Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Whatever Happened to Mary Lou?

I was talking to my buddy Ron today and as is typical for men of our advanced ages, we waxed nostalgic about a variety of things from our youths, from music to games to fads, back to games, a quick segue into movies, and then back to games for the finale.

Yes, we like our games.

However, as we talked, a thought occurred to me. No, not the one about tying a rope to a monkey and then giving the monkey a brick so you could make a ‘monkey-brick flail.’ The thought was ‘whatever happened to Mary Lou Retton?’

Note: If you gave the monkey two bricks, you could then have a ‘dual-wielding monkey-brick flail.’ I do realize that this would be impractical. You would probably need to put little handles on the bricks so the monkey wouldn’t drop them.

Some of the younger readers might not remember Mary Lou Retton. She won the individual Gold Medal in the ’84 Summer Olympics in gymnastics, the first non-Eastern European to do so. She was, to put it mildly, ‘America’s Sweetheart’ and was all-over the place for about a year after the Olympics. She then slipped off the national stage (not literally) and became an answer in the Trivial Pursuit Sports category.

Anyway, whatever happened to her? According to Wikipedia, she got married, had four kids, and seems to have a pretty normal life. I must say, I was a little disappointed. In all honesty, that’s just too normal. She was a Gold Medal winning Olympic athlete and the first woman to grace a Wheaties box, something amazing and totally improbable should have happened.

I prefer to think that after the Olympics, she was whisked away by a race of cute, slightly nerdy aliens who needed her to lead them in battle against another, tyrannical alien race who’s name probably contained a lot of ‘x’s and ‘z’s. Though confused and bewildered at first, she rallied and used her unmatched gymnastic ability and gratuitously placed uneven bars and pommel horses to lead them to victory and teach them a lesson about friendship and proper nutrition. Though offered the position of ‘Queen of the Universe,’ she turned it down to come back to Earth and just be a normal girl (who happens to be able to backflip at speeds that would make Superman dizzy).

Actually, that might have happened. If ‘80s movies taught me anything, it’s that pacifistic alien cultures always need an Earthling to come save their bacon.


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