Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Better Than Awesome moments!
Once in a while I like to think back to those moments where I gained a temporary or passing victory of some kind, but which has since, gained a signifigance far beyond the implications of the actual event. On other words, life's greatest moments. Here's a sampling.
This year: I was sitting in Chicago's O'Hare airport, waiting out a 2.5 hour layover. It was during the lunch hour, so I had plenty of time to burn off by sitting down and having lunch somewhere. I selected one of the ubiquitious restaurants that seem to breed in airports these days (I think it was called "Chili's" or something like that). I ordered a lunch from the menu and a beer. The waitress asked me for some ID before she would bring me my beer. I'm 47 years old, and I was "carded". That was the best beer I ever tasted.
Flash back to High School (grade 10 I believe). I don't know how many people have a personal tormentor in school, but I'd suspect it's probably more common than the "High school is the best time of your life" set would admit to. Mine was a gap-toothed little troglodite with a permenent scowl who, before I even knew who the heck he was, started calling me the word to suggest my sexual preferences lay within my common gender. Now please understand, when I went to High School, suggestions of homosexuality were the worst kind of epithet. While it wasn't true in my case, I found out that I had to endure regular snide comments by this little troll who apparently just didn't like my looks (for this I also gained somewhat of an appreciation for the torment that gays and lesbians have had to deal with over the years....not a total appreciation, mind you , but this little sampling was sickening enough for me). I wasn't a kid prone to fighting (the thought of it quite frankly scared me), so I tried the "avoidance" technique, which occasionally worked, but which also occasionally left me lurching away with hunched shoulders after another verbal tirade. Well, one day in a gym class, our "teacher" (gym teachers always seemd to be Vince Lombardi wannabees, ignoring the general physical health of the masses, to pander to the jocks of the group) had us divide up for a game of flag football. To make a lengthening story short, I found myself lined up against the troglodite, who instantly started promising humiliation beyond my wildest dreams. The first time he charged at me, I raised both arms and smashed the little bugger in the chops. I still remember walking back to our side's "huddle", to the congratulations of my side's guys. as the little toad writhed in the dirt. Just as a post-script, I think he's a cop now. Take from that what you will.
Primary school. I remember (vaguely) making a clay figure of an Ankylosaurus ( a 4-legged plant eater with a hard shell on it's back and a club at the end of it's tail-kind of like a cross between a rhino and a tank). I was REALLY big on dinosaurs as a kid, and while other kids were dreaming of being pilots or cowboys, I was dreaming of being a Paleontologist. Anyway, I remember making my little clay Ankylosaurus, and my teacher being so impressed I was asked to take it to the Principal's office to show the Principal himself. Now aside from the chance to linger outside of class, I was also able to show up the Principal, who had no idea what an Ankylosaurus was. I remember starting to doubt the intelligence of adults at that time as well. I still do.
Other little victories:
-the first time I got a haircut I wanted (Beatles) rather than the one my parent's wanted (mental patient)
-when I beat my best buddy in a game of badminton (he always beat me in everything, up to then)
-being called the "coolest guy ever" by a girl I had the hots for
-winning a Mexican yodelling contest in a Caribbean resort
Notice than none of these include things like "getting my degree" or "buying my house". I guess the sweetness of the Better Than Awesome moment is in the brevity and personal nature of the event.