Second Opinion.

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This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.

No matter how hard he tried, Bob Schrom always came second.

It had been going on for a long time, and it was only just lately that he had noticed that he’d never been third or fourth in anything, and he had never been first.


No one remembers who won the silver medal in the marathon at the Melbourne Olympics.


1956 was a long time ago, and because of the boycott by the US media, there was no worldwide coverage.


There is a lovely colour movie, but even so, it majors on the winners; that is how the world is structured.


His marathon running days were over, and as he walked along this quiet country road he thought about his life, and he wondered where all his friends had gone.

Being second wasn’t all bad; the bloke who won that marathon had died first. 

Second was fine on this occasion.



“My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.”

Rodney Dangerfield.


14 thoughts on “Second Opinion.

    • You know, I’m not sure where the inspiration came from but just lately I’ve been followed by a few ‘inspirational’ sites …………. something to do with a post I put on my other blog ‘schoome’. I’ve always been interested in self improvement (heaven knows I could use it!) so I tend to read them even though I’ve heard most of it before…….. it never hurts to hear it all again……… and I got to thinking about the motivational stuff which wants you to be ‘number one’…………. so I guess I was thinking about all the times I’d finished second in stuff………. I once coached 3 straight championship teams followed by seven straight runners up! So I know about finishing second!
      I’m very glad that you enjoyed the story, for that is what makes writing them fun….. the hope that someone will get a buzz.
      The research was fun also.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  1. Great post; I am also smiling. But now I’m going to reveal my ignorance or perhaps (lack of age) … why was there a US media boycott?


    • Back in the day the Olympics was not the world wide phenomenon it is today, and can I say it? the US was a tad parochial The big networks didn’t see why they should have to pay to cover it. They pulled a bluff and said make it free or we won’t come. The organising committee called their bluff and poured a small fortune into making a full colour film of the event which sold extremely well world wide (not sure about the US). The US networks felt that they had the clout and the Aussies would back down but they did not understand their opponent. Australia was just starting to emerge as a nation and getting the Olympics was a huge boost to the national identity. To give in to what they saw as bulling was unthinkable. Aussies are pretty easy going but we have a reputation of being fierce fighters when provoked (we will sign up to fight anybody’s war, from the Boer war right through to the present day).
      So there you have it…. David vs Goliath.


      • Thank you. I (having no sense of the timeframe) did wonder if was retaliation for the Australian unions boycotting (?) Frank Sinatra. My father-in-law travelled from NZ to the Melbourne Olympics, and I’ve seen his photos. I know what you mean about Aussies signing up for a fight – we Kiwis do it too!


  2. Glad for the explanation of the US media boycott — totally unreasonable, but alas not unbelievable. Did particularly enjoy the observation that the bloke who finished first also died first. So there.


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