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Goofy Headwear

This Day in Goofery

December 6
1478: Birth of Baldassare Castiglione, Italian diplomat and author

Source: Killer beard, dude
License: Public Domain

Castiglione was a well-bred, well-read, well-connected man about town. In fact he wrote the book on it, The Courtier, which explores “the mysterious source of courtly gracefulness, the quality which makes the courtier seem a natural nobleman…sprezzatura…to conceal all art and make whatever is done or said appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “studied nonchalance: perfect conduct or performance of something (as an artistic endeavor) without apparent effort.”

This guy was so smooth he once got a pope to apologize to him! How often does a pope admit he was wrong? He caught my eye, though, because I love to think of him doffing his hat, extending one leg, bowing to the knee and announcing: “Balthassar Castiglione, al vostro servizio!”

There’s a Goof City handshake, in case you haven’t yet learned it. You extend your hand as if to shake, but draw your straight arm quickly back and around in a circle to descend into the shake from above. It’s goofy. Perform with sprezzatura.

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flying at you at 80 mph. What are you going to do about it?

Jeff Pain, Canadian skeleton racer, which by the way I don’t even know what that is but it sounds cool (it ain’t no sin, to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones), had a helmet designed featuring Canada’s national animal, the beaver, after seeing 2002’s Olympic Gold Medalist American Jim Shea’s eagle-adorned helmet.

“Well, if they can have their national animal on theirs,” he explained, “might as well have it on ours.”

A friend once asked me, after I’d moved to Oregon, “How does it feel to be living in the Beaver State?” “Honey,” said I, “I was born in the beaver state.”

Hey Buddy, flap your tail!

It looks like a beaver to me.

“To his credit,” said Trey Kirby of Yahoo Sports, “Pain realizes just how silly having a beaver on your helmet really is.” “If anything,” Pain had said, “it’s good for a laugh.”

Hey man, goofy points to you, Jeff Pain. First of all, you’re named Pain. That right there. I apologize for all the insensitive bullies and cruel kids who taunted you. It must have pained you, yes?, a real pain in the ass. “Hey, Pain, get ready for a world of pain.”

Source: Pain

But you know what, the Olympic games are games, a “form of play or sport,” according to whatever dictionary came with my MacBook, and they needn’t always be the life-or-death, cut-throat rivalry that makes the news, who know who you are Evgeni Plushenko. Sometimes you can just be a skeleton racing down the ice with a beaver on your head. After all, you had said, no one can take your gold medal away from you. Is it so horrible to hang a silver one next to it? So is having had just the one medal better than having two? That’s what they call an embarrassment of riches, bubba. (How do you say bubba in Russian?)

And as for you, Elvis Stojko, also a bitter second-placer, you spoonful of urine on Evan Lysacek’s cornflakes (nomination: worst headline of all time), shut yer pie hole. “The judges’ scoring probably killed figure skating,” you said. Get over yourself! With figure skating dead, you ought to be able to get a job at a Foot Locker.

If you’re at the Olympics at all, you are one of the exceptional people of the planet earth, the creamiest cream of the six billion+ crop of the world’s population. How thrilling is that? Why don’t you “losers,” like American Idol second-placer Adam Lambert, just go out and be your fabulous selves? Look what I did! I’m a medal-winning Olympian! I rock!

All anyone can do, is be the best goof they can be. Certainly we all strive for that, and some of us work very hard to be as goofy as ever we can be. But does it really matter who is 1.31 points goofier than the next goof? Come on, you angry beavers, have a glass of champagne. Here’s to all the champion goofs of the world! You are all splendid! And with all due respect, Mr. Pain, have you tried Motrin IB?

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