Friday, February 9, 2007

Being Excellent: Second in Series

All right. Now, as was asked of you last time, you’re good at something.
How does that make you feel?
I’ll tell you; you should feel like a million bucks...maybe two. You shouldn’t be sitting there, shrugging your shoulders and mumbling, "so what" to yourself in that tiny, mousy voice - the one you use to say "sorry" with when you’ve been flat-out busted for gawking at that hot chick in the mall, the one powerfully timbre-challenged, with all the resonance of a damp match being lit in a murky jungle.
I’ll have you know: this is powerful stuff right here.
Look, it’s not what you do, but the verve with which you do it. There are Scrabble tournaments, for chrissake; you can win $500 for spending a year of your life making a goddamned gingerbread house, another $1000 playing table-hockey, and then, like a syrupy cherry on the top of an ice-cream-cake in the image of Buckingham Palace, you can sit back and become famous for spasmodically slashing at your hair in some YouTube freakout.
Still, these aren’t examples of Excellence, are they? Rather, they are the manically self-indulgent obsessions of those who are lucky enough to have something "legitimate" enough for their parents to stop asking when they’re going to find the right girl/guy, and when, if ever, they’re planning to procreate. True Excellence, my friend, isn’t dollars and/or sense, but that strut you wear instead of those stone-washed-jeans, the swagger you show-off as you push through the throngs of the self-absorbed, the smirk you level at those nose-deep in their PowerBooks...and you’ll inevitably get the Double-Take.
Oh, yes. That beautiful, transcendent, quasi-orgasmic Double-Take.
The first look is of irritation, no doubt; to most, you’ll look like some half-mad ignoramus, waltzing down the street with hilarity in your eye and sarcasm on your lips...but that second look, the one where the squint is a little sharper, the attention paid a little deeper - that look is the one where they are asking themselves what you’re so fucking happy about. And it’s GOLD.
The Double-Take signifies the ruination of someone’s day; they have seen what they could be enjoying, on any old street, at any old time, and their ambition-related stress melts away, if only for a second, as they rue the fact that you’re enjoying yourself, for no other reason than because you’re Excellent. The anger will sit with them, confusing them on the way to their PowerPoint presentation, hopefully extending into the next week, where it lays in their subconscious, in wait, like a panther of doubt in the dense, humid brush of their mind, giving them terrible, uncomfortable-no-matter-what-your-PosturePedic-sleep-number-bed-is-set-at dreams of their own half-assed, failed attempts at glory...
Indeed, true Excellence sometimes borders on schadenfreude, but them’s the breaks.

Third in a Series

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