I had a quick conversation with a guy today in our parking garage while I was loading my panniers on the bike for the commute home. He looked at me kinda strangely and said, “Are you the one…”
Well, I gotta tell you, that is not a phrase I like to hear! Rarely does it come out well! My mom once asked “Are you the one who rolled Annie (my kid sis) into the hallway and closed the door?” (Well yeah, I did, she kept knocking over my blocks!)
In elementary school, for weeks I’d hear “Are you the guy who smelled so bad the principal had to drive you home?” Yeah that was me too.
However, this wasn’t my fault! Our dog, Princess, chased a skunk under the house over night. Well, being a skunk, it did what skunks do! Being under the house, it wafted up into the house, covering EVERYTHING, including us. It happened when we were asleep though, so we smelled nothing (having gotten used to it in our sleep.) So off to school I went! Everyone moved their desk as far as possible from me! I still didn’t smell anything!
Mr. North, my principal called home and told my mom “Tony is a little ‘strong’ today…” She thought I was in a fight. Poor guy ended up driving me home in his VW Bug with ALL the windows open…
All through Jr High and High School, “Are you the one who aced the test and messed up the curve???” Yep, the acing the test was good! The class being mad at me, was not!
Also in Jr High and High School, “Are you the guy who lost a fight to <insert name here>” OK I didn’t get into a lot of fights, but I didn’t win any of the ones I was in! I didn’t look for them, but I wasn’t smart enough to back down either.
One such event, I was getting on the bus to go to school, and I thought my buddy Eddie was behind me and was pushing me. I pushed back, without looking first, and yelled “Back off son!” I turned around to see it was the biggest meanest guy on the bus (can’t remember his name) and to add to it he was African-American and was convinced I said boy instead of son. (Now I promise you, I did not, but there was no convincing the man!)
Yep, he wanted to fight right when we got to school, but I didn’t want to get expelled, so, like a damn fool, I showed up after school to fight a guy 6 inches taller and 50 lbs heavier. I lost. I did get one good punch, but that was it. I snuck in my bedroom window when I got home to clean off some blood before Mom saw me. She noticed anyway.
There are many MANY more stories I am sure. And I know my friends from College or at work would be able to add to this….
Sooo, given all this, when the conversation started this way I thought, “Holy crap what did I do now? I just started a month ago!” But he was asking if I was the one who was logging the most miles for our bicycle commuter challenge? What? HUH? HEY that is a good thing!!
“Well YES I AM!” I said proudly! “Good job! I am a couple of others are joining because of you!”
Well shoot! Maybe being “the one” isn’t always so bad!