Sunday, January 29, 2017

This is 30

Almost Thirty
They said it was impossible. They said it defied all reason. They said only a fool would believe it could happen. But it has. Asher Lurie has turned thirty years old.

Some fans may remember Ashie as the guy who won the greatest rock-paper-scissors game of all time, only to immediately destroy his prize. Others may know him from this viral video. And a handful of you are thinking of the wrong Asher. But all can agree that Asher turning thirty is about as unlikely an event as anything that has happened in 2017 (too soon?).

So in honour of this auspicious occasion, I begged Ashie to let me roast him in front of the family after his birthday dinner. I'm not saying I killed it, but even Granny Pat laughed. Here it is:

Friends, Family, Countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Ashie, not to praise him. Mainly because we praise Ashie too often. For as we all know, he is the master of setting the bar so low that he can’t help but clear it. Like when he finally learned to cut his toenails at age 28, or when he recently bought a winter coat after six seasons without one, or when he eats things without getting too much sauce on his shirt. 

But it hasn’t all been high points over these last thirty years. As some of you may know, Asher has made a habit of having terrible first days. Of course, we all remember the story of mom escorting him through the weight room on his first day of high school. But there have been more recent disasters. I’ll just share my favourite. On his first day of GS1, Ash attended a lunch held in joint-honor of him joining the team and a coworker’s birthday. I don’t remember the birthday girl's name, so we’ll just call her Susan. Shortly after arriving, Asher met Susan and smoothly wished her a happy birthday and she seemed touched by the gesture. Feeling confident, he turned to the next person and after exchanging pleasantries, he for some reason also wished HER a happy birthday. Realizing his mistake, our hero began to panic and did the only thing he could think of to save the situation: he told her he had to move his car and then he went home. I’m not saying the two are related, but three months later Asher was no longer with the company. 

And if his first days have all the makings of a comedy of errors, some other days have been straight up greek tragedies. Back in grad school, he really hoped to make a name for himself as a ‘cool dude.’ He sipped from a Tims cup at early morning seminars, hoping to convince his colleagues that he was a serious, coffee-drinking intellectual - unbeknownst to them he was really drinking hot chocolate. It was the perfect ruse until one fateful winter’s day when Ash walked around campus with his secret hot chocolate and noticed everyone looking at him. “Wow!” he thought to himself, “I am killing it! People really think I’m a cool guy!” He was carrying a box for his TA duties, and between that and the fake-coffee, he later disclosed to me that he felt like a real big man on campus. That was until he got home and discovered that the strangers’ stares had not been the product of the undeniable magnetism of someone who drinks coffee and carries a box around, but rather a circle of chocolate on his nose that betrayed his secret. 

But we should indulge Ashie these misadventures because it hasn’t been easy for him - he’s had to contend with a whole host of biological deficiencies including, but not limited to, a short esophagus, a propensity for nosebleeds between the ages of 4 and 14, a prepubescent tendency to run cold, a post pubescent tendency to run very, very hot, and a facial hair growth rate that alarms actual medical professionals. For instance, a few years ago, Asher shaved his neck just before leaving for a dermatologist appointment. But by the time he was called in, his beard had already grown back to the point that the doctor actually asked him why he hadn’t shaved. 

Of course, Asher’s had big accomplishments, too. In December 2015, he shocked the world by single-handedly applying sunscreen to his entire back. We all remember him boasting of a lack of redness the next day and the pride in mom’s eyes at this rare success, and this victory was only slightly marred by the fact that he was sunburnt on every other part of his body. 

And we’re all quite proud of Asher’s greatest venture: palindrome theatre. But this internet sensation got off to a rocky start with an ill-conceived grassroots publicity campaign in which Ash walked into the middle of a group of drunk guys outside of CEEPS complaining about their friend Adam and pronounced loudly, “MADAM I’M ADAM.” 

But all kidding aside, Ashie is universally beloved for his kind nature, generous spirit, easy laughter, and sharp intellect, which he so far has been unable to successfully monetize. Ash, you easily crack the top two in the brother power rankings, and truth be told, you’re one of my favourite people on the planet. So let’s all raise a glass: to Ashman 3000. Dad, that means Asher.

All Grown Up

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