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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Russia - Land of Genius

This is called a "Zorb", which I imagine translates to "Rolling Coffin" in another language, probably Russian. Let me begin by reiterating yet once again that I am by no means a thrill-seeker. And by "no means" I mean "no fucking means on Earth or surrounding planets capable of supporting life". I do not mount roller coasters, wild animals, vehicles with tires taller than my children, flying apparatus that rely on the whim of the wind, or women with that crazy gleam in their eye. Thrill-seeking behavior, the mounting of any of these and of which I want no part. That stated, I would like to add "Climbing into an inflatable rubber ball and being pushed down a grassy hill, abandoned mining road or icy slope". This is the purpose of the Zorb. It is made to accommodate human beings for any number of activities, including being placed on a body of water, so that the man or woman inside can walk on the water, much like a hamster propelling one of those hamster balls that hamsters use to walk around in when their human captors do not trust them to move about freely on their carpet. Not only do I consider these giant, inflatable contraptions unsafe at any speed, I would be concerned about suffocation. And claustrophobia. And hamster dander.

Human Hamsters. On water. Two kicks for the price of one.
Now, let's bring Russia into the picture, shall we? While we Americans are busy using these Zorbs to crawl around on water and push each other down golf course fairways, The Russians are putting these rubber man-movers to good use by rolling them down icy mountainsides. Recently, the Russians outdid themselves by running the Zorb not only down a frozen slope, but over a cliff as well, killing one of the occupants of the ball and sending the other to a Russian hospital in critical condition. Well done, Russia. You would have thought that perhaps at least one of the gents climbing into the ball would have looked over the proposed route of travel and asked, "Vait - zat ees cleef?"
And they always seem so smart.
They got to space before us, after all, and I've seen all those movies with Russian spies that are always one step ahead of their overly-cautious American counterparts and everyone got a glimpse of the superior Russian technology  in Rocky IV, when they were training Drago and measuring his punching power power by LBS PSI. Impressive, to say the least, especially with all the clinical lighting and such, which only added to our sense of dread for the beloved pugilistic protagonist. And as Michael Lyon so adroitly pointed out, after reading the story of the Zorb plunging over the edge of the cliff, "This is what happens when you live in a place without injury lawyers".

I cannot think of one other place on the planet that would build their ice-Zorb-track on a mountainside with a cliff on it. Before I read this story, I wouldn't have thought the Russian people capable of that kind of dumb, either. It only shows that you can never tell. . Just remember that the "come hither" look in the lovely lady's eyes at the Stumble Inn might actually be batshit-crazy-dulled-by-alcohol. Some things are simply unpredictable

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