News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2007


Top scholars make mistakes, too

Emily Litella ranks among the most memorable characters from the original cast of “Saturday Night Live.”

“What’s all this talk about banning violins on television?” Emily asked one night in her high nasal tone.

Then she got all worked up, arguing that violins are perfectly fine for TV audiences of all ages.

Finally, another character leaned over and interrupted Emily.

“I believe they want to ban violence on TV,” he said. “Not violins. Violence.”

“Oh,” Emily said. “Never mind.”

Emily Litella has crossed my mind several times recently.

For example, our Sunday school teacher recently asked his class to describe Peter.

“He was a cowboy,” I offered, referring to the disciple’s brash actions.

“No, he was a fisherman,” someone corrected me.

Oh, never mind.

Then there was that recent Sunday afternoon bicycle ride with my children when we passed some ripe roadkill.

“That was pleasant,” I noted.

“No,” my 10-year-old corrected me. “That was a possum.”

An Emily Litella moment occurred with my oldest daughter while she was riding with a group to a convention in Montgomery.

The passengers started laughing after the driver tried to go the wrong way on a one-way street.

“Are you dishing my driving?” the woman asked.

“Uh, I believe that’s dissing,” one of the passengers said, “as in disrespecting.”

A moment of silence passed as this revelation sank in.

Finally the driver asked: “Are you sure it’s not dishing?”

Local scholars bowl competitions shine the spotlight on a lot of bright minds — as well as a few never minds.

On one occasion this year, the leader asked students to name the first man to walk on the moon.

A young man slammed his hand on the buzzer, sure he had the answer.

“Yes,” the leader said.

“Lance Armstrong,” the student answered.

Who created the geocentric theory, which states that the Earth is the center of the universe?

“Hitler,” a student answered.

Who is the leader of North Korea?

“North Korea,” a contestant said.

What do you call a baby donkey?

“A donklet.”

Oh, never mind.

Scott Morris is managing editor.

Scott Morris Scott Morris
DAILY City Editor

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