Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Friday, November 16, 2012

"I Don't Win a Lot"

There's a moment in the 2011 film Horrible Bosses.  The three wannabe boss-killers (Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, and Jason Bateman) are sitting in a police station trying to explain why they were speeding away from a crime scene.  Bateman says he likes drag-racing.  The bemused cop (Wendell Pierce, a veteran from The Wire) says with patent disbelief, "Drag racing ... in a Prius?"  Bateman pauses (a wonderful, lingering pause), then replies, "I don't win a lot."

I'm with Bateman.  I don't win a lot.  Haven't ever won a lot.  As I sit here trying to think of things I've won, I can come up with only a few.  One year, at Harmon Middle School, I won a Thanksgiving drawing among the faculty and got a free turkey--a good thing: dollars were tight those years when son Steve was in college.

And in 1974, when the Ohio Lottery commenced (50¢ tickets), I played a few times, won a few dollars, then, very soon, realized that all I was doing each week was contributing to the winner's pile.  I quit playing.  Haven't played since.

Oh, and a few years ago I won a drawing sponsored by Norhio Plumbing.  Got a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant of our choice.  That was nice.

But, generally, I don't win stuff.  I was elected 4th grade class president for a six-week term in 1953, then was removed from office when a teacher caught me going down the up stairs (I'm not kidding).  I won election to the Student Senate at Hiram College, but when I ran for President my junior year, I lost (to my roommate! that was awkward).  I never won the teacher-of-the-year award in the Aurora City Schools (I was there only about 30 years, so I might have won it, if I'd stayed).  I did win a teaching award at Western Reserve Academy my final year in the classroom (2009-2010), and I was very pleased about it--though I also wondered, in my heart of hearts, if this was a bit like voting onto the All-Star team a veteran who'd never quite made it in his prime, but he's retiring, you know?  Prob'ly oughta give the Old Guy a nod this year ...

And this week comes news of yet another blow--from People magazine.  It seems they've once again overlooked me and have awarded their Sexiest Man Alive award to someone else, this time to some guy with two last names: Channing Tatum. You gotta be kidding me.  Listen--I wear undershirts just like that one, all winter long.  I can tilt my head a little to the left.  I can put my hands in my pockets.  I can look unsmiling at the camera.  I had a haircut like that in seventh grade.  I've been doing all those things for decades now.  Sure, I don't writhe around in strip clubs (Magic Mike) feigning coitus with desperate housewives; I don't pretend I'm a high school student and seduce my AP Chemistry teacher (21 Jump Street); I don't have sneaky, illicit sex with Winona Ryder (The Dilemma).  I have standards.

And I bet that's exactly why I didn't win this year--again.  Standards.  When you've got them, well, others just can't stand it, you know?  So instead of conferring awards on the deserving they throw them at the most proximate young face and/or butt they can find.

True: There's always next year.  But I'm not really too hopeful anymore.  Like Jason Bateman, I've just resigned myself to being one who doesn't win a lot.

And BTW: I do drive a Prius!

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