Friday, May 15, 2009

Shark Tank, Volume I

Nothing all that important has happened in the past week, so let’s get down to business with the first edition of the Shark Tank. Despite the temptation to make up fake e-mails, all of these are real e-mails sent in to the Club Trillion inbox. ___________________________________________________

I love the blog, have read every post, but I'm not sure about the "Shark Tank." Being from the San Jose Bay Area and knowing that the San Jose Shark's arena is referred to as the "Shark Tank" makes it sound like a bit of a rip-off to me. Shark Cage maybe? Or even Shark Box? I don't know. The blog contains more original ideas and commentaries than any other that I read and I would like to see it stay that way.

- Jarrod Schwartz

To be honest, I had no clue about the Shark Tank in San Jose. It’s baffling to me how many hockey fans read this blog, so maybe I should start being more aware of what’s going on in hockey. While it may come across as a rip-off of the Sharks arena, it’s what the Trillion Man March wanted and thus, it’s what I am obligated to call it. I’ll make it up to you, Jarrod, by watching every game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Seems like a fair trade, considering I’ve watched a total of five minutes of hockey this season. Speaking of naming things after sharks…

My friend Colin nicknamed himself "The Shark" because he goes after wounded women at parties (not wounded physically, maybe handicapped, but more importantly emotionally scarred or bigger women). Do you get your nickname from similar female preferences?

- Mike from Milwaukee

You’re on to me, Mike. Let this be our little secret.

What big man would you rather have on your team during their prime: “Big Country" Bryant Reeves or Rik Smits?

- Andrew Johnson

Being from the suburbs of Indianapolis, the obvious pick would be for me to take The Dunkin’ Dutchman, but I’m going to go the other way and take Big Country for a few reasons. The first being that, along with Chris Mullin, he was doing all he could to revive the flattop as the haircut of choice for Americans. Secondly, the dude looked like he was literally born on a farm and started playing basketball only because he got tired of wrestling pigs. The Dunkin’ Dutchman’s mullet was nice, but for my money I’m taking the guy who more than likely pulled tractors instead of lifting weights and could probably drink a six pack without even being fazed. Had he played longer, he could have easily been my favorite player ever.

Up to now, the most famous sportsmen from your hometown were those Little League World Series kids. Were you one of them? And where do you think you stand in relation to them in terms of overall Brownsburg historical importance?

- David Kang

I was not on either of the LLWS teams, but I did play against the first Brownsburg team to go to Williamsport. I didn’t move to Brownsburg until after Little League, so I couldn’t play for them. The team I was on lost to Brownsburg in the first round of the tourney via the mercy rule and I’m pretty sure the Brownsburg pitcher threw a one-hitter. I’ll let you guess who got the one hit.

As far as who means more to the town of Brownsburg, it’s really a no-brainer. The Little League team got parades thrown for them and have shrines set up for them in the local junior high. There are signs outside Brownsburg that basically say “Welcome to Brownsburg—Our Little League Team Is Better Than Yours.” I’m not even sure anyone from my hometown is aware of my blog or that I ended up at Ohio State. These guys were 12-year-old rock stars and still probably get free meals back home. For me to overtake them on the importance scale, I’d have to at least get my own Wikipedia page and from what I’ve been told, that’s already been tried once and Wikipedia shut it down. Can’t really blame them. To answer the question, the World Series guys are blowing me out of the water and are in a league (pun absolutely intended) of their own.

When someone is telling a story about something that happened to them, do you barely listen and just wait for them to finish their story so you can tell a little anecdote more directly involving yourself? I'm just saying. You might be that type.

- Marykate Murphy

I’m not entirely sure what you are asking and frankly I don’t care because it’s not nearly as interesting as the time I scored a hat trick in an international soccer match.

Following my high school graduation, I went on a mission trip to Mexico where I helped build houses and answered every question that the natives asked me with “TA-KEEEE-LAAA!” After we built the houses, we had a festival type thing (that we threw) to celebrate how genuinely considerate we were. Part of this festival consisted of interacting with the Mexican kids. I decided the best way to interact with them was to give them a steady dose of buckets. With my feet.

The first goal I scored came when I kicked the ball as hard as I could right at the seven year old Mexican goalkeeper and hit him square in the chest. As he fell to the ground crying and yelling in Spanish, “You are the greatest soccer player of all-time, white man” (Note: It’s unknown if that’s actually what he said), I gave the ball a little tap and rolled it into the empty net.

My second goal came when a teammate lobbed a pass in my direction and I caught the ball in my t-shirt. Since the ball didn’t actually touch my hands, it wasn’t handball but instead was the smartest play in the history of soccer. I proceeded to casually walk into the goal and drop the ball from my shirt. Despite the little Mexican kids waving their arms at me and yelling what sounded like lyrics to a Ricky Martin song, I decided the goal counted. They were just jealous they didn’t think of that first.

I sealed the deal on my hat trick when I did what we call “cherry picking” in the basketball world. Instead of going back to play defense, I stayed by the goal I was shooting at and waited for my team to regain possession. When we did, a teammate kicked it down to me and I had only the goalkeeper standing in my way. Because I rocketed a ball off his chest earlier, he was a little timid and didn’t even try to stop my shot attempt. After I scored, the Mexican kids started yelling “No, No No!” which, at the time, I thought was their way of celebrating my hat trick. Later, a teammate would explain to me that the kids were claiming that I was offside and the goal shouldn’t have counted. I laughed at my teammate’s ignorance and told him that we were playing soccer, not football, and there is no such thing as offside in soccer. It’s like he was trying to be dumb on purpose.

And that’s how I essentially conquered Mexico.

Been a big fan of the blog from the very beginning and I appreciate your expertise in music so I’m hoping you can help me out with a problem. I’m getting married in a few months and one of the two jobs my fiancé gave me is to put together a list of songs for the DJ to play at the reception. The other job is for me and, more importantly, my groomsmen to show up to the wedding sober. Can you give me a list of songs that you think I should definitely have played?

- Tyler Creach

I love that Tyler didn’t ask me for advice on how to show up sober. He’s got his priorities straight and that’s important for any marriage. Nonetheless, here’s how it needs to go down:

You start off the reception with your wife and you on opposite sides of the room. Cue Kenny Loggins’ “Meet Me Halfway.” You guys start walking toward each other and literally meet halfway on the dance floor and share your first dance.

Next, you include all the guests because, let’s be honest, they really don’t want to watch you and your wife dance together all night. That’s why you need to go with a song that has a dance that corresponds with it. Some would go with the Electric Slide or the Cupid Shuffle, but you should go with the “Cha-Cha Slide Part 2” only to see how people interpret the instructions to “Charlie Brown.” Nobody could possibly know what they are being asked to do.

At this point, all the guests will be wiped out from all that “Charlie Brown-ing” and will be dying for the tempo to be slowed down. That’s when you turn to everyone’s favorite country slow song, Lonestar’s “Amazed.”

Because “Amazed” is a fantastic song, your grandmother more than likely decided to get on the dance floor and get in on the action. This will be awkward for you, so you will want to shift into emergency “go sit back down, grandma” mode. You can make her do just that by playing any rap song in the world. I suggest something like Ja Rule’s “Livin’ It Up.” Yeah, that would do the trick.

Then comes the most important time of any reception. You need to gauge how drunk your guests are. You do this by playing a song in which everyone knows the chorus. Something like Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” would easily accomplish this. While it’s not a song that is necessarily great to dance to, if the guests are as under the influence as they should be, they will make it work.

From there, it’s important to figure out who of the drunkards has taken it to the next level and is undisputedly the drunkest person at the reception. This will more than likely be an uncle that you really aren’t all that close to. Blasting Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” will provide an opportunity for the drunks to not only belt out the chorus, but also do some inappropriate improv dance moves. The door will be wide open for that over-the-top drunk (read: your uncle) to cement his legacy as the guy who maybe had a little too much fun at the reception.

Finally, when it’s time to call it quits (on the reception, not the marriage), you want to pick a song that accomplishes a few things. First, the song has to be a strong one because it will be the song that everyone remembers. I couldn’t tell you who got married at all the weddings I’ve been to, but I can easily remember the last song at each reception. Also, it needs to be a song that appeals to everyone. It can’t be too sappy because the single people don’t want to hear about how lonely they are. It can’t be all about having a good time, because you are trying to establish a mature marriage. Beyond that, it needs to be a song that will make every woman in the room latch on to the fellas. This is the best wedding gift you could possibly give to your male guests. It’s not like the ladies have to throw themselves at the guys, but the song should at least give the fellas one last solid chance to score a bridesmaid's number. The best song that I can think of that accomplishes these things, while still appealing to the people who don’t want to dance but just want to sit there and sing along, is Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.” That would be a great way to top off one heck of a playlist.

Good lord, I should be a DJ.

As a high school student, it's that time of year again. No, not just final exams, but perhaps the most underrated aspect of the end of the year festivities: yearbook signing. As the students go their separate ways for the summer, they are provided with the opportunity to send each other off with a message that will be read both then and in later years, perhaps by the yearbook owners' progeny. Here's my question: what are some of the best tricks of the yearbook signing trade? I want to mix it up a little this year because, frankly, HAGS is getting a little stale.

- Eric Oldfather

Have a good summer is overdone, but there's a reason so many people use it—it works. Plus, chances are that one of the chicks whose yearbook you write that in will be dumb enough to think that you genuinely care about the quality of their summer and will therefore find you to be the most sensitive guy in the world. So when in doubt, just go back to that. But if you are really trying to step your game up, you have a few options.

The first choice is to write a paragraph that spells out an inappropriate word using the first letter of each line. An example is as follows:

Being as excited as I was for this year, I can’t believe it’s finally
Over. We had a lot fun together and I can’t wait for another year
Of high school. I know that we'll be ready for whatever the future
Brings. Whatever happens, though, I promise to do what I can to
Stay in touch with you. -Eric Oldfather

This will provide you a perfect opportunity to write naughty words in the yearbook, while still laying on all that cliché junk. Chances are, whoever’s yearbook you write that in won’t even realize what you just did. I prefer doing this to girls’ yearbooks because guys are much more likely to notice inappropriate words.

Another approach you could take is a personal favorite of mine. Basically with this approach you fabricate things to confuse the owner of the yearbook both in the present and ten years down the road. For example, write something like this in a kid’s yearbook who you only hung out with a few times:

Man, I’ll never forget cruising through town in your truck. That was by far the most fun I’ve had in high school. That one time that we honked at those dudes on skateboards was sick! We have definitely got to do that this summer! -Eric Oldfather

By writing this, you confuse the owner of the yearbook on two levels. The first being that when he immediately reads it, he will feel guilty because to him, riding around in his truck wasn’t that much fun. Secondly, because riding around in the truck wasn’t a big deal, he will surely forget about it in ten years. When he busts out his yearbook and reads back on all the fun times in high school, he won’t be able to remember riding around in the truck and will spend a good deal of time trying to figure out why that was an important enough event for you to write about it in his yearbook.

There’s your strategy for the ladies and your strategy for the guys. All that’s left is using a Club Trillion quote as your senior quote and you’ll solidify your place in the Yearbook Hall of Fame.

I was just wondering how yourself, an eligible, college basketball star goes about picking up the ideal college girl?

- Brian Rybak

Easy. I walk up to the target and simply whisper, “Let me be your hero” like Enrique does at the beginning of “Hero.” She will either get chills or smack me across the face. If it’s the former, I’m money. If it’s the latter, she sucks and isn’t my type anyway.

(Yes, I do realize that I’ve linked to Enrique in two different blog entries. Sue me. I’ll apologize when that song stops representing exactly how I feel about every single one of you.)

Sometimes, though, I don’t have to do anything at all to pick up the babes…

Thought you’d be interested to know, you have been accepted onto the celebrities I can freely cheat on my boyfriend with. I’d been lobbying to get you added, there were some disputes because you’re local.

- Megan F.

Umm…thanks?

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Don’t be discouraged if your Shark Tank attempt didn’t make it in this edition. When I started this entry, I copied and pasted about 30 e-mails that I thought were worthy and had to cut them back because I didn’t feel like writing for a week straight. Just because you may have been cut out this time doesn’t mean I won’t use your e-mail in the next edition of the Shark Tank. Also, feel free to send in new e-mails. I really enjoyed the first batch and I can’t wait to see where the Trillion Man March takes it from here.

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Streak for the Cash Group Leader: K. Williams and T. Rittenhouse (streak of 13 wins)

Streak for the Cash Group Loser: B. Truslow, for the third entry in a row (streak of 13 losses). To be fair, he hasn’t made a pick since April 25th. Make a pick, Truslow, or forfeit your biggest loser shout-out next blog entry.

Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Brian H. Personally, I found Gheorghe Mureşan’s broken English much more awesome than the concept of the commercial. At any rate, there’s your shout-out, Brian. And here's your video.



Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder