True Stuff that I Made Up

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Friday, February 16, 2007

The Rambling Confessions of a Nerd

I absolutely loathe spectator sports!
It gives me a vivid mental image of a not too bright redneck ("Joe Six-Pack"), sitting in front of a TV with a beer balanced on his huge potbelly, as he belches out, "Football...Me like!".
However, perhaps my negative sports attitude really comes from when I was a little boy in first grade.
My folks let me start school at age five in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, since all my neighborhood pals (who were six) were starting school then.
But, then my family moved to Hagerstown, Maryland only a couple months later.
All the other kids in Hagerstown already had established their best friends, and, at age five, I was the littlest kid in my grade.
A year makes a big difference in physical development at that age.
So, I always was picked last in all the games at recess, and I subsequently turned to books for fun, and also as an escape from the schoolyard humiliation.
Books were much better than the constant rejection in the playground.
I was a goofy and shy little nerd then.
Actually, as I grew up, books became a blessing for me; especially when the other boys couldn't seem to move past their fascination with sports, while I built upon my already established love of books.
Poor Dad, as a young man he was scouted by a Major League Baseball team, and my Mom's Dad was a professional Baseball player.
Both of them tried their best to interest me in sports, especially baseball.
They spent hours trying to teach me baseball skills, but I only barely tolerated it to humor them.
Even so, when I was ten, I did begin to take an interest in duckpin bowling, and won quite a few trophies. I later also bowled tenpins, but still was bored watching it (or any other sports) on tv.
I also played racquetball, went spelunking (cave-exploring), and even jogged about three miles a day.
That was much later, during college and afterwards.
Earlier, when I was in High School, I organized a bunch of guys in our admittedly rough neigborhood into "The International Kool Klan", but it gets worse: They called me "The Illustrious Mr. Kool".

Fonzie would have been proud. We dressed and looked like refugees from a "Happy Days" or "Grease" motorcycle gang, even down to our "D.A." haircuts.
Much later, as a divorced adult and when I lived in Indiana during the 1980's, I dated a lady doctor who had season box seats for the Indianapolis professional hockey team.
I enjoyed going to those games with her, but I'm sure that the enjoyment was more from her company than watching the game.
Come to think of it, I faithfully went to most of my High School and College football and basketball games (perhaps mostly because there was a lot of other fun stuff - including girls- going on at the same time).
Way back then, although underage, I nevertheless was a heavy drinker (since age 15).
I gave up alcoholic beverages, smoking, and drinking coffee and tea (or even caffeinated sodas) when I joined the LDS Church when I was in my senior year in college.
All I know now is that I'd rather get a root canal than watch sports on TV.
In point of fact, I recently made arrangements to switch from Directv to Dish satellite tv, and even asked for preprogramming to delete out all of the sports channels.
Even my first wife Carolyn was an athlete (swimming and basketball) in High School, and she loved to watch basketball on tv.
I'd go into the other room and read when she did that.
Sometimes, I'd even color in my books, but staying between the lines never was my strongest talent, not then and not now either.

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