Roy Exum: No, I’m Not Average

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

When Bear Bryant was the football coach at Alabama, he had a most delicious way of keeping his players on an even keel. If a player got a bit full of himself, Coach would set it up with one of his writer friends like this: “When everybody gets to where they ask questions, I want you to ask about (insert name) and how he is playing this year, alright?”

It would always turn out that among the players who accompanied Coach Bryant to his weekly press was Bryant’s “goat” of the day and when, as directed, Coach would be asked about this particular player his response would be to barely shake his head before Bryant would respond, “He’s ordinary … I was hoping for more, but so far the boy is just average…”

Because the writer was in on the barb, you could obviously not take your eye off the hapless kid and the reaction was awful. Man, nobody wanted to be called “average” by Coach, and being called “ordinary” in a crowd of over-achievers made more than several think of quitting. Of course, later that afternoon “Mr. Average” would have the most determined day of practice ever.

“You know I didn’t mean it when I called you average,” Coach would whisper to the miscreant in the next day or two but by then the boy would have already cleansed his soul, continued to practice like all get out, and come “election day,” (the next game) you mighty right the player “would cast a vote!”

I think about being “average” or “ordinary” and it was 20 times more effective than any curse word could ever be. Another single-word epitaph Bryant used but was rarely heard because his office door would be shut. He liked to remind a player in trouble that the kid was “common,” and if he was really ticked he would add, “Yard-dog common, you hear me!”

The only reason I bring this up is because yesterday was a rattle for me and as I was trying to crawl out of “writer’s block” with time ticking fast, I found a list of things somebody decided every boy should know. On the list you’ll see that people who write on a keyboard – with the proper technique – an average person will use their left hand 51 percent of the time.

Since my right arm is more of less “ornamental,” I type with my left hand 100 percent of the time, which gives further credence I ain’t “average.”

Here’s a list of bonafide wisdom a reader just shared with me:

SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING … HOW ABOUT THESE?

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.

A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for three years.

Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

Butterflies taste with their feet.

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

February 1865 was the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon until February 2018.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

If you are an average American, in your whole life, you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.

It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

The sentence:  "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous .

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

There's no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones Chewable Vitamins.

Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself.

* * *

There, now you know just about everything which lends testimony you aren’t average, either!

royexum@aol.com


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