I was “surfing the net” and finding little discussion that didn’t focus on two of America’s large cities. It is, of course, the Sunday that so many of our citizens, as well as a few around the world, become fixated. So I wasn’t surprised when C.W. showed up as a young man of, maybe, 25 with a football jersey sporting a large “S” on the front. He plopped down in a chair and waited until he had my attention.
“Need some help,” he said.
“Yep. Today’s a big day.”
“It is,” I said, “And just how may I help you?”
“I’m late with a report to the Falloonian Elders and they are getting formacidy.”
“Yeah. You know, like nervous.”
“Could you mean “antsy?”
“Exactly. Isn’t that what I said?”
I seemed then to recall, from my aged databank, reading about the species Formicidae and decided to let it rest. “So what’s the report about?”
“The tendency of your species to become obsessed beyond any measure of rationality.”
“To the extent that you evade the very basics of logical behavior.”
I suddenly understood.
“Oh,” I said. “it is perfectly natural—a part of life. It renews some of us.”
“But it creates an unnatural degree of passion, all concentrated on one object.”
“The object,” I said, assuming my most pedantic tone, “is simply a necessary element that allows a physical phenomenon to proceed. And yes, it generates passion, or else we wouldn’t be able to cope with the basic illogic of the whole affair.”
He thought about this. “So this one object,” he said, “so occupies your species that all other important issues are discarded into the junk heap of history.” He smiled, “The junk heap of history. I like that. Maybe I could become a writer.”
“Let’s get back to the topic,” I said. “First of all, this,” I struggled for words, “this ‘object’ as you call it, only obsesses a portion of our species.”
“So it is okay if, while the ownership of this object is being contested, a portion of your species becomes obsessed and ignores everything else?”
“Look,” I said. “This obsession only lasts for a short while.”
“But it will be repeated, time and again, and it will become symbolic.”
“Well, yes,” I said. “But so much joy is associated with the concentration on this object and besides …”
“Besides, what?” he said.
“It allows the game to be played.”
|If you only respected the peacemakers as much|
as you respect the football players, the rest of
the Galaxy wouldn't worry so much. - C.W.
“You call this weird obsession a game?”
“Why certainly,” I said. “And the game provides satisfaction to a segment of society that has few other interests.”
“Yes,” I said. “And that’s why they call it the Super Bowl and the football is the single most important element of the whole thing.”
“Football? You’re talking about a stupid football?”
“But of course,” I said. “Aren’t you?”
“No,” he said and he slumped in his chair. “I’m talking about a vagina.”