I have a Sheldon Cooper vs. Wil Wheaton type rivalry going with Kent. This likely comes as a huge surprise to Kent since we have never been anything other than genial. In fact, Kent is a pretty good guy. He is a friend of mine on Facebook. I’ve never actually hated him.
But Kent is my bane. I imagine he is out somewhere in the world doing slightly better than me. That is the nature of our relationship. This all goes back to school days.
Kent and I went to separate junior and high schools in the Peace River region. So we didn’t meet up too often. Here is what would happen – I’d win something at my school and advance to the regional competition. Kent would do the same at his school.
We’d meet up at regionals and then Kent would kick my ass. Grr.
Now Kent would win because he was always just that much better. I’m not sure if it is natural talent or he just works harder. Acknowledging that he is better doesn’t make losing suck any less.
Two events stick in my mind although there were more. The first is a science fair project that Dave and I built together. We built a text based adventure game to model survival techniques after a nuclear holocaust. That was pretty cool.
It wasn’t perfect, but we put a lot of work into designing and building it. The two greatest weaknesses were that the science of the holocaust was not very well researched and the end game still had some bugs. Easily the niftiest science fair project I ever produced (plus it was fun working with Dave and it presaged my going into the computer science field).
Kent built a home security system that could be controlled by a hand held remote.
Really? Wow! I mean that is just too cool for school. Remember that is is back in the 80s before you could just download an app for that. That actually took some engineering to complete.
Kent won first prize. Grr.
The second is a speech contest. I can’t remember what my speech subject was, but I know I was proud of it. I found public speaking enthralling even way back then. What is memorable is seeing Kent walk into the auditorium and realize that I didn’t have the contest locked up. Not that that was a guarantee anyway – there were other class mates at school who could often beat me at public speaking. But when Kent strode in there was a moment where I knew my odds had just gone way way down.
Kent did accents during his speech. It was gimmicky, but he did it very well. They came across as honest, correct and funny. I just can’t do accents.
Kent won that contest too. I came in second.
I do not think I ever beat Kent at anything. There were several other contests. I began to watch what Kent did. Looking for that secret recipe that he had. I don’t think there was one. Kent was just a little bit better than me.
So Kent is now off somewhere in the world. he does a similar job to my own for a similar organization.
I’m sure he is doing it just slightly better than me.
[Scrunches face up and bellows pitifully in a Sheldon-esque manner:] Kent!