While waiting for another call from my pal “Unknown”, I play a lot of Yahtzee on my cell phone, which doesn’t make it as much a cell phone as it does a $50 a month Yahtzee game. Nevertheless, when I get a moderately high score, the little man inside the screen tells me PLAYED LIKE A PRO! SUPER SCORE!, with the accompanying exclamation points. That’s ridiculous (I think quietly to myself) there aren’t any professional Yahtzee leagues … or are there? [rubbing chin ponderingly]…
But, as is often the case, whenever I think that something is ridiculous, all I have to do is flip on the TV and along comes something that makes my initial thought appear ridiculous by comparison. ESPN (the big “E” stands for Entertainment) has been showing The World Series of Darts and The World Series of Dominoes, while VH1 runs The World Series of Pop Culture on a continuing basis, which leads me to believe that Americans are so starved for entertainment that they will watch dominoes. As this fictional exchange points out:
Lewis Rothschild: People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.
[dramatic thunder clap]
So, are they watching dominoes on TV because they don't know the difference? Or is it because, as George Costanza once pointed out, they watch "Because it's on TV"? Maybe it's that World Series tag? If it was the South Dakota Domino Challenge, how many people would watch? People from South Dakota probably wouldn't even bother, but maybe I give them too much credit. After all, what else happens in South Dakota? Don't tell me.
On Saturday, we were treated to a broadcast of the Johnsonville World Bratwurst Eating Championships, (also on ESPN - and a word short of a World Series) where 160-pound Takeru Kobayashi ate 58 Brats in ten minutes (which is more than I have eaten in my life) for $8,000 - or fifty cents a calorie. He is described as a competitive eater, which implies that it is how he earns his living - or at least some pocket money. I wonder how much sand he could drink?
Now, that's entertainment.