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William One

I watched another satisfied customer smile a daffy grin and, with a sudden, inspired jerk, slam his head into the counter. His half-empty glass grew lonely. I stopped watching the foam and glanced out into the room, passed the Monday night football watchers, passed the businessmen out to dinner, passed the vagrants, and into a cloud of mist and many colors in a corner booth. In that booth sat ten young men, and someone who would change my life. The MEH Guru.

I walked over to join the group and did so with only a nod of the Guru's head. A lad clad in a plaid shirt, green parachute pants, and Nike hightops passed a tall mug of Nordic Wolf to His Imminence, the Guru, who took a great quaff of brew while listening to a mind-boggling, ultra-important, metaphysically astounding question of galactic proportions. After ten weary minutes of facts, figures, and a three-page, four-color, super glossy brochure with neat charts, little graphs, and a dot-to-dot puzzle, the Guru finished his beer. The inquiring lad finished his question.

"So, what is the answer oh wise Guru?"

With a disinterested wipe of the chin, the Guru turned to the lad and took a quick breath. Even Bob Costas was silent as the Big Guy Himself intoned, "MEH," and signalled for another beer. The ten questioning, doubting, non-believing guys were so overcome by the Guru's answer that they forgot to harass the waitress. After what seemed like seventeen seconds (and really was) one of the youth again spoke to the Great MEH.

"Your mighty gaudy Guruship, answer me this riddle. In the summer, the ant stores food in his house for the winter. The ants then eat this stored food during the cold winter. The bear, however, instead sleeps all winter. Which beast has overcome the problem of winter's food shortage best?"

All the lads, several vagrants, and the waitress nodded their heads and babbled, "Good question. Yeah, answer that. Stumped, aren't ya? Hey buddy, gimme a dime." Bored as always when around ignorant ignoramuses, the Guru downed the other half of his beverage and gave them an expression of aggravation. He mumbled, through the low roar of a burp, "MEH."

Quietude once again descended on the room with a thump. The Guru took it in stride, ordering another drink and collecting his winnings from the football pool. After this everyone else felt like saying the word. Only I came out and said it.

"MEH." I said.

It was then that the Great MEH Guru took notice of me and did indeed recognize me as Pedagogue William, and together we wandered the streets of wonder, basking in the Word, Way, and Wisdom of MEH. Oh, what a feeling.