or… The fun and Fury of Competition
Question: Do you think you are competitive? In what areas?
To a point. It’s nice to share similar talents with someone else. Setting goals, raising the bar, trying to do a little better, it’s good to improve and pace yourself with others. If it comes down to it, and winning means doing it at the sake of an ego trip, I don’t need it. I mean, winning is good. It makes me feel like I accomplished something. Sometimes you’re up against someone who isn’t out to compete fairly. It’s only fair when the rules go their way, and if they don’t, the rules get trampled on. They’re not in it for the sportsmanship and competition… go ahead… win… if it means that much to you to cheat to get it, or throw a tantrum
There’s plenty of room to compete, and help each other to achieve goals along the way.
What areas? The vague answer is in the areas I like. The things I’m good at, or know about. But even so, I know I don’t know it all, or am all that good at it. If its something outside what I think I know about, I’d rather not contribute, and silently sit on the sidelines.
Since this is a blog about classic, old time radio shows, I took a glance through that world to see how competition stacks up.
Lum and Abner find themselves in competition with Squire Skimp over any business venture that hints at success. Then there’s frequent battles of the sexes, when Lizabeth and the ladies of town rise up against their men, often over a misunderstanding with a marriage bureau, or after a rumor that Lum may have spread in an attempt to apply psychology over them. The manipulation never goes well for him.
In the acidemic world of Madison High, Connie Brooks is most often in subtle combat in areas of love, against the oblivious, and bashful Philip Boynton. Then there’s the outright clashes with the catty Miss Enright, usually for those same affections, but sometimes in being in charge of the English department. Hers isn’t the only rivalry to come out with a humorous end. Throckmorton P Gildersleeves is always embroiled in fights of a fickle nature. Beginning with his role as Fibber McGee’s neighbor, and their conflicts on par with two schoolboys arguing over the same toys, to his many impetuous relationships with the cast on his own show. He managed to lead by example in the ageless parenting woes with Leroy and Marjorie, and not always a good one. His bickering with judge Horace Hooker went from awkward rivals, to being good friends.
Life on 79 Wistful Vista was always jam packed of verbal sparring, puns, and the like, when Fibber McGee crossed paths with his many neighbors and friends in the neighborhood. The confirmed busybody had the skill of just about any form of literary style imaginable, bent to the shape of comedy. Many other comedy shows played on conflict and competition, based on some misunderstanding or other. Possibly the biggest and best rivals of all time was that between Jack Benny and Fred Allen. Begun as a joke or two at each other’s expense over a child violinist, it was thought the momentum would come to an end in a few short weeks. It would be a feud to last for well over 15 years.
As you might expect, westerns are chock full of rivalries, the kind that lead to countless gun battles. Jealousies, loyalties, and personality conflict drive the action. Rustlers, buffalo hunters, and all manner of ne’er do wells get their come upance at the hand of Marshals, sherifs, lone rangers, or just plain good guy heroes with a six shooter.
Here’s a form of competition where the hero of the show manages to stay out of the fray.
Box 13 – The Better Man. 490102
Dan Holiday is a freelance author who gets ideas from people who write to him at Box 13 at the Star Times. His adventure this week is in response to a wealthy man with an interesting proposition. He has hidden several hundred dollar bills around the city. It sends Dan on a treasure hunt.
Though Dan isn’t interested in the cash, the challenge has him hooked. If he can find the stashes of cash, the rich man will let him have it, and donate that much more over to charity. There’s some competition. Among the total of four people, one is a person who is not above killing for his stake in the money, and ignoring the benefit to give to charity, or split with the other three. The game is played by finding a stash, and using the clue there to find the next one. It’s a deadly race, and the treasure hunt is on.
The first clue has Dan doing some star gazing. The next clue comes with a warning, and news that not all the participants have survived the first clue. The next clue is a stumper, and Dan has an encounter with the last remaining participant. What does he want? Will Dan play along and join forces with him to take all the money and run? Whatever game the rich man is really playing starts to make Dan wonder if it’s worth being a participant.
With the clues mastered, what awaits him at the old man’s house? The game isn’t over just yet. Dan has to fight for his life, but he’s able to put the old man on the spot, and get his own brand of revenge.