12. The First Battle of Bull Run
Soooo much better than that Second Battle of Bull Run retread bullshit. And they ended the same way, too! Honestly, I wish you all you bushy-bearded Civil War generals would stop pandering to the public and give us an honest-to-God original bloodbath for once.
11. The Battle of Guadalcanal
This battle is the story of the movie The Thin Red Line, which I liked a lot and so did my mom. Once in a while, my mom and dad argue about whether or not they've seen this movie, but they did and they liked it. Well, at least, my mom liked it.
10. The Battle of Saratoga
Dude, I do NOT mean the turning point of the Revolutionary War. This one time, my buddy Kyle and I went up to Saratoga to visit our mutual bro at Skidmore and to hit the race track... anyway, we get a little too drunk watchin' the horsies and Kyle's talkin' to this girl whose like, hot but not, y'know, hot. Turns out this chick--Jessica or Tammy, or y'know, one of those names--this chick is the girlfriend of some guy who owns this horse who just won big. So this guy gets in Kyle's face, obviously, and he's all, "Why you up on my girl, bro?" and Kyle goes, "Why don't you go play with your horse, guy, 'cause she's my girl now," when all of a sudden, our bro Liam pulls out a freaking gun, man!!! I'm like WTF DUDE but he's not backin' down, 'cause see Liam had like, a really rough childhood, man, because his dad was in Panama or some shit and I guess he saw some stuff there that was pretty hard to deal with. Anyway, Liam cools off eventually, but not before Kyle punches that guy's horse. Yeah, man. THAT was the Battle of Saratoga.
9. John Battle (point guard, Atlanta Hawks/Cleveland Cavaliers)
It was a hard fight between John Battle and Kenny Battle (who played for the Suns). Ultimately, even though I had Kenny's rookie card, John played ten seasons to Kenny's five. Plus his Wikipedia page is longer.
8. The Battle of the Bulge
But not the WWII battle... I'm talking tummies! Let me tell you about my new diet, ladies. It's a DIET diet! Because I'm always hungry and I can't lose the weight. It's like I'm allergic to being skinny. Am I right, ladies? I tried to fit into my size 2 jeans from high-school the other day. It didn't work! How's this for irony--I wouldn't have a problem fitting a man into my schedule, but I can't find one, but the jeans I found from high-school don't fit me! You know what I'm talking about, ladies!
7. Thinly veiled homophobia vs. Thinly veiled homophobe
Okay, to be totally honest, this entry was the entire reason for the list. Some awful-looking high school kids were on the subway playing would you rather and all their questions were so brain-breakingly terrible (Eg. "Okay, okay... I got one... wait, wait... I got one... would you rather... have sex with Mr. Shermer every day for the rest of high school... OR... or, or, or... wait! I'm still going! GOD, Tommy... every friggin' day... I'm just trying to would-you-rather and you gotta interrupt me! What the frig! No, I will NOT calm down, Thomas. I will NOT. WHAT?! I can't even believe you would say that? I most certainly totally do not think Mr. Shermer is hot... that is such BS. Tommy, I work super hard for my grades, way more hard than you do, even though you don't have to work hard because your mom is the head of the PTA, and I can't even believe that you would insinuate that my five straight quarters of Second or First Honors are the result of a... a... what did you call it... a hand-whatever during my second period study hall. You make me sick, Tommy Greenspan. What? Oh, my would-you-rather... um... I forgot.) that I had to come up with my own. So, America, which is worse? Thinly veiled homophobia or a thinly veiled homophobe?
6. The battle with the bottle
I hear this phrase a lot in lieu of "crippling alcoholism"--which, it should be noted, did NOT appear on my previous list. I think media-types have this weird impression that if they gussy up pervasive health concerns with consonance, people will just drink it up. (Ooh, too soon on that one.) I mean, if there was an alopecia outbreak, I guarantee you every single TV news magazine would run the story as "Hair Scare!" It also reminds me of that one Nickelback song. Wait. Why are these good reasons for this item to be on my list?
6A. AKA The Real Number 6 AKA The Real Killers AKA Leaked New Killers Album!!! AKA Maybe Now We'll Get Some Hits AKA The Battle Between Me and Rob Over Me Not Including Merkin Muffley on My List of the Top 16 Fictional Presidents
Yeah. I didn't include him. It's true. I didn't have anything funny to say. It's like, "Oh, there's Van Gogh's Starry Night, why don't I just say something beautiful and post-impressionistic about it." You can't just be funny when you're talking about something that's actually really funny. I'd sound dumb. And... although dumb people... can be funny... they shouldn't. Because this is the internet. And there are higher standards here.
5. Wonderwall vs. Boulevard of Broken Dreams (also feat. Travis and Eminem (feat. Aerosmith))
It is no secret that I am a fan of mash-ups. For a while, Becky Abrams called me "Mash-Up". This was shortly before or after the time period in which Ms. Abrams called me "Departed". Anyway, this is probably the greatest mash-up ever conceived and it was introduced to me by one Ms. Caitlin Shure. It features a seamless marriage of Oasis' seminal 90s classic "Wonderwall" and Green Day's seminal Oasis rip-off/homage (or ripomage), "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". BUT THAT'S NOT ALL. It also throws in a snippet of Travis' "Writing to Reach You" as a bridge and wraps everything up with that Eminem song that samples Aerosmith's "Dream On". META-MASHUP! Girl Talk, eat your heart out! And then it ends with the sound of a nuclear blast. It's like Batman and the guy in Dark Knight who pretends to be Batman had a baby, and then that baby got raised by Jesus and Mohammed, except Mohammed actually speaks with God's voice, which is, in fact, also Jesus' voice.
FIFTH. BEST. BATTLE. EVER.
4. Battles (the band)
Have you heard the song "Atlas"? It is great. It is actually the only Battles song I listen to over and over, especially when I'm running, which I do a lot, because I am very fit. (Although I didn't run this morning, even though I told Tom there was a really good chance I would.) Anyway, this is a great band, but you shouldn't get them confused with Beatles, which is something different.
ROBOTS FIGHTING. A gift from high-concept heaven. They even had failed Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sean Salisbury on to do color commentary! Ah, what a perfect portrait of late 90's American prosperity. "Well, hot damn! We've got a budget surplus, no active military engagement, and gas is like, a nickel for a shitload. Let's build us some robots and make 'em fight! Hey, maybe we should do the Macarena while we build and get our hair cut in the Rachel fashion, as popularized by the 90s TV show Friends!"
Basically, Battlebots were cock-fights for the information age. Except no one does battle with bots anymore in 2008. And I'm pretty sure cock-fighting is still a huge problem in Louisiana.
2. "The Battle of Who Could Care Less"
The first single from Whatever and Ever Amen, the second album from Ben Folds Five. Though it is most certainly a different song than Brick, the better-known, higher-charting second single from that self-same album, The Battle of Who Could Care Less is certainly a battle, and therefore, it belongs on this list. Also, in this song, Folds namedrops Rockford Files, The Cure, and made up military personages Major Boredom and General Apathy... which is sort of a time-traveling reference to a great gag on How I Met Your Mother?
1. The Butter Battle Book
The moral of the Butter Battle (and, I suppose, its eponymously titled book) is that you shouldn't make a nuclear war over toast. I don't really like toast, so I totally agree. After reading this book, I never, ever made a nuclear war again--toast-provoked or otherwise. However, when I was just a kid (and had yet to read The Butter Battle Book) I was all the times making nuclear war on just about anyone who would listen... the old Polish lady next door, my puppets, Yuri Andropov. Anyone. But I'm all better now!