meeting Superman

April 11th, 2007

I was playing basketball at the campus last night. The court is actually atop a kind of bar, right outside the main building. It was probably around 8pm, so dusk was setting in and there weren't many people about, mostly those heading home.

As the laws of physics dictate, once in a while your shot comes in at an angle such that the friction is sufficient and your ball gets caught between the rim and the glass/board, stuck. This is no big deal, it's happened to everyone lots of times. As a kid, you can't reach up there so you have to improvise. If you have a second ball you can hit the ball that's stuck and dislodge it. Or you can find something else to throw up there. Or you can climb the basket. Or you can fix your bike next to it and reach up from the seat. There are all kinds of possibilities.

Last night, before I had decided what to do, a guy came up the stairs, approaching me, threw down his backpack, muttering something in Dutch with a smile, and jumped for it. It was quite the shocker. Then he said "I saw from down below that your ball got stuck". First he used his super vision to see, then his super leap to get up there. I was amazed. And just like that, hadn't asked him or anything, didn't even have a clue what was going on when he came up the stairs. I mean if he'd been right there, sure I would have seen it coming. But he wasn't even in the vicinity. And yet he both saw it and decided to help out. Fantastic.

If you're wondering why he could reach it and I couldn't, it's because Holland is a country of giants.

:: random entries in this category ::

3 Responses to "meeting Superman"

  1. Graham says:

    Superman's Dutch?

    What a letdown :P

  2. erik says:

    Then again you could do a lot worse. Imagine an Italian Superman, the world would never recover.

  3. John Healy says:

    The random quote at the top of your blog is "I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me, Superman." The actual source is Homer Simpson. :P

    There's an oldie but goodie that goes:
    > Two men are sitting at the bar at the top of the
    > Empire State Building drinking, when the first man
    > turns to the other one and says:
    > "You know, last week I discovered that if you jump
    > from the top of this building, by the time you fall to the 10th floor,
    > the wind around the building is so intense that it carries you around
    > the building and back into the window."
    > The bartender just shakes his head in disapproval while wiping the bar,
    > but says nothing.
    > The second guy says, "What? Are you insane? There's no way in heck that
    > could happen!"
    > "No, it's true," said the first man, "let me prove it to you."
    > He gets up from the bar, jumps over the balcony and plummets toward the
    > street below. When he passes the 10th floor, the high wind whips him
    > around the building and back into the 10th floor window and he takes the
    > elevator back up to the bar. He meets the second man, who is astonished.
    > "You know, I saw that with my own eyes, but that must've been a one-time
    > fluke. That was scientifically impossible!"
    > "No, I'll prove it again," says the first man as he jumps. Again, just as
    > his body hurtles towards the street, the 10th floor wind gently carries
    > him around the building and into the window. He takes the elevator back
    > to
    > the bar. Once upstairs, he successfully urges his dubious fellow drinker
    > to try it.
    > "Well, what the heck," the second guy says, "I've seen that it works, so
    > I'll try it!" He immediately jumps over the balcony - plunges downward -
    > rapidly passes the 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th floors ....his body hits the
    > sidewalk with a loud "splat."
    > Back upstairs, the bartender who had been silent the whole time turns to
    > the first drinker, and shakes his head. He says,
    > "You know, Superman, you're a real asshole when you're drunk."