Good Narrative Principles

Second Place


The high school swim team had a miserable season, finishing dead last. The Coach gave the team one of those talks that sports coaches are famous for and capped it off by instituting a new practice for the coming year. Holding up a giant pickle jar, he told his team that after every meet, each member of the team would be asked to kick in a nickel, a quarter or dollar representing what they believed they contributed to the team’s performance. “At the end of next season, when we win, (which we will) I will match whatever is in the pickle jar, dollar for dollar, and we will paaar-ty!” The team embraced the Coach’s system. It seemed to work, but not well enough. At the end of the next season, with six seniors graduating and their record in the county a strong second, the team eyed the now stuffed pickle jar. On the night of the sports awards, the swim team broke into the Coach’s office and stole the pickle jar, having decided as a group that second place was just fine.

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