The time has come for me to comment on the Turkoman’s Wooden Nickel award for the meanest Calvinist of 2005.
You may be wondering why it took me so long. This is old news. He passed out his awards on Tuesday, and here it’s already Saturday.
Well, truth is, this is the first time since that ill-fated day that I’ve been able to drag myself out of bed. I’ve been on Prozac all week. Up until that ill-fated day, I used to think I had the hide of an African Honey Badger. But his award drove me into a deep blue funk.
It’s not just that I didn’t win first place. I mean, Dr. White is a worthy contender. I could settle for second place.
No, it’s worse than that—much worse. I was not even a nominee! How could things have gone so wrong? Have I lost my killer instinct?
Sometimes innuendo is more hurtful that outright slander. The fact that I wasn’t even in the running for the meanest Calvinist award borders on defamation of character.
The unspoken, but unmistakable, wink-wink insinuation is that if I’m not mean, then I must be almost…nice! How could the Turkoman stab me in the back like that? I guess it bears out the old Italian proverb: “Save me from my friends, and I’ll take care of my enemies.”
That was my first reaction. But, after popping a few Prozac and washing them down with a fifth of Jack Daniels, it occurred to me that the process was really outside of his control. He wasn’t responsible for the nominations. All he did was to tabulate the votes.
Clearly, then, there was an orchestrated campaign to besmirch my hard-earned reputation by unfounded rumors that, appearances notwithstanding, I was really a nice guy after all.
I can see it now. One or more of my enemies hired a private detective, who dropped off compromising photos in an unmarked Manila envelopment.
After sending his young children out of the store, the Turkoman thumbed through incriminating pictures of a cheesy look-alike caught flagrante delicto in random acts of kindness—buying Girl Scout cookies, patting dogs on the head, and driving the speed limit in the school zone. I had been framed!
I should have seen it coming all along. We’ve all heard lurid stories about the politics of personal destruction. About soccer moms who hire a hit man to create a vacancy on the team so that her daughter can be a cheerleader. But you know how goes: you never think it’ll happen to you. It’s always the next guy.
But I hadn’t hit bottom. My dark night of the soul came when the thought crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t a put-up job after all. What if I really had lost touch with my inner warrior?
That triggered an identity crisis the likes of which I haven’t had since my midlife crisis, when I maxed out my Visa card on trips to Vegas. (The iMonk and I used to share a hotel room to save money.)
After popping a few more Prozac and washing them down with another fifth of Jack Daniels, I dialed the psychic hotline to have a conference call with Urban II, John Knox, and J. Gresham Machen. Das Machen was even considerate enough to give me his cell phone number so that I could call him anytime, day or night.
They counseled me to undergo a rigorous regime in order to recover my fighting trim. I was to take a Berlitz course in conversational Klingon, followed by immersion therapy by watching Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris, and Clint Eastwood flicks. Oh, and I should also buy tickets to UFC Unleashed.
After that I ought to head to the hill country and hunt me some wild boar. I’ll hire Fide-O to be my trackers.
Finally, I was instructed to have the "horrible decree" tatooed on both arms.
Come next year I’ll be ready for a rematch!