“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to our live broadcast from the 2018 Winter Olympics. Myself and my colleague, here in the booth, will be giving you the play-by-play of tonight’s event as competitors take to the field.”


“And who will we be watching here tonight, Jim?”


“Tonight we have Alex Kienlen, a newspaper editor from Van Buren County, Arkansas, in our column writing event.”


“How is he ranked in the field?”


“He’s something of a dark horse. He has not been seen in national, or even regional competition, so he’s something of a mystery to the judges. Ah, he’s stepping up to the keyboard now.”


“What’s with the ponytail?”


“According to his press packet it’s because he couldn’t afford a facelift.”


“We’re going to get a lot of that sort of thing from him, aren’t we?”


“I’m afraid so, yes. Still, what really matters is how it goes over with the judges. Now a hush is falling over the crowd, and he’s beginning to type.”


The thing about grits is I’m thinking they’re well part of the course to world peace.


“Well what do you think about that opening?”


“It’s… odd. The real concern here is if the judges even know what grits are. Do you know what they are?”


“Like sandpaper?”


“Um … no, not at all. Okay, he’s still typing.”


But they should not, of course, be confused with whirled peas.


“Yeah, he’s going to be lucky if they let him back in the dorms after the event. You would think he would have at least put that sentence in parenthesis.”


“But grits are…?”


“It’s like Cream of Wheat, but thicker. I’m really thinking you just need to watch at this point. Wait, he just hit the Enter key again for a new paragraph.”


They are a meal of both substance, ease of preparation and, of course can be served several different ways.


“So what, he’s now talking like a 19th Century railroad baron? I’m not sure the judges are going to like that.”


I prefer mine plain…


“Also he’s apparently from another planet.”


.. although, on occasion, with butter.


“This may keep him in the running. Still, we’re all waiting for the metaphor. A spectacular one of those may salvage this run.”


The point being, of course, not the preparation, or even the consumption, but the end result.


“He seems to be setting up here.”


Because what, really, on these cold later-winter days …


“A hyphen, nicely played!”


… than a warm stick-to-your-ribs…


“Three words there…”


… breakfast followed by a cup of coffee…


“… he’s bringing in the second element…”


… perhaps enjoyed in the company of friends?


“To a question! Adding human experience! Yes, he’s definitely setting up for something here.”


I myself…


“The crowd is hushed, he’s beginning his run in…..”


… can think of no greater peace, no greater feeling, than the warmth of a morning meal, a warm drink, and friends. And I would hope we would all, all of us, be able to share this.


“Oh! Oh! Did you see that! Did you see that! That! Right there! He stacked a triple on top of human experience brining the warmth metaphor past an obvious conclusion! Oh! Oh this is amazing! History before our eyes!”


“Right there with you! The crowd is going wild! A triple! A triple! He did it! Roses are being thrown! Families are naming their children after him. This is a great moment in history! Oh this has got to impress the judges, it simply must. I’m breathless.”


“Right there with you. This is an amazing performance. Wait, wait, he still has column-inches to finish his routine. His elbows are up, he’s preparing to type what we can only hope is a big close.”


And so much better this than the empty promise of whirled peas.


“I want this man deported.”


“What in the name of … what was that?”


“So help me, I will not sleep until the man is put on a boat and cast from our shores.”


“He seems to be laughing.”


“I don’t think he even cares about the judges.”