Let me start by talking a little bit about where I come from. I grew up in a small house built in the 1950’s (which means no AC or insulation) in southwest Poway, in one of the neighborhoods off of Pomerado Road that’s an easy walk to the elementary school, the middle school, and the 7/11 in-between. People often think of Poway as that place in North County with horse trails where the athletes live, but this part of town is where people go to get into a decent school district without paying too much of a premium. That’s why we moved there when I was 5, at least.
My dad (who I love very much) has a big personality. He loves to chat, can talk your ear off for hours on end, and he’s very well-liked, but growing up with his personality in such a small space, I always felt like I had a hard time expressing myself. Add in a bit of a speech impediment, an older brother (who I love very much) who had a tendency to not realize how loud he was speaking, and a younger sister (who I love very much) with a flair for the dramatic, and I ended up with a personality much more like my mother’s (who I love very much): soft-spoken and often choosing not to share my thoughts, even though I definitely had them.
When I spoke, and when I speak still, I tend to gravitate toward one-liners, whether it’s in a joke or, equally as likely, a passive-aggressive way of expressing my dissenting opinion or grievance disguised as a joke. Before I learned the art of essay writing in high school, these quick jabs were my main outlet, my way of expressing myself and letting people know that I was actually there in the room too, not just a sweaty ball of adolescent hormones stuck to the furniture.
To this day, I have a deep-seated love and appreciation for a quality passive-aggressive one-liner. One of the all-time greats is “is this it?” Those three tiny words, thrown like a jab, spoken with no angst of voice, just a hint of confusion, and a dash of deflation, hit their target like a hay-maker. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s a true knock-out punch when perfectly placed.
So today I say to my beloved San Diego Padres: is this it?