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Beach Grit

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Opinion: Wildcards ain’t candy!

Rory Parker

by Rory Parker

The louder the child, the greater the reward?

My wife’s law firm hosted a fancy pants wine and dine schmooze party the other night, and I got wrangled along in order to fulfill my role as dutiful spouse. The requirements of said role are mostly minorL don’t wear boardshorts, iron your aloha shirt, smile and nod and, for god’s sake, don’t offer up any of your crazy fucking opinions about class structure, the legal system, or small town political dynamics.

Not too much of a chore.

I’m nearly deaf in my left ear, with a decent amount of hearing loss in my right. Between the background chatter of the crowd and the guy playing guitar in the corner I couldn’t understand most of what was being said.

So smile and nod and try to read facial cues. Was that a joke? I think it was. Chuckle politely.

As the night wound down and people trickled home, until only employees and close friends of the firm remained. The volume dropped to a point where I could actually understand and interact with the people around me.

All of them are very nice, though if I felt differently there’s no way I’d say so here. Despite my urging the wife tells all and sundry about BeachGrit, and at least a few of her colleagues actually read it.

And thank you very much, guys. I swear that anything unflattering is not aimed at you.

The thing about lawyers, at least the successful ones, each was, without exception, the smartest kid in school. Highly intelligent, very competitive, skilled at testing and writing and putting their opinions into words.

They love to talk shop, and after a few bottles of wine every lawyer gathering devolves into a contest to see who can shout their opinions loudest. Which I find exhausting. It’s not that I don’t understand what they’re taking about, I’ve been front row center to the missuses legal trajectory, you can’t help but pick some stuff up. I just don’t care.

I’ll run my mouth for hours, given the chance. Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yapI love attention, I just hate competing for it. Look at the shit I write for BG. Ninety percent of it is just me talking about me.  Which has become my answer when people ask the awful question, “So what do you write?”

It gives off a strong silent type vibe, which is kind of cool, but couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’ll run my mouth for hours, given the chance. Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yapI love attention, I just hate competing for it. Look at the shit I write for BG. Ninety percent of it is just me talking about me.  Which has become my answer when people ask the awful question, “So what do you write?”

Self involved essays, mostly. Such a weird answer. Definitely don’t say that to someone you just met.

Which brings us around to the point, beyond just writing about myself. Something, again, I obviously love to do.

Sometimes you just don’t belong.

It’s got nothing to do with ability, the skill to play the game.It’s rooted in desire, or anxiety, or some deep-seated personal flaw that says, “This far, no further.”

Just because you could, doesn’t mean you should, and being driven by the expectations of others can only lead to failure.

Win or lose, you’re gonna lose.

Bruce Irons has no business being granted a wildcard to Pipe.

Yes, he’s a legend, brother to another whose tale has only grown larger in the telling. But he’s never been able to succeed in the contest world. Like Dane, it’s not ability holding him back, just desire.  Sure, he may be able to make a few heats, mix things up, crush a dream or two. But that’s all.

There’s an entire generation of young Pipe chargers just dying for a chance, and that spot is rightfully theirs. Bruce had his time, but blew it and chose to walk away. I’ve no idea what he’s done with his life in the following years, but he’s stayed out of jail, out of the news, so whatever’s going on it can’t be all that bad.

He should’ve turned down his shot, looked magnanimous, become an elder statesman.

But it’s too late now. Whatever it is about competition that tears him apart, he’s gotta face it again.

In the public sphere, after a huge to-do, all eyes on him.