#232 Throwing non-ball objects to people

Why walk?

Tossing something from a distance saves you an annoying six-second commute around the kitchen counter or picnic table. Since we humans have evolved the ability to suddenly hear someone scream “Heads up!” before turning into a set of keys flying at our face, it’s good practice to keep the skills fresh. If you’re catching, just remember to start with the basics and move your way up the chain:

Level 1: Apples and oranges. Fruit is a good place to start. If you drop an orange, no worries — it just rolls away, still juicy and delicious. And the apple dent is completely edible. Getting beaned in the forehead with a banana stem could leave a mark, but it’s a sign of of toughness. Next time you’re down at the roller skating rink with the guys just point at the bruise and nod.

Level 2: Keys. There’s a lot to hold onto so this is still the minor leagues of throwing and catching non-ball objects. Fingers stabbing through rings, jingly keys catching on wild fingers, no problem, no problem. Make sure you never underestimate the surprise aerodynamics from a mini-flashlight, garage door opener, or Koosh ball keychain, though. There’s no shame in using two hands.

Level 3: Phones and remotes. Phones and remote controls are the perfect size and weight for an across-the-room toss, but make sure you check what’s surrounding the waiting hands. Cushion-covered couches and shag carpet? Yes! Ceramic-tiled floors and sidewalks? Broken!

Level 4: Unopened cans of soda or bottles of beer. Pulling out that ice-cold can of soda from the bottom of the melted freezing water in the backyard cooler is a good start. Whipping it across the deck is a good finish. Yes, there is some Minor Explosion Risk, but when you’re in the big leagues you gotta toss Cokes and beer bottles or go home, sister. If you’re going to cry about it then go back to clementines.

Level 5: Eggs and water balloons. Company picnics, family reunions, and  summer camps are the height of tossing non-ball objects to people. Remember to keep taking a step back and taking a step back until someone ends up a wet salmonelly mess.

Yes, tossing non-ball objects to people is such a great high. It’s a brief second of air-sailing fun in the middle of your living room or backyard deck. You may even score acrobatic catches such as The Beer-Over-The-Campfire Grab, Upstairs-To-Downstairs Drop, or Reverse-Angle Cat Snag.

The important thing is to keep on throwing.

The important thing is to keep


The Book of (Even More) Awesome contains dozens of awesome things not on the blog. Read the first 20 pages here.

— Email message —

“When I was a kid I told my parents I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up. Flash forward a few years to where I’m an undergraduate student in psychology, and one of my courses is in a university research lab. Today, I was talking to one of the grad students and she mentioned that the way she describes her job to little kids is by telling them that she’s a scientist – since saying a “cognitive psychology researcher” would be too hard for them to understand. And that’s when it hit me I was on my way to becoming a “scientist” too. Knowing that your 6-year-old self would be proud of you for making your childhood dream come true is probably one of the most awesome feelings I’ve ever experienced!” – Tammy

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

81 thoughts on “#232 Throwing non-ball objects to people

  1. If it’s not connected via plug/cord, weighs less than 20ish pounds, and is not antique or glass, it’s totally game to be thrown! LOVE this!

    I also love the special shout-out to the beer-over-the-campfire situation … high risk, high reward. So awesome :)

    1. !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where have you been?? I’ve been worried. After those tornadoes hit we didn’t see any posts from you.

      1. Ahhh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to alarm anyone, honest! Yeah, the tornados were CRAZY in MO a couple weeks ago. Thankfully, the worst my town got was some wind damage. Other towns, definitely not so lucky. :( :(

        Thanks for the concern, you guys are the best EVER! <3

        1. We completely understand that one tends to get busy, but it was just bad timing all around- the storms and then we didn’t hear from you, we were worried. Glad you are ok

      1. Omg, I am totally feeling the love! And to explain my extreme bout of absence, I’m sad to report that I have no real excuse — other than to say that it was the last week of school and things just got SO busy! But it’s summer vacation now … so I’m back! :D

      1. Thanks! Things are good … I was actually out procuring a hippie van for our nationwide Awesome groupie tour ;D

            1. I know, right? Like in the morning, we’ll wake up and try to drive away in the tent! I wonder how far we’ll get before we notice…

  2. I just sighed because of the pure awesomeness of an upstairs to downstairs toss of a phone I accomplished the other day. Neil, you are truly awesome for understanding what is important, and the sheer level of awesomeness in life…thank you. This honestly made me happier today.

  3. I want a Koosh!

    (Althought, I have had the same small-body/big-head tiger plush toy on my keys for years now. I don’t think I’ll be replacing that until it disintergrates off the ring!)

  4. First, Kooshes still exist? Second, “salmonelly mess” had me in a fit of giggles that lasted long enough to wake everyone else in the house (granted, I’m crashing in a one-room cabin at the moment, but still…and while we’re on the topic of sleep, I’m just noticing that kids talking in their sleep is an awesome thing).

    1. In a cabin in CANADA??!! Or did you ever make it across the border?

      My fav line was “If you’re gonna cry about it, go back to clementines.”

      1. That was my favorite lines as well.. :)

        More importantly: Hunger Games, FTW!!

        I’m on vacay with the wife.. she’s already almost done the whole trilogy, and I’m about 20% through Catching Fire..


        LOVE IT!!!! It’s fantastic.. What’s going to happen to Catnip and Peeta and Gale??

        Thanks to those who recommended the series.. I’ll keep you posted on how much I love the rest of it as well.

        1. Totally love the Hunger Games triology! Proud mom moment when my daughter (13 at the time) declared Katniss and Lyra (The Golden Compass, etc.) as much more interesting than Bella from Twilight. Of course we loved the movies (team Jacob, btw), but Bella as a role model? Meh.

      2. Yes, turns out one of my friends has a cabin in Canada AND his kids have helped me take the nutellow to the next level…M&M-stuffed nutellow FTW!!!
        The clementine line was definitely a good one :)

          1. It is a marshmallow covered in Nutella and roasted over a fire if you wish, kinda like a smore, but I do bet it still tastes great without being held over a fire.

          2. After reading frequent posts on nutella, I keep eying up the jars in the grocery, but never work up the nerve to buy it. For the novice who’s not up to the nutella-covered-m&m-stuffed-marshmallow trick, how should I eat it? Do I spread it on toast? Crackers? What does it taste like? Is this one of those terribly unhealthy, sugary, fatty foods that I’ll later wish I hadn’t tried because then I love it and want it all the time? Are there already nutella directions spelled out in a previous post but I missed them?

            1. I usually eat it on toast in the morning, but sometimes when I really need chocolate, a heaping teaspoon of it all by itself hits the spot. No, it’s not healthy, but a little on toast isn’t a big deal. Do not fear the Nutella!

          1. It definitely throws off the balance of the nutellow. It takes some practice to figure out where the M&M goes in relation to the stick that you’re spearing the marshmallow on. But now I have Canadian Smarties, so I’ll have to try that instead of the M&M! I <3 Canada…

            1. I’m so glad you specified that it was CANADIAN Smarties … there have been some discrepancies about Smarties in the past. If I’d thought you put AMERICAN Smarties on your Nutellow, I’d have been really disturbed.

              Canadian Smarties (chocolate) > American Smarties (chalk).

              1. Ew. The thought of tarnishing the wonderous nutellow with American Smarties made me feel a little sick. They should really stop making those.

  5. Throwing stuff is so much better than actually getting up to hand it to someone.
    Back in high school I use to help my bff clean her house a lot (and even after school, she went back to her step-dad’s house and cleaned for some monies). We would always throw or toss stuff to each other to clean faster. The dishwasher was fun. Someone would stand at the cabinets and one at the dishwasher and we’d throw the cups, plates, pots, pans, forks, spoons, bowls….. it did go way faster and made it much more fun.

      1. Thanks, Bekah!

        I haven’t been checking in lately on vacay, so this was the first time I would’ve gotten it anyways.. :)

      2. Ahhhhh! Happy [belated] birthday, Freddo! I hope it was super-awesome; given that you’re on vacation, I’m thinking it was probably pretty great :D

  6. I’m suddenly really anxious to know what the Reverse-Angle Cat Snag is. Is this a cat-like grab, or are we throwing Fluffy across the room?

  7. As an unathletic person, catching a non-ball object someone throws to me is even more awesome. ;)

  8. #1.”Since we humans have evolved to suddenly hear someone scream, ‘Heads up'”, does not necessarily mean all humans understand what this means and people have been hurt by way of misunderstood shout-outs! I know people with scars to prove this!
    #4.Tone and facial expression highly important when shouting stuff like
    “Go home sister,” ya, somebody’s going to get hurt.
    Think about it… it’s very much like sarcasm, and we all know what the Greek root of this word means, “to tear flesh.”
    (not found on the salmonellie-heads web site.)
    Scars of mis-understanding’s can last forever people, so the next time you go to throw something, if I may just declare the “all things considerate and universally understood shout-out to be from here on in…

          1. along with throwing some words around, can come a surprise…Bruce Springsteen style…
            “Well, Surprise, surprise, surprise…Today is your birthday, you’ve travelled so far, blow out the candles on your cake, raise a glass or two, and when the sun comes out, it’s the start of a brand new day, and all that you have wished for, I know will come your way.”
            Last I heard you like ducks, so have a ducky day~ Freddo!

  9. Tammy, I would say, “You go girl,” but it might be misunderstood. haha.
    CONGRATULATIONS! What a feat and realization~ Illuminate!
    You have set your stage for an “Awesome-ever-after.”

  10. When I was about 12 years old, my dad once asked me to throw him his keys. To make things a little more interesting he was standing at the top of some stairs, when I was at the bottom. As I threw them he briefly stopped paying attention and turned his to talk to someone in the other room. As the keys sailed through the air, I was expecting them to come crashing down on the kitchen floor, but they ended up landing perfectly in my father’s open hand! That was a pretty AWESOME moment!

    1. In 8th grade, my science teacher would throw us Juicefuls if we got a question right. It was our small motivation to raise our hand and answer a question. I don’t remember anyone ever missing or dropping the candy.

  11. One of my favs! I’m sooo into any activity that minimizes effort. Tossing things instead of walking them over is great! I’ve thrown all manner of objects…heavy, awkward, difficult-to-toss items are especially great. Carrying too many things at once to avoid making more than one trip is another great way to minimize effort. Even if it means it’s likely that I will drop something and that something will crash, break, or spill, I don’t care…I can get it all in one trip!

  12. I’ve been following this countdown for a while and I see a lot of regulars. Did you guys all “meet” in the comment section? I’ve seen inside jokes and references to past conversations and it’s almost like you guys hang out on the weekends. I think the community that’s developed through this site is pretty awesome. =)

    1. Thanks, JT, I think it’s pretty awesome, too! And nope, we’ve never met. Unless those guys are having secret weekend camping trips to “Canada” or something that I don’t know about… Hmmm…Freddo is “on vacation”, Lara is “at a cabin”, Laura was totally AWOL for a week… Hey…! You guys…!

      1. We need to have an Awesome Community convention or something. Get everyone together with thier squares on a shirt and maybe serve some Nutellows (which I didn’t get to try this weekend cuz hubby forgot my marshmallows) but only be able to talk in quotes from Zoolander.

        1. jdurley, (note correct spellin’), I was thinking similar thoughts; then you and Bekah disappeared too and I was like… SAY WHAT?
          Ya, I’m old, but not too old to celebrate!
          Bekah, I laughed so hard to picture people wearing their squares.
          I’ll bring the Maxwell House!
          Seriously, my daughter called yesterday to say, “Mom, mom, I just saw Neil on television doing an Maxwell House coffee commercial!”
          It’s Awesome!

        2. I am so down for that! I’ve got all summer … so let me know! ;) ;) Though if it’s gonna be in Canada, I need to get a passport, eh?

          OBEY MY DOG!

      2. It is DEFINITELY awesome! You guys are so witty and fun. I love it. jdurley, we would never have a get together without you!!

    2. Ha! I totally agree.. I think the community here has been a lot of fun.. but no, we’ve never met.. but the group keeps growing, so why don’t you stick around and join us, JT? We’ll catch you up on all the inside jokes (ducks, *tick*, Nutellows, Heisenberg jokes, Team Jacobs abs, the whole deal.. :))

      But it is pretty funny – I’m often talking with my wife and will catch her up on the latest antics of jdurley, Laura, Lara, Bekah, Wendy and the whole gang, just like they’re old friends.. :)

      And don’t worry jdurley – no secret AWESOME meetings without you.. :)

      1. Hey, What about Andrew???
        I think there’s some really interesting junk on him!
        And I was thinking about crashing the world domination summit wearing the cards and how remarkable that would be, eh!

        1. I want to crash the World Domination Summit too! Too bad I’m leaving the west coast (where I have definitely not been having any secret meetings with any AWESOME commenters!) for boring old FL on Saturday :( But a convention does sound like a good idea, Bekah! Sorry you didn’t get to try nutellows.

          1. I still haven’t gotten to try them roasted over a fire, but I got desperate and was just dipping my marshmallows in the Nutella and eating them. YUM

      2. What an honor to be invited into such a community =D. I’m in, especially after the preview to some of those inside jokes. =p

        1. Your only requirement to become a “regular” is to provide airfare and lodging for the aforementioned individuals for said convention. We’ll bring your t-shirt and the nutellows. See you then! ;D Oh, and don’t forget to brush up on your Zoolander lingo.

  13. I think those Koosh balls should be an Awesome Thing. I loved those. I even had the matching racquets!

  14. Hi! After a full week of nonstop awesome, I have FINALLY have gotten to reading this post! Ahhhh, the satisfaction. This is, I believe, my first post.

    The highest my brother and I have ever gotten is Level 4. We tried a bunch of tricks, but chickened out on the upstairs-to-downstairs toss. Instead, we used an alternative pulley system, which really helped with cleaning up. In fact, I highly recommend it!

    …I want a nutellow…

    1. Back in the 60’s they called it “flower power”, now they call it “dope!” hahaha;)
      “Why walk?”
      Why not, if you can? Yes, “Our” little Noah has taken his first steps.
      If how he crawled has any bearing on how this comes to be, he’ll be running a marathon by next week.

  15. This post reminds me of when me and my friends had a water balloon fight and it went SPLAT all over me! :)

    After that we kept trying to pass it to each other and sometimes we missed, it was really fun.

    From Brooke S. and Madison C.

  16. I wish I had considered the surroundings when I tossed a bottle of water. Shattering the window in the china cabinet while my wife is at work = PANIC!!!1

    Thank god the glass company does quick work.

  17. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

Comments are closed.