Back to the Future Co-Creator Bob Gale Confirms We're Not Just Making Crap Up
As surprised as I was that Back to the Future co-creator Bob Gale actually responded to our question about the origin of Marty and Doc’s friendship, I could not have imagined the splash his explanation would make. This “scoop” was covered by New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, TIME, MTV, and Slate, among others.
Some people (understandably) didn’t take my word for it that we were dealing with the real Bob Gale here. Slate‘s Will Carlough, in particular, was skeptical:
“No one on the Internet knows you’re a dog, or whether you’re really Bob Gale … I’ve seen enough Internet hoaxes to say I’ll wait for a picture of him holding a sign that says ‘Yes, it’s me’ with today’s newspaper before I buy it completely.”
Our new best friend Bob Gale, with whom I’d emailed before posting his original comment to make sure he wasn’t, in fact, a dog, was willing to oblige.
I hope the no-newspaper thing doesn’t raise any red flags with conspiracy theorists.
On Thursday, September 1st, the mental_floss Trivia Show is coming to Indianapolis! If you live in the area or are up for a road trip, reserve your spot now.
Join your hosts, mental_floss co-founders Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur, for a night of good times, ridiculous trivia and free stuff. (RSVP and your free mental_floss t-shirt will be there waiting for you on September 1st.)
We even have a sponsor! You’ll be able to test drive the new, all-electric, zero-gas Nissan LEAF™. And there might be pizza. Will is checking.
Clips From That Horrible Star Wars Holiday Special
Most Star Wars fans are at least peripherally aware of the Star Wars Holiday Special, but almost no one has seen it — it was never released on home video.
The special aired on November 17, 1978. Ever since then, everyone involved has been trying to forget about it, destroy it, or at least deny that they did it willingly. But tonight, dear readers, Chris Higgins give you a taste of just how bad it really was.
Bob Gale Explains How Marty and Doc Became Friends
We had no idea Back to the Future co-creator Bob Gale was listening when we asked if anyone knew how Marty McFly and Doc Brown became friends. It wasn’t covered in the movies, but here’s Gale’s explanation.
In 1989, Kenneth Lamar Noid interpreted the Domino’s ads as a personal assault on his character. Believing he was engaged in an ongoing battle with Domino’s head Tom Monaghan, Noid took matters into his own hands, holding up a Domino’s outlet in Georgia. Details from Time Magazine:
Kenneth Noid, 22, walked into a Domino’s Pizza shop in Chamblee, Ga., with a .357 Magnum revolver and took two employees hostage. When police arrived, he demanded $100,000 in cash, a getaway car and a copy of The Widow’s Son, a 1985 novel about secret societies in an 18th century Parisian prison.
All Noid got was the pizza he ordered. After a five-hour siege, the two employees slipped away and Noid gave himself up.
According to Wikipedia, “Noid was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, extortion and possession of a firearm during a crime. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity.”
[by Chris Higgins, who wrote more about The Noid here]
In September 1990, a group of drug crime suspects in Corunna, Michigan, received an invitation to a wedding from a well–known drug dealer in the area. Attendees were asked to check their guns at the entrance, apparently a common occurrence at these events.
As part of a five-month undercover investigation, the police staged and advertised a wedding on a Friday night, figuring it was easier to make drug suspects come to them than to round them up. The groom was an undercover investigator, the bride a Flint police officer, and the bride’s father (and reputed crime boss) was the police chief. That evening, after the vows, the toasts, and the dancing, the band, called SPOC, or COPS spelled backward, played “I Fought the Law,” setting off the cue for the evening’s real agenda.
All the police officers were then asked to stand, and those who remained seated were arrested. A dozen suspects were booked and, by Saturday afternoon, 16 were in custody.
For His Birthday, Harry Truman Got a Bowling Alley
A two-lane bowling alley was installed in the White House in 1947 as a birthday gift to President Truman. (He said he hadn’t bowled since he was 19.) Truman knocked down seven pins on the first roll at the alley, which was paid for by donors from his home state of Missouri and moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955. Truman didn’t use the alley much himself – he was more of a poker player – but the addition was a big hit with Truman’s staff, some of whom formed a bowling league.
You don’t get the nickname Monsieur Mangetout (“Mr. Eat Everything”) without earning it. Over the course of 40 years, Frenchman Michel Lotito ate an estimated 9 tons of metal.
In his youth, Lotito suffered from pica, a mental disorder in which people compulsively eat non-food items such as dirt and plastic. (Lotito’s condition was first diagnosed around age 9, when he started munching on parts of the family TV set.) But once he started experimenting with more dangerous items like nails and glass, he learned that the incredibly thick lining of his stomach and intestines allowed him to consume almost anything. Soon, Lotito turned his affliction into a career.
By breaking up metal into small pieces and chugging mineral oil to lubricate his throat, he perfected his technique. For years, the Frenchman ate 2 lbs. of metal each day. In 2007, Lotito died of natural causes unrelated to his eating habits. But before he passed away, he made sure he could eat a coffin.
A few of the incredible non-foods that Lotito consumed during his life:
2 Beds 7 Television Sets 6 Chandeliers 18 Bicycles 15 Shopping Carts 1 Cessna 150 Airplane (Lotito’s most famous meal: Eating the plane took him two years, from 1978 to 1980.)
The Cookie Monster Dump Truck Driver doll does not say, “Time to f*ck.” The Potty Time with Elmo doll does not say, “Uh oh, who wants to die?” The Talking Elmo doll does not say, “Beat Up Elmo.” And the Elmo Knows Your Name doll did not threaten a young boy by saying, “Kill James.”