Your humble correspondent is not exactly going out on a limb here by claiming he has better yo-yo skills than self-proclaimed "champion" K-Strass aka Ken Strasser. After a pair of real yo-yo champions from the Phillipines put on a performance for our third grade class in Puerto Rico, I was inspired to learn a series of basic yo-yo tricks such as "walk the dog," "around the world," and "rock the cradle."
If you don't believe that I am more skilled than "champion" Strasser, then I invite you to watch this very painful video of K-Strass in action on one of the five news shows that he appeared on in the Midwest. So how did someone with such horrible performance skills get on all those news shows? Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel attempts to explain:
Kenny Strasser, who either lives in Antigo or Neenah, Wis., or maybe somewhere else, says he a yo-yo champion, loves talking to schoolchildren and wants to save the Earth.
He has been divorced twice, doesn't have any kids and has personal issues with members of his family. He also says he has had drug and alcohol problems.
Or so he says.
It's not entirely clear who Strasser is. What is clear is that a person who called himself Kenny Strasser, Kenny Strassburg, or K-Strass managed to persuade at least five television stations — four of which are in Wisconsin — to put him on live television in recent weeks.
Two other stations — both in La Crosse — came close to putting him on, but were warned ahead of time that Strasser was not who he says he is.
His latest appearance occurred Thursday morning on KQTV's "Hometown This Morning," in St. Joseph, Mo.
"He got us," said Bridget Blevins, the station's news director. "I hate that we got duped."
And how good was he with the yo-yo, a skill Strasser has said made him a champion? "He did some really lame things. He hit himself in the face and the groin with his yo-yo," Blevins said.
So if Strasser was so lame how did he get on those news shows in the first place? All it would have taken was a simple pre-screening for the so-called yo-yo "champion" to demonstrate his actual skill level to prevent him from getting anywhere near a camera. Apparently even this minor bit of checking was too strenuous for the news stations.
One of the news stations that were scammed, WSAW of Wausau, Wisconsin, did a followup investigation on K-Strass.
However, instead of investigating the self proclaimed yo-yo champion, WSAW would have performed a better public service if they had questioned the news station directors (including their own) about how they were so easily scammed. It appears that the real yo-yos weren't the ones K-Strass was playing with but the news staff of the various television stations. Makes one wonder just how many more dubious items get passed along as genuine by your local television news shows.