Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cannonballs - The Origin Story

Do you remember the first time you stayed up past midnight?

I do.

It was a momentous occasion. Our family was at my Grandpa Bergman’s house over the Christmas holiday. Together with all the cousins, we ate food, opened presents, laughed, ate food, played games, visited, and ate food. This ritual occurred every holiday season. The night would pass by and suddenly it was late. Late for a kid, at least. Turn back into a pumpkin late.

On one such night, I remember all of us sitting around at the end of the festivities. It was around midnight, and we were about to disperse for slumber. The problem was we were all too tired to actually get up and go to our various houses or beds. I was lying on Grandpa’s lavender couch. It was one of those big geometrical couches, not like the cushy sofas of today. It had these wide armrests that were the perfect size for a kid to perch or lie on.

It was late and we were too languid (oooh, big word) to even visit much. As my parents and older siblings tell me, we were lounging in this weary silence when suddenly I disclosed my divine revelation.

At least that’s what I call it. (Cut me some slack. I was eight years old.)
What did I say?
I’m glad you asked. Your life will never be the same after you hear it. I know mine never was (my family won’t let me forget it). Are you prepared to broaden your horizons? Are you sure?
Okay, here goes:
“Cannonballs are heavy.”
I’m not certain where this outstanding observation originated. I recall just staring at the ceiling and letting it escape my lips. I don’t know if I had ever even seen a real cannonball before. (I have since on trips to historical forts. And those metal spheres do look pretty hefty.) I probably figured out the relative weight of cannonballs from watching too many Bugs Bunny cartoons. Thanks a bunch, Warner Bros.

Needless to say, my declaration made an impression on my relatives. Impressed in the same way they burst out laughing during another Christmas. My brother, sister, and I were jointly opening a present. As we did, I thought the gift was a board game we already owned. So I said, “Push Over again!” in an all-knowing fashion. Well, it was not Push Over. It was Sorry!, and boy, was I sorry. Everyone thought my mistake was hilarious—everyone except me.
Live and learn, I suppose.
I encourage you to learn from these writings and resources. Alas, not all of my contributions will be as meaningful as the massiveness of artillery projectiles. Nevertheless, the purpose of my words here are to teach, inspire, and expose you to the revelations encountered in my life. (Along with the joy of all things internet. Gotta keep up my geek-cred.)
But why should you learn from me? Why should you spend your valuable time reading my thoughts?
Got me.
As Socrates once said to Plato . . . .

Well, it was in Greek and I wouldn’t understand it, anyway. If my writings are for no one else, then they will be for my ancestors. When I’m old and senile, my children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, etc., can read through these paragraphs and say, “Hmm, that explains a lot.”

Maybe someday when I’m rich and famous, I’ll compile these entries as my official “memoirs.” It could be after my ten hardcover bestsellers; or after my Box Office record-breaking, Oscar-winning, provocative action-romance movie saga masterpiece for kids of all ages; or maybe after my two-term presidency. I’ll retire and publish a book for the millions clamoring to experience all that is “Daniel ‘Danny’ Jay Bergman.”
Then I can relax and ride this gravy train until the day I hop aboard that sweet chariot to the Other Side. All thanks to some heavy cannonballs.

Note: All characters, produce, and philosophers are copyrighted by their respective creators.

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