I recently read a commentary on the googly-tubez about chasing your dreams and passionately pursuing the things that you know in your heart of hearts you were put on this earth to do blah blah blah …
That’s all well and good for those who have dreams and aspirations and that sort of thing, but is somewhat irrelevant for those of us who are just fine being average middle-of-the-pack type of folk. I guess I assume that had I been put on this earth for some great purpose, I would have discovered it by now. That’s not to say that had I discovered such a purpose, I would have pursued it; on the contrary, in all likelihood, such a realization would have been responded to with a non-committal shrug and a gradual return to the Gilligan’s Island marathon I was halfheartedly attending to. I am happy not being driven to excel (I’m fairly certain that I would not enjoy being driven to excel, as I would almost certainly fail at that goal, which, I would guess, would be somewhat unpleasant). I think I long ago once won a bicycle road race, but it was the “B” category, and I seem to recall thinking “you know, this doing okay at a level that doesn’t require total devotion and, at the same time, doesn’t really put me in a circumstance wherein I truly risk discovering my limitations is something I could agree to. I’m tolly down with mediocrity!”
Luke Wilson’s character in the movie “Idiocracy” voiced this attitude quite well:
Pvt. Joe Bowers: Why me? Every time Metsler says, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way," I get out of the way.Well, such was my thinking until very recently.
Sgt. Keller: Yeah, when he says that, you're not supposed to choose "get out of the way." It's supposed to embarrass you into leading - or at least following.
Pvt. Joe Bowers: That doesn't embarrass me.
I think, though I can’t be sure, having never actually had one before, that I may, at long last, have a goal. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel giddy or giggly or anything like that, but I’m not going to compare my “first goal” to the over-hyped goal fantasies of the sort you read about in trashy magazines while standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. Who knows? Maybe it is just a simple yearning … a slight urge … a trivial fancy that I’m temporarily taken with. Whatevs … all I know is that I want to be …
The Radish King.
I’m not really sure what happened. I was progressing normally along a project completion arc, this one being that of “grow a garden,” and had gotten to the step in which I place the seeds that I have bought into the ground (this is approximately year four of this particular project; last year I completed the “buy seeds” step, and this year I’ve incorporated “planting them”). I had been told that radishes, in addition to being delicious, are fairly hardy and can withstand some frosty nights and are generally difficult to screw up. (It did need to be explained to me that simply because the package said “plant ¼” for smaller radishes, and 1” for slightly larger radishes,” I couldn’t extrapolate to burying them a foot under and expect pumpkin-sized results.)
My original plan was to plant radishes, along with some peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, and maybe even some corn. I got a little confused, however, at the corner Liquor’N’Seed, because they had several different types of radish, which threw me for something of a loop, to say the least. “I just want the round red ones,” I said. “Well, congratulations,” the seed girl said with dripping sarcasm. “You’ve just narrowed it down to three hundred.”
They all had a good laugh at my ignorance, and it must have kind of hit a sore spot, because I did a little research on the googly-tubez that night along with my regular web-perusing activities. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. There are black radishes, white radishes, mild radishes, hot radishes, radishes that grow in winter, radishes that dress up like watermelons …
I will grow them all. Peppers, corn, and squash? I’ll leave those to lesser gardeners to cultivate. I will focus with laser-like intensity on my beloved radishes, and vendors at the local Farmer’s Market will avert their eyes as I pass, rightfully ashamed at the embarrassing radishional offerings they tender. Rebecca Loudon will file a lawsuit citing copyright infringement, but will drop it upon full realization of my Radish Kingosity. Letti will battle over which is best suited to serve as a vehicle for the yield I shall reap!
Odd … psychotic delusions of grandeur with regard to the scope and importance of my projects don’t usually occur until around year six.