By Nick Nunn
It has been pointed out more than once that naming a holiday, which most people use as an excuse to get out on their boats or backyards to enjoy the heat of the quickly cooling summer, “Labor Day” is more than a little ironic.
Well, for most people, that is; your loyal Citizen staff is (or was, by the time you read it) at 259 North Second Street on this holiday.
Feel free to thank us later.
Anyway, staring out the window and imagining the world outside on this lovely but temperate holiday made me realize that, all too often, when I think of sports in general, I immediately think of competitive sports.
But, of course, not all sports require the thrill of competition to build up the level of fun that accompanies them.
Right now – hopefully – someone is out on Lake Oconee having the best time they had all summer being pulled behind a motorboat while atop a wakeboard, kneeboard, inner tube or set of skis.
Water sports are great fun. The best part about many water sports is that, even though they aren’t competitive sports, strictly speaking, they can be qualified as spectator sports.
Think about it: you put someone on the inner tube behind a boat and accelerate to a comfortable level. As relaxing as it may be for the person on the tube, the others in the boat don’t get much enjoyment out of seeing their friend laze about in the soft wake left by the propeller.
So, what do you do? You push the accelerator a bit more. And then a bit more. And then you start turning the boat around in the water to push the inner tube – and its poor occupant – outside of the wake.
At this point, your friend is hanging on for dear life and, finally, everyone in the boat starts having a better time… at the friend’s expense.
The story ends, naturally, with your friend skipping across the water as their grip slips and their bottom leaves the comfort of airborne rubber.
The next victim – er, rider – hops aboard the inner tube, with the expressed desire to hang on just a little bit longer and hit the wake just a little bit harder than the first rider did.
And, what do you know, we’re back to competitive sports again.
Dang, just once you thought you might have slipped that net, but there it is again.
It must be the natural order of things to want to be on top. The human being’s competitive nature is probably an instinctual remnant of the eons that man-or-womankind had to fight its way to the top of the food chain.
That same competitive nature might be the only reason we have any aspects of civilization: shelter… clothing… internet.
Well, at least we got something out of it.
So, the next time you beat your friend, spouse, or family member at a friendly game, and they lose their mind because they didn’t come out on top, just say to yourself: at least I’ve got running water!