At work, on my team, we have a travelling trophy for whoever is at the top of the stats at the time. Right now the trophy rests securely at my desk. And it’s mine, I tell you… ALL MINE… ha… ha ha… MWA HA HA HA HAHA…
Anyway, the trophy looks like this.
You see there, a proud “1” atop a trophy exclaiming its beholder (ME!!!) to be a “Star Performer”.
There isn’t a whole lot to do at my desk other than work so I have spent many hours the last week staring at this trophy. My problem? The way my mind works. I can’t look at a group of words more than once or twice without devising a pun. I think of ways to rearrange letters, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms. I believe in alternate universes where words have different meanings and dream of onomatopoeia covered in sticky sweet sarcastic syrup.
So, staring at a trophy for someone excelling with the words Star Performer, what could I possibly continue to think? Well, PAR PERFORMER of course.
The problem with Trophies is the fact that the number we get drops drastically as we get older. As young children playing any sport whatsoever we get a trophy. First to last and everyone in between we get a trophy and science fairs give ‘participator’ ribbons. A tongue in cheek way of saying, “Thanks for showing up, your project sucks and we’ve seen it before. Take it home, put it in a box and 20 years from now when you are undoubtedly working for minimum wage you can take it out and dream of better times.” Or something like that.
As we get older, less trophies. Only the top 5 teams. Then only the top three. Olympics keep this model, probably due to the average age of the competitors, where as other sports go to just one trophy. And as adults we dream of trophies we may never even have a chance of but are fans of teams that could. The Lombardi, The Stanley Cup, The Heisman, The Green Jacket, The shirt you get when you eat a 72 oz steak, all trophies for people that excel at what they do.
But what about everybody else? What about the average performer?
Without the average performer there would be no top.
Without the average performer there would be no bottom for the top to mock.
Without the average performer, great students would have to work even harder for straight A’s… when based on a curve.
Without the average person we wouldn’t know what ‘Par’ was on hole 12 of Pebble Beach.
Without the average person we wouldn’t have floaters in Big Brother.
Without the average person we wouldn’t have medium shirts.
Without the average person we wouldn’t have one size fits all everything.
But for everything else, celebrate the average. CONGRATS! You’re normal. If you were in a mental hospital you’d be at the top of your class. Because, average is in the common eye of the typical beholder.