Thursday, May 13, 2010

“I don’t have a price, ready for those flashing lights ...”

I saw this on ABC News last night. So have more than 1.3 million others on YouTube.

One of the things I envy about kids growing up today, as opposed to when I was growing up, is that it is okay to be yourself. At my high school, if you were a guy, and you weren't a jock, chances were you could just forget about your accomplishments being feted. And it's not like we were the kick-@$$ contender in the Queen City either, at least not while I was there.

Once I asked a girl to a dance, and she accepted. We had been friends for months, it had become flirtatious, it was a total no-brainer. The next week she dumped me -- for a jock! They soon became one of those proverbial high school sweetheart match-ups -- she was a cheerleader; what was I thinking? -- got married after graduation, and lived happily ever after.

I think I'm gonna hurl.

But even at that breeding ground of bourgeois suburbanism, it is very different now. Kids are honored for a variety of reasons. You can be a total geek, you can be your damn self, and they're okay with it! I get their alumni newsletter, and I'm astonished every time I read it. I save the back issues. I've even thought of (drumroll!) sending them money!

[flashback] It was the spring of 1973, nearing the end of my senior year. I was trying out for the one thing I was good at, the high school musical. I sang a James Taylor song and accompanied myself on the guitar. Down the hall, there were girls from the freshman class running to their friends, “Hey, you guys, there's this boy singing in the music room, and he's REALLY GOOD!” [/flashback]

(Okay, so they were freshmen. I'll take what I can get, people!)

Closer to the present, this week's Tip of the Black Hat goes to the only boy among all the girls at his school recital, the sixth-grade boy from Edmund, Oklahoma, by the name of Greyson Chance, for braving the taunts of others, and defying the odds against him.

“‘Cause you know that baby I’m your biggest fan ...”

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