5 Real People That Sound Like Fictional Badasses
Reality is boring. Fiction is better. In fiction we have larger-than-life characters -- sultry bounty hunters, hotshot test drivers, motherfuckin' beastmasters -- while in reality, we have Gary from accounting, who loudly goes, "Ahhh!" after every single sip of his coffee. The utter bastard. But, every once in a while, reality takes a hint from fiction and replaces our Garys with real-life badasses like ...
Lamborghini Test Driver Max Venturi
Look at that guy: If he walked into a bar, you would jokingly turn to your friends and say, "He's probably named Max Venturi and test drives Lamborghinis." And you would get a laugh, because it nails down the ridiculously unreasonable standards that guy is setting for himself. It looks like he learned what "cool" was from a 1980s movie about fighter pilots. But then you'd go talk to him, and he would introduce himself as ... Max Venturi, official test driver for Lamborghini.
That is his reality.
That's not a real name. And that's not a real thing to be. It can't be real, right? That's what I told my eighth-grade girlfriend I wanted to be when I grew up, and she laughed me straight out of the food court. And yet, not only is a Lamborghini test-driving motherfucker named Max Venturi a real person -- he looks exactly like you'd expect. Reality didn't get ironic on Max Venturi. It didn't make him fat, or bald, or covered in hideous moles. He looks like a model in a '60s ad for cigarettes. His father was a race car driver in the '70s, so he's a legacy badass, and now Max Venturi (you have to say his entire name every time; it's like a basic law of reality) test drives prototypes of the sexiest, most ludicrously unsafe cars ever made.
Sure, Lamborghinis look like Transformer pornography and retail for the cost of a person's life -- a good person, too, not some shitty Internet comedian or something -- but they burst into flames if you so much as pronounce "espresso" wrong. Max Venturi laughs in the face of danger and then bangs danger's wife, and danger isn't even all that mad about it afterward, because Max Venturi was on her list of exceptions.
Zora, Amazon Bounty Huntress
In comic books, every woman is an Amazonian supermodel that is an expert in three things: yoga, karate, and justice. This sets an impossible standard for real women, who don't usually hunt criminals that the law can't stop while striking masturbatory poses for pre-teen boys. But nobody told Zora that. Here's an interviewer from This American Life describing the woman:
I notice this Amazon of a woman with huge blond and red-streaked hair and frosty lips, wearing a short red tank dress and at least 50 bracelets. She's six feet tall and showing a lot of leg. ... One is this big circle with blue and white swirls in it, kind of like a bowling ball, on her left shoulder. ... Turns out the tattoo is a magic globe she holds in her dreams. And in these dreams, it gives her superpowers.
Zora was a bounty hunter, a bail bonds enforcer, and is now a private investigator that specializes in child abductions and neo-Nazi/occult/ritualistic cases. She drives a red Mustang with gargantuan hand cannons hidden throughout, for easy access. She drinks hard, hits up male strip clubs, wakes up hungover at noon, takes down a bail-hopping neo-Nazi at 2, and hits the bars again at 4.
She doesn't admit to having actual tattoo-based superpowers, but she says the globe from her dreams inspired her to be the most ridiculous badass she could be. This American Life might be exaggerating some things about Zora, or maybe she's exaggerating some things about herself, or maybe -- and frankly far more likely -- she's just trying to protect her secret identity from The Aryan Brotherhood of Satan's chief enforcer, The White Devil.
Werner Freund Dominates A Wolf Army
You do not want to fuck with Werner Freund.
Sure, he's a former military man, and sure, he's got the kind of name that sounds like the alter-ego of a Captain America villain, but that's not why you don't want to mess with him. You don't want to mess with him because he's a goddamn beastmaster.
Yes, that is again apparently a viable career path, and hey, suuuper big thanks to my high school guidance counselor Mr. Mulhanney for telling me to go to college instead, like some kind of chump. Freund runs a massive wildlife sanctuary for wolves in the German province of Saarland, which even sounds like a place where beastmasters live.
But I would not be discussing Werner Freund if he was just some animal-loving hippie. Werner considers himself the packmaster and asserts his dominance over the wolves by feeding them raw meat from his own mouth. This teaches them that he is the alpha, and no doubt crushes them psychologically so they won't question his orders when he marches his lupine army on the world that scorned him. Or, in Werner's own words: "To earn their respect, one must become a wolf. And that is what I am to them -- their leader."
You don't even have to append a ransom demand to that speech. It's just implied.
Valentin Grimaldo Is A Snake Doctor (But Not The Way You're Thinking)
Quick: What do you do in case of a snake bite?
Did you answer "suck the venom out"? That's actually incorrect, and in some cases can even make the problem worse. Did you answer "immediately seek professional medical help"? That's more correct, but not entirely correct. No, the entirely correct answer is: Fuck that snake's shit up so hard that even people with scaly skin will flinch.
Valentin Grimaldo was bitten by a coral snake -- a highly venomous species -- and he didn't do some pansy shit like call an ambulance or die politely. He grabbed the snake, bit off its head, skinned it, and used the skin as a fucking tourniquet while he flagged down a car for a ride to the ER.
See, that's how you deal with an unprovoked attack by mother nature: You don't cry or whine or lament your fate. You decapitate your fate and then use its mutilated body as a medical device.
Adolphe Sax Was A Highlander
Depending on your perspective, Adolphe Sax was either the luckiest or the unluckiest kid on Earth. Not dependent on your perspective: Adolphe Sax was almost certainly a Highlander. Albeit a clumsy one.
When he was just a kid he fell off a three-story building and bashed his head on a rock. He made a full recovery. When he was 3 years old, he drank a bowl of poison and swallowed a needle. He made a full recovery. He also survived a serious gunpowder explosion and made, you guessed it, a full recovery. Later he would live through another poisoning, as well as suffocation by fumes in his own home. Then, just for kicks, he bashed his head in on another rock and nearly drowned in a river.
At what point do you stop Sax in the middle of his autobiography to politely accuse him of witchcraft? Sometime after the second "head bashed in on a rock" anecdote you've got to sit him down and have the heart-to-heart where you explain that you know what the Quickening is and he doesn't have to lie to you anymore.
Adolphe died so goddamn hard and so goddamn often that his neighbors took to calling him "the little ghost."
Oh yeah, and he invented the saxophone.
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