USEFUL PHRASES–“MISERY POKER.” There were control freaks back when I was growing up, but we didn’t have a name for them. Now, calling them “control freaks” helps us recognize them. I was engaged in an e mail discussion today with other members of a fantasy baseball league, moaning and groaning about the damage inflicted on our standings by various pitchers–Zito, Bush, Pavano. (I feel I won the discussion with Wang–before we bailed on him, he had an ERA of 34.50.) Then I picked up today’s Wall Street Journal and found that college students have given a name to what we were doing: “misery poker.” Conversations like this are “misery poker”: “I was up to five a.m. studying.” “Well, I didn’t get to bed until seven.”

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  1. Lee says:

    It’s good to know there’s a name for that suffering one-upsmanship. This Monty Python bit came to mind.

  2. Philip says:

    The Monty Python bit is very apt. Nick was also reminded of members of my generation talking about how hard our youths were, that “we walked miles to school and it was uphill both ways.”

  3. Molly says:

    I think my mother and her roommates used to call it “competing for the martyr medal.”

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