January 25, 2008

Big Willie Style

I have no idea what prompted this, but I just now started thinking about Willie B., the silverback gorilla who lived at the Atlanta zoo from 1961 to 2000. Some things you may not have known about Willie B.:

He was named after William Berry Hartsfield, the former mayor of Atlanta.

He lived for 27 years alone in a cage with a tire swing and TV.

He enjoyed watching soap operas.

He fathered no less than five gorillas.

He had a general demeanor that said "I do not take crap from any individual, be him man, gorilla or some other species from the animal kingdom."

When Willie B. died (at the age of 41), more than 8,000 people attended his memorial service.

When I told this fact to a friend recently, he said, "Dude, what's wrong with your city?"

I gouged out one of his eyes with a wooden fork.

The Atlanta Silverbacks soccer team is named after Willie B.

To date, no one I have ever exchanged words with has seen the Silverbacks play.

There are some who believe that Willie B. is still alive, and living on an island with 2Pac, Elvis, Biggie and Bison Dele.

Those people are incorrect. Willie B. is in fact dead, and has been reincarnated as new Braves utility infielder Omar Infante, who -- unbeknownst to us at this time -- will deliver a crucial pinch hit late in the month of September to deliver the Braves back to the playoffs in 2008.

Strange how these things work out.


Anonymous lattemaster said...

RIP Big Willie. I used to ride that big beast all over the zoo when I was a kid. Oh, I have this odd feeling that Otrain has been to a Silverbacks game. I think he may even play "striker" for them.

2:58 PM, January 25, 2008  

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