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How Jackass Changed My Life

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Jackass the Movie has had a profound influence on my life. It has taught me many life altering lessons. For instance, life isn't about quantity, but rather quality. That shopping carts are capable of exceeding 30 mph. It has taught me that pain fades, cuts heal, and chicks dig scars. Not to mention helped to create a little jackass way down deep in my heart. Despite the warnings at the beginning of the movie trying to persuade kids not to try the stunts preformed by professionals, Jackass the Movie has helped kick start a dangerous and exciting lifestyle for me and my friends.

Hi, my name is Chris Andersen and I have a problem. I'm an adrenaline junkie. For the past three years I have been addicted to preforming very random and dangerous stunts. I filled my summers towing wheelchairs and skiers behind cars, jumping of high bridges/cliffs into water, testing the effects of lighter fluid and other farmable substances, car surfing, and pretty much anything that people would laugh or gasp at. My winters were packed full of snowboarding, E-braking cars, bush jumping, and snowmobiling. You know, what normal kids do. Well ok maybe not exactly normal kids. Sometimes I did ask myself, "why do I do all of this? Is it all for attention? Or maybe I have a teenage immortality complex?" but I think the best explanation to why all my friends and I have a constant need to put ourselves in dangerous and exciting situations is all summed up by a quote from Josh Ward, an accomplice in many human fireballs, "We live in Mendocino county and we don't smoke, drink, or party... What else are we suppose to do?" We defiantly found a lot "to do," but in the search there has been two stunts that have literally and figuratively pushed me over the edge.

Due to convenience and pure kick in the pants excitement, cliff jumping quickly became one of my favorite pastimes in Ukiah. Drive 10 minutes down to the lake, fight through poison oak and muddy rivers, lose a shoe or friend, and you arrive at Lake Mendocino's own 35-45 foot cliffs. Every summer would start and end at those cliffs, with me and my friends jumping all day and sometimes into the night. One time, I even went on a romantic canoe ride with my best friend Steve at 1 in the mourning on the darkest night of summer to jump off the cliff. However, with our routine trips to the cliff, the adrenaline rush that used to satisfy our addiction quickly faded and we needed to find other means of quenching our thirst for excitement and insanity.

Not wanting to neglect our new found friend (the cliff), we started increasing the difficulty of our jumps. The possibility of pain when we hit the water made jumping a lot more exciting and fun. We began throwing flips, gainers, cart-wheels, dives, and my signature cannonball off the 45 foot cliff. Those of us that could endure the pain of over-rotating a flip and landing on our face would cheer and heckle the rest into trying the same tricks that we ourselves were hurting from previous attempts. Even though these stunts all gave us the little extra intensity that we were looking for, we still needed something more daring. AND THAT'S WHEN WE DISCOVERED FIRE!

It isn't enough to jump from a 45 foot cliff knowing that you are about to hit the water and be in a ton of pain, but why jump at all if you aren't on fire? No one knows who was the first one to come up with this silly idea, but it did indeed change the way we looked at the world. Being towed behind a car in a wheelchair wasn't fun anymore, unless you were on fire being thrown down a boat ramp into water. Every balloon became a potential hydrogen bomb waiting to explode 30 feet in the air. Hotel swimming pools were perfect for extinguishing a body jumping off the balcony above. I started carrying 3 containers of lighter fluid with me everywhere in my car. The

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