Recently, a friend of mine got to kick Gilligan in the balls for money.

Before I explain (though that’s already a pretty good story sans explanation), it needs to be said that this particular friend is intelligent, articulate, and generally prone to acts of kindness and generosity. Kicking random strangers in their personal areas was an errant, albeit highly enjoyable, exploit brought about by sheer luck and circumstance. I might be a little jealous.

It all started with a Jackass-inspired scavenger hunt. I don’t understand the Jackass phenomenon. I don’t quite know what it is that these men do, why they make so much money doing it, and how it is that they haven’t seriously hurt or killed themselves in the process. My confusion reminds me of something the philosopher Wittgenstein once wrote: If a lion could talk, we would not understand him. I recognize the actions (riding in shopping carts, crashing into walls, etc.) but I’m not quite able to make any meaning out of them (why the hell are they intentionally doing that?!). Still, it is hard to deny that Jackass is overwhelmingly popular, despite my lack of enthusiasm for it.

What I AM enthusiastic about is the holiday season. And this most recent holiday, Halloween, was enthusiastically embraced by my community, as well. People in costume began dining in the restaurant as early as Tuesday of “Halloween week”. By Friday night, our bar was teeming with characters, including the unfortunate Gilligan and a random assortment of his friends. As many of you are personally aware, alcohol and bravado seem to have a correlative relationship and the more Gilligan consumed, the gutsier he became. Eventually he drank up the courage to ask my friend, the bar server, for assistance. It seems he and his friends were on a Jackass-style dare scavenger hunt and he had not yet collected his final treasure: video proof of his being kicked in the balls by a stranger. Did he mention he was willing to pay the kicker for her services? Gleefully, she complied.

Wouldn’t you?