Second!

community-chest-you-have-won-second-prize-in-a-beauty-contestI don’t ever want to be first. Ever. The Abyss is decidedly a second-world country.

The other day I was surfing WordPress’ Freshly Pressed section and found a post entitled “How Long Are You Willing to Stand in Line? Are You Willing to Walk Away?” This was one of those times a headline really grabbed me and reeled me in. I was born to walk away.

The article was well written and thought provoking. I recommend you go read it. I was moved to comment and this is what I said:

Interesting. This is a topic I’ve been thinking about quite a bit since moving to the big city from a small town. We heard about an ice cream shop that was supposed to be really good. It’s called Salt and Straw and features homemade ice cream including the super trendy salted caramel and habaneros and things like that. Not just salt. “Sea salt.” And not just caramel. “Caramel ribbons.” That’s proof that it’s good! 🙂

We drove over one night and found a line of fedora-wearing-folk (also trendy) that was literally a block long just to get to the front door.

That’s when I realized my SBIGE formula. (Second Best Is Good Enough.) The hypothesis is that the difference in quality between best and second best is more than offset by not having to wait in an interminable line. Overall, that represents a huge gain in EE (Enjoyment Efficiency).

Good post and grats on being FP! 🙂

–Tom B. Taker, July 17, 2013

Ever put a comment on someone else’s blog and wish you had saved it for your own blog? Like I said, this was a topic I’d been thinking about. I decided to have my cake and eat it, too. Just as long as there’s no line to get into the bakery.

In the future I’ll be producing many graphs and pie charts and coming up with the exact formulae to support my SBIGE hypothesis.

The moral of the story is this: First is for the birds. If you aim for second (or lower) then at least someone like me has a theoretical shot. Besides, anyone who really is first is probably hopped up on drugs. We call this armstronging. And who among us wants to pee in neon colors?

Aim lower.

8 responses

  1. Yeah, my son decided that when we were swimming and he came in second. I applauded him. It’s a matter of striking out the labels we put on each other.

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    1. Second is still pretty good! Even in a two-person race. Did I mention my collection of participant ribbons? #pride

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  2. Armstronging. I hope you arranged for copyright. It could bring in some major “endorsements.”

    Of course, you’d have to pee in a cup before you could cup that cash.

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    1. I’ve been using the term “armstronging” for years hoping it would catch on. Thanks for noticing. And thanks for using the word “pee” in your comment. Truly second rate!

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      1. No, second rate would be if I’d used the word poop…number 2, ya know? *snort*

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      2. No wonder you possess an honorary Ph.D. from Abyss U!

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      3. Man, you are giving it all to me today…

        I could write something about that honorary Ph.D. not being worth the (toilet) paper it’s written on but…

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  3. SBIGE formula: awesome! Cyndi my imaginary stalker was pretty damn impressed with your formula and I must admit, I enjoyed it as well. Second place is really were it is at. No long lines, no one trying to rush you, it is really enjoyable. Remember, being first was what did in the early pioneers…who wants an arrow in their back (or front) from an upset native?

    Here’s a post I did on failure…I’m hoping you comment since you are quite the wordsmith!
    http://khellriegel.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/being-a-loser-is-a-great-experience/

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