“King” Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitched a perfect game yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Over nine innings, Hernandez did not allow a single batter to reach base. The perfect game is one of baseball’s most rare and impressive achievements, but it is not an accomplishment that is unique to baseball. Many other disciplines have their own version of the perfect game.
Part of the allure of a perfect game is its fragility. At any point, what was once immaculate can become irrevocably tarnished. A first kiss, like a baseball game, can go wrong at any moment. It can be too sloppy or too dry. Someone can try something weird with his/ her hands. Another person can apply too much force, as if they were trying to get something out of your teeth. On the other hand, too little pressure is like kissing someone in a coma. (I assume.)
Not to mention that a truly perfect kiss has to be perfect wire to wire. No smashing faces together on the approach or saying something awkward afterward like: “Hachi mama!” or “Mmmm, spicy!”
A first kiss can be a giddy, beautiful moment. But if one person starts yawning in the middle and opens his/ her mouth all the way like an anaconda, it can’t be perfect.
Riding the Subway
As with a perfect baseball game, a perfect subway ride may only happen once or twice in our lifetime. For a subway ride to be perfect, a number of very specific conditions must be met:
- Your train must be pulling into the station or waiting for you at the platform when you get there. If you can’t see or hear it when you arrive, it’s over.
- You get a seat with no one on either side of you. With the increasing wideness of American humans, a one-seat buffer is more and more necessary.
- You don’t have to touch the metal handrails, which I assume hobos and sociopaths baste with polio in the wee hours of the morning.
- No delays. That goes without saying.
- Seasonally appropriate air conditioning or heating on your train car.
- No teenagers. Teenagers on the train are the worst. They somehow raise every venue to high school cafeteria volume within seconds. I vote we do away with them.
Eating pizza often approaches perfection. A true perfect pizza, though, demands a little more from the eater. First of all, you have to finish the entire pizza. But here’s the catch: You can’t talk about eating the whole pizza. Anyone watching your feat must similarly abstain from discussing the masterwork in progress. Also, once they’re aware of what’s happening, they can’t stop watching. They have to stay in exactly the same place or it could ruin everything. Even if you have eaten seven and one half slices of pizza (out of the standard eight), it is essential that the code of silence remains intact. The amount of toppings on a pizza has no impact on the action. A veggie lover’s or meat lover’s pizza is what’s known as a “hitter’s pie,” and is just part of the game.
Law and Order Marathons
A perfect game is a feat of endurance as well as skill. Therefore, a perfect Law and Order marathon constitutes watching every episode in its entirety, from the theme song to “Produced by Dick Wolf.” All bathroom breaks and snack runs must take place during commercials. No Playback Enhancing Devices (PEDs), such as DVR or Tivo, may be used. Additionally, to complete the perfect game, you must guess the killer by the halfway point of each episode. Rumor has it, a perfect Law and Order marathon has never been achieved.
For a true perfect nap to take place, everything has to come together exactly right. It’s as much about luck as it is about skill, and it’s not about being as tired as you can be. That might make you nap too hard for it to be perfect. The ideal circumstances include:
- Falling asleep immediately. When your head hits the pillow and your eyes close, sleep must begin right away. A single toss or turn could blow it for you.
- Uninterrupted sleep. Sleep the whole way through your scheduled rest. This is the most precarious period. Anything from a truck driving by to a cat’s quiet meow can throw off the nap.
- Wake up between one and three minutes before your alarm goes off. Perfect timing is part of a perfect nap.
- You can’t be groggy or sweaty when you wake up. If you’re not refreshed, it’s not a PN (Perfect Nap). This is the ninth inning of napping. A lot of great nappers can’t finish it off. It’s down to chance at that point. Temperature, humidity, and REM. There’s no shame in that. Perfection demands complete focus and a few fortunate breaks.