Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Best Time of My Life....

'Tis the witching hour at the moment. I rarely stay up late enough to properly enjoy the witching hour, but it's a time of night I always find soothing for some reason. Streets are quiet and deserted. Shadows abound, however, and there's always something in the shadows. Mice, cats.... something....

I first remember learning the term witching hour while reading The BFG (Big Friendly Giant, for those of you not in the know) by Roald Dahl in the fifth grade, perhaps my favorite book in my entire elementary school career.

The witching hour is now upon me, as I continue tweaking a few ribbon colors on Atlas Quest. I had the television on, and at this late hour, all the channels tend to play commercials. Hour long, paid advertisements. It's shocking to me that anyone would actually watch such long commercials, though I have watched parts on occasion to laugh at the ludicrous claims they make. Using their "proven" techniques, I could become rich in real estate, the stock market, or by starting my own business. With their patented veggie cutter, I'll be a five-star chef in mere minutes. They can cure baldness, help you look like a supermodel, and give me six-pack abs in just three minutes per day.

It's really kind of funny to me, and I'm astounded that anyone would ever believe such hyped up claims. Do these people not realize it's just a commercial with hyped up claims?

I was pleasantly surprised to learn tonight, the special ad was a collection of music from the 70s and 80s. I remember adjectives such as "timeless" and "amazing" being thrown around with abandoned. The thing is, I generally like music from the 70s and 80s, and of course, they played clips from all sorts of them. I was actually enjoying the commercial!

My one complaint, though, was that they kept talking too much and not playing enough music. Alas, I guess we can't have everything. *shrug*

Which brings me to.... what is the best time of your life? Because one of their so-called testimonials. I know it's fake. Competely and totally faked. You know how I know this? Because the woman said the music brings her back to the best time of her life.... in high school! Raise of hands here--anyone think that high school was really the best time of their life?

I can't say I had a bad high school career. It was probably typical for the most part. I went to school, and.... heck, I don't even remember what I did for fun back then. Probably played Tetris too much.

High school has too many constraints to be considered the best time of one's life. Curfews, lack of money, lack of transportation..... For a month or two, I deliberately avoided one particular person in fear they might try to beat me up if they ever got me alone. (I will confess, however, that I brought this situation on myself when I deliberately whacked him in the shin while playing field hockey in PE--a fate he justly deserved. But I was careful to avoid him outside of class after that!)

All-in-all, though, high school was probably the worst time of my life. Isn't that kind of normal, though? To doubt what you'll do in the future, worry about college, peer pressures. To be stuck without money or transportation. Bleh.

No, it wasn't until college when I started to have a heck of a lot more fun. That was when I first started traveling. I rafted rivers, rock climbed up steep cliffs, backpacked up tall mountains, and saw a number of very cute naked girls relaxing in hot springs. Let me tell you--that never happened in high school! (Not my high school, at least!)

I can't really say that college was the best time of my life, though. I was still learning who I was. Turns out, I didn't really get into rock climbing. Hanging on the side of a cliff all afternoon got kind of boring after the initial thrill wore off. Backpacking suited my speed more, however, allowing me to cover more ground and see more places. Rafting and canoeing were also wonderfully fun, but I was too cheap to actually buy my own gear so was always dependent on others for those particular adventures. I don't get to hot springs much anymore, but I did do a bit of solo skinny dipping while thru-hiking the Florida Trail. =)

No, the best time of my life started when I was laid off from my job at Intel. I had saved tens of thousands of dollars and suddenly found myself with enormous quantities of time. All my life I'd either had school, work, or both. For the first time in my life, I found myself with neither--AND with money to spend. That was when I started the best time of my life, traveling through Central America and thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail being highlights.

Of course, most people probably don't get that particular luxury, so I could image that for a lot of people, college could be the best time of their life. High school, though? I just don't believe that. Even when I worked at Intel, I still considered that time better than my time in high school.

Stupid fake testimonials..... Was it really so hard to get some legitimate testimonials?


Amanda from Seattle said...

I have to agree that I am having the best time of my life now too! But I also had a terrific High School time and a really great College time as well. :-) I have just had a blessed life all around :-)

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

I have to say college was pretty good, mostly because it led me to where I am now. My favorite thing in those commercials is when they show people using the "other" ways of doing things. Especially the ones for ladders and step stools. They always show someone climbing a ladder or step stool with their arms locked straight out with all their weight behind them so as to fall off the ladder because it is just soooo unsafe compaired to the one they are selling.


jamilo said...

Best time of my life? My 20s. Good times.

High school? Nah, too much violence.

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