Friday, September 24, 2010

The Strange Things That People Do.

I used to enjoy that "Hoarders" TV show. I enjoyed it until show after show started looking the same. It's a parade of mentally ill people collecting junk in their houses and garages. The trouble comes when it isn't just junk. One woman would go shopping and bring home the unopened packages and pile them in a room. The bigger problems are the people who wind up with a house full of trash and garbage. The sorts of things that normal people throw away without even thinking about – soda cans, wrappers and discarded food – lying around on the floor attracting bugs, rodents and finally, a TV crew.

The people who have houses full of stuff used to be kind of amusing to me and in a strange way they make me feel better about myself. All it takes for me to start housecleaning is a little clutter. For those people, a little clutter is an impossible dream, and their illness no longer fascinates me. Now I find that it makes me sad. "Oh, don't throw that out, I might need it" is the common refrain. Meanwhile, the thing they might need is a hat that has been crushed under a mountain of clothing or a half can of paint whose color doesn't match anything else in the house. Even though the show tries to help those people change and clean their home, it's only after the cameras roam through and show us the disaster that they have created for themselves. It strikes me as exploitive. So I switch over to baseball.

The ballpark holds about 45,000 people, and while almost all of them are in their seats during the game, a fair number of them roam a place called Ashburn Alley in left field, which features enough food to feed a battalion at prices that you'd have to be starving to willingly pay. They sit at tables munching on ten dollar cheese steaks and drinking eight dollar beer – while the game is being played. These people paid at least $20 to get in, plus another $15 to park their car, and they spend a great deal of their time eating in left field without being able to see the game. It's odd behavior. Either go to a sports bar and watch the game on TV or take the food to your seats. Either option is better than missing a huge chunk of the game because you can't wait to eat a cheesesteak.

We have what is known as a quarterback controversy with our football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Young Kevin Kolb has been benched in favor of older and faster Michael Vick. The more interesting thing to me is the fact that a simple name like Kevin Kolb is mispronounced by thousands of people. It seems that we have to have an athlete in town whose name is mispronounced. Many years ago, running back Charlie Garner (mispronounced Gardener), former outfielder Pat Burrell (mispronounced Bur-RELL) and recently deposed quarterback Donovan McNabb (mispronounced DUNovan) all played several years here without fans learning how to pronounce their names properly. We now have Roy Halladay (mispronounced holiday) and Roy Oswalt (mispronounced OZ-walt) pitching for the Phillies.

The thing that amazes me about it is that all of them have heard the names pronounced correctly, yet they still cannot bring themselves to do it. I guess they're not paying attention. When they are corrected, they reply with the "whatever" retort and go about their business. I realize that English is often a difficult language to master, but Kevin Kolb would seem to be an easy enough name to pronounce, but there are still a lot of people who say colb, and not cob which is correct. They have all heard cob, but continue with colb. When they go to a picnic do they order corn on the colb? No. Now that he has been benched, his name comes up every three minutes, and every twenty minutes somebody says colb.

These are the same people who use phrases like "a whole nother thing" and "irregardless." I chalk it up to poor parenting. Perhaps Kevin should just change his name to Cob and get it over with?


anna said...

You should come South if you want to listen to the slaughtering of the English language! Not to mention the "slang" that some folks speak. Makes me wanna punch them in the throat.

Kcoz said...

There are areas in this country where they just makeup their own words. There is a location in southern Illinois where they have a word pronounced “Taboat”…what does it mean??

S I: Taboat !, Taboat !
Me: What !
S I: Taboat…Tip the boat!
Me: Tip the boat…for what?
S I: Get the water otta the bottom for we put it away.
Me: Oh…why didn’t you say so.
S I: I did…Taboat!


Cliff Yankovich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cliff Yankovich said...

I was with you on the Hoarders and the mystery of people eating food somewhere other than their seats at ball games. I was with you on the name thing.....until the Kolb dealio. K-O-L-B is pronounced like C-O-B? Oh yeah, is that the silent "L" after O rule? Is that why my friends in Ohio say they are "code" in winter and talk about jewelry made of "gode" and me being "ode"?
What the 'ell is that L doing in Kolb if we are supposed to ignore it?
I also like Brett Far-ve, except that the name has the V before the R so what the hell is that all about? (shouldn't it be Brett Fav-ray?)