It's been a few months since I last checked out the Google Books archives of the illustrious Weekly World News and, with the Christmas lull about to hit this week, it seemed like a great time to check in with it again. The last time we checked out the WWN, I said this:
For those of you who don't remember, the WWN was one of the most outrageous and uncompromising of the supermarket tabloids, printing steady updates on the goings-on of Bat Boy and many other unbelievable stories. What made the WWN so fun, though, was how it consistently told those ridiculous stories without a hint of irony or self-awareness. It was a weekly joke told with the straightest of faces. How could you not at least appreciate something like that?
And it still holds true. There are many, many more magazines that write more interesting or worthwhile articles than the WWN did when it was still around, but there are few that match it in its commitment to camp.
For today's article, we go to the Jan. 17, 2005, issue and famed psychic Dr. Carleton Misteri-O who "brings you celebrity interviews from beyond the grave!" In this case, the celebrity interview from beyond the grave is none other than Babe Ruth. Let's get right to the good stuff.
Q: Babe, have you been following the steroid flap surrounding Jason Giambi, Barry Bonds, and other major league ballplayers?
BABE: Of course. ESPN comes in loud and clear in the afterlife.
Q: Then tell me, oh Sultan of Swat, what is your take on today's steroidal sluggers?
BABE: What wimps! In my day, all we needed to power up before a game was a few beers and a friendly broad. Sometimes I would be out all night, and so hung over the next day I couldn't see straight. But that didn't stop me from hitting homers. I didn't need no steroids. If you ask me, which you are, steroids are for girlie men.
(Click "Read More" to continue reading)
I have to tell you, I had my doubts about this whole "interview from beyond the grave" thing, but this sounds pretty solid so far. Would you expect the Bambino to have any other opinion on the steroids saga?
Q: Would you ban players from baseball who took them?
BABE: Yes, I would. And I would erase all their records. They don't deserve to be in the books with the likes of Gehrig and me.
Q: Speaking of Lou Gehrig, what was he like in the locker room?
BABE: Lou was big, very big. Rumor was he was the biggest in the league. Built like a horse, that guy was. He couldn't hide it in the shower. Hell, he had a hard time hiding it in his uniform. Remember when he made that speech at Yankee Stadium, about how he was the luckiest man in the world? Well, he wasn't talking about his careear as a Yankee, if you catch my drift.
Um, ok... I'm not sure what to say here. "Thanks for sharing, Babe"?
Q: To this day, there is controversy about whether or now you pointed to the center field bleachers before hitting a home run against the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series. Tell me, were you pointing, or weren't you?
BABE: Nah. I was hung over. I had a headache and the sun was shining in my face.
Q: Finally, Babe, I want to ask you about the curse of the Bambino. Did you really put a curse on the Red Sox after owner Harry Frazee sold you to the Yankees?
BABE: Glad you asked. I never put a curse on the Red Sox. I was happy to get out of that town. You have no idea what it was like for me, the Great Bambino, to be playing there. Why, they rolled the sidewalks up at night in that city. You couldn't buy a drink on Sunday, and as for partying, those uptight New Englanders are really a bunch of stiffs. In my day, it was a very conservative place. I hear that it's gotten very liberal there now, what with men marrying men, and women marrying women. The next thing you know, they'll have broads on men's teams. That ought to make shower time real popular.
Actually, that's a perspective that I never really considered before. How different would things have been for the Babe if he had spent his off-hours in the relatively conservative Massachusetts? I suppose it was the Roaring Twenties and technically the Prohibition Era, so maybe the craziness was everywhere, but you've got to believe that New York fit his personality a little better.
Ok, so maybe that's a little more profound of a question than Dr. Misteri-O intended with this interview. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoyed this little visit to the Weekly World News. As I said before, it's always a great place to go for a little fun reading, so check it out if you're ever in the mood.