GIF Life Lessons, Part 5

by Luis Prada

Sometimes, all it takes to learn a lesson about life is to take a good, long look at short, looping image. Everything quickly begins to make sense. It also helps if you are very high. I’m never high when I research and write a new entry in the GIF Life Lessons series. I just overthink simple things to the point of annoyance. Your annoyance. Not mine. I love this stuff.

We All Have One Really Useless Gift



Talent is such a hard word to define. If an opera singer has talent, does a guy who paints Elvis on crushed velvet have talent too? The answer, of course, is yes. That example goes to show that talent is one of those words in the English language that has a very strict definition, but that definition carries with it a broad interpretation. Pretty much anything that can even be mildly entertaining or interesting can be considered a talent. Uselessness, while a hindrance in other aspects of life, is actually an advantage when it comes to talent.

Take this GIF, for example. That s**t is the most useless thing in the world. That guy will never find himself as the executive of a Fortune 500 company and he needs to seal a deal with a fellow businessman by making cups go into other cups using mouth wind. Yet, you watch that GIF and you can’t help but be impressed. It may be entry-level impressed; bottom-of-the-barrel impressed; slightly-better-than-staring-blankly-at-a-wall impressed, but still – it’s an impressive talent and good for that guy for figuring out he could do that. He probably kills at parties. He’s probably gotten laid a time or two, not because of that trick, but because that stupid trick opened the doors for conversation, which led to sexytimes.

And we all have our own version of that. I twirl pens around my fingers like Alan Cumming in Goldeneye. You can probably sing the theme to Happy Days backwards, in Russian sign language, while somehow making your fingers do a spot on impression of Christopher Walken’s voice if her were speaking backwards Russian sign language. Again, completely useless…but kind of when you see someone doing their stupid trick, don’t begrudge it; embrace it. Love it. Because they are just like you.

You’ve Got To Make Some Situations Work For You



You aren’t going to be handed perfect situations at every one of your life’s turns. Some moments are manageable while others are almost entirely unworkable. But what separates the good from the bad, or even the good from the great, is being able to take an imperfect scenario and find a way to make it work in their favor.

There are people whose jobs revolve around this idea. A home decorator comes into a home and sees there’s much work to be done to turn that ugly-ass bathroom into a palatial bathing nirvana, and the task is made ever more difficult by the tiny budget they have to work with. In that instance, the decorator has to take what they’ve been given and get creative.

The tiny dog in the GIF desperately wants to sex up the bigger dog. The little one just can’t do it. It’s a physical impossibility. So, in the face of a difficult situation, but clearly understanding that there’s still a job to do, the little dog gets creative. He hops once, twice, and finally the third time’s the charm – the little one is standing on the big one’s back. Then the little one shimmies down like a fat kid nervously trying to climb down off a roof and then aligns it waist perfectly for some love, doggy-style.

 There Are Some Things That Are Just, like, No. Just…No. F**k That.



Sure, you can do anything you want and anything you put your mind to. Periodically sprinkled into to that anything are little moments that you certainly can do if you wanted, but f**k that. No. You’re not doing it. I’m not doing. No one in their right mind is going to do that. Too bad, too. Sounded fun, but, you know, f**k that noise. I don’t care how many times the people at the top of the bridge have overseen the process a person take a great leap only to be snapped back to safety by a bungee cord. I just don’t want to be the one time that guy gets his pay docked for mis-hooking a hook thing and my face gets blown out the back of my head by high velocity dirt. It looks fun, it looks exhilarating, but I’m not doing it.

If I want to feel the thrill of almost dying I’ll just choke a little bit on some really big vitamins. That way my blood will pump, my adrenalin will spike, I’ll gain a greater appreciation for life, and my body will get some vitamins. I don’t need to bullet between two buildings like Superman about to divebomb Doomsday to feel alive. You probably don’t either.

Laziness Breeds Genius



Hard work is the driving force of most creativity. By putting in the time and effort, new avenues of thought open and lead to wonderful innovations and new ideas that can breed lasting, meaningful change, with the effect being felt on a societal level and on a practical, every day level. Then, other times, great genius can be borne out of a laziness so intense that the only way to keep it going is by working a little bit to ensure all future laziness can occur, uninterrupted.

This GIF – the lawnmower tied to a thing and circling around to cut some grass – is the apex of genius innovation borne from laziness. The person who created this brilliant system probably wanted to have a lazy Saturday. Just a lot of lounging and watching TV after a long week of work. But, ugh, that stupid lawn had to be mowed. “How can I sit around while also getting my lawn trimmed?”, he must have thought, mere moments before changing the world of lazy innovation forever. “How ‘bout I just tie the mower to a thing and just turn it on? I understand the science of things tied to things with momentum. I’ve play tetherball before. This could work.”

So, he put a thing in the grass, tied a rope to the thing, tied the other end of the rope to the mower, turned the mower on, and then sat back in the shade and enjoyed the pleasurable throbbing sensation his newly discovered MENSA-level of genius gave to his brain.

Use The Right Tool For The Job



Natural talent, skill, and an innate understanding of how to perform a task play huge rolls in determining whether someone is good at something. Give LeBron James a pair of flip-flops and he’ll still have a great game, but the flip-flops probably prevented a triple-double.

It’s often easy (and sometimes lazy) to blame the tools for a user error, but there is truth to using the right tool for the right job. A proper tool more than likely won’t make you better than you already are, but it can help refine and focus your abilities. The Razor scooter has never enhanced anything. The Razor scooter is never the right tool for the job, unless, of course, your job is to be a tool. It’s the alternative mode of transportation that other alternative modes of transportation make fun of when it’s not around. It tries so hard to be one of the cool kids, but its repeated requests to be accepted in the X-Games are met with a letter of acceptance, followed by another letter that simply reads, “Psych.”

The kid in the Gif is trying to use a Razor scooter when a skateboard would have done the trick. Obviously, the kid has some talent. He only failed at the last second. This indicates that his natural ability was hindered by his improper choice of tool. He had the form down right, but the tool was not designed to function that way. If you looked closely, the scooter practically disintegrates upon impact. It popped apart like a Crash Test Dummy action figure. As a result, the kid looked like he died.



Luis Prada’s work can be found on Cracked, FunnyCrave, The Smoking Jacket, and GuySpeed. If you visit his Tumblr page, The Devil Wears Me, he will give you a non-refundable virtual hug.

If you ever wondered whether security guards have any real authority, here is the answer

If you ever wondered whether security guards have any real authority, here is the answer

Luis played Dr. Doolittle when he learned Life Lessons from GIFs: Animal Edition, and gleamed the cube in GIF Life Lessons, Part III.

More from Luis Prada

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