Saturday, December 12, 2009

Be Like Mike

The gaul. The audacity. I can't be hearing this correctly! This must be the delusional prattle of a madman. In my mind, there can be no other possible explanation. But, for now, I will hold my tongue and simply paint a picture. After my artistry has come to conclusion, I will let you be the judge and hand down whatever sentence you find fit. But I must warn you, this job is not for faint of spirit. This is a job for manly men, even though women are fully allowed to participate in donning the fluffy white wig. Let me proceed.

Consider a large-ish white man, not large in the sense of being gifted with vertical extent, but more so in the area of girth. So that I don't mistakenly reveal Doug's true identity, let me refer to him as Mr. Puddin' Belly (or P'B for short). Doug, ... err ..., P'B, for all external appearances, looked like the only time that he got exercise was when he had to chase after the ice cream truck that roamed his neighborhood. Even then, his extensive conditioning only allowed him to make it to the end of his driveway, and this is only if he had a gale force wind against his back. I remember that every time I saw P'B, he was gnawing on the leg of some deceased animal. He always seemed to have various cuts of animal meat stowed away in his desk.

Anyway, P'B was a nice enough guy. He had a wife and the standard issue 2.5 kids at home. I remember a conversation with him regarding the basketball player Michael Jordan. This was back during MJ's prime, when he was king of the sporting world. He had the ability to impose his will on even the best athletes, making them wet themselves in terror and flee. P'B told me with a straight face that he believed he could play a close game of 1 on 1 with MJ. P'B had all the grace of a headless, drunk, featherless turkey. He was what is referred to in basketball circles as a chucker. There was no more a trace of an athlete in this man as there is political savvy in Sarah Palin (oooh, a pointy political barb!). Be like Mike, hah! But what made this even more absurd, was that nothing I said, and I mean absolutely nothing, swayed this man one iota away from his beliefs.

Although this story is some 20 years old, it has stayed with me. Of course it is good for a chuckle whenever it bubbles up to the surface of my consciousness, but there is something more valuable here. It is the conviction that we have in our beliefs. We should all be like P'B in our heart when it comes to what we truly hold dear to us and how tightly we clutch it against us, regardless of the strength of the assaults from the outside world.