July 29th, 2005

Six Degrees

There’s a theory I’m sure you’ve heard that says that anyone in the world can be connected to anyone else in six people or less. “Connected,” in this case, means you know someone who knows someone who knows someone. For instance, if you know me and I know Jimmy, and Jimmy knows Honkus, you are three degrees from Honkus. See how easy that is? It’s based on a play (and a movie) which I’ve never seen by a fellow named John Guare. You’ve most likely heard about the movie-based game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” which uses as its base the hypothesis that any actor can be connected to Kevin Bacon in six degrees or less. (For example, Jim Carrey was in The Truman Show with Laura Linney who was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon, giving Jim Carrey a 2-degree separation.) You can try this out for yourself at The Oracle of Bacon at Virginia.

Sometimes when I’m in a classroom updating a computer, I’ll turn on the classroom TV just to have some background noise. Today, The Price Is Right came on. While they were calling the first contestants down, the second name was familiar. The TV was behind my head, so I turned and looked. There, on The Price Is Right, was my brother’s brother-in-law. No lie.

I’ve talked about Josh before. He runs TheForce.net, the biggest Star Wars fansite on the Internet. He’s met George Lucas. That puts me two degrees from George Lucas and three from such luminaries as Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ron Howard.

His very first bid was for $1400, and the item’s actual price was $1399. Time after time he kept losing to another bidder – he even pulled the classic “one dollar” routine without success. Finally, on the very last chance, he won the bid. He ran up on stage, hugged Bob Barker…and then kissed him on the cheek. For some reason, I knew he was going to do it, but I was still a little surprised. Bob was, too. He said something like “Most of you could tell I just got hugged, but I also just got kissed. And let me tell you, Josh needs a shave.”

Unfortunately, Josh didn’t win his game (it was the “here’s three items, one has the wrong price, tell us the one and you win all three” game) and he didn’t win the wheel-spinning contest, either. Still, it was the most exciting episode of The Price Is Right I’ve ever seen. There’s something about knowing someone on the show that makes it more exciting, even if they didn’t get to play Plinko.

Even more exciting, though? Now I’m two degrees from kissing Bob Barker.

4 Comments on “Six Degrees”

  1. Brian Arnold says:

    That's hot.

  2. the obscure. says:

    And unbelievably hilarious!

  3. Angie says:

    My Aunt works for the local Country Music station, and everytime a big name comes through she gets backstage passes for concert. She has a life-size cardboard cut-out of Garth Brooks, signed.

    So, that puts me two degrees from every big country music star you can name…

    That is pretty freaking cool, by the way.

  4. Peter C. Hayward says:

    So anyone who has met you is 3 degrees from George Lucas?

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