The Parable of the Static Squirrel and the Rambling Acorn
Apparently, rambles are a popular topic (tag) here in the blogosphere. I think that is because we writers (or, at least, us people who fancy ourselves writers) have a lot of difficulty thinking of topics to write about and so we just start writing in the hopes that something will come to us.
Result: Instant “ramble” post.
It occurred to me as I was writing that, that that it is erroneous to believe that something will come to us when we begin to write. It is more accurate to say that when we start to write, we stumble upon something to write about. It is highly unlikely that an acorn will be out for a ramble and will happen upon a squirrel who is sitting motionless on his haunches on the ground hoping for an rambling acorn. No, the burden is on the squirrel to become an adventurer and go off in search of an acorn. Acorns are notoriously antisocial and unadventurous and so must be found and encouraged to come out their shells and to become, oh, I don’t know, an oak tree or something.
Enter: the squirrel, stage left.
I don’t know what the hell that was all about, but lets move on before I stretch that metaphor so thin that you can wrap chicken breasts in it and pound them with a meat tenderizer.
Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah!
I went to a high school football game last night. If you have never been to a high school football game in Texas, you have missed out on quite a spectacle. It is a Very Big Deal® down here. Except for the absence of television cameras and sideline reporters and wall-to-wall company branding, you could easily imagine that you are attending an NFL game. The stadiums are huge. The crowds are huge. The bands play energetically and amazingly. The cheerleaders are professional quality. The spirit girl squads look like a Dancing With the Stars episode is about to break out. The players are going at it tooth and nail wearing professional looking gear. There are announcers. The giant scoreboard video monitors play animations and replays. The fans are enthusiastic. There are hot dogs and popcorn and nachos everywhere.
And all this for only 8 dollars!
Once, a few years ago, my dad came down to visit us from his home in a northeastern state and since he happened to be here on a Friday when there was a game, we took him to our high school football game. About 30 minutes into the Texas HS Football Experience™, he looked at me and said, “Is this a special game or something?” I replied that no, it is not. In fact, the opposing team wasn’t even in our conference and so the game essentially meant nothing. And he said, a little incredulously, “You mean every game is like this?” And I said, “Oh, no. Some games are much bigger. If we play our hated cross-town rivals, you would think the circus (and ESPN) had come to town”.
It is a little known psychological fact that humans are predisposed to grouping things into threes. It’s call the Power of Three.
Have you ever noticed when you spontaneously reel off a list of things to someone, like a list of examples of your favorite foods, or a list of your favorite books, they are almost always lists of three? It’s because three is the smallest group of things that the human brain needs in order to establish a pattern.
Weird, isn’t it?
Anyway, here’s your third part of this ramble post. Don’t thank me. My brain made me do it. I would have been perfectly happy to stop at two.