Wooden soldiers and Cash Cabs

Dunn for Now

Sean Dunn, News Editor

I was thinking of what I’ve been wanting to write for this week’s opinion piece, and the few quiet things that were happening in my life felt too stretched out to make any sort of point. Not that an opinion needs a point, but I think it’s important to leave something of value to your readers. Anywho, I looked to my environment for a sense of something worthy. I eventually came to the conclusion that we, ultimately, are the products of our environment.

In my environment was my television screen. I don’t watch regular TV anymore. But my parents do, mostly game shows. They watch the good game shows, though; I’m talkin’ Family Feud, America Says and Cash Cab. I especially like Cash Cab. The premise is unique and the trivia is fun to guess, but the best part about that show is the host: Ben Bailey. He’s a really damn good host! He’s friendly, personable, smart, and funny. He tries to find a way to relate to the contestants, and is always professional. Plus, his voice is great. He’s like the Mike Rowe of game shows; in fact, he’s so alike, an executive at Discovery Channel actually confused the two, thinking Mike was the host of Cash Cab. I think this mix-up between the two speaks volumes about the honest charisma they both possess, along with voice talent.

For Mike and Ben, their talent is outward; this is the nature of being show hosts, of course. However, I have a friend whose talent has been reserved. Will White, a good long distance cohort of mine, is a pretty soft-spoken guy. Soft-spoken, that is, until you get to know him. Like Ben, he’s friendly, personable, smart, and funny. These adjectives, though, don’t hit exactly what Will is all about. I think the best way to describe him would be the phrase “Still waters run deep”. The other day, out of the blue, he showed me a small piece of fiction that he wrote during a long absence from the community he and I interact through. His piece is called “Ballad of the Wooden Knight.” It’s a story of seven knights being transformed into different materials, such as bronze, stone, gold, and (of course) wood.

I knew Will was talented from pretty early on, but then HOLY SHIT. He hits me with this wonderful fiction piece, just out of the blue. At this point I think to myself, maybe I didn’t know him as well as I thought I did. I’ve got a big, bad flaw: envy.

Seeing other people be successful makes me aware of the ways that I am not or ways I think I’m not successful. For Will, however, this wasn’t exactly the case. At first, I remember thinking “Why can’t I write like this?”. But, then my next thought was “Maybe I should try taking a page out of his book.” (Figuratively, of course.)

Will is different; instead of boastful, he is hopeful. Rather than being ignorant, he supports his friends. Most importantly, he doesn’t keep to himself; he inspires others. Because of this, I’m not jealous of him. He makes me want to do better. I think everyone could do with someone like him in their life, personally. Being products of our environment means it’s important to have good things around us. Having someone to inspire you, however, is essential.

A nice TV to watch Cash Cab is also kind of nice.