Blame it on Darby O’Gill...
You know, from the movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Or was it Martin Luther King, Jr.? I forget but somewhere along the line, society decided that each and every splinter group should be granted however many exemptions from the English language – you know – as it is politely spoken.
In the name of political correctness.
In cases like the "N" word it was a capital idea. Less so in others. I mean, what’s wrong with referring to the characters in the new "Footloose" movie as crackers? They’re from Bomont, Georgia for goddsakes.
And so what if their great grandfathers ate hardtack during the Civil War? Let ’em burn a Confederate flag if they don’t like it.
Which brings us to a topic I’ve wrestled with for years in my writing career. Is it still OK to use the word "midget" when referring to small human beings?
Most of the ones I’ve interviewed over the years could care less about being called "little people" versus "midgets." I mean, it’s not like calling a full grown man or woman a "little person" is some sorta compliment. And the dictionary definition of "midget" reads: "an extremely small person having normal physical proportions."
That’s supposed to be bad? Let’s stamp out the word "fat" if we really wanna spare some feelings.
So I thought about it some more, while I was talking to Westporter Bill Nigro about the 300 midgets that are going to be holed up in the Quarterage Hotel this weekend. And it occured to me that it’s not called "little people wrestling," it’s called "midget wrestling." Right?
Then I googled "little people wrestling."
And to my chagrine I read that Hulk Hogan – the dude who helped kill off pro wrestling at Memorial Hall in KCK – is "mentoring" little people wrestlers on Tru TV. He’s even starting a "Little People Wrestling League."
I don’t quite know how to break this to you, but 300 midgets and/or little people are descending on Westport this weekend. And chances are, after they finish their meetings Saturday – a bunch of ’em plan to bust out a party and hook up with the wildly drunk hotties at the Cancer Crawl.
Here’s the 411 on the wilding from Nigro:
"It’s a convention and they’re having it at the Quarterage," he says. "It’s kind of about networking on all their problems. Like, they’d like to get a doctor to locate in Kansas City that specializes in little people so they don’t have to go to Cincinnati."
Nigro says there’ll be entertainers and pro wrestlers in the assemblage and they plan to ride the trolly, so no telling where they may show up.
Local little guy Jeffrey White even asked Nigro "if I would paint the sidewalk yellow from the Quarterage up to Kelly’s," Nigro says. "But I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet."