Despite my somewhat cynical exterior, at heart I have always been an optimist (tempered by a liberal dosage of pragmatism). Furthermore, I have always considered myself a quick study and taken great pride in my ability to quickly size up a situation. These traits have been evident in my behavior since I was a young boy, a young husky boy, a young husky boy with a lusty addiction to cheese doodles.
I’ve always had a penchant for hanging out with society described “trouble-making hooligans” with too much time on their hands. Call me old fashion, but it was just plain fun. One such hooligan was named Eric. We had adjacent backyards which made for a perfect arena for mud pie wars, digging holes to china, setting the Gobots we received from santa instead of transformers ablaze and typical youthful deviance…
One day in 1982, Eric and I were hanging out on our porch listening to Thriller on my boombox discussing how to score some bottle rockets, you know, typical kid stuff. So anyways, my mom pulls up with groceries in tow. Being the good mom that she is, she kicks over a bag of Jax Cheese Curls. Unfortunately, they were intercepted mid-flight by Eric who insisted on playing a game of cat and mouse.
Now if we were only taking into account individual speed factor alone, the smart money would have been on Eric. However, separating a fat kid from his cheetos is not unlike parting momma bear from her favorite cub. I quickly grabbed my mothers hand held gardening spade and ensued pursuit on foot. Eventually the chase led to a very cartoon-esque, route around the large (but low) bush in my parent’s front yard. Eric kept perfect pace keeping and exact 180 degree equidistance between us for several laps. Once I got a bead on him, I let that shovel fly with everyone ounce of rage I could muster, clocking him square in the back of the cabeza and flooring him in the process. I nonchalantly walked over, picked up my cheese curls and went back to the porch just in time to catch the end of PYT.
The Moral of the Story? Life is nothing more than an educational experience, nay, an educational journey through which each individual is charged with learning their strengths and how to leverage them to overcome challenges. When in doubt, use a shovel.