Quiet Desperation

Well, as it turns out, there is an ‘I’ in team


There’s only one of me (you’ll be happy to know), but from now on I want to be thought of as Team Craig.

Calling yourself or yourselves a team is the latest and the greatest, and I don’t want to be left out.

My dentist and her hygienists are a team.

My car is repaired by a team.

A team made my pizza last week, and a team will check my eyesight when I have my annual exam.

There’s a home improvements and repairs outfit that calls itself a team.

When a word becomes a movement, I want to ride it until I get saddle sores.

If I had to stretch things, I could say my echo and my shadow are Team Craig teammates.

Maybe you remember the Ink Spots and their great song, “We Three.”

This (for once) is a true story. When I gave my students a weekend ink drawing project, I told them to listen to the Ink Spots.

One kid thought I meant I wanted them to listen to the ink spots, and he was serious.

There are, in fact, teams. Every high school and college in the State of Colorado has a number of teams, and they compete against teams from other schools and states.

I have a harder time thinking of a guy wearing grease for an aftershave and leaning into the engine of my car to adjust the carburetor as a member of a team. But it sounds good.

I know some writers have ghost writers and editors and research people, but at Team Craig it’s really just Craig.

Unless you count Harry.

And why not? He inspires a number of columns each year, and he’s practically a dependent.

If you are a dog owner, you know what I mean. His veterinarian bills alone? Get out of here.

In her own way (discretion will limit details), Jennifer plays for Team Craig too.

But at the end of the day, the bottom line (to frolic in the gruel of two worn-out phrases) shows that Team Craig is comprised of one team member, who taps away with the heartfelt belief, “Everything we do is all about you.”

That’s the actual wording on a local team’s monthly newsletter.

And it brings with its treacle another word that is making the rounds.


Check it out, brothers and sisters, and count the number of times in a day you read or hear that something is “about” something, as in it’s “all about you.”

It’s a word of equivocation between the point being made and the punch line.

“This column is all about the sarcasm.”

I could never write that sentence without the quotation marks.

Or this: “In our hotel, it’s all about clean sheets.”

For what it’s worth (Buffalo Springfield, 1967), I believe in getting it said, with honesty and decency.

But, you know, there’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. But I will say this: It’s harder to take it out on a team than it is to take it out on one sarcastic journalist.

When the time comes and you want to lower the boom on me, you will just have to see if you can find someone at Team Craig who is willing to listen.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.


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