M. SCOTT MORRIS: Seed-spitting is horribly underrated

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Many of the interior walls at the Mighty Daily Journal feature photographs that have run in the paper over the years.
The walk to the break room includes Ole Miss fans cheering and State fans cheering. There’s a kid, and I’m not sure if it’s a boy or a girl, trying to catch a drop of rain on his or her tongue.
Two of the shots are from stories I’ve written. One is of Charles Watson playing violin, but his face is so dark you can barely make out that it’s him. (By the way, Charles’ dad, Charlie, will appear in a story on Monday’s front page.)
The other is a shot of a guy putting together a Ferris wheel for a fair at the Lee County Agri-Center several years ago.
Every so often, I linger in the hall and inspect the photos when I should be working. I was doing this last week when I realized a photo was missing.
It captures a guy with his hands raised as though he’d just scored a touchdown, but a sign in the photo tells the whole story: Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest.
Though I think watermelons are overrated as actual food, I love the idea of testing one’s manhood and/or personhood by spitting for distance.
I couldn’t find the photo, so my idea was to write about the absence in my column to shame whomever took it into returning it. That was the plan until I ran into Chief Photographer Thomas Wells and asked him.
The photo has been moved about 10 yards to another short hallway, so there was no point in writing any of this, except to say if you or someone you know is planning a watermelon seed spitting contest in the near or distant future, be sure to let me know. I’ve never attended one and probably should correct that oversight before I die.
Changing gears
I was driving into work on Friday and switching up and down the radio dial, when Cher’s “Believe” came on.
My first impulse was to listen, then I thought, I can’t listen to this. What if someone catches me?
So I changed the channel, but only for a few seconds. I realized that – no offense – I can’t be a slave to your opinions of me.
It was an incredibly freeing moment, to accept my own preferences over the preferences of the monolithic and perpetually anonymous “They.”
No longer shackled to the whims of the crowd, I felt like stripping off my clothes and running wild down Cliff Gookin Boulevard.
That’s when I turned the radio off, and decided I didn’t need any more of Cher’s influence in my life.
Bonus quotes
“When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.” – Mark Twain.
“Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.” – Cher.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com .

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