Back a million years ago, when I was young and fearless, I entered a world completely out of my league. That world was a community board (I’m sure they called it something more clever than that, but early senility is kicking in) called “Fametracker”. It was run by the same people who created “Television Without Pity” and it was an absolutely ruthless place where grammar and spelling were prized, arcane rules were strictly enforced (you were not allowed to comment on any topic unless you had read the ENTIRE thread of comments, sometimes hundreds of pages long) and some of the greatest wits of the Internet would come and give their sharply critical digs on some celebrities (Jennifer Garner was especially hated) and gushing praise of others. (Like Michael Vartan, which, random, and who I think at the time was dating Jennifer Garner. Which maybe explained the hate for JG?) Off the top of my head, some of the seriously funny commenters of the day were the Fug Girls, Sars from Tomato Nation, Pamie and Evany. I think they were all recapers for TWOP, too. Obviously in the company of such modern-day Dorothy Parkers, I was the equivalent of pond scum. My greatest coup on the board was starting a topic about Tawny Kitean. Which, yeah.
I follow/stalk the Fug Girls still (they are better than ever, BTW) but I hadn’t read Evany’s blog in a while. Back in the day, I loved her, but I guess she hasn’t written in a year. Which is a great shame. I came across her link at Smitten Kitchen, and went back and read her again, and found a wonderful Mister Rogers story.
I am a huge fan of Mister Rogers. There is no smack talking of him allowed in my presence. My dad interviewed him when he came out with a book, and he inscribed it: “Jjiraffe, you are special and I like you.” It made me smile for a week, and that was during my surly teen years. Mister Rogers rules.
Here’s Mister Roger’s story:
Have you heard my favorite story that came from the Seattle Special Olympics? Well, for the 100-yard dash there were nine contestants, all of them so-called physically or mentally disabled. All nine of them assembled at the starting line and at the sound of the gun, they took off. But not long afterward one little boy stumbled and fell and hurt his knee and began to cry. The other eight children heard him crying; they slowed down, turned around and ran back to him. Every one of them ran back to him. One little girl with Down Syndrome bent down and kissed the boy and said, “This’ll make it better.” And the little boy got up and he and the rest of the runners linked their arms together and joyfully walked to the finish line. They all finished the race at the same time. And when they did, everyone in that stadium stood up and clapped and whistled and cheered for a long, long, time. People who were there are still telling the story with great delight. And you know why. Because deep down, we know that what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What really matters is helping others win too. Even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then.
That is awesome beyond all measure. Thanks to Evany, and also, to the late, great Mister Rogers.