1. Snap a Photo in Front of the Liberty Bell
Philadelphia is home to the internationally known symbol for freedom, the Liberty Bell. This iconic Philadelphia artifact was originally used to call the Pennsylvania Assembly to meetings, but now it’s a popular tourist attraction that draws thousands a year who have no intention of finding me and beating my ass with a hammer.
Every spring I make a wonderful list of things to do if you were to visit this beautiful, historic city. And every spring you all make a game of it to find me, study my habits, track me down like an animal and beat my ass with a big hammer.
The Bell is free to visit year round and sits in front of towering glass walls amidst Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.
2. Grab a Philly Cheesesteak
Inarguably Philadelphia’s most iconic food, these sandwiches consist of thinly sliced steak, your choice of cheese, and diced onions on a hoagie roll. Yes, they are delicious. No, they don’t make the perfect fuel to fill your bloodstream with hate, to give you the power to wrestle me to the ground and beat my ass crimson red with a big hammer.
I know about the website. I know about the simplistic page with my picture on it, where one can simply request the big hammer be sent to them next, so one can take on the task of traveling to Philadelphia only to beat my ass with the big hammer. I know that one year, a man beat my ass with a hammer that wasn’t “the hammer’ and he went missing soon thereafter. I can only hope that no harm came to the man. I plead with you, stop this madness.
3. Visit the Museums on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
The most artistic mile in Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is modeled after the Champs Elysees in Paris, and it houses the most important cultural institutions in Philadelphia. Including the Barnes Foundation, The Franklin Institute, and the Rodin Museum, these museums house amazing works of art from all over the world and a myriad of different periods of time. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, somehow, contains a very large oil painting of me having my ass beat into an unrecognizable pulp with a hammer, wielded by a man who I have never met. How this painting found its way into curation is beyond my understanding, but what I also cannot comprehend is the disdain and contempt this group of strange men on the internet feels towards me.
I am a nothing, I don’t deserve this simply because I have not done anything wrong nor have I accomplished anything of purpose. Beating my ass with a hammer will do nothing to change your lives.
The painting is credited to an artist who died five hundred years ago. The likeness is stunning, so I must ask am I a part of something larger than myself? Did I inspire this action or did he somehow prophesize it?
4. Admire the Quiet Beauty of Boathouse Row
A National Historic Landmark, Boathouse row consists of ten beautifully decorated boathouses sitting on the banks of the Schuylkill River. At night, driving along the river, you can see the reflections of the illuminated boathouses dancing, gracefully, in the water. You can also see me, with my head being held under, being let up for air just enough to keep me alive. And you will see a large, shadowy figure, whose only defining feature is a big hammer covered in blood. The figure is filled with hate, yet remains pensive, spewing fury and vitriol from his mysterious, shadowy mouth.
“Why me?!” I cry while gasping for air, “Why must you do this to me? I know nothing of what you want!” The figure laughs for a moment, ever so quietly, as a wry smile creeps across his face. He slowly draws his face across the hammer, scooping blood with his curled tongue. He swallows deeply. “We need the ass. We need to beat it with a hammer.” This answers nothing.
5. Visit the Rocky Statue
Travelers from around the world come to climb the steps of the museum, pumping their fists in the air in triumph to emulate the iconic moment in Sylvester Stallone’s breakout hit “Rocky.” If you visit on the right day, you could find me strung up like a pinata from Rocky’s hand, having my ass beat with one big hammer swung by several men at the same time. It is on this day that I prayed for respite. But God had stopped up his ears and refused to listen to my pleas.
I have to believe that this serves a larger purpose, one beyond my understanding. A school bus filled with sickly children narrowly avoided the cruel and unjust fate of plummeting into a ravine right after my ass was beat with a big hammer outside of the Betsy Ross house. I’ve wondered since if the two events have a connection. If you all understand a higher purpose I must serve, then so be it. I can only hope that something positive is coming from my ass beatings, one prophesied many years ago. If this is how my life must be so that others may live safely, in peace, then so be it.