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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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One Sure Way to Be Remembered

(If you’re so inclined, have a gander at Monday’s missive over at Bugs & Cranks: Why Does Venezuela Hate the Braves?.

And if anyone can tell me why a certain South American country is collectively cursing Atlanta’s ballplayers, I’d love to hear it. I expect this kind of thing from Ecuador. Maybe Guatemala. But Venezuela? Man, you used to be cool.)

It’s funny how the world sometimes shows you what kind of person you are — usually when you least expect it, and whether you want to know or not.

Not ‘funny ha-ha’, necessarily. Just ‘funny’.

Take Monday, for instance, when I was writing the baseball piece linked above. In case you didn’t run frantically over to B&C to soak it up, it’s basically pointing out that every time the Braves — or individual Braves, playing in the World Baseball Classic — play the Venezuelan national team this spring, somebody seems to get hurt. And it always seems to be a Brave.

Venezuela and the U.S. are playing again today, and I expressed concern for the well-being of Braves’ catcher Brian McCann, who’s on the U.S.A. roster. One of the comments I thought of including, but ended up cutting out, was that I feared the Venezuelans might just forgo the voodoo and hexing this time and Gillooly the poor guy.

“Those were the bad guys, the villains, the co-conspiring cockups who scandalized the world of figure skating worse than a thousand Yamaguchi wardrobe malfunctions.”

And that got me thinking, back to the sordid saga that gave Jeff Gillooly his ill-deserved fifteen minutes of fame.

I still remember his name. And I remember Tonya Harding, who unleashed the calf-bashing beast. Those were the bad guys, the villains, the co-conspiring cockups who scandalized the world of figure skating worse than a thousand Yamaguchi wardrobe malfunctions. Their names, I’ve still got locked in the vault.

But the victim? That lanky, ‘aw, shucks’ Midwestern sort of girl with the gums and the crying and justice on her side?

I’m drawing a blank. Can’t remember her name for the life of me. The one innocent in the petty little saga, and she’s the one that’s slipped from memory. I’m not sure what that says about me — but I’m pretty sure it’s nothing good.

To be fair, there are extenuating circumstances here. I’m not a figure skating fan — not nearly enough of those wardrobe malfunctions to make it worth the trouble, frankly — so I had no idea who the hell these people were before the whacking incident. Also, it happened quite a few years ago. And when you live the way I do, you’re bound to drop a fact here and there that’s not absolutely essential for day-to-day survival. I’m lucky if I can remember my name, my address and which way round my underpants go on in the morning.

Not to mention that these villains were fairly memorable, thanks to the press coverage and later events. The verb ‘to Gillooly’ was kicked around a lot at the time, and it’s a fairly unique name, anyway. I remember confusing it sometimes with that snarky old sourpuss who seemed to have a thing for Smurfette, but otherwise, Gillooly sort of sticks out.

And Harding — hell, she’s the sort of high-speed train wreck who just keeps finding ways to creep back into the quasi-news. Boxing. Legal issues. A sex tape, for crissakes. She’s not much to look at — and apparently can’t throw a decent right hook, as it turns out — but who forgets the name of a girl willing to have sex on camera? Pam Anderson. Paris Hilton. Tonya Harding. Patty Richardson, that chick from college that the guy down the hall caught doing the nasty with him on a handicam.

(Of course, she didn’t know he was taping them. And she called out somebody else’s name in the middle, which was kind of awkward. But it totally counts.

Those two are married now. Cute kids. I wonder if she gets his name right now.)

Look, the point is, I don’t feel all that bad about only remembering the names of the seedy characters from this particular footnote in history. And I could look up the name of that other girl, if I wanted — but she wasn’t especially hot, so frankly, what’s the point? I mean, she’s no Patty Richardson. Clearly.

(Astute readers may note that I had no such trouble remembering Kristi Yamaguchi. Coincidence? The Magic 8-Ball says, ‘Unlikely’.)

So, from an innocuous little tale about South Americans putting voodoo curses on Major League baseball players, I wound up invoking a minor thug from a fringe sport scandal more than a decade old, pondering why I only seem to remember the ankle-whacking sex-tape rogues of the world, and wondering where my VHS tape of the Great Patty Richardson Performance of ’91 wandered off to. Yep, it sure is funny how life reveals your true nature sometimes.

Not always ‘funny ha-ha’. Sometimes ‘funny take-a-long-hot-shower-and-scrub-away-the-shame’. Peachy.

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “One Sure Way to Be Remembered”

  1. Venom says:

    Nancy Kerrigan.

    Jeff Gillooly – what an idiot he was for TH (maybe she was a tiger in the sack).

  2. kerry says:

    not that i was a fan of tonya harding, but i hated nancy kerrigan. her and her horse teeth.

  3. Charlie says:

    Oh, right, Kerrigan. That was it.

    Kerry, I’m with you. From what I remember of seeing that girl, it was like watching Mr. Ed skating in a tutu. I stand by my ‘not so hot’ earlier.

    Venom, I think you should know that I won’t be sleeping well for a few days, lying awake thinking of Tonya Harding in the sack.

    And not in a good way. Make the bad dreams go away, mommy.

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