[dropcap]I[/dropcap] have a friend who’s a terrible conversationalist, because of a certain bad habit. You might know the kind of person I’m talking about. My friend is a one-upper.

Here’s how it goes:

If you wake up at six. He got up at four. If you exercise. He took second place in the Ironman. If it’s one hundred degrees where you live, he lives on the equator. Anything you do, he does better. Anything you’ve done, he’s done three times already.

It’s mentally exhausting.

And it’s not just him. I’ll bet you have someone who one-ups you, too. One-uppers are everywhere.

Even the Walmart cashier has one-upped me. She noticed I was buying cholesterol-free butter. She smiled and said, “It’s about time you cleaned up your diet.” She went on to say, “I haven’t eaten saturated fat since Ronald Regan.”

How troubling.

I think Saturated fat tastes good. Especially in the unique form of barbecued pork ribs.

Why must we one-up our fellow man like that? Why must folks insist on being the biggest, strongest, fastest, leanest, smartest, richest, and have the lowest blood pressure?

It’s a rude way to behave. I believe we ought to let someone else be the biggest-smartest-richest for a change. The world would be a better place if we let others have preferential treatment. If we listened to each other, and said things like, “That’s fascinating, tell me more.”

Maybe one day mankind will quit one-upping one another. And maybe then we’ll all eat more barbecued pork ribs like we should.

My friend can join us.

He can eat twice as many ribs as you.

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