There are days when I lose hope in humanity. I start to feel like at least 75% of this country is totally insane and that most of our political leaders should be behind bars, not a podium. I want to bash my head against my desk, because bashing my head against my desk is better than going outside and facing the crazies. Then, I turn on ESPN, and all hope is renewed. Because at least people still have the time to chase cheese down Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire, England.
This is a contest where people chase a WHEEL OF CHEESE down a hill that is so steep, it’s actually concave. People come from all over the world to do this, and here’s how it goes: There are five downhill cheese races. At the top of the hill, approximately 20 people sit and wait. The Master of Ceremonies is escorted to the top of the hill, holding an eight pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese. The orders are as follows:
“One to be ready!
Two to be steady!
Three to prepare!
And FOUR to be off!”
And all these full-grown adults chase a wheel of cheese down a hill. Actually, the terminology they use is “hurl themselves” down the hill after a wheel of cheese, because everyone falls, and you’re more likely to end up on your back than on two feet. The first person to reach the bottom of the hill wins the cheese. Hard to believe, but the injuries are usually minor, and the same people do this event year after year. And this has been going on since the late 1800s.
My goodness, what would the TERRORISTS think? I’m just waiting to hear about some cheese advocacy group saying this is cruel. Because we, as a population, have gotten to be so damn sensitive. We’re offended by everything: hot coffee, breastfeeding, improper punctuation in text messages (guilty). We’ve forgotten how to have fun. We’re too nervous to tell jokes in public anymore, and heaven forbid I say something offensive on TWITTER. And yet, people are still chasing a dairy product down a hill that I wouldn’t even walk down.
Today, I tip my hat to the cheese chasers of Gloucestershire. I tip my hat to all the fun-havers out there, who aren’t letting THE MAN get you down. Because I’m guilty of not having fun. I’m guilty of being offended. I’m guilty of letting the ADULT take over. But the people in England remind the immature part of me that having fun is fun, even if I look dumb in the process. So let’s have some fun today. Let’s stop working for a second. Raise your middle finger to your Puritan Work Ethic. Find your own hill. Chase your own cheese. And don’t make any freakin’ excuses.