(Oh No! It Was Rocket Science t-shirt at the NeatoShop)
Debby Witt of the blog VA Viper spotted this article published a year ago in The Atlantic. It refers to a now legendary incident in which a drunken college student attempted to launch a rocket from his bottom. Witt suggests that author Caitlin Flanagan may have composed one of the best opening paragraphs ever. I’m inclined to agree. Behold Flanagan’s genius:
One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house at Marshall University, in West Virginia, and was struck by what seemed to him—under the influence of powerful inebriants, not least among them the clear ether of youth itself—to be an excellent idea: he would shove a bottle rocket up his ass and blast it into the sweet night air. And perhaps it was an excellent idea. What was not an excellent idea, however, was to misjudge the relative tightness of a 20-year-old sphincter and the propulsive reliability of a 20-cent bottle rocket. What followed ignition was not the bright report of a successful blastoff, but the muffled thud of fire in the hole.
That woman knows how to write!