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Aledo Times Record - Aledo, IL
It's Either the Sun or an Orange Bowling Ball
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By Gary DeNeal
Gary DeNeal is the editor and publisher since 1985 of Springhouse, a bi-monthly magazine focusing on the history and lore of southeastern Illinois.
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By Gary DeNeal
July 9, 2013 12:01 a.m.

People brag about the strangest things.


 


Back when I attended SIU at Carbondale my roommate insisted he had the lowest IQ of anyone on campus. I tried to counsel with him, saying if he looked around surely he could find someone with an IQ lower than his, but he would have none of it. In fact, he seemed proud of this self-proclaimed negative distinction. I gave up trying.


 


When we went bowling he always kept score, only because I was unable to figure out the procedure. Then one day it hit me that if he had such a low IQ and was keeping score, what did that say about me? I began experiencing waves of gloom, followed by long bouts of meditation resulting in intensified gloom. I was in time able to live with this devastating uncertainty concerning the quality of my own mind, yet to say the echo has faded entirely would be saying too much.


 


What happened to this guy I do not know. I only know I had several roommates over the years, and some of them bragged about this and that, but he was the only one who prided himself on having a low IQ.


 


I hope he did well in life. It would be heartening to learn he had an epiphany one day, that light at its rawest came shooting down from the heavens and lit him up inside like a jack-o’-lantern, and once he was able to latch onto a set, he immediately started reading the Encyclopedia Britannica 11th Edition cover to cover, quitting only upon zipping through the last entry under Z. That such an event happened is unlikely, but you never can tell.


 


Good luck old friend. Maybe you were putting me on all along. In any case, just remember I never caught you cheating on the bowling scores—not that I would I have been able to tell—and I’ll tell you something else. A couple of those aforementioned roommates were so brilliant the room crackled with intellectual electricity. Time has dimmed that wondrous chaos. You, on the other hand, who wore intellectual dimness as a kind of shield, I will never forget.


 


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