Neil Armstrong and Mr. Gorsky
Date Added: Nov. 21, 2003
On the 'net, where humor, outrage, satire and news coexist almost indistiguishable from each other, jokes and legends about historical figures and events are often mistaken for fact. That's the case with the legend of Mr. Gorsky.
GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOU SMILE..... ESPECIALLY SINCE IT'S A TRUE STORY.
ON JULY 20, 1969, AS COMMANDER OF THE APOLLO 11 LUNAR MODULE, NEIL ARMSTRONG WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO SET FOOT ON THE MOON.
HIS FIRST WORDS AFTER STEPPING ON THE MOON, "THAT'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND," WERE TELEVISED TO EARTH AND HEARD BY MILLIONS.
BUT JUST BEFORE HE REENTERED THE LANDER, HE MADE THE ENIGMATIC REMARK "GOOD LUCK, MR. GORSKY."
MANY PEOPLE AT NASA THOUGH IT WAS A CASUAL REMARK CONCERNING SOME RIVAL SOVIET COSMONAUT.
HOWEVER, UPON CHECKING, THERE WAS NO GORSKY IN EITHER THE RUSSIAN OR AMERICAN SPACE PROGRAMS.
OVER THE YEARS MANY PEOPLE QUESTIONED ARMSTRONG AS TO WHAT THE "GOOD LUCK, MR. GORSKY"STATEMENT MEANT, BUT ARMSTRONG ALWAYS JUST SMILED.
ON JULY 5, 1995, IN TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA, WHILE ANSWERING QUESTIONS FOLLOWING A SPEECH, A REPORTER BROUGHT UP THE 26-YEAR-OLD QUESTION TO ARMSTRONG. THIS TIME HE FINALLY RESPONDED.
MR. GORSKY HAD DIED, SO NEIL ARMSTRONG FELT HE COULD ANSWER THE QUESTION.
IN 1938 WHEN HE WAS A KID IN A SMALL MIDWEST TOWN, HE WAS PLAYING BASEBALL WITH A FRIEND IN THE BACKYARD.
HIS FRIEND HIT THE BALL, WHICH LANDED IN HIS NEIGHBOR'S YARD BY THE BEDROOM WINDOWS.
HIS NEIGHBORS WERE MR. AND MRS. GORSKY.
AS HE LEANED DOWN TO PICK UP THE BALL, YOUNG ARMSTRONG HEARD MRS. GORSKY SHOUTING AT MR. GORSKY.
"SEX! YOU WANT SEX?! YOU'LL GET SEX WHEN THE KID NEXT DOOR WALKS ON THE MOON!"
You should probably be instantly suspicious of any tale that has to tell you twice that it's true. The tale above, which originated in 1995 and garnered a good amount of media coverage, is total fiction. NASA transcripts of the '69 moon landing show no such remark and Armstrong has denied the rumor, citing that he first heard it from comedian Buddy Hackett.
What we've got here is a bit of humor combined with historical allegory that appeals on two distinct levels. First, it pokes fun at stereotypes and stigmas associated with sexual exploration (the degree of the requested sexual favor varies from telling to telling). Second, it associates a well-respected historical figure with a racy tale, thus humanizing him. Both elements are common in urban legendry. Break this chain.
References: TruthOrFiction.com, Snopes.com, About.com