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Writing openings has always come somewhat hard for me. I'm not really sure why. I know the various tricks. I know I am supposed to grab your attention, ideally with a personal anecdote or some such thing, but nothing comes to mind.

This reminds me of eigth grade. The teacher created a game loosely modeled after football called "football spelling." Just like real football, I was unable to get a firm grasp on the rules, but the gist of it was if you spelled a word correctly your team advanced until there were only two teams left. Sort of like a spelling bee, but with a dash of sports to make it appealing to the jocks in the class.

I may not have understood football, but I understood spelling. I was even reasonably good at it, seeing as how back in the dark days of 1984, the ability to spell had not yet been superceded by wordprocessors and other high-tech doodads.

My friend and I (I believe it was James) never made it to the playoffs. Reflecting back on this I feel somewhat bad because he was one of those rare well rounded people--an exceptional student, yet popular with a good set of social skills. He probably should have teamed up with someone slightly more inclined towards achievement than I was, but we were friends and even if it means having your friend drag you down to the depths of mediocrity, friends stick together.

Our turn came and James went first. The first few words came and went without a hitch. James had just completed a word and it was my turn again. I don't recall what the word was, but it was a doozy. I tried my darndest. A few letters came out and then where the next letter should have been, a conglomeration of sounds that comprised the latter part of the word emerged. Yes, this means that if I were given the word, "radish" (a word that I have to assure you I've never had trouble with), my spelling for it would have sounded something like this:

r-a-d-ish

It's not that I was trying to be a smart-aleck, but rather that my brain just ceased to function in the heat of the moment. The pressure of the eight grade spelling football contest was too much for me to withstand.

Perhaps this is what I am experiencing right now. I am trying to activate the proper introduction areas of my brain and nothing is happening. Oh well. Who needs an intro anyhow?

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