During a typical day, I have plenty of mental idle time – mostly when I’m waking up, driving to work, working, driving home from work, watching TV, and falling asleep. For the bulk of this time, I like to have brain tournaments to deduce what is the best of its kind. Diet Vanilla Pepsi, for example, was the winner in the diet soda contest I held during a meeting with my boss last week. Other bouts have included favorite colors, fast food chains, dating-themed reality TV shows, and grunge supergroups. Incidentally, the latter category is also a deciding factor in sizing up a potential girlfriend, as it is important she has an opinion on the subject, no matter what it is. “I like Mad Season,” is just as legitimate as “I prefer Temple of the Dog’s high-minded meditations on loss… and guitar feedback!”. But if she gives me a funny look when I ask her about the matter, then intercourse is probably as far as the relationship will go. And even then, I’ll be inserting “Hunger Strike” on the foreplay tape just for spite.

Yesterday, I came upon a dilemma that could not be solved in my head. It would require notes and charts and the issue was this: What is the best sports maneuver in film history, the Pamchenko Twist or the Triple Lindy? The Twist is from The Cutting Edge, an ice skating drama starring D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly as two polar opposites paired together on the rink for one final chance at personal redemption and Olympic gold. The Lindy is a platform dive featured in Back to School, which stars Rodney Dangerfield as a senior citizen who returns to college for hi-jinks.

In comparing the two, I had to look at several categories, the first of which was believability. The Pamchenko Twist is a pairs ice skating trick in which the male grabs his partner by the ankles, swings her around like he’s performing the hammer throw, and tosses her into the air with sufficient vertical force as to provide enough time for him to skate under and catch her. It sounds like a definite loser until you consider the Triple Lindy is an old man doing flips from diving board to diving board in slow motion. However, I had to consider the context of each. The Cutting Edge purports to be based in reality, so the Twist becomes slightly

less believable, while Back to School seems to be more of a fantasy, so the Lindy suddenly becomes more plausible.I also had to consider that the audience of Back to School will generally be drunk, rowdy, and likely to believe anything at 2 in the morning. The audience of The Cutting Edge, however, will be hung-over and annoyed that they are watching it for tenth time on the TBS Saturday Morning Supermovie. The edge in believability: Triple Lindy.

Next, I had to balance the emotional impact. The Pamchenko serves as a climax not only to the quest for Olympic greatness, but as a poignant climax between the two protagonists, who have just declared their love for each other after an hour and a half of sexually charged arguments about what music they’ll perform their ice dancing routine to (she wants classical, he wants rock ‘n’ roll!). The Lindy, on the other hand, is really just a funny way to end the movie, as the film’s true core involving the sub-textual love between a crazy millionaire and his street-wise limo driver has already been resolved by this point. Yet, the dive does win the

swimming match for the school because one of the other divers chickened out at the last second. Who is this cowardly diver? None other than actor William Zabka, who was also the villain in The Karate Kid done in by Daniel Larusso’s crane kick, which just happens to be the third best sports maneuver in cinematic history. So the pleasure of seeing Zabka shamed again adds exponentially to the gravity of the Triple Lindy. The edge in emotional impact: Triple Lindy.

It was around this time in my analysis with so many areas left to cover that I began to grow tired of the exercise. It all seemed so… pointless, almost as if I was some media slave completely wasting my life with this shit. It just so happened it was then I saw that commercial again on television for a company that sells mail order replicas of the swords from shows like Xena and Highlander. I realized I needed to be thinking about more important things. Like what’s the best late night ad on channel E! ever, this new sword-themed one or Girls Gone Wild: Spring Break 6?