Why We Act

The least you can care

In the summer of 1993, I ate nothing but Goldfish and ice cream, just to get out of playing Little League.

In third grade, my grandma signed me up for Little League. She’d noticed that I spent all of my free time playing Sega Genesis and reading Calvin and Hobbes and (rightfully) insisted that I’d benefit from physical activity and socialization.

It did not go well.

There were two problems:

  1. I didn’t watch baseball.
  2. I didn’t care about winning.

As a result, I tried very hard to not try very hard. I’ll never forget the time I spent an at-bat slowly striking out while my coach barked from the dugout, “Choke up on your bat!”

I still don’t know what that means.

The last day of Little League season was Family Day, a full day potluck cookout. Each of the players’ families was responsible for bringing something for everybody on the team to eat. I asked my mom to buy a giant tub of Goldfish crackers, since that wouldn’t require any preparation. That, and napkins. People always need more napkins.

However, when Family Day arrived, I refused to go. I had already decided I was done with Little League, so why would I have lunch with teammates I didn’t care about? My mom was relieved, because she didn’t have to waste a day in the hot sun small-talking yuppie parents.

Thus, I spent the rest of the summer eating through that Family-size tub myself, handful by tiny handful.

I cared so little about Little League that I couldn’t even bother to show up to a potluck.

That’s about the least you can care about anything.

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