I had a very strange compliment the other day.
Those of you who care may be aware that Kansas University won the National college basketball campionships last week. Since 90% of the people in my office graduated from KU or are from the area, there was a considerable fervor at my workplace. Of course most of my co-workers are well aware that I care not a fig about organized sports, much less college athletic programs, and anyway I have no affliations to KU. I try not to be outwardly scornful of the hoopla, but it's pretty obvious I'm only being polite when I ask if anyone is going to the game and they have to tell me it's in San Antonio, Texas.
Anyway, the final game was between KU and Tennessee--whatever their team name is. My co-worker Darin is a mild-mannered, very quiet and pleasant guy who happens to be a KU fan. His wife is from Memphis. I gather the past weekend was rather tense in their house.
It seems that KU got a big lead early in the game, but then began to slump and the Tennessee team began to catch up. By the time there was two minutes remaining on the clock, KU was down by five points.
I know this because Darin told me all about it, Friday afternoon while we were waiting for it to be quitting time. "I thought of you then," he told me. "I figured it was all over, and I was so mad. I said to my wife, 'Enjoy your title!' and I stomped off to the bedroom--I just wanted to be alone. I didn't even want to see the end of it. And I thought about you, and I thought it must be nice."
"Because I didn't care?" I said.
He nodded, smiling ruefully. "I kind of envied you for that."