I Am A Hero?

Apparently, I’m a hero to my wife today. Not because I saved a child, or because I rescued her from one of those terrifying run-in’s with the hideously gigantic house spiders we find scurrying across the floor from time to time. Nor is it because I conquered the corporate world, secured a fat raise, and the proverbial mansion on the hill. Neither, did I win a major bass fishing championship, riding around the arena with the trophy on my lap and American Flag held proudly at my side as my wife and three young daughters wave at the crowd and gush over my angling skill. Rather, I fixed a leaky toilet.

Not exactly the conquest I dream of when it comes to water however. I usually picture myself boldly running 30 minutes to the opposite end of the lake with an hour and a half to fish before weigh-in, catching a seven pounder, and running 30 minutes back the other way. Upon arriving at the scales with a minute to spare, I wink at Gary Dobyns who was nervously anticipating my return, as he only moments earlier weighed in a 24-pound bag to take over the lead.

I confidently hand five bags to the Weighmaster, and as he announces my weight of 27-pounds, I see Dobyns kick dirt, knowing I had just beaten him by a pound. (No offense Gary, but you know we all secretly dream of beating you) “At 2:30 the wind came up, and I made a run to the other end of the lake, and caught a seven pounder that culled a five,” I remark to the throngs who had stayed around to hear my acceptance speech. “There are days like that in this game,” I continue. “I just knew when that wind came up, I would get one more big spinnerbait fish, and it worked out.” Some days we get to be a hero, which is fun, because most of the time we wind up being a zero.

You’re saying one of two things to yourself as you finish reading that last section: a:) Man wouldn’t that be cool, beating Dobyns for a major victory, I can just taste it. Or, b:) HA, HA HAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! Stop it, (Gasp, Choke, Wheeze) I can’t breathe! O’Sullivan… beat Dobyns at anything other than a donut-eating contest. (I can taste that Krispy Kreme Championship now). Hey, c’mon guys quit laughing, even writers have feelings, well… some of us do.

The point to this whole column is this; everybody gets his or her chances to be a hero, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time. To me, being a hero may mean winning the Bassmaster Classic, or hitting a home run to win the World Series, or beating Gary Dobyns at anything, donut-eating contest included. To others, your status as a hero may simply revolve around reading them a story before bed every night, or playing with them after you come home from work. Still to others, it may be volunteering your time to the Make a Wish Foundation, or rescuing a puppy from certain death from the shores of a lake. Every instance mentioned above is significant.

But, fixing a leaky toilet, does that make me a hero? You know, that really wasn’t an easy fix, like changing out the hose that connects the toilet to the shutoff valve at the wall. This was replacing the wax ring, which meant removing the whole toilet, draining the water, scraping the old wax from the base, blah, blah, the whole thing took an hour. But, my beautiful wife (which is what I call her when I get to go fishing, or I want to go fishing) told me she was proud of me for stepping out of my comfort zone on the couch, reading the directions, and fixing the leaky commode. I suppose that could elevate me to hero status, at least until I neglect to take the trash out next time.

Someday, perhaps I will get to be a hero in the way I detailed a few paragraphs before, however, today, I will accept the fact that I was a hero to my wife for the toilet, and for going to my daughter’s first ballet recital, tomorrow may be different. My point to all of this is simple. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a hero, take somebody fishing soon, maybe a neighborhood kid, your son, daughter or perhaps a grandkid. You will find that the feelings you get are greater than beating anybody for that major championship, ask Dobyns, he knows both.