Sometimes you just have to laugh at the world … and yourself. Where am I going with this?
It hit me the other day that the number of things that I don’t get or understand any more are starting to outnumber the things I do.
I think I could be turning into a mean, old curmudgeon. At the risk of alienating myself to others and making an even bigger fool of myself, here’s my list of things I don’t get:
—The World Wrestling Entertainment Inc (WWE). Let me say right from the get-go: I just don’t get the hype. It’s fake. The stories are made-up and choreographed. You may as well be watching a day-time soap opera, it’s the same thing, same premise, same idea, same format. Some of the wrestlers are supposed to be these Adonis characters, but look plain fat to me. Yes, there are plenty more who could squash the likes of me, but they’re still at the mercy of the story. Forget about athletic excellence. Story is everything.
But most of all, I’ve never been able to look past the money. Follow the money and you’ll find a huge parent company and tons on money floating into the purse strings of CEO Vince McMahon. He’s made a very comfortable living off of the poor schmucks who pay his pay-per-view events and merchandise. Explain to me why or how that helps the fans. Sorry, but I’ll be turning the channel.
—Starbucks. I’ve come to love coffee. Yes, love coffee. I’m hooked. It took a while. I somehow survived four years of college; waking up in the wee hours of the night to rock not one, but three of my kids to sleep; and even managed to earn my master’s degree without becoming glued to coffee. A friend, though, got me hooked a few years ago and I’ve been on the coffee roller coaster ride ever since. (Some friend, right?) Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint, I’ve never gotten hooked on Starbucks. Yes, it tastes great, but I’m not a fan of paying an expensive fee for a service and getting little in return. Notice a theme here? Plus my Australian friends tell me that I need to travel there to taste the real thing. Now where’s that plane ticket?
—Craft Beers. I love beer just as much as the next Tom, Dick or Harry or in this case, Ken Grossman (founder of Sierra Nevada), Dick Yuengling (owner of Yuengling) or Jim Koch (founder of Sam Adams). I love it. However, I tend to like what I like. I’m not a fan of the different craft breweries. I have friends who can recognize the slightest differences in hops and barley. I wish I could, but the different tastes are usually lost on me. My taste in beers though has made my wife happy. It makes me a cheap date.
—Sound systems. When you lose a good chunk of hearing in one of your ears, you come to see the value in hearing pretty quickly. You would think that would make me come to value state-of-the-art sound systems even more. You would be wrong. The high-end improvements are lost on me.
Funny story: several years ago, a friend couldn’t wait to show off his new entertainment center and the surround sound. He went on-and-on for weeks about the improvements and how even a “loser” like me would have to rush out and buy a new system once I stopped by his house and heard it for myself. I kept warning him, but to no avail. When I finally stopped by his house, he ramped up the volume and kept asking, “Isn’t this great?” I really did hate to deflate his ego when I truthfully said, “Um, no I can’t tell the difference.”
—Business Jargon. Business professionals love it. They love to “leverage” and “synchronize.” They get excited over “paradigm shifts.” They love “win-wins” and like to flex their “core competencies.” They like to take a bite from the “low hanging fruit.” And “at the end of the day,” they want “close the loop” and want “full engagement.” Meanwhile, I just want simple communications that get the job done.
—Cellphone calls. I may be a curmudgeon but I do have one thing in common with today’s millennials. I hate, hate, hate talking on the phone as much as they do. The best way to get a hold of me: text messages. OMG.
—The Three Stooges. A former coworker of mine loves The Three Stooges. He’s got a poster from the old black-and-white TV show prominently displayed in his office and home. I had a college roommate who loved them too. Somehow though I never found the TV show all that interesting. The show used to air on an endless loop on one channel or another years ago, but it never managed to suck me in. I stumbled across a rerun the other day and it hit me how quickly I flipped onto the next channel. I know some of the back story and I know that a lot went into the stories . . . it just never clicked.
Oh there’s one more thing I don’t get. This one is pretty important: what women want, but since I’m a man, that one goes without saying.