The Ant and the Boulder

I was having trouble deciding what I was going to write about today, so I dug around and figured that The Sophomore wouldn’t be complete without one of my first essays.

This is one I wrote a long time ago…actually almost 4 years to the day, but it’s still one of my favorites.  For those of you who are new to the Sophomore, you may already know about my little knicker-twist about common sense.  Well, here’s where it started out…

Originally inked on 10/23/06, I wrote this little piece in reaction to seeing a good friend get pulled into the mire because of someone who just had to be a drama queen.  Much less to say, I didn’t like the way things turned out, how my friend got drug through the mud while the drama queen came out unscathed without a single finger being shaken at her.  It still frustrates the daylights out of me when bad things happen to good people, only to see the rotten so-and-so’s that start the messes getting away scot-free.  So, when I see things I don’t like, I write about them, and in the case of this one, it’s Classic Sophomore before there even was this silly blog.  To me, this one ranks right next to “Potholes” as one of my favorite pieces.

If you’d like to hear me read it out loud, it was my first piece that aired on the podcast I’m lucky to take part in for the Myst Community.  It’s on The Cavern Today Podcast #22.  If you care to listen, it’s at around 27 minutes, 23 seconds into the ‘cast.  For those of you keeping up with little neat bits of Sheri trivia…well, this is the very first time I used the phrase, “That’s just me of course…” which has become my signature phrase on The Cavern Today.

So, without further ado…a classic just for you:

Andy Rooney, Paul Harvey and Good Old Fashioned Common Sense,
(also known as the parable of “The Ant and the Boulder.”)

This afternoon, I was stumbling around the internet because I’m truly sick and tired of what is going on in another MMOE (Massive Multi-player Online Environment) that I’m a part of.  It was then that I happened upon a news story on Yahoo, and below, in the corner, was a link to Andy Rooney’s clips from 60 minutes.  In this wonderful “6-Pack of Common Sense”, he took a look at everything from the President’s staff to how truly ugly power lines are.  He has such a comical and dry wit that you kind of have to laugh over the fact that things are just so plainly obvious, but none of us ever bother to think about it.


Growing up, I would get the rare treat of having my father take me to school.  My father is not a tall man, he’s only about 5’8, but he says he’s shrinking now…I don’t know about that, but my father will always be a giant to me.  The one thing that will keep him a tall man in my mind were the happiest days of my childhood; those rare trips to school when we would get into his truck and he would turn on the radio and we’d listen to KBUC radio and Paul Harvey.  Now Paul Harvey is that same brand of humor, it’s dry and filled with common sense.  I always found it a treat when Dad would turn on the radio, and you’d hear that familiar line, “And that’s the rest of the story…”  Dad and I would laugh all the way to school.


Well, that made me think about my life and how some of the things I see every day are really common sense things that people are tripping over.  Common Sense is the rock in the road that they stumble on, yet they don’t bother to look down to see exactly what they’ve tripped on or wonder how they came to be face down on the ground in the first place.  You know, that’s the thing about common sense…it isn’t all that common.


So, in Paul Harvey and Andy Rooney fashion, I’m going to try to pick on the common sense things that people trip on.


I’ll start with one that I’m sure you’ll agree that most people just can’t quite seem to avoid.


Drama.


I don’t know exactly why people can’t avoid this nasty bugger.  Or maybe it’s just this:


Someone up way up on a hill, who thinks they know better than everyone else, see people below them traversing a road.  Along with the people, they see an ant, that they think shouldn’t be there, and it’s just walking along, traversing the road with everyone else.  So they decide it would be wonderful to kill that little bitty ant, because it would be a public service, that it is such an eyesore and a pest and most importantly, because that particular ant supposedly bit them.   So they put a stick underneath the boulder that they are standing next to and heave the huge rock onto the ant below.  While they might enjoy seeing the rock roll down the hill and get a thrill out of the anticipation of the death of the ant, they don’t think of the wake of destruction it would leave during its trip down to the road, bringing even more rocks and dirt along with it, all raining down on the people that are politely minding their own business.  No one knows that someone was just trying to kill that little bitty ant on the side of the road, it’s just that those pesky people minding their own business got in the way.  Tell that to the people who got squished when the boulder landed on top of them and the fact that the little bitty ant that started it all got missed altogether, he just keeps walking down the road!  What’s worse is that the people who rolled the boulder down the hill in the first place, they get missed, they don’t even get a finger shaken at them for starting the whole mess, and everyone else, who has no idea what’s going on, just end up concentrating on screaming about the boulder in the middle of the road.  So, would it not make sense to figure out why and how the boulder got there in the first place?  I would think so…but then again, I’d just keep walking and go around the boulder…


But you know what?  That’s just me of course.


The newest edition of The Cavern Today is online now!  Episode 6 (yes, we started the numbering over again, who knows why…) is on the website for TCT now.  Download it to your iPod and enjoy!  You’ll get to hear me on the air again for another edition of TCT Talk, our round-table chatterbox about the goings on in the Cavern Community, except this month, I’ve jumped thoroughly out of the box, talking about World of Warcraft’s newest expansion: Cataclysm and the changes that came for players in patch 4.0.

November will be seeing me ink a brand new TJMOC, so for all of my listeners out there, I’ll try my best not to disappoint you.

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