Have you ever wondered if 50 little people could pull a jet airliner as far as an elephant? Or have you ever wondered if an Olympic-class sprinter could outrun a giraffe?

Me neither.

But one of the television networks, in an effort to top the absurd programming of competitors, will seek the answers.

The fact that we are seeing more and more of this kind of bilge gives credence to the notion that television is indeed the "great wasteland" and perhaps is on the verge of becoming a primeval swamp. Don't be surprised to see something as goshawful as "Jerry Springer On Ice."

Now I've wondered about a lot of things along my journey. When I'm sitting out in the porch swing on a summer's evening or when I'm waiting on the fish to bite, the mind has an opportunity to explore the outer edges.

But I think when most of us wonder about stuff, we wonder about stuff that is legitimate. In other words, the answers could have some socially redeeming value.

What can one possibly do with knowing whether 50 little people or an elephant can pull an airliner the greatest distance? It won't be a question on "Jeopardy."

The fact is, they have tractors with which to pull those big airplanes. If the little people win, it doesn't mean that they will all get jobs pulling airplanes into hangars. And if the elephant wins, it doesn't mean that trade with India or Africa will be enhanced. It won't mean anything.

And even if that Olympic-class sprinter can outrun a giraffe, it's not going to undermine the superstructure of the Daytona 500.

And besides, why a giraffe? Giraffes are not aggressive animals. Who needs to outrun a giraffe? If you're going to pit man against beast, why not see if a sprinter can outrun a grizzly bear or a rhinoceros. At least the contest would have the element of pathos. Still, few, if any of us, will ever need to know this speed factor. We just don't have that many of these creatures in the pastures around here.

And why little people?

Why not see how many congressmen it takes to pull a load of promises on a sled from D.C. into Maryland? Or how many congressmen it would take to inflate a hot-air balloon?

Just kidding, that information wouldn't have any socially redeeming value either.

Oh, I almost forgot, one of the questions to be answered is whether a human food-eating champion can eat more hotdogs than a bear. Wow! Now there's something to put on your resume. And when they ask by what margin you won, you can say, "Barely."

In the meantime, there are still legitimate questions out there to be answered. For instance, why does the FBI have to keep a caller on the line three minutes to trace a call when you and I and can buy a phone with caller ID? And why does the gas hand move slower on the first half of the tank than on the second half? And instead of trying to get nut cases to surrender from their strongholds (i.e., David Koresh at Waco) why don't we just put up a fence around the compound, declare it a stockade, and wait for the occupants to come out and protest the living conditions?

And I suppose there are some who will bet on the outcome of these aforementioned contests -- but then, some of these are the same people who would bet on professional wrestling. Hee hee hee.

But all joking aside, how many congressmen do you think it would take to inflate a hot-air balloon?

Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. E-mail: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com

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