John Hodgman has cast himself as many things over the past decade or so: a former literary agent, a minor television celebrity, an Internet judge, a deranged millionairre... But above all of those things he is an exceptionally talented writer.
He recently released That is All, the third (and final) volume of his "almanac of complete world knowledge." That is All, like the previous two installments, is very fun and very silly. But almost hidden amongst all of the fake trivia and silly lists are passages of beautiful and thoughtful prose.
The following comes from an anecdote about touring Wilt Chamberlain's former home with a group of writers:
We would never be as successful as this. But more, we would never be as loved. Even the most unskilled athlete is beloved. Even when the athlete is hurting Cleveland's feelings or murdering dogs he will always, eventually, be loved.
We looked over the city and knew that no matter how many lives we touched, no matter how many memes we affected, no matter how many conventions we attended, no matter how wealthy our creation of culture might make us, we would never be as loved, so frequently and so vigorously, as the athlete. We haunt their houses, and walk in the spaces they have abandoned.