moutainlionIn this reoccurring series, Profiles in Awesomeness, I honor the people who have ascended to a level of greatness that can no longer be described by the word “great.”  These are men and women who refuse to settle for the mediocrity of life, like the man who looked at two blocks of wood and a length of chain and came up with nun chucks.  Or the first person to wear a tuxedo t-shirt to a black tie event.  These people are awesome and deserve to be recognized.

Today’s profile, Dustin Britton, is 32-year-old mechanic and ex-marine.  Mr. Britton, an apparent outdoorsman, took his wife and two toddlers camping last weekend in Shoshone National Forest in northwestern Wyoming.  On Sunday evening, while cutting up some firewood with a chainsaw he was, according to the Associated Press, attacked by a mountain lion.  Now a less awesome person would have simply run away, but this isn’t Profiles in Lameness.

So what did Britton do to defend himself and his family from this vicious wild animal?   He fought it off with the chainsaw!  In my mind, the exchange went something like this: the mountain lion growled and sneered—making clear its intention to strike—Britton responded by revving the chainsaw and screaming, “Let’s do this!”  And then they rushed toward one another, poised for battle.

After being wounded, the animal ran off and was later killed by park authorities. I’m marking that as win for mankind.  Now, it’s quite possible that I’m predisposed to appreciate Britton’s interspecies throw down because I spent a fair amount of my childhood doodling an imaginary brawl between a man wielding a chainsaw and a jaguar (which a mountain lion is close enough to)—but let’s admit that it’s still pretty freaking cool.  I really hope my drawing of two guys on jetpacks having a swordfight comes true next.

[Pic via]

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We here at Word Ninja, Inc. appreciate one thing more than any other: pure awesomeness.  “What exactly is awesomeness?” you ask.  Well, it’s when something is so great, its greatness can no longer be described by the word “great” and thus moves on to the next level.  More than anything, awesomeness comes from the men and women who refuse to settle for the mediocrity of life.  These are the people that we feel deserve to be recognized, like the man who first saw a jet engine and said “It’s nice, but what if we made it for individual use as some sort of pack to be strapped on people’s backs?  A ‘jet pack,’ if you will.” Or the first person to wear a tuxedo t-shirt to a black tie event.

Over fifty-years ago, John Fitzgerald Kennedy wrote a collected series profiling people that he felt exemplified the concept of courage.  It is in that tradition that we would like to honor those unsung heroes of awesome.  We proudly present the first in a series of awards designed to give recognition where recognition is due:  The Wordy Ninja’s Profiles in Awesomeness©.

Some men have no problem resting on their laurels.  They’ll look back and say “I’ve accomplished so much, I think I’ll take it easy and live a quiet life.”  Our first recipient is not like some men.  Jesse Ventura first gained prominence as a former Navy SEAL turned professional wrestler.  He then went on to have costarring role in one of the most moving films about a killer alien, Predator.  After a successful run in several other Hollywood movies, most people would think they’d have reached the pinnacle of their life.  But not Mr. Ventura.  What did he do next? He ran for Governor of his home state of Minnesota as an Independent and won.  But that’s not that the end of Mr. Ventura’s accomplishments. On Monday, he appeared on the View and was drawn into a lively debate by Elisabeth Hasselbeck about whether waterboarding is torture or not (she says “nah, it saves lives”).  And in a calm, informed, and stately manner—he laid the smack down on her.  Check out the video below:

Jess Ventura: Navy SEAL, thespian, Governor, and now Speaker of Truths.  You sir, are awesome.  To learn more about Jesse Venture, please consult your local Wikipedia.

I don't expect you to die Mr. Bond, but you will stop LOLing.

I don't expect you to die Mr. Bond, but you will stop LOLing.

I’ve always loved movies and cartoons that featured an archenemy or evil overlord of some kind, not because they offered a compelling challenge or foil for the hero or heroes, but because whenever they hatched a brilliant plan involving nuclear weapons or a weather machine they were then able make some demands on the world, which would be forced to meet them (if it wasn’t for those pesky spies or nerds bitten by radioactive spiders meddling in other people’s affairs). Generally, such requests made while holding the entire population hostage involved monetary compensation (Really? What good is money once you’ve unleashed apocalyptic destruction? I’m pretty sure the bank isn’t going to be able to process the wire transfer of a billion dollars because of the radiation fallout.) or being made global dictator (A job? You did this to make EVERYONE reliant on you and come to you with all their needs? Come on, Cobra Commander!).

The reason I always dug this illogical cliché was that I couldn’t help but fantasize about what my demands would be if I were able to make such threats. In fact, this is a daydream that I find myself returning to still. I imagine myself sitting at the head of a long table, petting a white cat, and talking to a giant screen with all the leaders of the world peering at me from it, their faces twisted in confusion and horror as I explain just how my machinations will kill everyone on the planet. Here are a few of my demands that must be met in order to save us all:

  • The so called “Text Speak,” in which common phrases are abbreviated and numbers are used to shorten messages, must end… now. No more 2day’s, LOL’s, or ROFLMAO’s. It’s the English language, show some respect. And anyone heard actually speaking the abbreviations (i.e. “I’ll BRB” instead of “I’ll be right back.”) will be sterilized to prevent them from breeding and passing on their defective genes to future generations.
  • Women can no longer wear the bug eyed sunglasses. I don’t know where this trend came from, I don’t really care, but it’s over. A whole generation of women think it looks chic and stylish when in fact they appear to be hiding evidence of domestic abuse or copying Bono’s style.
  • No one is allowed to post or take any quizzes on Facebook anymore. It is quite possibly the most annoying new feature on Facebook. I don’t need to know which Billy Joel song matches your personality, how Pilipino you are, or [shudder] how horny you are. Just stop.
  • Fred Durst must die. Limp Bizkit is reuniting and trying to make a comeback, this is a fact. Durst is directing movies, including one about the first girl to play in Pop Warner football and staring Ice Cube; this is a fact. I may be an evil genius, but Jesus even I have my limits on what horrors I allow to be unleashed on the world.
  • Kanye West is no longer allowed to have any contact with the general public. Mr. West can continue to make music, but he is hence forth forbidden to have a blog, release any press statement, or make announcements of any kind. This is a direct result of his inability to understand the concept of how a caps lock functions or that repeatedly calling oneself a genius does not make it so. Mr. West, be thankful that nothing was done about your choice of clothing styles.
  • All Segways are now outlawed. Does this need an explanation?
  • Finally, all the worlds’ scientists must stop all current research and work on one single goal: Jetpacks. Seriously, it’s 2009 and we don’t have jetpacks yet? What’s the closest thing we have? Segways? Bullshit! It’s not that hard a concept and I’m pretty sure that if we all focus on creating jetpacks that are also eco-friendly, we’ve just saved the ozone layer, because no one would ever drive car again when they could use a jetpack.

Essentially, if I was able to threaten the world with some kind of weapon (or weapons) of mass destruction, it would then become the most awesome world ever.