George

This is George. George stands for strength–he stands for integrity. George stands exactly seven eight’s of an inch tall. When I first found George, he was all alone in the dark of toy machine’s dispenser, but even the blackest solitude didn’t scare George: he is the round bellied, square jawed king of the friggin world. When I was leaving a local bowling alley a few years ago I saw a bank of candy machines and toy dispensers, and any time I walked by anything like that–a pay phone or an arcade game–I always tried to check at least one of the coin slots to see if the machine had rejected a quarter that went unnoticed by the previous user. I wasn’t poor or anything–which almost makes it worse, because I should just leave stuff like that, in case someone who is actually poor comes by and does the same thing–but it’s just something I did. This particular night was different; I had just won at bowling for the first time, all because I decided to throw the ball behind my back and through my legs on the last throw. I’m only a social bowler and historically I’m not a very good one, but at the time I had been getting a lot better. That night I was on it, but I still couldn’t best my friend who was winning. I had to get two strikes on my last frame to win, which I thought was impossible for me, but I got the first one, and that triggered my super-competitiveness. Suddenly I thought, This isn’t fun. This is supposed to be fun. Why am I freaking out about bowling? That’s when I decided to just huck it down the lane behind my back and through my legs. I got the strike and won, for my first time ever. After turning in my shoes I headed to leave, but when I saw the vending machines I realized why I even checked for coins in the first place. When I was a kid I got an allowance, and finding money was like getting a free bonus; like I was somehow smarter than my parents because I got more money than they knew about. It made me feel free, alive, and strong. Finding money in vending machines makes me feel none of those things now, I thought. I make my own money. Doing something crazy on the last throw, with the game on the line makes me feel all of those things. So instead of looking for money, I looked for the prize. And the prize was George.

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~ by russell jander on January 11, 2012.

One Response to “George”

  1. I’m super glad George exists (and the story that goes with him) 😀

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