These Go to “11”

Hi, gang.

Just 11 days left until the axis flip!

So, hang in there a little longer; before you know it, we’ll be headed in the right direction.

As for today’s countdown, spotlighting number 11, let’s borrow from a true cult classic. (Someone actually mentioned it on a Zoom call at work today, and I have to give it its due.)

You have to go all the way back to 1984 for This Is Spinal Tap, but it’s well worth the trek. (If you’re not familiar with the film, the number 11 is significant: Just imagine speakers and amplifiers and other then-state-of-the-art equipment so powerful that the sounds actually max out at “11,” not “10!”)

And in keeping with that best-of-the-best mentality, let’s go one notch higher. Yes, let’s celebrate a few of those 10s+ out there, those ‘peeps who remind us that some semblance of perfection is not only attainable, it acts like pure rocket fuel for the rest of us!

So, given that some of our heroes out there – both living and dead, real or fictional – are just that exceptional, let’s up the ante to “11” for each of them.

And now, without further ado, our Murderer’s Row of “11s”:

  1. Nadia Comaneci – A lifetime ago now, but if you haven’t heard the name before, think perfection in gymnastics. Regarded by many as the greatest gymnast in Olympic history, the Romanian-born superstar posted frequent scores of “10” (an unprecedent six of them, in fact!) on her way to three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal, Canada. Remember that such perfection never existed before her day and hasn’t been eclipsed since. Hence the designation of “11” for the girl known as “Nana,” now of Norman, Oklahoma, USA.
  2. George Bailey – I suspect that most of you have, at least, heard of It’s a Wonderful Life, the story of a small-town dreamer who makes Job look like a chronic complainer!  (We even dis
    cussed George B. on another thread recently.) Such folks – real and imagined – don’t grow on trees, so if you think you may have a real-life “George Bailey” type somewhere out there, hang onto him/her for dear life! (Besides, with the Holidays fast approaching, maybe there should be a whole lot more of George Bailey
    in all of us.)
  3. Freddy Mercury – For those who may have missed Queen the first time around, revisit some of those albums and listen to that voice.  As always, such things are subjective, but I’d put that voice up against anyone’s over the last 50+ years – probably longer.
  4. Bo Derek – This is a little bit of an obligatory mention, I guess, but she did inspire a film of the same title (That would be 10, of course.), so I say we elevate her to “11” status. And you ‘wanna hear the crazy thing?…Little Mary C. Collins (Bo’s given name) of Long Beach, CA is now 65 years old!)
  5. John Irving – While this choice reeks of personal preference on my part, if you haven’t read any of this guy’s stuff, I would urge you to try.  Literature – even its finest works – often has holes in it, but if you’re looking for the perfect arc in a story, a well-defined beginning/middle/end, I would like to suggest A Prayer for Owen Meany by Mr. Irving.  He’s got some great ones (World According to Garp, The 158-Pound Marriage, for example), but Owen Meany may be about as close to that perfect “11” as you can get.

    See you back here tomorrow, as we work toward single digits!


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