We can really only be experts at a couple of things in our entire lives. There is simply not enough time to grow unbelievably skilled and knowledgeable at several things.
So it's wildly exciting when, by coincidence, a person happens to challenge you on the very thing you are an expert at.
Often, the expertise arises as a career path is chosen and pursued.
But there is another universe of expertise: hobbies. In a recent Reddit thread, this was the primary type of example.
Video games, sports, and cooking are all prime areas for calling on a trove of expertise to dole out a sudden trouncing.
The moment begins with a challenge. Someone sees a place to compete and assumes an equal playing field. But unbeknownst to them, this is no equal match.
The other combatant carries a silent confidence, an inner calm that should need only seconds to deflate the challenger.
Pizza: a Bizarre, Constant Source of Competition
"A neighbor on my block in Brooklyn challenged me to a pizza bake-off. I recently catered pizza for my daughters school and word got around the neighborhood my pizza was pretty darn good."
"My first thought was, 'This guy is a Brooklyn native, my pizza will be shite compared to his!' But there was something about him bragging that I couldn't resist the challenge."
"He talked up how pizza was in his blood, how his dad ran the pizza place around the corner years ago. I remained silent and let my skills answer for themselves. We even had total strangers try our pizzas."
"Every last person chose my pizza over his."
"I never mentioned to him that I've worked in pizza places almost every day for the last thirty years. I never mentioned that when I'm not working at a pizza place I'm making pizzas at home at least once every two days."
"I never mentioned that at nine years old I knew that I wanted to be a pizza man. Here I am 45 and getting ready to start my own pizza business."
Something to Brag About?
"My office announced a laser tag team-building event, two weeks after I played in the laser tag (Ultrazone) national championships. Which were an actual thing in 1997." -- Fluxxed0
"This dude I went to high school with (I'm 30 now) makes almost weekly Facebook posts showing his laser tag scores and boasting about still being the champ. I just imagine him smashing 8-year-olds relentlessly." -- VinnyinJP
Of the Older Generation
"When working as a teacher I beat a lot of students in Pokémon battles, cause they didn't think of me being like 15 years ahead of them in fighting experience. Noobs." -- Amegami
"My nephew challenged me to Super Smash Bros Ultimate once. Once." -- maleorderbride
"This is how I trounce my younger siblings at Smash Bros(every game really)."
"F*cking teenagers, think they're hot shit, no way their old-ass big bro is gonna beat them this time. I HAVE BEEN PLAYING SINCE YOU WERE A BABY!"
"Oh you got a new game, cool, I played something a lot like it on a Play Station with potato graphics. Get wrecked." -- BlackWalrusYeets
What a Stupid Bet
"Someone at a bar bet me there were only 30 days in a particular month. $20 if I could prove them wrong right then (pre-cellphone days). I was born on the 31st of that month, showed them my drivers license."
A Historical Shellacking
"My uncle challenged Jack Nicklaus to a golf game in college, without a clue. The humiliation burns him to this day." -- MC_Glamour
"I had a crush on a girl in high school. Asked her out on the typical first date for teenagers in my small hometown, bowling. I GOT MY A** HANDED TO ME."
"Completely unbeknownst to me, she had been playing in a league of some type since she was 6 years old and her dad had been a touring pro in the '80s. She was probably the best, if not top 3 bowlers in her age bracket in the state."
"My favorite part about the whole thing was that she played it off completely straight-faced the entire date and didn't explain anything until the 3rd almost perfect game she bowled." -- Ah_Fiddle-sticks
More Grateful than Proud
"I was a competitive swimmer for 14 years, including 4 years of NCAA, but I'm on the shorter side so people don't assume I was any good."
"Was at a friends house on a lake one summer, and a macho guy challenged me to race to a buoy in the middle of the lake, to prove... something, I guess."
"The lake is deceptively large, about a half mile across, so I warned him that if he isn't a strong swimmer it could be dangerous. He was running out of gas after about 2 minutes, so I offered to let him off the hook, but he insisted he would finish."
"I went to the buoy and was swimming back when I found him floundering, so I lifeguard swam him back to the house. His ego took a deserved hit that day."
Robbing the Collections Basket
"While not a pro, I'm pretty darn good at poker. The church I was at had a Poker night and I was just going to watch. They insisted I join the 25 cent game."
"Came home with $200 and they decided to never have a poker night again."
"A local mall had a portable climbing wall with a 'make it to the top and win $100' side. The route was actually pretty challenging. As I walked by the guy asked me if I'd like to try: 'Nobody has made it to the top, you think you can do it buddy.'"
"At the time I was ranked top 12 climber in my age group and kind of laughed to myself."
"After taking my $100 I then proceeded to call the rest of my climbing team and one by one they went to the mall and claimed their $100."
"After the 4th person they guy got suspicious and took the sign down."
Hiding in Plain Sight
"So I'm actually pretty tall and I've played my whole life. In my twenties I was a pretty goofy stoner. I would show up to competitive opens gyms all over my cities and with my long hair and tall skinny body usually get picked last or near last."
"Well I can dribble, dunk, shoot threes and I'm 6'5". I was always asked back and never picked last when I went back."
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk him about it.