Thursday, August 17, 2006
I shook with excitement all day yesterday after Kate's revelation that Shaq should be our Vice President. She was really on to something. But then late last evening on my porch, I realized that the real test of Shaq's worthiness is how well he can play croquet, which I anticipate will be the official sport of diplomatic negotiations in the future. So tactical, dignified and composed, and yet still plenty aggressive and competitive, croquet is the perfect game of government, all while you can enjoy a cold beer, a sunset and some good tunes. Indeed, comfort with a mallet, deadly accuracy around little white hoops, perfect aim with the long ball: these will be the hallmarks of great leadership in the coming years.
And I have to admit, I'm pretty darn good at croquet. It's one of the Wirsing family's proudest and most hotly-contested traditions. We face-off dozens of times at weekend get-togethers, and only my dad's crippling tendency to ignore the "poison" shows a chink in our collective armor. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained," he says stubbornly as he knocks his ball within an easy few inches of the poison ball, setting up everyone else's downfall as well. At least he has guts. My oldest brother Aaron (admiring my form in the photo above) also holds nothing back on the course. His use of the flatulent "12th defender" has been unfavorably compared to a weapon of mass destruction. Even the ozone layer fears him.
So Shaq, with all your majesty on the basketball court, will you transition fluidly to a grassy plain for a world-changing game of croquet?