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What I Watched Last Night

When we were all little kids we watched Sesame Street on PBS. If you didn't, you couldn't be reading this because you wouldn't have learned your letters of the day from the letter-of-the-day segment at the beginning of each program. If I had watched Sesame Street yesterday, I would have found that the letter of the day was the "O." How do I know this? Because on Street Ball and Yo (your) Momma (mother) the letter was repeated countless times. After anything of remote significance occurred, the studio audiences of each show screamed "Ooooooooooh." Sometimes there was such enthusiasm behind this sentiment that you could hear an exclamation point. "Oooooooooooooh!"

On ESPN2, or the Deuce, Street Ball is a show about a bunch of guys who play basketball by their own rules. There is plenty of traveling and fouling and dribbling in various illegal ways and not all that much shooting, but they do draw crowds in the hundreds to watch them break rules and mainly slam-dunk the ball. That is really all the street ballers do: slam-dunk the ball.

During their performances at local high school gyms, people watch and scream the letter "O" after nearly every pass or basket is made. I prefer to see this as a celebration of the English language even though the majority of the ballers speak a mumbled version of it.

On Your Mother, sorry, Yo Momma that guy from That '70s Show, you know the show that was on Fox, the one with that kid who is married to Demi Moore, who was married to Bruce Willis, and he was in Die Hard?

Well, the host of the show is related to all that and played a foreign kid with a lisp. So it turns out the foreign kid was just incredible acting! He really has talent and harnesses it by playing host to a show where kids stand on opposite sides of a soundstage - sorry, I mean schoolyard - and insult each other's mothers. While the insults are being thrown at each other, the crowds are yelling the letter "O" back and forth in show of support for the hatred of another mother. On this show, like Street Ball, the letter "O" can be stretched and manipulated in ways that one could never imagine.

Anyway, then the foreign kid from that show breaks up the fight. He is usually wearing a leather jacket and torn jeans to show how hip and fresh he is. Then he asks the crowd to pick the person who insulted the mother the best. The winner is announced and then I really don't know what happens.

So, "O," this is what your life has become. You have been relegated to one syllable taunts. What a sad day this is for the letter "O." So everyone in your children voices, raise a glass to "THE LETTER 'O'."


Posted on October 25, 2006

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