UGA ’19 | Twitter: @tommyboyd12

And Then The (Slightly More Polite) Call of “Please Help”

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“Why are all of them here?” — Vicky

Enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday at my grandparents’ house is an annual week seeped in comfortable tradition. Their wooden home sits underneath the shade of oak and pine trees but atop Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and each year members of my dad’s side of the family flock to fill every room.

I say comfortable tradition because the parts of the week that seem timeless to me (not repetitive because I believe I could enjoy them forever) don’t belong to any strict routine or set place at the table. When I think about the 20-something November weeks I’ve spent there, the first memories that pop into my mind are staying up way too late (and probably being way too loud) playing games and talking with my siblings and cousins, or waking up and immediately walking upstairs to sit on the stone hearth and enjoy easy conversation with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles as the fire warms my back and the coffee wakes me up. I think about the creaking sound of the chains that suspend the porch swing as it moves back and forth, providing a rhythm that could lull you to sleep or keep the conversation pulsing, depending on what you allow. I don’t think I could confidently tell you where anything belongs in the kitchen, but I bet I can physically taste the warm ham biscuits that my grandad Thos makes for each breakfast just by thinking about them. …


The Complete History of My Beef With Jimmy John’s

“If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.” — George Washington

For those who know me well — or for those that had the misfortune of happening upon my twitter account by accident between the years of 2016 and 2018— my longstanding quarrel with Jimmy John’s has been well documented. My disdain was communicated through lighthearted converstations with those that asked and unfunny tweets sent out for the world to see, so much so that one might say my hatred of the sandwich shop briefly became the dominant characteristic of my personality. While everyone (and by everyone, I mean those that didn’t immediately unfollow me, of course) has witnessed the war I waged on Jimmy John’s, the origin of the bitter rivalry has often been dismissed, ignored, or assumed. People cling to the parts of my story that occured only once the war was in full swing (and by cling, I mean they usually hate the story with a passion born either from annoyance or secondhand embarrassment), but few know the tale in its entirety. …


The Naked Dog No One Ordered

“What’ll ya have?” The cashier asked the scripted question to seemingly no one in particular, looking right past my dad, Will and me and instead to the back of the growing line behind us.

It was the service I could always expect at The Varsity — seemingly annoyed at your very presence and unhurried no matter the circumstance. Their constant lack of emotion starkly contradicts the frivolousness of the red paper hats and the southern charm of their opening line, and yet I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’d been eating there irregularly for years. I remember stopping by as a kid and fighting a sea of gold and white in order to get chili dogs and onion rings before venturing across I-85 to attend a Georgia Tech football game, and I also remember dropping in for a quick dinner and seeing the place almost deserted as my family travelled back to Columbus from my grandparent’s North Georgia home. …


Convinced Every New Turn Was The Way Back Home

The weather was perfect, and the view of the courtyard from my seat at El Cuadro was beautiful. A large Peruvian flag draped down from atop a grey stone building on one side of the square, and a light breeze funnelled through the covered patio where our table was located. It was going to be the first good meal we’d had after about a week of being in Peru, and I was excited to try some alpaca.

Our group from First Baptist split up for lunch on that first day in Cusco, since some people were diligent in their quest to eat McDonalds after so much time spent away from the US while others (such as myself) wanted to taste the South American cuisine while we had the chance. Zach, Newman and Nolan sat at the El Cuadro table with me, and we drank water and negotiated with the street vendors that came up to our table before ordering our meals. Before our food arrived, several of us were the proud new owners of poorly-knit sweaters and obviously-fake sunglasses. …


Rising Tempers at the Local Trampoline Park

After my freshman year of college, I spent the summer working as a court monitor for a trampoline park.

When describing my job, I always said it was similar to being a lifeguard — and in principle it was. I was always positioned off to the side of the trampolines, watching screaming children all day and warning them over and over again to stop running. Unlike a lifeguard, I have no idea how to save anyone’s life and possess no real sense of authority. If a kid wanted to call my bluff after I gave them a warning, they’d win every single time. …


A Horrifying Tale of Indifference

“There’s proper acclaim given to confessional, self-relavatory, sometimes dark writing or performing or stand-up or whatever it is. And there’s a lot of proper acclaim given to how relavatory that is. But there are things that people ignore in observational humor or just jokes that seem small where you go, ‘That’s that whole person right there.’ And I do sometimes think, well, you know, there’s jokes that seem like an innocuous everyday observation that are as dark about human nature as any real ‘tear open your guts and show all the horrible sides of you’ comedy.” — John Mulaney

At the beginning of this month, I moved 12 hours away from my hometown to start a new job in Chicago. I don’t know anyone here, but I decided it was a good work opportunity and a perfect time for a change, so I went for it. It’s been mostly great so far, and I’m starting to adjust to this new environment after living the first 23 years of my life in Georgia. I’m finding that all of my preconcieved notions about the city (which I learned exclusively from television and movies) are all true — the pizza is deep and the wind is strong. …


Confusion and Dehydration in the Utah Desert

The Bartender’s Advice

My cousin Jackson and I coasted into the Escalante, Utah, RV park after an eventful day in Zion National Park — a day that saw us climb two-point-something miles into the sky and inch across the edge of a cliff on the way to one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. By the time we climbed down, drove up the state to set up our tents and then took a shower, we were ready to walk up the neon-lit street in search of food.

We stopped at a place called 4th West Pub and sat down at the bar. We both brought our phone chargers (the opportunities to juice up our phones were few and far between for a week) and Jackson brought his computer so that we might watch the Georgia vs. Vanderbilt game. We never watched it, though, possibly because it was obviously not a game that Vanderbilt could win. …


The Steep Price of a Cheap Trophy

It was early on a Saturday morning, and I was getting ready to go to school. Everyone in my family was, actually.

It was the day of the Family Fun Run, a brief race that began (way too early, if you ask me) in the Midland Academy Elementary School parking lot and unfolded down Psalmond Rd., where we were to turn around and run back to the finish line in front of the school. My mom was a teacher at the school — and all the Boyd children attended the school — so running was almost mandatory for everyone at our house. …


Using My Crippling Social Awkwardness as a Lesson in Humility

Jittery Joe’s at The University of Georgia’s Miller Learning Center (via mlc.uga.edu)

Every so often — no matter the ascending amount of successes we may enjoy in life during any given era, or the impervious nature we so often assume during times of continuous triumph — something always comes along to remind us that we are, in fact, imperfect. Something always comes along to pull us back down from our place amongst the clouds and plop us in the middle of a bustling and unforgiving reality. It can be a devastating and destructive reminder, or a seemingly innocuous realization. Either one works.

Sometimes life hits us with these moments of clarity. More often, though, it is our own missteps and shortcomings that humble us. …


My Non-Exaggerated Feelings About UGA’s Inflatable Mascot, and My Quest to Learn More

I’m convinced there is a monster living amongst the hills of Athens, Georgia, and it haunts the crowds of red and black with apparent ease.

It lures women, men and children into its proximity through the promise of spectacle, and it confuses them into thinking it is only an innocent supporter — a lively and welcome distraction — as the Georgia Bulldogs compete in basketball and volleyball games. I’m not fooled so easily, though. I know that underneath that shiny plastic exterior lies something confounding and sinister. I grow anxious as I see the supposed mascot venture over to a group of unassuming children, and I watch helplessly as it’s omnipotent eyes seem to take in every movement, every thought, in the arena all at once. It knows. It knows that I’m onto it’s dastardly and silent existence, and it tortures me by doing nothing to punish me for getting too close. …

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