There’s this internet thing people are doing. No, not porn. They’re doing that too, but I feel we don’t need to mention it the same way we don’t need to mention that people are checking their email. What I’m referring to are memes. It’s some kind of hip new blog thing that is just a step above the MySpace bulletins and a step below a meaningful blog post.
The idea, as near as I can tell, is to write seven things about yourself and then “tag” other bloggers to do the same. The goal is as ambiguous as blogging itself, but that never stopped anyone. My good friend Dan Brooks tagged me. He writes the always-clever, occasionally updated, Islamic fundamentalist themed blog, The Brooks Caliphate. When he deigns to make a post, it’s usually hilarious. Since he’s very smart and knows a lot of words, it will also make you feel kind of bad about yourself. This is also an accurate description of how it feels to be friends with him.
Normally I’m against narcissistic stuff like this, which is why my blog is about a sport and not about the minutiae of my daily life. But what the hell. Just be warned: the following has nothing to do with MMA, fighting, or anything that will be of interest to you. You should probably just go away. Go on. You’re free now. Free!
You don’t understand, do you? All right. Have it your way.
1. The best summer of my life happened in Missoula, Montana in 2005.
2. I worked only sporadically, at one point teaching fiction writing to a group of high school teachers and at another point doing prep-work on a house some friends of mine were painting. Neither was a bad gig, and neither paid very much.
3. The rest of the summer, which is to say the bulk of the summer, was spent playing whiffleball in my girlfriend’s front yard and eating Otter Pops on the porch afterward. At dark, which doesn’t happen until around 10 pm during a Montana summer, we usually rode our bikes across the river to my creekside apartment, where it was always cool no matter how hot it was outside. Basically, it was an ideal summer for a ten-year-old or a grad student.
4. Because we’re both extremely competitive, every whiffleball game was an all-out war and every bike ride was a race.
5. I never let her win at either, even though I knew I probably should, at least once, because only a jerk feels like he needs to win at everything all the time, even when it’s whiffleball and even when his opponent is a petite woman. Why was I such a jerk? I really don’t know.
6. She never asked me to let her win, or got upset that I didn’t. She only asked me to help her improve her batting stance. She was a different player by the end of that summer, and could turn on a hanging whiffle-curveball with a ferocity that surprised and impressed me.
7. I still never let her win at anything, though we still compete at everything. Sometimes she wins anyway. I often wonder if there will ever be another summer as good as that one. God, I hope so.