey There Delilah and I was so obsessed with her that I replaced Delilah with her name. SMH.

 

Frank

When I was in 3rd grade, during class, I wrote “Adidas” on a small piece of paper, and then wrote:

All
Day
I
Dream
About
Sex

And then I gave it to this guy I was working on a project with at the time, and told him to give it to this girl I liked. He said “okay”, and then I watched him get up and take the piece of paper directly to the teacher and tell on me. I then got suspended for sexual harassment.

 


If you’ve done something to attract someone back in the day that you still cringe at, don’t worry because you aren’t alone at all. But if you’re like, 24, then maybe it might be a good time to reevaluate your dating strategies.

Have an embarrassing story you’d like to share? Text me or send me an email at kennethwoo11@gmail.com

The Strangest Fraternity Rush: “Barney Stinson”

“Are you a brother here?”

It was a question I probably had heard at least 80 times that week, always from freshmen who weren’t sure whether to suck up to me or treat me like another random dude. They were interested in joining my fraternity, or at least secure their invite to getting free booze for the rest of the week. No hard feelings, we budget for that.

But this guy was different. He was dressed in a full suit, and held a deck of cards in his hand. I wasn’t sure if he was a genius, or a complete fucking weirdo.

“I’m a brother, my name is Kenny, what’s yours?” I usually wanted to tell these guys to fuck off and to bother someone actually on the bid committee, but maybe we had a gem here.

“Barney Stinson,” He declared matter-of-factly.

“I get it, the suit, the magic tricks, that’s funny,” I laughed, ever-so-fakely. “But what’s your real name?”

“Barney Stinson,” He once again declared, matter-of-factly.

It cleared up any confusion that I had.

13f67f0d7bac3d8eda0ad72cc559a8ef

Fall Rush Week is a magical time on college campuses where Greek Life runs the social scene. With no exams or assignments due in the near future, college is still basically a booze fueled summer camp where Monday and Tuesday are equally as poppin’ as Friday and Saturday. If you’re in a frat during rush week, freshman guys want to suck up to you, and freshman girls want to suck you off. It’s a shitshow largely fueled by cluelessness.

Freshmen don’t know any better. If you were like me as a freshman, you wandered the streets with your entire dorm floor and walked up to every house playing loud music. You asked the two dudes standing at the front if you could go in. They end up letting the 5 most attractive girls in your group in and send the rest of you packing. So once you finally get inside a house, it’s a blessing. This is so much better than when the high school lacrosse team threw down after raiding Carl’s parent’s liquor cabinet. Dancing girls, an unattended handle of fruit punch Burnett’s vodka, and you have no idea if you’re in Delta Sigma Phi or FIJI’s house. It doesn’t matter, the guys who live in this house are BROS, and you want to party with them for the rest of your college career.

Hundreds of people will come to your party during rush week, and they’re more than likely either not cool enough to hang out with you, or too cool to hang out with you. But they don’t know that yet, so you either want to scare them off by telling them how you had “unspeakable things done to you during your pledging,” or that there was “basically no pledge process at all.”

After refusing to reveal his real name,”Barney Stinson” was a clear case of, “guy you want to tell that your fraternity has the highest death rate for pledges, and that we were in the news for the Oklahoma chapter chanting the n-word on a bus.”

I watched “Barney” perform a card trick, was still not convinced he wasn’t a complete fucking loser, and then sent him off to fail at impressing other brothers. Probably so I could talk to some girls who wanted to make sure they could find alcohol tomorrow.

You don’t need to be a polo-sperries-croakies fratstar on your first day of fraternity rush. I still would never fucking wear croakies. I rushed in cargo shorts and thought that wearing a graphic tee was acceptable on a preppy campus, and burned all of my cargo shorts shortly after initiation. You’ll figure it out.

If you’re cool enough, a frat will bid you regardless of what crap you’re wearing. Just be natural and you’ll find the right fit. But if you’re trying to impress people, wearing a suit and doing card tricks is probably not a way to make friends with someone who’s house you snuck into.

 

Your Mother Might’ve Been A Thirst Trap

If your parents had Instagram in the 1980s, they’d be some real shitheads too. I visited my mother’s house this weekend, and while looking for one of my elementary school art projects, I stumbled upon a box of love letters addressed to my mother. I was thinking that I’d laugh at the memories of the early love of my now divorced parents, but I quickly noticed that the senders were not my father, nor were they any of the other college boyfriends that she had told me about. There were letters from at least eight different guys who I had never heard of before. That’s when I discovered that my mother was the 1980s equivalent of a thirst trap, and I had just taken a peek at her DMs.

The act of looking very attractive to the opposing gender to lead them on to rejection

I inherited blonde hair and large boobs from my mother, and with the amount of male attention that I get by barely leaving my apartment, I couldn’t even imagine how many guys were after her. At least enough for a few handwritten and stamped letters from a bunch of stupid-haired 1980s boys, right? I immediately asked her about the letters and she essentially told me she kept them to laugh at them, and that she didn’t even remember who most of the boys who sent them were. That’s when I realized it wasn’t that much effort to send a letter back in the day, it was just how things worked.

In my head, I immediately recalled plenty of girls my age who had shown me awful DMs and texts that they got from 2010s boys and it really was the same thing. She had no idea who any of the guys were who sent her but she kept the letters as if she were an instagram hoe with nothing better to do than post half naked pictures and see who bites.

A lot of people talk about how social media ruined everything, but at this point I really think it just provides shortcuts for the same garbage. Is it really that much better to collect handwritten letters than likes? I personally will take halfassedly responding to people’s texts while I watch House of Cards on Netflix to holding a house phone to my ear.
Excuse me while I try to flush out the image in my head of my mother being a hoe,
Tay Out

Tinder Stories: The Voice Actress

“Unless you’re like, already a celebrity, you’re not going to be successful in voice acting unless you have a variety of voices.”

I nodded my head at the grown woman who was speaking to me in a voice probably best suited for an animated dolphin. It was the fourth voice she had used so far, and we had only been at the restaurant for half an hour. I took a large sip of my beer. How could this have gone so wrong?

I had matched with a kinda cute girl on tinder, and after talking to her for a week, I suggested that we meet up. She immediately recommended a sushi place that had an unlimited beer special for $25. It was literally my perfect idea of a date. Even if she ended up having a bad personality or was a catfishing bridge troll, drinking a ton of beer is something I’d be okay with doing on my own anyway. Plus she had talked a lot about her voice acting job, which sounded super interesting compared to the usual accountant or law school student that I date.

Stella and I agreed to meet outside of the East Village restaurant. I was early, having to time the Long Island Railroad trip so I wouldn’t be late, where she was able to just hop on the 6 from the Bronx. The venue was quaint, definitely not too busy for a Saturday evening. When she arrived, we had the “wow you do/don’t look different than I thought” conversation that occurs every time you meet someone from the internet and both agreed that we got what we expected. She was a 23-year old Puerto Rican, skin tone matching mine exactly but with lighter, wavy long hair. I was feeling a good vibe from her, until the waiter informed us that they didn’t do the unlimited beer special anymore. Stella asked the waiter if we could have a moment and used her first voice of the night, Reggie Rocket. “I didn’t even really want sushi that much. This is a bummer.”

Up until then, I was thinking that having sex with a voice actress could be pretty hot. Like a slightly less weird version of people who cosplay at comic-cons, dressing up as characters and boinking in costume and persona in the hotel after. But what I forgot was that for every Jasmine from Aladdin, there’s someone out there voicing Diglett. Fucking Diglett.

Unfortunately for me, her voice acting repertoire was mostly children… and like, gremlins or something. She had a few okay normal voices, including (what i hope) was her natural voice, high and soft with an ever so slight Bronx Latina flair. But the voices she insisted on using throughout the date were things that would have me rushing out of the bedroom if she ever happened to talk dirty with them. I had asked her to try Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender which she did a great job at, but wasn’t practiced enough to hold a conversation with. So my “Let Quinn Dominate Me in The Bedroom” fantasies started to seem exceedingly unlikely to occur.

After some deliberation, we decided to stay at the sushi place but barhop around the Lower East Side since we wouldn’t be able to get our booze fix there. Stella’s voices were irritating, but I really did enjoy hearing about how voice-over unions worked and how she got her start, doing fan dubs of Japanese Anime. Maybe she took my interest in her career path as, “I definitely want to hear you speak like Finding Nemo for the rest of the night.” I was drinking a lot, thinking that maybe I was too uptight. If I got a stronger buzz, I would start laughing at her voices with her instead of taking them so seriously. But she was matching my drinks, and the drunker she got, the wilder her voices became. Bad idea.

She went from childlike teasy voices once every few sentences to loud, dramatic, monologues that couldn’t possibly be mistaken for her natural tone. People started staring at us. I began to think it was some sort of cruel joke. Stella couldn’t have possibly thought I was enjoying her voices. But after I strongly suggested that we find somewhere else to go after she probably convinced the patrons of the third bar that she was Steve Irwin’s replacement on The Crocodile Hunter, I realized that she was just super fucked up and definitely shouldn’t have been trying to keep up with an anxious fratboy who’s worried that people think he’s on a date with a freak.

Stella was stumbling drunk now, and I wanted nothing more than to go home, but there was no way I was abandoning a girl who at this point literally thought she was in an Australian Nature Documentary. I told her we should stop drinking and she agreed. She didn’t seem like she was gonna be sick or anything, so I figured it wouldn’t take too long for her to come back to her senses. So I walked with her north, along the 4/5/6 so at any time she could get on the subway and go home. I talked as much as I possibly could, to avoid hearing another of her voices until we reached 33rd street, where I told her that I’d have to turn to get home.

“I was kind of crazy, wasn’t I,” Stella said in her normal voice.

I blinked. “You’re a really convincing Australian.”

We kissed goodnight, and told I her to text me so I know she got home safe, which she did.

I never spoke to her again.

 

Lessons Learned from “Buying U A Drank”

Part I. Jedi Mind Tricks

If there’s a piece of advice that I’d give to any inexperienced guy trying to pick up a girl at a bar, it’s that asking to buy a girl a drink without even really talking to her isn’t a sure way to get laid, but instead a guaranteed way to drain your wallet. Thankfully, I learned this painlessly, a fantastic night as I third wheeled with my roommate and his 18-year old girlfriend to Cornerstone Loft & Grill, right off the campus of The University of Maryland. My roommate Luke’s girlfriend was named Erin, and even though she wasn’t even legal to drink, she was already a professional con artist at tricking dudes into buying her drinks.

Erin was an attractive, but not super attractive blonde. Like, the average dude would definitely say yes to sleeping with her, but It would take more than just a simple request to get a guy to buy a round of drinks for her friends. I swore that girl was able to pull some major Obi-Wan Kenobi shit. That night, she was able to convince random guys to not only buy drinks for her, but for her boyfriend as well as me, her boyfriend’s roommate through pure trickery. She would start up a conversation with random girls while simultaneously trying to eye down guys who were already trying to buy drinks at the bar. Once they had locked eye contact, she would approach them, and talk about how her friends were trying to meet some new people, and that they’d also love to have some guys buy them drinks. The guys are thinking that they just scored themselves some friendly conversation with the decoy girls, if not a partner in bed that night, so there was a 100% success rate of 3 drinks being added to that tab. She’d take the drinks, say she’d bring them to her friends and come back, walk right past the decoys and right back to us, her actual friends.

I would watch her scurry away from her prey after snatching the goods and see the looks on their faces when she didn’t bring them to the girls that she was talking to earlier. The guys would just shrug, and maybe laugh at the guy who just put the drinks on his card. As if that shit happens all the time. Which it does. Erin was definitely a special one though. That girl managed to fool some poor group of dudes TWICE IN THE SAME NIGHT. Like, they had already saw her run away with the drinks, come back saying something about her friends being shy or something and said one of the dudes was really cute. And she’d just run away with the drinks again. And once again, a shrug and some laughing.

 

Part II. The Legend of the Five Dollar Bill

Sometimes, approaching a girl can go horribly wrong. But thankfully, one incident I’ve witnessed that has made sure that I can never feel that bad about looking creepy or awkward ever again, because it will NEVER be as bad as the time Geno tried to buy a girl a drink. In the prior section, I discussed magical Erin, able to charm guys into buying drinks for her imaginary girl friends. Geno on the other hand is anything but magical.

Before I can rush into this incredible story, you have to learn some backstory on our friend Geno. I’m not even sure how I came to be friends with Geno. He hails from Upstate New York, which might as well be on an entirely different planet from civilized, Actual New York. He essentially grew up in a trailer park, living a rather sheltered life, but was suddenly thrown into the real world, where he finally got to interact with people who weren’t rednecks. On top of all of this, his voice LITERALLY SOUNDS LIKE MICKEY MOUSE. Talk about unfortunate. Geno was always around, and considered “one of the gang,” but nobody was ever sure how that came to be. He’s the kind of guy who would just show up when you made plans with your friends to meet at a public place, but would suddenly show up. Everyone knew him, but nobody would ever admit to inviting him. It seems strange, but it was pretty fun to have him around due to his social ineptitude and the unintentionally hilarious situations his shrill Mickey Mouse Voice would create. This is among his best stories.

Geno was an entertaining drunk. He was already loud and unnecessarily aggressive while sober, but it’d be taken to an extreme with alcohol. Add an extra dose of clumsiness, and the dude is knocking over chairs, making a mess, but also making sure everyone else around him was having a good time. I suspect he knew he was a social punching bag, but secretly took it in pride, as he knew it would affix himself as a member of the gang, and would keep on getting him the invites to hang out. For the most part, these drunk shenanigans happened within the confines of somebody’s home, but this legendary tale occurred during a night out at the bar.

So one crowded night at a fairly popular bar, he lets us know that one of his coworkers is present and that he’s got a crush on her. This excites just about everyone. He was the type to suck up to girls in our little group all the time. With the earlier description, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Geno isn’t quite a casanova. Girls in our group have mentioned that he’s kind of cute or got better looking over the years, but just about all of them were entirely repulsed by his personality. We all wanted to see him in action with a girl who isn’t one of us. So his plan is to buy her a drink.

Cue the T-Pain music. Buying a girl a drink is a classic Hollywood move to cold approach a girl, and I’ve stated that it’s a terrible idea, but even more terrible performed by somebody who doesn’t know how to execute it properly. Think about all of the ways that buying a girl a drink can go wrong. You will not guess Geno’s messup correctly. Buying the girl a drink but having no drink for yourself? That’s kind of awkward. Nope. The girl tries to take advantage by ordering a shot of Blue Label? Erin could probably pull that off, but nope, that wasn’t it either. Something as simple as stuttering? Well, maybe he did that too. In fact, he PROBABLY stuttered while doing this. But that was not the mistake that Geno made.

Geno technically didn’t even buy his coworker a drink. Instead, he handed her a five dollar bill, and told her it was for the drink she had purchased for herself just before. This is the most cringeworthy thing I’ve ever heard in a pickup scenario, and I doubt I’ll ever hear anything more embarrassing. In his mid-twenties, this man did not know that it wasn’t proper bar etiquette to give somebody money for a drink that they had already purchased to “pick them up”. This isn’t even to mention that she was drinking a margarita-type drink at a rather ritzy bar that probably ran at least $8. Not only did he just hand the lady a five, but it wouldn’t have even been enough to cover the price of the drink.

There are two lessons to learn from this story. Buying a girl a drink is probably a bad idea if you’re not sure that she’s actually chill, and that there is never a reason to feel embarrassed about messing up with a potential romantic interest after you’ve heard this story.

The Beating Up Small Children Award, First Place

There are a lot of people out there who think that participation trophies in youth sports have played a big role in making the millennial generation “useless and entitled.” After all, why put in any effort to win if you know you’re going to get a nice piece of plastic at the end regardless? When I think about the any negative impact that trophies caused in my life, one award particularly comes to mind, and it’s not the coed baseball participation trophy I received for picking grass in the outfield and striking out every single at bat.

shiai
/ˈʃiːaɪ/
noun
1.
a judo contest
Word Origin
Japanese

 
This was Jiu-Jitsu rather than Judo, but the Shiai was a yearly fighting tournament at my dojo with a single elimination bracket. Considering the students at the competition ranged from 1st graders to high schoolers, we had to be separated into different divisions based on size and skill. To make things fair, right? I was excited, expecting that I would be able to compete against my usual training partners, Nick, Danny, and Hunter. We would finally get to see who was deserving of bragging rights among our tight-knit training group. Nick was typically the best of us, because his dad did Jiu-Jitsu too. Nick ended up being a counterpunching Floyd Mayweather before any of use even knew who Floyd Mayweather was. But I had been doing better in my sparring matches lately, and I was ready for that faceoff. That was, until I looked at the divisions.

 
Nick, Danny, and Hunter were in the same division, as expected… But I was placed two divisions lower, with smaller and younger people. I was a green belt, and they were all orange or worse. The only name I recall from that group was Elizabeth Toro, and I instantly knew I didn’t belong in that group. She was good, but she was a small little girl. I already knew that it was going to be the two of us in the finals.

I did weigh less than my three training partners, but it still didn’t make any sense. I should have at least been in the division below them. I was at least half a head taller than the next biggest competitor, and had much longer reach, which was huge in these kinds of fights. They obviously weren’t going to let a bunch of kids beat the crap out of each other, so we all wore plenty of protective gear, and the fight would end after a certain number of clean connections. And for good reason. If this was a no-holds-barred fight, I would’ve killed every single one of them. I think in the 3 or 4 fights I had before the finals, I had like a total of 2 punches land on me. I was a monster. I was way too big for my competition, and Elizabeth was a fan favorite and made short work of her opponents as well. To nobody’s surprise, it was us in the finals. As I said, she was good. She got a few punches on me, but in the end, I destroyed her, because it simply wasn’t fair.

There’s an awards ceremony, I get the biggest trophy of my life, and then I sit there and watch Nick beat the crap out of Hunter in the finals and he gets awarded an even bigger trophy than me.

“I would’ve killed you too,” I told Nick. After seeing what he did to Hunter, I didn’t truly believe it, but hey, I had a first place trophy and Hunter didn’t.