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 ebaumsworld.com]

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WWIn this reoccurring series, Profiles in Awesomeness, I honor the people who make our world a brighter place and 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.

In a change of pace, I’d like to present not only a more personal profile in awesomeness, but also our first woman recipient. Yesterday, while on my way to work, I lost my money clip.  I had just gotten off the B61 bus and had entered the Bedford Avenue subway station when I noticed it was gone. I raced back out of the station to the corner of Bedford and 7th avenue.  The bus had left and I was literally panicking.  I frantically dug through my bag, hoping that I’d uncharacteristically slipped it in there without remembering. My bank cards, metro card, health insurance card, driver’s license, and cash were all gone.  How can you survive in this world without them?  I’d have to walk the two miles back to my apartment for the jar of loose change I keep on my desk, use it to pay for the subway, and go to my bank for a counter withdraw.  I’d have to cancel all the cards and wait for replacements. And worst of all, the money clip, a graduation gift from a beloved teacher was gone for good.  And just when I was about it loose it, she came up to me.

“Excuse me,” she said, “did you drop something?”  She was tall and wearing horned rim sunglasses, I was freaking out.  “Yes,” I said with a slur of financial terror—no doubt some lucky and amoral hipster was spending my freshly deposited paycheck on a pair of Chuck Taylor’s and shitty independent rock music.  With suspicious hope that she had it, I explained in a jumble of words that seemed something like a sentence: “My money clip….wallet…everything…I lost it somewhere.”

“Is this it?” She asked holding my money clip.  I could just make out my engraved initials through tears of joy.  “Yes,” I yelled and hugged her.  I offered a monetary reward, but she politely refused.  It wasn’t until I got into the office that I realized I  should award her a profile in awesomeness, but I didn’t think to take her picture with my phone or even catch her name (hence the Wonder Woman pic).  Miss, if you are reading this, please send me a picture and your true identity so it can be known throughout the world that you are truly an awesome person.  Thanks.

[Pic via fictionmachine.com]

bmRecently, I decided to add a recurring feature, Profiles in Awesomeness.  To the person who asks “What exactly is awesomeness?”  I say this: “Awesomeness is a level of greatness that can no longer be described by the word ‘great.’  More than anything, awesomeness comes from the men and women who refuse to settle for the mediocrity of life.  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 say ‘nah, that sucks,’ to disco music.  These people are awesome and deserve to be recognized.”

In this latest installment we honor William James Murray, better know to us all as Bill Murray.  Throughout his career in comedy, Mr. Murray has touched awesomeness many times.  From his groundbreaking work on Saturday Night Live to CaddyShack, Stripes, the GhostBusters movies, Groundhog Day, and Rushmore; he has been a consistent provider of manic insanity delivering lines that still makes us all laugh when drunken shouted at the bar. He’s also made us cry with his dramatic abilities in such films as Lost in Translation and Broken Flowers. His personal life has continued in those tradition of greatness, from getting caught drunk driving a golf cart (then owning up and admitting to it) to playing random peek-a-boo with strangers on the street.

But it is a recent development has cinched Mr. Murray’s status of awesomeness.  No, it’s not because he’s doing Ghostbusters III (which is totally on).  It’s because in a current interview, film director McG, an annoyance to all who love plot, character development, and films that don’t just have bright colors and loud noises,  claimed that on the set of Charlie’s Angels Bill Murray headbutted him.

Mr. Murray, we salute your awesomeness.

Do you know someone whose awesomeness must be recognized?  Submit your nomination for the next Profile in Awesomeness to wordy.ninja@gmail.com.

[Pic via Screenhead.com]

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.