I am Not a Number . . . I am a Free Man!

Published: November 16, 2011

In both the spirit of the NBA lockout and the spirit of being a contrarian, I’ve decided to end a lockout even if I can’t end the lockout.

So gone are the days of being the prisoner trapped inside a numbered cell. No . . . I’ll leave that to the other arenas of my life.

If you want to ignore this silly little name that I was stuck with, feel free. Call me 42 if your heart so desires.

I’m told this move furthers the illusion that I’m a mature, responsible adult, who will be taken very seriously by everyone who reads what I write. I tend to think that words, observations, arguments, etc. should be taken on their merits and not these human, all too human trappings.

Interlude (true story):

(In an 8:00 a.m. Number Theory class, my professor was turning homework back to us. He started with me since I was at the `end’ of the U-shaped arrangement of tables. We got along fine, but he decided to rib me one morning in front of the class. . .

Dr. Mitchell: You know, Jason, you should do your homework in pencil.

Undergrad Jason: Why, Pat?

Dr. Mitchell: It might be the definition of arrogance to do your math homework in pen.

Undergrad Jason: My handwriting it messy, and you can see it better in pen. I’m doing you a favor, dude.

Dr. Mitchell: Just do your homework in pencil.

Undergrad Jason: If I did it in crayon, it’d still be right.

(Dr. Mitchell just grinned, shook his head, and passed the homework back to Trampas and the others.)

Nevertheless, there are higher principles at work.

What the hell do I know?

Smart people said this is a smart thing

This name is just as meaningless as the other, or any other the other

In theory, readers, journalists, and the New Orleans Hornets and their staff will more easily relate with me, give me credentials, etc. I already get along with them pretty well, but no harm done, right? Sort of a Pascal’s Wager thing going on.

So, I replace one set of squiggles for another, but remaining just as free and just as trapped. I do hope this change, of course, has positive effects, but if nothing else, those who know me as 42 are now officially “old school,” which I think is just awesome. That, my friends, is my gift to you in this.

I remember the first time I was called old school. I walked into my bar, and a new doorman was on duty. The guy asked for my ID, which is just hilarious . . . I could walk into bars at 15 since I had some facial hair . . . since second grade . . . and was always pissed off at life. Anyway, I grinned and started reaching for it, but the regular guy kind of popped him on the chest and said, “Unh uh. He’s old school.” One of the proudest moments of my life, that right there.

At any rate, I am, I’m me.

With luck, I’ll bring you another name change in 3 months.


Until then, I have but one thing to say:



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