Former Denver quarterback John Elway and several other outstanding players were recently inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame. As I read about the ceremony, I got to wondering: Should every specialty in the world have its own Hall of Fame?
Halls of Fame (HOFs) are good things. They give people something to strive for. I’m sure anti elitists oppose HOFs on the grounds that persons who are never inducted into an HOF will have their feelings and self-esteem hurt. To such objections I say: pish-tosh. Let these whiners establish their own awards groups – such as the Hurt Feelings HOF, or the Damaged Self-Esteem HOF.
I’m trying to think of some specialty HOFs I’ve never heard of.
For example, movie projectionists. They’re always overlooked, and never honored. But without them, movie screens would go blank.
Outstanding automobile transmission mechanics, although greatly appreciated, are seldom feted at black tie dinners. Same thing goes for insurance adjusters, masseurs, manicurists, tax attorneys, court bailiffs and people who sterilize gastroscopic devices. Surely these specialties boast a few practitioners with superlative skills. But we seldom see them interviewed by Jay Leno or Charlie Rose.
Is there a proctologists’ Hall of Fame? If so, I’d guess its headquarters are in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
Spies deserve a Hall of Fame. Throughout their careers, spies are condemned to anonymity. But when they retire, the best spies should be honored with their own HOF, including a list of the uprisings they triggered and the names of the enemy spies they surreptitiously whacked.
Speaking of whacking, shouldn’t Mafia hit men be given a Hall of Fame?
Probably not. The minute Joey “The Snatch” Malafecchio stood up to accept his award, he’d be gunned down by an enemy mobster or a jealous colleague.
For years I have advocated a Hall of Fame for mediocrities. It is unjust that existing HOFs enshrine only men and women who are superb, excellent, outstanding, nonpareil. Meanwhile the rest of us – the 95 percent of humankind who at our best are only fairly good – are left shivering and ignored on the bleak plains of the commonplace.
Just remember this: If tomorrow at 8 a.m. every mediocrity in the world went on strike, by noon civilization would collapse. Chaos would ensue. Without us average jokers standing by to press their tuxedoes and cook their banquet food, the Hall of Fame inductees would have to stay at home and watch sitcom reruns.
Keep that in mind, the next time an Elway, Streep or Updike is honored. The Hall of Famers may enjoy the spotlight, but we – the undistinguished – command the ON-OFF switches.