Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Time flies

Time flies.

No, this is not the punch line to some horrible joke involving news magazines and airplanes. It’s the simple, figurative truth; truth that was hammered home over the weekend when celebrating my 10-year high school reunion.
Ten years… that’s a daunting number. I’ve officially been a high school graduate for over 1/3 of my life. My days eating cafeteria food? Long gone. My afternoons spent imitating a very life-like tackling dummy on the practice football field? Nothing but memories. My time spent composing immature school newspaper writings that would ultimately be read by few people? Well, cross out “school newspaper” and you still have an accurate depiction of my life, but I think you’re getting the point. High school was long ago, yet when talking to a number of my former classmates on Saturday it seemed like little more than a day had gone by since our post-RCHS days began.
Sure, a few classmates had picked up some extra pounds over the years; a few had seen their hairlines recede like a beach’s low tide; several had begun families of their own. Yes, most everyone’s lives had seen some dramatic changes over the last 10 years, but – once the necessary “catching up” questions* were out of the way – conversations trended back to reminiscing about old classes and classmates. I entered the weekend braced for the sort of awkwardness only witnessed in Ben Stiller movies (and every first date I’ve been on), but – beyond the afternoon’s first five minutes – the event did not approach such heights.

*I’ve never asked “Where are you at now?” so many times in my life. Not only was I mindlessly repetitive with the question, but I constructed it in a horrible manner; a manner that made it sound like I was checking to see if they were recently concussed. I really wish someone would have answered me by saying “I’m here talking to you, moron.”

Time flies.
Yes, observant readers, you are picking up on a theme. After all, if the last ten years have seemed to transpire in quick fashion, it seems to make logical sense that the year 2011 would have seemed to move forward in similar quick fashion. (Please don’t get used to things proceeding in logical fashion here at The Writings… That’s a lofty assumption to live up to.)

Though I’m fairly certain that I was setting unrealistic April 1 expectations for the 2011 Kansas City Royals no more than a week ago, it seems that our nation (assuming you are reading this Writing on American soil) celebrated its birthday over the weekend. July 4 has come and gone, yet I’m still occasionally writing 2010 on checks.
The holiday brought some quality time with friends and family. It also brought some time to truly ponder what “independence” means. After all, if America was not a free country, it’s highly likely that some of the plus-sized folks I saw in downtown Wamego would not have been able to declare independence from their apparently stifling shirts. Though it may not been my first thought upon seeing those bulbous bellies, they actually provided a good representation of our freedom. (No, that’s not an America-has-a-weight-problem joke… Well, unless you find that funny. I’ll take what I can get.)

Beyond the opportunity to provide rather disturbing physical representation of the effect “The Whopper Diet” can have on a shirtless, middle-aged man, July 4 also gives us a chance to celebrate our freedom through the wonder of parades. Sure, it’s a little strange to celebrate something by sitting uninvited in a neighbor’s yard to watch cars, tractors and horses idle down the street. Sure, I could probably set a lawn chair next to a busy street and have a similar experience. And, sure, it’s weird to suddenly encourage small children to run into the street and accept candy from strangers, but – again – such things represent the freedom that many great folks have fought for and the freedom that makes our country great. We, as Americans, are free to spend insane amounts of money on tattoos and iPhone apps and then complain about the price of gasoline. We’re free to eat foods that can clog arteries via osmosis. We’re even free to pass along hundreds of horrible attempts at jokes in our blogs.
Did I say bad jokes?

What’s the biggest worry when having a picnic inside a grandfather clock?

Time flies.

… I told you there were no jokes involving magazines and airplanes.

On a final note, I’m feeling nostalgic. No, I don’t plan on digging out a fanny pack or sporting a bowl cut, but I do plan on bringing an old “Riley Rumor” high school newspaper shtick to the Writings for (most likely) one time only. It’s called “Dear Daryl,” and it’s basically a spoof on Ann Landers, Dear Abby, and any other advice column where common sense is extolled in print.
You can help this happen. I need advice-seeking questions. Get creative and send some my way. Remember, “Dear Daryl” is here to help.*

*Legal disclaimer: “Dear Daryl” is not here to help. He is not a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or bus driver. His advice is not meant to be taken seriously in any way, shape, or form. The Writings accept no responsibility for any consequences or side effects that result from following his “advice”; consequences may include: headaches, nausea, disowning by family, the breakup of your Men At Work cover band, onset of scurvy, repeated hedgehog attacks, achy breaky pelvis, hallucinations involving Emmanuel Lewis, an inability to recall the starting lineup for the 1983 Montreal Expos, gingivitis, struggles with parallel parking, severe intolerance of anything involving Barry Manilow, and tennis elbow.

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