I could watch Fail Army for hours. I love seeing the innocent everyday miscalculation, the outcome of plain foolish choices, and the awesome stunt gone wrong. Above all I love witnessing a show-boat eat it.

Fail Army is entertainment. It's a demonstration of practical Newtonian physics. It's a lesson in the antecedent - behavior - consequences of decision making. Plus, the kids love it. If you turn the volume down, Fail Army (but not the fail look-a-likes) is usually rated E for everyone.

I study Fail Army. Whatever that says about me is true. I don't exactly enjoy seeing people suffer pain or injury. So why do so many people find this fascinating?

Does everyone have such vivid recollection of the fails they personally witnessed? There may or may not have been a camera to document the event. But a good fail definitely sticks with you.

There was the time I raced my friend down the hill through my parents field. Jon ran full steam into an electric fence, folding his feet into his face, and I won the race. He called his mom to come pick him up.

My brother, barely a toddler, pulled my cousin in a small wagon. Ty began stumbling down hill, the wagon steamrolled him and progressed wildly until it crashed into an apple tree, ejecting Will into a back flip. There was the time Garrett missed a dunk and fell 10 feet with his body laid out horizontally, fracturing both of his wrists.

Of course I have PLENTY of my own in every fail category mentioned above. Just last year I lost a patch of hair to some tree bark while bashing my head in an attempted wall flip. More recently I slipped while shoveling dog poo, saving my cell phone from the wet grass but landing on my elbow, catapulting a half-dozen turds across my chest.

There was the time when I was hospitalized for three days after leaning over a firework that exploded millimeters above my left eye. There was my (pitching) loss to Jeannette (the worst team in the league), a broken toe on my first attempt at bench press, and passing out during my uncles wedding.

Fails are usually physically and emotionally painful. Where most of us don't learn the easy way, pain is the best teacher. There are no excuses, debate, or wondering. There's no room for textbook theorizing. You miscalculated or made a stupid decision. And it hurt. The next time you will make an adjustment.You will heed the council of others. You will reconsider the risk to benefit ratio of whatever it is that you're doing.

Fails can be horribly life altering, even fatal. But by Gods grace most people walk away from most fails. The only unpardonable fail is the one that we walk away from unchanged. I believe this is rare, and that most fails are redeemed in some way.

Tell me about your vivid memory of a fail.

Maybe knocked down but not out forever...
   -Toby Mac

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