Sunday, October 01, 2006

Neil Armstrong Somewhat Redeemed

Wired News comes up with the bizarre information that Neil Armstrong did, in fact, say, 'That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.' when he first stepped on to the lunar surface. Previously, he had been accused of leaving out the 'a'. This would have made the sentence contradictory as 'man' is generally synonymous with 'mankind'. Happily, an Australian geek has found the missing word. Sadly, however, young Bruce or Shane or whatever did not also find the words, 'Good luck, Mr Gorsky.' This, James R. Hansen assures us in his massive biography of Armstrong (see my review), was a myth. The remark, since you ask, was explained by the fact that, as a child in Ohio, Armstrong had heard their neighbour, Mrs Gorsky, shouting, 'Oral sex! You want oral sex? You'll get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!' For all his gifts and achievements, a vague but palpable air of disappointment has always clung to the Neil Armstrong story - and, of course, to that of the ever hopeful Mr Gorsky.

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