Once, on a trip to the beach with a girlfriend, I watched her disappear under one of the biggest waves I've ever seen before it pounded her into the sand and stripped off the top half of her bathing suit. Concussed and embarrassed, she staggered to shore where I was clapping and whistling to keep her oriented toward safe ground. As soon as I knew that she was going to live, I didn't even bother to wait the full half hour after applying sunscreen, I dove headfirst into the frothy surf and I fought it. I fought the the notoriously lusty Pacific Ocean for disgracing her. I flurry punched and round-housed and screamed into those waves until the sea relented and she was avenged. It wasn't pretty, the aftermath I mean, I was beautiful.
"You should put some ice on that before it swells. Ha, SWELLS. I am the best."
I mention all of this to assure you that everything I'm about to say comes from the lips and the fingers of a genuine hero. It's only natural for someone like you to feel envy after witnessing a stranger pull a pet clear of a burning inferno, or pluck a blue-lipped child from a frozen pond or, say, attack an ocean in the name of honor. You want to know how you can be more courageous in your everyday life, and while heroes are obliged to say, "I was just doing what anyone else would have done in the same situation" I hope it's clear, we don't actually mean that. Everyone who stands and watches an emergency instead of helping is cowardly proof that not all people are cut from the same cloth. So before you try your hand at heroism, ask yourself these questions to determine if you're really up to the task.
Why Do You Want to Be a Hero?
Obviously the best part of being a hero is that everyone showers you with gifts and the opportunity to see them naked, right? With the lights on and everything? Wrong. Dead wrong. A true hero doesn't save lives for material or sexual gains, a hero does heroic deeds only because they satisfy within his heart a deep and profound yearning to help his fellow man while other people are looking. Heroism is about renown and anyone acting bravely for any other reason is cheapening the experience.
How Many People Do You Have to Save or Protect Before You Can Call Yourself a Hero?
Trick question. Heroes don't do math, they Heimlich pretty ladies in restaurants back to life. If you want to waste your time with a bunch of addition and square rooting, you're probably confusing being a hero with being a Trigonometry teacher.
Have You Ever Been Petrified With Fear?
If you answered yes, good. Even heroes get scared sometimes, especially around blood or old people. That's completely normal. Anyone who says they've never been scared stiff is lying and liars don't make good heroes. Unless maybe they're in some kind of situation where they have to lie really convincingly to save a raft full of kids headed for a waterfall or something. I can't think of how that scenario would play out but I don't want to discount it completely. That reminds me, heroes should be able to swim.
What Does a Hero Look Like?
Heroes look just like everyone else. They can be any man, woman, child, even a Canadian. The only difference is that they act when no one else knows what to do. Also, and this is crucial, they have to be wearing one of these charming and breathable T-shirts available through our new Cracked Dispensary. That's the only way. Those are just the rules.
Wait, Was This Whole Article a Thinly Veiled Advertisement for Cracked's New T-Shirt Line?
No, if anything it was thickly veiled. But can't clothing count as heroism, too? Do we know for sure that you can't use a T-shirt to rescue a family in a submerged car? Or rescue a person committed to an insane asylum even though they aren't really crazy but they found out the truth about an embezzlement scheme and the corruption goes all the way to the president goddamnit? No we don't, and we will never know until someone has the courage to think it's possible. After all, isn't believing in the impossible at the heart of all heroic acts?
Good Point, How Much Are the Shirts?
What did I just say about math? Just give us money and we'll send you one, Jesus. But remember, with a great shirt comes great responsibility. To prove your heroism, we hope you'll send us photos of you conspicuously making the world better while wearing it, even if that means elaborately staging it. We will feature the photos in the Cracked Dispensary and our favorite will win $100 plus any shirt of your choosing. I lobbied hard for us to also include an intimate couples cruise with Editor in Chief, Jack O'Brien but he doesn't swim and is too proud to be rescued so no dice, monetary and fabric incentives will have to do. You can submit your photos in this forum thread.
Now you may be thinking, "Huh, only four shirts. Your catalog sure is tiny." To which I say, "No it's not, it's perfectly average. All the other T-shirt stores you've seen on the Internet have given you an unreal expectation for size and girth." Plus, our store will continue to grow and we'll be adding more T-shirts and products all the time, because heroism doesn't sleep.
So wear one of our shirts and save a life. We want you inside us!
What? What's weird about that?
Special thanks to Rich Dorato for consistently being at the right place at the right time to capture all these genuine moments of valor on camera.