Rivalry what izzit

Rivalry was, and still apparently is, mostly a mystery to me, what it is, why it is.

I think some exchanges on an email list recent days may be explainable by the other person considering himself a rival to me. Seems to make a bit more sense to me if I apply that viewpoint.

There probably have been lots of examples for me to learn from in my life, that were not recognized as such. As I look back, am reminiscing about a long ago thing that was "rivalry" or so I analyzed as so.

I had briefly transferred for one semester to UNM, in another attempt to get my high school love to again date me. Way back, she had complained about my old 41 Chevy. My first car after that was as dumpy. So I put my little money into a used car that someone had fancied up. It was a 51 Lincoln coupe, that had fender skirts, a sunshade, dual chrome plated headers. It looked like a 51 Mercury, nice looking but known to have no power. The difference was not easily noticed, in that the hood was at least a foot longer. Under that hood was a monster engine. If it got 10 mpg I would be surprised. The dual glass pack mufflers made it so I had to tool around town with a very light touch to the gas pedal.

I had parked on campus to go to a class, and when I got back to my car, I discovered that the car in front of my car was parked right up against my front bumper, and the car behind me was parked up right against my back bumper. That seemed odd, especially when there was 3 or 4 feet clearance on the other end of those cars.

I looked around, and noticed that I was parked across from the TKE frat house. I had a feeling lots of eyes in there were looking at my situation. I had a SAE frat sticker on my rear window; I was dimly recalling that among the games of being in a frat, there were rival frats, whatever that meant, and that the TKEs were our rivals.

So, it looked like I had been identified as a rival to their fraternity, parked across from their frat house, and was going to have to come beg to be able to get my car out.

What they did not realize was that extra of over a foot in length under the hood of my old Mercury-looking coupe.

Figuring this out in abstract - what rivalry was actually about, I suspect other people experience differently and more intensely than I do - I did know something about my monster of a car.

So I got in, started the engine, and put it in forward gear. It was not only powerful but it was also heavy. I gently pushed the car in front of me to skid a couple of feet forward; the engine rumbled a little while doing so, but with barely a fraction of what I knew it could do. It had a 4 speed Hydromatic transmission and it would peel rubber through the first three gears, and its roar would rattle the windows all over the place; this task was very easy for it. Then I gently backed up to contact the car behind me, and pushed it also back a couple of feet. Without a glance at the frat house across the street, I then pulled out into the street and went on my way, quickly forgetting about the weird people-stuff experience.

But my mind spends lots of post-activity trying to make sense of what had gone on in the day. And I concluded that the experience was caused by rivalry.

It still does not make sense to me, other than rivalry is a kind of game some people play to make their life more interesting; and being in rival fraternities enables them to know who is on the rival team. Or something like that.



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