Olympic achievement, not collective national superiority
As the Olympics start to wind down, I’m getting more and more peeved about comments in the press about “losing” athletes, how they have “blown it,” and how “disappointing [it is] to America.” Also, the press keeps close track of the “medal count,” i.e., which nation is winning more medals.
Olympic competition consists of individual performances either in isolation or coordinated with other individual performances. Kobe needs his teammates, but without Kobe, the basketball results wouldn’t be as good. With the same teammates, I wouldn’t score any goals. These individual athletes started out mostly with an advantage, a gift from God of bodies and abilities in many respects far above average. No matter how hard I train, I will not be an Olympic anything, nor will nearly anyone else who reads this. BUT - these individual athletes ALSO worked their asses off to develop these skills. Had they not done so, they would be remembered as the kid from high school who was pretty good in sports and who is now selling insurance.
Are they doing this for some sort of national pride? Well, I don’t know. ASK THEM. As far as me being “disappointed” when they don’t come in first, they can quit worrying. Who am I to be disappointed? I don’t recall getting out of bed at 5 AM six days a week and training with any of them for 8 hours a day before going with them and working a full time job. I’d remember something like that. The medal winners are “just” the “elitist” of the people who have already proved themselves to be the elite of the elite.
Being the 10th fastest or strongest out of a population of 6 billion may not win a gold medal, but it’s certainly a gigantic win.
Quick Triumph in Obscure Contest
Three or four posts ago, I posited a quick contest to identify the automobile license number of Patrick McGoohan’s character in a short-lived TV series in which Leo McKern had a recurring role. Obviously, this was a pretty obscure and quirky contest. The prize was a decent paperback edition of Riders of the Purple Sage. Within hours of the post, Preacher Joel responded correctly that the series was the cult classic The Prisoner, and the license number was KAR 120 C, which figures prominently in one episode. However, he eschewed the book, preferring a Kindle version, so this scribe sent him the cost of one. (There’s no way I can figure to order something on Amazon for somebody else’s Kindle.) The paper book will go back into the bottomless bookshelf to await a future opportunity.
Handy business tip for drug dealers
If you plan to do continuing drug business on the main street of Fairmont, some care is required. If you see a rather shabbily dressed fellow in a Hawaiian shirt poking up the street towards the café, you may be looking at a drug seeking bum who will willingly part with $20 for a rock. On the other hand, he could be a lawyer (1) who doesn’t have early court, who has been at the office since before sunrise and who hasn’t changed yet, (2) who really, really thinks dealers are pimples on the ass of algae and (3) who knows the drug guys’ private phone number off the top of his head. If he is of the latter persuasion, you may suffer a sudden business reversal.
I’m struck by all the people (mostly wannabe he-men who have been to too many movies) who have Chinese or Japanese ideograms tattooed on their necks. I doubt very much whether they have verified from any reliable source what those tattoos mean in that language. I assume that they are depending on the tattooist, who may or may not know him/herself. There may be some risk here. What if someone with a slight knowledge of Asian languages and a warped sense of humor wants to mess with cocky but ignorant Americans? Perhaps they might furnish characters meaning “Hey, idiot, I’m going to rape your sister.” I’m thinking that in some parts of the world, that would get you a few rice bowls worth of whup-ass.
Generally, there is a run on “mysterious” foreign symbols: ankhs, Celtic stuff, Indian symbols, runes, even things from fantasy “lit.” Why? Does anyone think that wearing those symbols means that the wearer has any information at all about the culture from which the symbol comes? Or does the wearer believe that some sort of magic will protect them or given them magical powers or impress someone as if they’re wearing a wizard’s outfit? It just seems stupid.
Well, I’ll mostly leave the subject of tattoos alone. When I get around to it, I plan to get a couple of small ones, because quite frankly there’s not a whole lot I could do to mar my appearance. When you arrive at my age, appearance is a little less important. In some respects, at all ages we go overboard with it. I remember when I was 13 having a truck run over me and give me a real large laceration on my leg. I asked the old doc who was sewing me up if there would be a scar, and he said, “Hell, boy, you ain’t gonna be dancin’ with the Rockettes, what do you care, it’s just something that happens to guys.” But if you are a female of any age or a male in your prime, I certainly recommend against the tattoo. Years later, when working EMS, I picked up a guy with a very similar injury and told him that story. He calmed right down.
Chief heretic stays stealthy
I was (as much as it’s possible for me to be) silent at a church planning type meeting last night. I was asked about the urgency of removing a tree that we believe is dangerous, and the circumstances appear to dictate that it needs to come down soon. Unspoken, though, was a real worry. There are my friends the squirrels living in that tree. Oh, I know, they have time to find other “housing.” But I honestly worry about them.
You know it’s a small town when . . .
. . . you ask for a phone number and you only get the last 4 digits.