I don't know about you guys, but I had a pretty unproductive summer. I mean, I traveled to Europe in June, a gift for which I will be eternally grateful, but after I got back to Colorado I didn't really do a whole lot for the next three months.
I finally got off my duff and climbed a mountain in the snow a couple of weeks ago, but up 'til then I think it's a measure of how little I did that my main accomplishment this summer was to eat more peaches.
You see, every year, I eat a peach some time in August or September, and I always say to myself, "Damn! I should eat more peaches." Well, this year I finally did it, and if you know what the peaches in this part of Colorado are like, you understand what I'm talking about. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to Palisade, Colo., next summer and eat a peach.
Now, as proud as I am of that accomplishment -- and I am beaming with pride, and so are my parents -- it kind of has a hard time measuring up. I got into a conversation with a friend last month, and right after he finished telling me he'd spent the spring and early summer skiing every volcano in the Cascades he asked me what I'd been up to.
For a moment, I thought of inventing some heroic story, but nothing good came to me in time. "I probably ate a bushel of peaches," I replied.
He, a resident of this part of Colorado, nodded knowingly, smiled and said, "Nice."
It is nice, for me at least, because I'm not the sort of guy who goes for the grand gesture anyway. Admittedly, that's mostly because I have yet to do anything grand, but what I'm saying is that in the absence of anything of real note on which to hang my hat, I like to take pride in the little things.
I've long said that one of the things of which I'm most proud is the fact that I've never danced the "Macarena." You guys remember that fad, don't you? That was the one where you were all brainwashed into doing synchronized arm movements and hip gyrations by a couple of old mariachi singers. I bet you all did the "Achy Breaky" dance too, didn't you? You twits. You probably loved Billy Ray Cyrus for that week and a half that mullets weren't a joke.
Thankfully, I will go to my grave without such embarrassing skeletons in my closet, because if there's one thing I'm good at, it's identifying and resisting trends that I can sense will be embarrassing some day for those who jumped aboard. And no, I do not consider Dungeons & Dragons embarrassing.
To the best of my knowledge, I've never heard a Justin Bieber song. I heard a "Weird" Al Yankovic version of a Lady Gaga song once, but I have never heard a song sung by her. I've never participated in a flash mob. I have no tattoos or piercings. I never wore the hair I used to have in a ponytail or smoked cigars.
Those, admittedly, are small accomplishments, but each time someone else is ashamed to have to own up to one of those things, it makes me feel good about myself. The problem, unfortunately, is that it's getting harder and harder to keep annoying crap like that from intruding on my consciousness.
Believe me, I would love to not know who Lady Gaga is, or Snooki, or Kim Kardashian, but you can't get away from them, can you? Between the Internet, TV and supermarket tabloids, I find myself inundated with blather that I couldn't possibly be less interested in.
Thus it is that I now find myself aware of the presence of Honey Boo Boo. I wish with all my heart that I didn't know who she was. I dream of living in a world where no one has to be subjected to something like Honey Boo Boo, but I live in this world, and in this world Honey Boo Boo is everywhere.
Just knowing who she is would almost be enough to bring me down, but as I said, I take pride in the little things, and that's what keeps me going. So despite knowing about Honey Boo Boo, I'm OK. I'm able to soldier on and face each day secure in the knowledge that I still have no idea what "Gangnam Style" means.
Todd Hartley won't watch reality TV until someone gives him his own show. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.