The best chip ever

Posted: February 20, 2020 in Uncategorized

It’s not easy to make the best guacamole dip in the universe. Even if you have the perfect avocado and limes. Because there’s stiff competition out there. Just remember those transcendent moments when the chef brought the fixings right to table-side and smashed up all the perfect ingredients right before your eyes. You could barely restrain yourself from snatching the mixing bowl right out of his hands. Now that’s competition.

So maybe the guacamole I made from scratch recently was not the best in the universe. But it was good enough. When the time came to plunge in I opened the chip bag and peered inside, searching for a volunteer. Which one would step forward and say, “Private Dorito, Sir!”

I had my eye on one, thickly cut, perfectly curved chip. This chip was just bred for durability. I reached in and retrieved the one to the exclusion of all others. It felt good in the hand. Like the feel of a perfectly shaped pencil or baseball or flute, the touch revealing as much as anything. I knew in a micro-second that the chip was made for plumbing the depths of guacamole splendor. As the edge of the chip broke the semi-slimy surface all was proceeding as expected. But then, upon extraction, when reverse tension exerted itself on the chip, it buckled and broke in two. And fragments were left drowning in the green swamp, left to fend for themselves.

What began in such a promising way ended in Dorito shame. Of course, there was no point in cursing the gods for this moment of dashed hopes. The gods had not ordained the outcome of the chip disaster because, well, they have other more important things that preoccupy them. What did determine its outcome was a slender and hidden fault-line beneath the surface of the chip. This is the Achilles heel of chipdom; little hairline fractures undetectable to the naked eye.

Appearances can be deceiving and they do deceive with some regularity. What seems to be strong is actually weak. A popular preference for shape and size proves to be disappointing. One cannot always trust one’s eyes because what is false is often presented as trustworthy. The first round draft chip may not survive the day.

People, groups and even nations are that way. Invisible fractures break when they are placed under just the right pressure. Appearances fool us because we can’t see the end of a story sleeping beneath its surface in the present. Political candidates and elected leaders buckle, sometimes under their own tension. And like the camel, something as light as a straw may finally, one day, break the hidden fault-line.

Part of our problem is that we expect a world that is always firm, always sturdy, like a fortress never failing. But except for the mighty fortress of the eternal, most of that expectation is misplaced; there’s not one thing that isn’t about to move from chip to crumbs.

So the next time you choose your first-string chips, don’t expect them to be perfect. Make sure you have a deep bench. And don’t neglect the rather ordinary fellow in the back of the bag, the one that isn’t the biggest or doesn’t appear the strongest. This free agent may end up being the star. Because in the divine economy of the universe, the most humble and ordinary chip may actually be the greatest and the one that seems to the greatest is really the most flawed and destined to crumble. Regardless of whether the guacamole is or is not the best in the universe.

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