The Sport Of Seat Jousting

There is a sport many of us engage in, but some may not even know they’re doing it. As of yet, there isn’t a sports channel for it on TV or a reality show where the likes of those who have reached momentary 13th place American Idol stardom are cast in yet another voted-off-the-island self esteem killer.

It is the competitive sport of seat jousting and it can range in intensity from a subtle dance played out when you walk just a little faster to get to the door of your favorite restaurant trying to get ahead of some Createn and his large family that have just pulled their mini-van into the parking spot next to you, to Olympic level sprinting in a race to claim front row seats when the latest make money in real estate show comes to town.


It is especially prevalent in churches when the faithful (you know who you are) stake their claim on a row of their favorite seats at 8:30 on Sunday morning with the church bulletin firmly planted on each chair as did the Apollo astronauts sticking a US flag in the lunar dirt. Welcome to our sanctuary, but please don’t sit in my seat. Church starts at 10:30 by the way.

Seat jousting has become a competitive sport for me as well. If you were to frequent the Panera Bread on Palm Bay Road between 6:25 and 6:40 on just about any Friday morning you could watch how the competition plays out much as Dian Fossey did when studying the habits of gorillas in the forests of Rwanda. Yes, I confess, it is that primitive.

The competition at the present time is between myself and the snow white haired executive vying for what we both have apparently chosen as the most comfortable booth. My territory faces east, is a large booth and allows me to place my computer case on the left and my bagel and tea on the right. All is in harmony, the world is good (at least on Fridays), and it could be feng shui for those that adhere. For several months it had been my exclusive domain until the white knight unsuspectingly wandered into foreign lands.

Not to be outdone, Friday morning blogging time moved from 7:30 to 7:00 am, only to be repeatedly thwarted in my attempts to reclaim rightful territory. Drastic measures had to be implemented when one last attempt resulted in being right behind my foe in line one morning. A mere 45 seconds less on the Drudge Report before leaving the house would have resulted in victory. Finally, rising at 5:45 and arriving at Panera at 6:30 opening time has brought the seat jousting advantage back in my favor for the last 3 weeks. I only wish I could subtly take a quick picture of the disappointment on his face when he rounds the corner with his giant cinnamon bun and coffee so as to display it here. I would just take a picture with my Nikon Coolpix, but the paparazzi like flash might startle him.

This morning became a little more competitive when after getting my order and preparing the usual whole grain bagel, I heard “Good morning sir, how can I help you?” only to look up and see the white knight riding up on his horse, okay he was walking (sorry for the drama). Luckily, I was far enough ahead of him to claim the favored booth. As he rounded the corner once again I innocently sit there as “the look” vibes my way, inside and under the radar of detectability I’m secretly pumping my fist in the air and yelling, “Winning!” ala Charlie Sheen.

Lords and Ladies, the foe has anew, been defeated.

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