Sunday, March 16, 2014

193. Contests

As the faithful reader knows, C.W. takes on more than a few obnoxious forms. One of his most irritating, though, is Paulie the Pundit, or as he likes to call himself, “TV’s Golden Man.”

It’s understandable then, that I wasn’t overjoyed to see him.

I was trying to master computer-aided drafting when he ambled in looking like he had just returned from a week at the family home in Kennebunkport.

“Wassup?” he said.

I cursed silently when a computer command that had worked four straight times refused to acknowledge my existence on the fifth.

 “I’ve been talking to folks,” he said.

“Son of a bitch,” I said—to the computer, not to him.

“I said I’ve been talking to people.”

“That’s nice.”

He said, “Know what they tell me?”

“That you shouldn’t bother people while they’re concentrating?”

“You know the last two postings—mine and yours?”

“That’s nice,” I said, half listening.

“I won.”

“Won what?”

“My last posting was better than yours.”

That stopped me. I hit “save” and looked up. “I didn’t know it was a contest.”

“Everything is a contest,” he said. “Don’t you watch television?”

“As a last resort.”

“Your species demands winners and losers for some reason.” He sat beside me. “And I need a new show to glorify some folks and humiliate others.” He pointed to my computer. “I bet I could work that program better than you. Wanna try me?”

“No,” I said. “No contests today. I’m going to do some yard work here at the farm.”

“Yard work,” he said with excitement. “Great occasion for a contest. I’ll get another team and we can race them getting a job done. We’ll feature the winners on TV.”

“A contest featuring yard work? Might as well have one renovating a kitchen.”

He sighed. “Haven’t you seen the “Do It Yourself” channel lately?”

“No,” I said, “I’ve been writing a book.”

“Great idea,” he said. “They have this neat contest to see who can write a book the fastest. Maybe you could be a ‘winner’ at something before you check out.”

I returned my attention to the computer.

“Or,” he said. “You could debate someone on television. You might not be such a loser at that.”

“A debate?” I said.

“Yeah,” just like the political candidates.”

“And who decides who is the winner and who is the loser?”

He looked offended. “Why we pundits, of course.” Then he said, “You’re no fun. Where is Mrs. Big Dope?”

“I think she is fixing supper,” I said.

“Cooking,” he said, clapping his hands together. “What a great idea for a contest.” Then he thought. “Maybe not. I’m not sure I would like to be around her if someone labeled her ‘a loser’ on national TV.”

“I think you are learning a few things while you are on our planet,” I said.

Don't you love the look on a loser's face? - C.W.
“What else does she like to do?”

“She likes to sew.”

“Sewing,” he said with glee. “What a great way to find winners and losers. Maybe she could be a judge.”

“I think I’ll go read a book.”

“I bet I can read faster than you,” he said.

I gave him the international gesture meaning “mind your own business.”

“Loser,” he said as he wandered out of the room.
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