Not everyone can be a winner, that’s a lesson that’s slowly being forgotten thanks to the overabundance of participation ribbons and awards children get just for existing and barely trying these days. Time was you had to excel at something and be better than everyone else. And even then, even if you were the best, you still weren’t necessarily the winner because there are some things at which no one wins. Like these…
3. EATING CONTESTS
So you’re at a state fair, sitting at the table with a handful of opponents. The judge fires the start pistol or, in this case, probably just farts loudly. You start cramming boiled wieners into your maw along with shredded bun and cups of water to keep your throat from collapsing. Weiner after weiner disappears down your throat as you just cram away, biting them in half and swallowing the phallic meat tubes with gusto. Just as quickly as it started it’s over again. The final count is tallied in and in just two minutes you’ve consumed 35 hot dogs. You are the winner!
No, you’re not. Eating more hot dogs, or pies, or watermelons, or boiled eggs, than someone else will never make you a winner. Not really. The inherent sadness and awfulness of the task at hand means everyone who partakes in said activity is on the same level of sadness.
Is gluttony the kind of thing you win at? No more than shame is, really.
2. AIR GUITAR
The day a person discovers there are actual air guitar competitions is the day a little piece of that person dies. The piece that believed in humankind.
I get what air guitar is. I even get that, on some level, if you knew the precise fingering of a song, such that if you had a real guitar in your hands, you could actually be playing the song you’re air guitaring along to, that would make you a excellent air guitarist. But here’s the thing—air guitar isn’t a thing! If you’re that good, play the goddamn guitar for real. Be in a band, have sex with groupies. What the hell is wrong with you? If you can do a thing, don’t pretend to do a thing—that doesn’t even make sense. And if you can’t do it, then what the hell? What the hell is wrong with you? Stop! You’re not the winner. No one is the winner.
There are, oddly, masturbation competitions but do we really even need to get into that? Does anyone need to be told that they are not the winner of jerking off? Two things need to be made clear here. First, when it comes to masturbation, everyone technically wins so long as they finish. You can’t win more than me because it took you longer; that doesn’t make sense. If anything, I win if I finish first, that’s usually how winning works.
But regardless of all of that, you can’t compete at something that by definition is specifically designed to be totally doable by yourself without setting up some kind of arbitrary rules that demean the very nature of what you’re doing. It’s like competitive Solitaire. The moment you include other people in the mix, you’re losing the spirit of the thing and cheapening it for everyone. Stop trying to be a show off.