May 29

Lotus Eaters, Unite! You Have Nothing to Lose But…

The Spelling Bee? The Clippers?

I was originally going to pen a little piece here titled “It Pays to Be a Racist,” referring to Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling’s incredible stupidity/unluck to be recorded raging against a non-white race and then his incredible sagesse/luck in selling his team for $2 billion and beating the National Basketball Association at its own game.

spelling-bee-champions-2014
Ansun Sujoe, 13, of Fort Worth, Texas, left, and Sriram Hathwar, 14, of Painted Post, N.Y., celebrate after being named co-champions of the National Spelling Bee, on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Oxon Hill, Md.

Not bad to make $2 billion from a $12 million investment 30 years later. It would be like our taking a $12,000 investment to $2 million before we retire on our self-funded 401(k). You think your investments are going to do that? Think again. Time to be racist and get thrown out of the NBA!

Rather than that racist strategy (which will probably work only once in a thousand years), let’s look at tonight’s Spelling Bee, where 7th and 8th graders are smarter than the lot of us.

I mean, I watched the final few rounds, and I could count the words I got right on somewhere between my index and middle finger.

The amazing thing (I guess) is that, for the first time since 1962, there was a tie for winner, and lucky them — they didn’t have to split the pot. They both got the trophy and the $30,000 grand prize.

The word I loved (see my headline title) was lotophagi, Greek for Lotus Eaters (a la Lord Tennyson). Lotophagi in Greek mythology ate the Lotus plant and were consequently overcome with “blissful forgetfulness.”

Ah, ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. Bring on the Lotus, I mean wine.

Bottom line, I couldn’t win any spelling contest with or without lotus eating, or with wine drinking, but I can certainly enjoy the bliss of forgetfulness as I retire each night and awake the next morning with a clean slate.

No, I am not smarter than a 7th grader, or an 8th grader, but I do love my “blissful ignorance.” Hail to the Greeks!



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Posted May 29, 2014 by Gary McCarty in category "Grammar Notes

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