A former college housemate once described her mind as a rocky tunnel with lots of low-hanging branches. IIRC, she then when on to describe herself as navigating through said tunnel at high speed while wearing a blindfold. I may be remembering this wrong, however. It was a long time ago and I have a sneaking suspicion I had been drinking heavily and/or sleep deprived.
Regardless, it is a great description.
(Incidentally, this is the same housemate who, while we were playing a round of Euchre (the sport of kings), announced for no apparent reason that her grandmother is Irish. Rest assured that no one understood then, either.)
My mind is similar, but for "low-hanging branches" substitute "odd amusements and wacky-ass trivia." And I'm not blindfolded, which I know because all of the trivia and amusements continually distract me from the tunnel itself. Oh -- and my tunnel also happens to have these tiger traps, but rather than spikes that impale the trapee, there are TVs tuned to inexplicable-yet-flypaper-sticky programs that I just can't seem to resist.
For example, if sumo wrestling is on, I will watch it. And, nope, I have no idea why. The same is true for curling. Again, no idea.
The same also used to be true for the Miss America Pageant, but I seem to have outgrown this. Or it could be that my cousin, the former Miss Teen of Florida, is no longer on the circuit. Or it could be that I just can't bear to watch a woman whose butt cheeks are glued to her swimsuit.
But I still can't move past my weird penchant for cheerleading. I'll watch is on ESPN, if given a chance. I'll argue to my last breath that it is just as physically demanding as gymnastics or ballet. I'll openly admit that I also find it odd that one of the few acceptable sports for girls -- especially Southern girls -- is based around the concept of being on the sidelines while you offer spirit support for boys who are playing a real sport. I'll even write about teams that cheer for no one. But the one thing I can't explain is why I care in the first place.
I have to disagree with Virginia Heffernan's take on Lifetime's new reality series Cheerleader Nation, which I have been watching because I just can't help myself. It does tell you quite a bit about both cheerleading and about moms and teenage girls. I remember being a teenager and will one day have a teenage girl and the show is both horrifying and reassuring in terms of how mom and girls interact. What gets me more is are the McMansions and upper-middle Appalachian lifestyle. The nail shops and motorcycles and bad dye jobs tell more about the region than a thousand dissertations. But Heffernan either missed that aspect or didn't care. It is a show about much more than pointing a mocking finger at cheerleaders and their moms. That, however, doesn't make for good copy.
Regardless, I'll still watch it until we know whether Dunbar can make the threepeat. And, deep down, I still can't quite put my finger on why I should care.