Imagine what I might made of my life if only I had been given a decent pair of curling shoes as a child. That I’ve been able to get this far without such footwear illustrates my ability to overcome obstacles, on and off the ice. I’m not saying it’s the equivalent of Pele having to kick around a rolled up sock filled with rags instead of a proper soccer ball during his childhood, but it’s pretty close. Both of us had to play the cards we were dealt, and both learned to overcome the deficits we were saddled with.
So, sure, Pele and I are alike. He has often noted, in his own blog, that we’re kindred spirits. Nice guy. But here’s one way we’re actually not alike: he’s never won the famous Corn Hole tournament on my street. And I have. As a rookie. With very little training and while drinking beer.
I don’t want to claim that he hasn’t won because he’s focused solely on his footwork, which gets you only so far in Corn Hole, but let’s just say that I kept my footwork to a minimum, and I won. And he didn’t.
Not so long ago, I declared publicly via soapbox rantings in the town square that I would no longer plan mid-winter vacations. Too unreliable, I announced to the gathering throngs, what with the vagaries of the weather.
I was soon pressed for details. All midwinter vacations? Does that count Christmas in New York? The skepticism was palpable (fueled by the fake news media). People began to get restless. Worried that I might be pelted by rotten tomatoes, I lifted my bullhorn and clarified, as the crowds around me swelled: specifically, I would no longer plan trips to warm, beachfront destinations between winter solstice and spring equinox. After some inelegant bursts of skeptical laughter and a couple of outright guffaws from the rather large audience (“hasn’t he been to, like, Turks and Caicos?”), I explained further: winter escapes involve planes, which are notorious for failing to liftoff during snow storms. I had once been foiled by just such a scenario, confounding an otherwise perfect scheme to repair to the Big Island of Hawaii in the middle of February. Plus, what if it’s cool and cloudy during your whole beachfront trip, which happened one winter vacation in allegedly sunny Florida? No, I’m sorry, never again!
The multitudes now sat peacefully and hung intently on my every word, as I explained how this year I had planned a vacation to a winter destination instead. Weather would be no match for our four-wheel drive vehicle. There were cheers. Bring on the snow! Bring on the cold!
That’s not snow
Or, bring on the rain and fog. Maybe you’ve never skied in rain and fog, but you’ve driven in it and understand: since you can’t see what’s right in front of you, you’re forced to travel super slowly. Travelling really slowly is not why people ski. And it’s also not so fun to ski when you’re wet.
I would insert here an apropos rant about climate change, but who wants to hear a rant about global warming by a person lamenting the loss of his white-person leisure activity? Better to lament the suffering of many impoverished people the world over whose low-lying shacks will be destroyed by the rising tides.
Looking to hear from an impoverished resident of a low-lying country who blogs about climate change from his/her shack.
In the future, we’ll all own bomb-proof pods that we can move about the landscape in. The pods will be made of material designed to be invisible, but over time dings and dents and street goo will accumulate on their surfaces, and the shell encasing each of us will become apparent. It will also become apparent when we go to hug each other and end up colliding before we get close enough, ricocheting off one another like bumper cars, and falling on our asses.
Yes, it will be difficult to ride a bike, but this is the price you pay to be in a protective, impenetrable pod. And at the end of the day, you can enter your garage and park your bomb-proof pod, go inside your bullet-proof house with its not-quite-invisible protective geodesic dome, exchange a few hugs, shower up and hit the sack! When you leave again the following day, it’s back into the pod.
As my friend Mark likes to say, “That’s Freedom.”
The pods will be heavily-used by school children, who must never venture out without a protective shell, needless to say. There are many dangers out there, and our spineless leaders would like to help but they have a long list of moments of silence to attend to before they can eliminate dangers. It’s one of the oddities about being a leader.
Keep in mind that these pods are on back order for a couple of decades.
If I were a genius, my aim would be to be very stable, as those are the kind of geniuses that my data tell me are in short supply these days.
Unstable geniuses? They’re everywhere. You can’t walk down a country lane without encountering an unstable genius. You find them encamped in the local greasy spoon in West Podunk, VT, seemingly normal until you sit down beside them and order poached eggs over corned beef hash, whereupon they start ranting about string theory and shake you down for your opinion of it. But the only theory you have related to string involves cheese, your theory being that string cheese is actually not cheese, but almost-edible plastic.
Watch out, because your average unstable genius will get ticked off when s/he attempts to explain the nature of matter, the relationship between particles, and the origins of our universe, only to be confounded by your mind-numbing references to a dairy product.
If I represented you in the court of public opinion, I’d say, “Look, where is my client, the average dunce, supposed to have heard about string theory anyway, in the fake science books?” And then I’d make references to your coming to this country via chain migration from some shithole, which will tick off your long-form birth certificate-wielding American mother.
As I write this, I realize that while I’m not, personally, a genius, I nevertheless am becoming more and more unstable by the minute.
Heading back to my own personal shithole to see if my long-form Canadian citizenship documents are in good working order.