Award Season

By GREG MAFFETT
Published: December 1, 2010

Sitting here at the west coast desk of the TWMF blog site, the onslaught of award season is overwhelming. The never ending stream of invites to the Globes, Emmy’s, Oscars…I don’t mind to say I’m well nigh immobilized by the pile of envelopes I need to open. And then, sadly, elegant calligraphy I’ll have to decline. I can’t be everywhere at once. Truth be told, I try. And therein lies my problem. I’m a guy. Guys move. In fact, I move so much, I can’t get anywhere in life.

Since I can’t seem to dig myself out of this mess, I’ve consulted with the chief and decided we’d start our own award program here at TWMF. Being a guy I had to look for something uniquely guy-like. I couldn’t think of anything in our current culture that would work. This is such an androgynous century. But hooking up with Peabody and hopping into the way back machine, I was able to dial up a day when men had a uniquely mannish device, that is the pocket watch. Of course the Pocket Watchie didn’t make it past the senior editor back east. “Try again, mook!” was the pithy reply. Ok, so I did. What else was there? Oh yeah, the Watch Fob! A quick jingle back east and Ouilla! The Fobbies were born.

Now that we had the hard part licked, all we needed was something that looked like a criteria for the award. Like all the other awards, the actual winners will be based on back room politicking of the finest kind, but we needed a smokescreen to feign legitimacy. My normal approach to such a problem would be to pop open a copy of Firefox and Google “Award criteria”. Today I didn’t even need to type in the box. Talk about serendipitous!

Simply mousing over the icon near the box gave me the criteria. A text box popped up that informed me “55th anniversary: Rosa Parks refuses to move” Well, then I had me some inspiration. Now I could and did fill in the block. The word I typed in was “inertia”.

Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest. It is represented numerically by an object's mass.

Yes, the Fobbies was, is and forever more shall be an award given to those who display this oft neglected property of physics. Intransigence is in! You read it here first.

You see how this is going to roll out don’t you?

First off, you know there is no risk of self dealing. I’m the guy with the “Be the change you want to see in the world” sign plastered over my doorway. Actually, that sign wasn’t so much for me as my neighbors. I live in a very, very blue neighborhood politically. And these blue staters have a tendency to be just a wee bit inert. And in truth that makes sense, blue is the color of a corpse and here I am trying to incite my neighbors to be a little less corpse like. But that was the old me. The new me is jumping on the rocker with both feet. I’m just going to sit here and award people for well, sitting. Don’t bet, don’t fold-Hold! That is our motto or mantra or sumpin.

So here are few people that are not going to be nominated. Bret Farve. Love his work with the Packers, or the Vikings, or the Packers while he was active or retired from the NFL. Somewhere in there he figured out how to text. Way too much motion for an inertia Award. No Fobbie for you! Same issue with LeBron James. He’d have been a tough call even if he stayed in Cleveland, due mainly to his tendency to leap over top 7 foot tall Asian dudes.

And my personal favorite Tiger isn’t likely to be inert either.

So it’s pretty clear to me that I’m going to need to look elsewhere for my nominees. I think sports figures are out. And the more I think about it, guys are probably out also. This is going to break my misogynistic little heart, but I’ve talked it over with management and he informed me that I agree. This is going to be a female only award. Upon hearing that, I inquired as to whether either of the females he lives with would make a good nominee. I’m thinking he’ll get back to me on that when locates the phone once again.

I should mention that we haven’t actually designed the award yet. In truth, neither of us has ever seen an actual fob per se. But we have this vague idea that since the award is wearable it should have a militaristic flair, something like medals. And since medals come with clusters for notable achievement, we do plan to cluster these Fobbies up real good.

Oh, this just in from our legal department. They tell us we need to keep the nominees secret. Something about Wiki leaks and lots of other legal mumbo jumbo. Ok fine, I can work with that. In fact maybe I can check in with my brother and see if he’d like to anonymously nominate his…Ok he’s passing on that also. Interesting. Perhaps that is how people live together. They just decide it will be an award free zone and roll with it. Well none of that out here. Cohabitation I mean.

Had these awards been in place back in the 90’s, I know exactly where I’d have started. Even though I have historically bashed the blue state’s mercilessly, I have to admit that they saved my bacon. I just came across the notion that the current health care debacle would have been upon us in the 90’s were it not for the intransigence of the former first lady. She refused to compromise and we had a working health care system for the last 15 years or so. So there, I can say nice things about the blue people. But that is old news and we need some modern nominees. Eventually, we will get them. This idea is gathering lots of moss as we speak. It’s not going to roll off to Oregon or the like.

So I have a few ideas for totally unnamed people who bear no resemblance to actual people who might be nominees.

First and foremost I’d like to mention the lass from my old school, UC Berkeley. She did an academic study, complete with an ordinary least squares regression, on how inert men and women are when watching TV in Italy. Specifically, she was checking to see how often people watch something because they were too lazy to click the remote control. While men were more energetic clicker wise, the real eye opener was the amount of time the sexes watched TV. Turns out women were far, far ahead at sitting solidly in front of the TV. I had to reflect back on just what the guys might be watching while the women were watching TV. I then reflected back on how comely those fair ladies are and all I can say is signorina buonasera! Sadly, I can’t give that particular researcher the award because of her incredible effort involved in conducting the study and writing up the study. But I am extending an honorary Fobbie(with Remote Control Clusters) to the lovely ladies of Italia!

Oh, just got a report from another University where there is a certain instructor who insists on giving the exact same lecture the exact same way for over four decades. The students seem to really enjoy this as most weren’t even alive in the 60’s when those jokes were invented. Not sure this professor will be around much longer as technology is bound to end this run. Doing the exact same thing every time out of the gate lends one to be recorded, laid off and reproduced as a podcast. So this individual is up for the award with the iPod clusters.

Finally the domestic nominee is someone who does not live with my brother. This lady was renowned for sitting on a sofa for hours with an empty coffee cup, just waiting for another family member to move towards the kitchen. At which point the coffee cup would magically levitate to the moving family member who would then be compelled to refill the cup. The strength of this individuals internal constitution puts her in the running for a Fobbie with a Cast Iron Bladder cluster.

Well, I’m sure the nominees are going to be pouring into my desk once the word on this gets out. I’d say I’ll be sitting at my desk waiting patiently for the mail, but let’s face it. I’m a guy.

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