Joe is learning how to drive, so I let him take the wheel whenever possible. This morning, I let him drive from his dermatologist appointment back to school. As he cruised along, enjoying the feel of the steering wheel in his hands, he announced, “I think I’d like to learn how to drive stick shift. I would get at least ten interesting points if I knew how to drive stick.”
“Interesting points? You mean there’s a point system? How many points do you think I have?” I asked him.
“Probably about 300,” Joe replied without hesitation. Not knowing what the scale was, I didn’t know if 300 was high or low. Does that mean I’m interesting, or as dull as dishwater?
I asked Joe what else you get interesting points for. “Oh, I don’t know, traveling to unusual places,” he answered.
“I’ve traveled to some unusual places, so I get points!” I cried delightedly. (Notice how I instantly bought into Joe’s entirely made up concept, which might help explain my fragile psyche.)
For the rest of the drive, we added to the “interesting points” list and came up with the following things you could get points for. It’s an incomplete list and you should feel free to add to it:
- Being a spy or special forces, 100 points.
- Playing an instrument, 25 points.
- Doing dangerous things like bungee jumping, skydiving or spelunking, 10 points each.
- Knowing a lot about pop culture, 25 points.
- Having a highly skilled job, like brain surgeon or chaos theoretician, 100 points.
- Knowing how to cook, 25 points (surprisingly, that one was Joe’s.)
- Knowing how to pilot a plane or a boat, 25 points.
- Knowing how to ride a horse, 25 points.
- Plus you get 10 points for every unusual place you’ve visited.
It’s not for nothing that Ernest Hemingway was the original “most interesting man in the world.” He was an ambulance driver during World War I where he was wounded by mortar fire; worked as a foreign correspondent based in Paris; was friends with Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and Picasso; James Joyce was his drinking buddy; was in countless accidents, including two successive plane crashes while on safari in Africa; married four times; had houses in Cuba and Idaho; and won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize. That adds up to, I think, about 10,000 points.
Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. Ernest Hemingway
How many interesting points do you have? What would you add to the list of things you get interesting points for? Please let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear what you think!