This is my 100th blog post. That’s apropos of nothing, I suppose, except that I’m quite full of myself to believe that I have that much to say of interest. A year ago, I said to my wife: “I think I’ll start a blog.” She said: “A blog? Those are just full of trivial bull shit that no one wants to read!” True to her word, she has never even looked at my blog. So, I can say things like this: I’ve been married 25 years, but it seems like 100 sometimes.
She was wrong. A lot of people have read my posts. My posts have been viewed 18,500 times, in fact. One I wrote about hippies is the all time leader at almost 2700. It even drew the ire of a real hippie who posted a scathing comment castigating me as materialistic. People as far away as Estonia and Moldova have read me. America of course leads the way, but I’ve had hundreds of readers in the UK and Canada, too, this despite posts needlessly attacking both those fine countries. Go figure.
People often ask me: “How do you come up with ideas for your blog?” Actually, I’m never asked that, but I like to imagine that people want to ask me. Things just pop into my head. I usually have drafts of two or three posts just lying around waiting for inspiration to finish them. Sometimes, people suggest things–like my recent post about becoming Pope. Other times–like the hippie post–I just spew a stream of consciousness which offends many, many people. Occasionally, I’ve tried to be helpful with tips on small talk, child-rearing and the law. Oddly enough, no one has thanked me yet for these pointers.
Some of my posts are torn from the fabric of real life experience–like the tale of my being violently assaulted by a coarse ruffian of a woman in a restaurant. Some are apocryphal tales which could be true, at least to some extent. Others are just things that interest me, like freak shows and the film Road House. Sometimes, I blog about things I hate like TV’s The Waltons, Aunt Bee and Charlie Brown. My blog is a vast array of trivial bull shit as some might say.
Some of the reasons I am so prolific:
- I write a lot in my job, but that writing requires research and proofreading. The slapdash nature of blogging is fun.
The use of curse words. I don’t often get to use those in writing, unless I’m writing my Congressman.
It’s cheaper than therapy
- It’s fun to broach a controversial topic and then deflect it with a series of flippant and inaccurate observations.
- As long as I don’t defame someone, I’m free to write what I want. Even if I do, it’s okay as long as the defamed person never sees it.
- No one reviews or edits my work (obviously)
- I can start sentences with words like “and” and “but,” and no one cares.
Now, I’m on the verge of a milestone: 100 posts. What significant topic can I address? Can I change someone’s life for better or worse? Can I move someone to tears? Perhaps I can intone on some mundane subject and move thousands of Brits and Canadians or even the random Moldovan to action. What about that one guy or girl in Iceland who read one of my posts? Maybe he or she is waiting for a topic of interest. Should I blog about that Icelandic volcano–Eyjafjallajökull? Probably not. That’s just too damn goofy to type over and over.
100 is special. A 100th blog post should be, too.
Dictionary.com defines 100 as “A cardinal number. Ten times ten.” That’s plain enough. It’s one after 99 and one before 101, too. It’s the square of 10. It’s also an 18-gonal number, which sounds slightly dirty but isn’t.
Anyway, 100 seems significant. Why? Maybe because 100 is an important number. Don’t you feel kind of special when you have a $100 bill? Four twenties or two fifties just aren’t the same. The $100 bill is usually new and crisp. It’s so special that you worry that people can even make change if you use it.
There are 100 pennies in a dollar and most other currencies are based upon units of 100. 100 is important. Without it, our money would be a confusing mess. We might as well go back to pelts.
If you’re a sports fan, answer this question within five seconds: “Who scored the most points in an NCAA basketball game?” Time’s up! I have no idea, either. Try this one: “Who scored the most points in an NBA game?” Wilt Chamberlain. How do we know this? Because he scored 100, not 98 or 102. An even 100. Wilt, as we know, was a man of prodigious numbers: 55 rebounds in a game; 20,000 women; averaged 50 points a game one year and 27 rebounds a game another; led the NBA in assists as a center and on and on. But the number we remember is 100. 100 points in a game. Because I am repository of useless information, I know that he also hit 28 of 32 free throws in that game, astonishing considering Wilt’s infamously horrible free throw shooting. Others just know the 100.
Wilt knew how to set a record people wouldn’t forget.
One of the many reasons that American football is better than Canadian football is that our fields are 100 yards long, not 110 like our friends in the Great White North. We know how fast is fast to run 100 yards or even 100 meters. How about 110 yards? No clue.
If a running back rushes for 100 yards in a football game, we take notice. If he slogs for 99, we think “Eh, decent game, I guess.” Pitchers who hit 100 mph on the radar gun are to be feared. 95 is great, too, but hittable.
It’s special when people live to be 100. Bob Hope did (I think). So did Charles Lane. Who? If you watched TV in the ’60’s and ’70’s, you know him:
Actor Charles Lane, TV’s grumpy authority figure.
I bet you’ll remember him from now on. I’ve had a lot of relatives live into their ’90’s. My Papaw died at 91. An aunt at the same age. I have an aunt still going strong at 95 and another at 93. My wife’s grandmother is 95. 100 years old, though, is rarefied air indeed. During one of my infrequent forays as a regular church-goer, I went to church with a man who died at 104. He seemed like a super hero. Let’s be honest here: 90 or 95 or 99 are just as impressive as 100, but we don’t think of it like that.
If you’re 100, congratulations. Also, why the hell are you wasting what precious little time you have left reading this? You were 16 when the stock market crashed in 1929 and 28 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. When you turned 40, I Love Lucy had only been on the air for a year. You are 4 years younger than JFK. You were in your 60’s when Nixon resigned. On 9/11, you were already 88. You’ve seen the advent of air travel, sound films, TV, computers, cell phones, space travel, innumerable wars, super models, the Internet and just about everything else that makes life worth living these days. You were alive when the Tsar ruled Russia and outlasted the Soviet Union for its entire existence! You survived the Spanish Flu Pandemic. You’ve seen a lot and probably done a lot, too. You may even remember some of it.
I suspect that living to be 100 isn’t so great. We probably just see the folks who are doing well, like this lady:
The ideal 100th Birthday Party
A lot of people at 100 are probably just like a lot of folks at 95–infirm and not able to do much. Let’s just not think about that. Some people make it way past 100–often in Japan. That’s also impressive, but they usually die. Even though living to 100 might actually be miserable, we all would like to do it anyway.
When the temperature is 100 degrees, it’s damn hot. It’s still damn hot at 99, but 100 is worse. Of course, I’m talking Fahrenheit, not Celsius of Kelvin or some other weird foreign scale. 100 is the worst. 100 degrees Celsius is probably a lot worse, but it could be better for all I know–I have no idea.
Take your temperature. If it’s 99.5 degrees, you’ll think “That’s weird, but I feel fine.” If it’s 100 degrees, you’ll become bedridden. At 100, you’re sick as a dog.
What if you get a speeding ticket for driving 100 mph? That’s seriously reckless behavior. 99 mph doesn’t seem quite so dangerous, does it?
100% is great in just about everything. Athletes try to claim that 110% is better, but it isn’t, mostly because it’s not real. 100% attendance, grades, effort, etc. All good.
100 is the sum of the first nine prime numbers which means nothing to me but is probably very cool to my son who is a math major.
100 is the atomic number of fermium which you can find in abundance in nuclear fall out. Bad.
100 years ago is a long time. A century is 100 years, not 90. There’s a reason for that, I’m sure.
Everyone is interested in the President of the United States’s First Hundred Days. No one gives a damn about his first 63 or so.
The number 100 is significant, for sure. The evidence is undeniable. A 100th blog post should carry the same significance. Alas, I have failed. Regardless, though, I can now truthfully say I’ve posted 100 times on this blog. Now, that’s impressive.