He was obsessed with giving away his own trophies, and by the time he turned forty his family and friends stopped inviting him over to holiday parties and birthdays. Just to be clear, they were still called trophies, in this small town, even though they now had zero value.
In his thirties, before everyone decided enough was enough, he was on every mantle of every home, he was a great conversation piece. At one point the mayor gave him a key to the city for his accomplishments. We would all speculate about him, his first place in regional high dive, his Chess champion of ’94, his Best long shot in Archery ’92.
Now, I want to talk about how he removed value from a word. A word that is in fact synonymous with value. Personally, I’ve dropped a trophy before. Apparently I don’t know how to hold symbols above my head and give acceptance speeches.
I’ve found that both trophies and symbols, they’re heavy- just so you have trouble with their weight.
Now imagine being handed a trophy that wasn't earned.
Upon reaching his late thirties everyone quietly decided that he was actually handing out a very certain type of exhaustion. Over night it seems his trophies became late night ear worms - without explanations. Why did he give me Best Homemade Pear Cider, and she gets Tallest Sandcastle in New Hampshire?
He’ll tell you about the day the pawn shop next-door to the grocery store hung a sign in the front window reading “No More Trophies Please.”
Though in truth the Pawn shop owner simply had no idea how to price them.
What is State Javelin Champion worth when compared to Best of Tristate Lumberjack? Is biggest bubble blown at state fair worth anything at all, it’s so gaudy and gluttonous and bronze.
And were they worth more or less if they all held the same name, his name.
And was his name worth less? Was he worth less? Was he spread thin, just like his trophies?