Mental gymnastics for today
Scene 1 – To get big bundles of fame and money you’ve got to aim to become top dog in your chosen game. Second or third place doesn’t cut it. Well, that was until nine-year-old Jericho Scott came along.
This Little League pitcher was officially ordered to quit by the league bosses. Their reason: “He’s too good at it!”
His team never lost a game because, according to the parents of the losers, their kids find his pitching both unhittable and frightening. The rest of the story is as fascinating as the introduction.
Scene 2 – Then there’s Johnny, out walking with his mom. He asked her for $1 to give to an old lady in the park nearby.
His mother, touched by her son’s kindness, gave him the buck, then asked, “Tell me, isn’t the lady able to work any more?”
“Oh yes, Mom, she sells candy.”
His skills appear to be aiming him towards a career where obfuscation is an asset. They shall remain the unmentionables.
Scene 3 – A magazine clip in The Week, August 8, 2008, might be wee Johnny’s adult friends, more obfuscators: “While companies are cutting back on all manner of expenses, they’re still paying as much as $5,000 per person to sign up their top people for leadership lessons involving archeological digs, fire-walking, and horse whispering.”
Scene 4 – Every gold medal captured at the Olympics typically costs a country $37 million in training costs, according to a University of South Australia study.
We news junkies live in a continuous flood of similar news clips, which often become the basis of our perception of our world.
Nine-year-old Jericho, being tossed out for being too good, seems to be an anomaly, yet the rest of his story, which is on the net, is a prime example of obfuscation hard at work, although we could reasonably conclude if the financial Pied Pipers had been as good at their business as he at his, we’d still be on the gravy train wouldn’t we?
The $37-million estimate for each Olympian leads to a common question during the Dirty 30s, though we haven’t heard anyone in high places address it publicly:
“What can we do without?”
I wonder why?
The financial Pied Pipers who drove the gravy train into the black hole of debt could have picked up their million-dollar walking habits from their fire-walking escapades, eh? But there I go jumping to conclusions based on hundreds of news clips. Mind you, I had to smirk when the Buddhist thought for the day came from Open Secret by Wei Wu Wei: “What do you have to do? Pack your bags, go to the station without them, catch the train, and leave your self behind.”
And, as if hanging on a clothesline, there they were, unmentionables. Yes, sir, a solution, well maybe, according to Julia Dault: “A good set of underwear can reveal who we want to be.”
Tiffany Ho, owner of a Vancouver lingerie boutique is quoted in her article in a 2006 Walrus magazine issue: “If you put on a good pair of underwear you feel more confident, even though no one else might know that you have it on.”
Julia concluded her piece with: “Whatever the message may be, looking at underwear like this is actually a survivalist’s template, a technique that can be used to reappreciate material culture rather than simply feeling overwhelmed and trapped by it.”
There you go, a tongue-in-cheek answer, in a tongue-in-cheek column hopefully illustrating the panoply of mental gymnastics needed to keep on top of our daily life and events. Oh, the Jericho Scott story became a cause celebre with more twists and turns than a barrel of pretzels, and is still going on, and on, and on-the-net, atypical of our weird, wacky, sometimes incomprehensible, but always fascinating world.
To think the solution which, once-upon-a-time was to buy a new hat, is now unmentionables. A tip of a new hat to Mother Nature who is ready with her fantastic autumn paint brush filled with colours and light to drive painters and photographers wild. She’s the most mentionable of all, we need remember she’s the final arbiter, because she always bats last.