Screenshot: Cody Ko/YouTube (Fair Use)
It’s easy to point and laugh at the growing sport of competitive hobbyhorse, but maybe you should actually try it before you do. Maybe you should also try asking a Starbuck barista to surprise you, slacking off at work on Mondays, and busting through your neighbors’ fence like the Kool-Aid Man. These are only some of the things young people are trying this week, and while many of them are dumb, it beats doing the same boring things again and again.
Viral video of the week: I Mastered The World’s Most Embarrassing Sport
How could you not watch a video called “I Mastered the World’s Most Embarrassing Sport?” The sport in question is “competitive hobbyhorse,” and it is a real thing. It’s growing in popularity, particularly in Finland, and, like the name implies, it consists of competing in traditional equestrian contests like dressage and hurdles, except with a hobbyhorse between your legs instead of a horse-horse.
YouTuber Cody Ko is kind of a dude-bro, and his journey into this bizarre pastime began over a year ago, when he posted a video dunking on the sport, like you might expect from a dude-bro. The Finnish hobby champion apparently saw it, and reached out to Ko with a challenge: “Why don’t you actually try it?” To Ko’s credit, he did, and found out that hobbyhorse at a high level is surprisingly physically demanding and requires the same kind of dedication, practice, and precision that any sport does. It’s still kind of a joke because it looks so ridiculous, but fearing looking ridiculous is how you miss out on everything awesome in life.
Pro-tip: Do not take your seatbelt off on amusement park rides
You should not do everything ridiculous you see on the internet, of course. You should not take your seatbelt off during amusement park rides, like some TikTok users are apparently advising. Videos telling people to undo or loosen their belts in the middle of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Mission: Breakout ride at Disneyland’s California adventure started appearing on TikTok recently. Apparently, loosening the harness gives you extra airtime on the attraction’s drops. In response to the trend, TikTok reportedly removed the offending videos, and Disney posted a new sign on the ride that reads: “Keep seat belt securely fastened and tight against the waist. Failure to follow instructions may result in being asked to leave the park.” This might be too insider-Disney, but the park didn’t have this problem when the ride was Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror.
Teens arrested for imitating the Kool-Aid Man
Loosening your belt on amusement park rides is a meme no one should copy, but I’m undecided on whether you should imitate the Kool-Aid Man and run through your neighbor’s fence in the middle of the night. On one hand, it’s a hilarious idea, any injuries you cause will be your own, and your neighbor might be a real jerk. But on the other hand, that’s not your fence, and you might get arrested. That’s what happened to some Long Island, N.Y. teenagers this week anyway. Police say they arrested a Kool-Aid gang of six dudes between the ages of 12 and 18 after they filmed themselves damaging several fences, probably while yelling “ohhhh YEAH!”
“On the night in question, it looks like four homes were hit and tied to these individuals,” Suffolk County Chief of Patrol Gerard Hardy told the NBC New York. “It might seem fun and it might be a prank, but it’s criminal and they will be held accountable,” he added.
While a “TikTok challenge” was mentioned by authorities, I can’t find much evidence of a trend like this, and a TikTok spokesman said the trend had been debunked before, and that they “would need to see the video to fully comment.” I need to see the video to fully comment too. Please send.
Kids asking baristas for a Starbucks “surprise”
Social media users are involving Starbucks employees in a new trend, the “surprise me” challenge. It works like this: You go to a Starbucks drive through, and rather than saying, “gimme a vente latte,” you say, “surprise me,” and let the overworked retail clerk serve you whatever they want. If you check out the videos on the #surpriseme tag, you’ll see that some people get really good drinks or they get “super fresh” drinks. Some baristas are happy to show off their creativity. But some people get a little attitude from baristas who don’t “pass the vibe check.”
Gen Z workers introduce “bare-minimum Monday”
I’m addicted to tracking the way people who are new to having grown-up jobs confront the grinding indignity of modern employment. The new wrinkle for the generation that brought us both “hustle culture” and “quiet quitting” is “bare-minimum Monday.” As the name implies, the idea is to do as little as possible at work on Mondays.
At first, I assumed this is because having a job kind of sucks, but there’s actually more to it than that. Started by TikToker @itsmarisajo, videos tagged #bareminimummonday have over a million hits and offer philosophical justifications and strategies geared toward people who are overachievers and stressed out about work. It’s not really about slacking off on Monday as much as not stressing out on Sunday night by telling yourself you’re going to just do enough to get by the next day.