Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Saturday, March 14, 2015


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©

In the days before TV and the internet, there was something called “radio.” It had actual programs, sort of like TV or movies or YouTube, but with only sound. For pictures, you had to use your imagination, and depend on the writers’ ways with words, and the sound effects man. A favorite program was called “Can You Top This?” [CYTT]

It was a joke-telling competition. The winner was determined by a studio applause meter. The joke that got the loudest applause won.

When I was in college, we students competed in CYTT, but it wasn’t on the radio, just on campus. It was a sleep-deprivation competition. Well, that and a how-far-behind competition. And a how-much-to-do competition. We would announce to anyone who would listen, and whether anyone listened or not, how little sleep we had gotten, and how far behind we were in our work, and how many things we had to do. The winner was determined individually, and each one of us always won. Each of us was much tiereder and behinder than anyone else.

Old people have only two CYTT competitions, age and # of surgeries-days in hospital. For # of surgeries, or days in the hospital, it’s fairly easy to determine a winner. It’s just math. The biggest # wins. [Yes, that # means number; it’s not just a hash tag, although if one looks at Twitter, one realizes there is a CYTT for # of #s.]

Age is a matter of numbers, too, but it’s not immediately obvious. You can’t tell who is the oldest just by looking. Age CYTT takes 2 forms: “I’m 70 but I only look 50,” and “I’m 70 but I look 90.”

I’ve had two occasions just recently where men asked me my age and went away sorrowful because they thought they were older than I, and they were not. They were getting ready to brag that they could still feed themselves despite their great age only to learn that I was not only older but also able to tie my own shoes.

Recently in the Dilbert comic strip, a woman bragged that she had only 3 hours sleep. A man claimed that while she was sleeping, during those 3 hours he had kept an asteroid from hitting the earth just with his mind. She huffily told him that CYTT had to be in the same category. He said, “Not if you’re good at it.”

There is some CYTT in our DNA, and maybe the ATM. Old people are at a disadvantage in most CYTT contests, which is why we proclaim, “I am older than you are.”

If you don’t get the point of this column, it’s just because I’m older, and you got more sleep, too.

John Robert McFarland

The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]

I used to keep a careful index of all the things I told in this blog so that I would not repeat. That has become unwieldy. Now I just trust to… what’s it called… oh, yes, memory. Sorry about repeats.

I have also started an author blog, JUST WORDS, about writing and reading. Writing guru Kristen Lamb says author blogs are counter-productive, that blogs must be “high concept.” I don’t know what that means, but consider Just Words as a high concept blog in preparation for the publication, by Black Opal Books, of my novel, VETS, about four handicapped and homeless Iraqistan veterans who are accused of murdering a VA doctor, in 2015.

I tweet as yooper1721.

No comments:

Post a Comment