February 17, 2003
Ah, fame

Via Mark Evanier, I see that some crazy college kids in Baytown (about 30 miles east of Houston) wanted to set a world record on February 1 by gathering the most people ever wearing Groucho Marx noses and glasses in one place.

The record was originated in the town of Pittsfield, N.H. in summer 2001 when 522 people gathered on a tennis court to don the familiar glasses-and-nose disguise.

"It was a part of our annual Old Home Day celebrations," related Elsie Morse, editor of the Sun-Cook Sun, the weekly newspaper for the area. "It is sort of a big reunion for the town. We try to do something different each year.

"We all gathered at the court and were given our nose-glasses and we stood there for an hour," she added. "And it rained."

When told the town’s grip on the record was in jeopardy, Morse was genuinely disappointed.

"No, no," she said, "you can’t."

However, upon discovering that Baytown a city of about 70,000 was about to overwhelm the stunt she managed to salvage a degree of pride.

"Well," Morse said, "we are a town of 5,000 people, so I’d say we did pretty well."

The author goes on to note that an awful lot of students at Lee College, which is where this record was to be broken, had no idea who Groucho Marx was. I'm with Evanier - that's just a damn shame. I'll also add that the Baytown Sun is in dire need of a copy editor.

For what it's worth, I nearly took a job teaching math at Lee College when I was leaving grad school. I wound up with a software company instead. Were I there today, I'd probably bring my DVD of Duck Soup to help combat their cinematic ignorance. (For the rest of you, I'll recommend Roger Ebert's review of Duck Soup.)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 17, 2003 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack