The Popcorn Stand: Signs of the times

Now this is something I’m sure ESPN will want to cover. (Back to my cheap shots at ESPN). After all, ESPN The Magazine actually did a huge spread once on the Musical Chair World Championships. Well now there’s the World Sign Spinning Championships, which I think could go right up there with ESPN’s coverage of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest every Independence Day.

I never understood the idea of someone standing outside spinning a sign trying to lure you into their business, but evidently it works because I keep seeing businesses do this all the time. But evidently spinning a sign is an art. Such an art more than 100 competitors broke out their best moves in downtown Las Vegas last week during the World Sign Spinning Championships. And evidently this isn’t a new thing since the story I read about this stated participants competed for the title of World Sign Spinning Champion every year.

And I guess I shouldn’t make too much fun of this event because it’s apparently quite popular. It was reported downtown Vegas was crowded to watch these skilled sign spinners. The competitors twirled their 5-pound signs with one hand, on their head, while taking off their jacket and even while doing a handstand. It seems these sign spinners have mad skills. (My attempt at a Millennial term, or is that a Generation X term?)

All the while they do their routines to music blasting in the background. I guess Blood, Sweat and Tears’ “Spinning Wheel Got to Go Round” isn’t quite appropriate for this competition since their spinning signs and not a wheel. But I do nickname our computer system the “Blood, Sweat and Tears” system because I keep seeing that stupid rainbow spinning wheel from time to time.

And evidently sign spinning has become so popular one of the competitors talked about how he teaches sign spinning to others once a week.

By the way, the first prize for winning the world title of sign spinning was $5,000. Maybe I should take up sign spinning.

Anyway for this old fuddy, duddy, I guess it’s just a sign of the times.

— Charles Whisnand


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