Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I also remember walking out every morning and looking at the warehouse across the street. For our entire time there, the wall of that warehouse carried the message, "Menudo Sucks!" Why anyone felt the need to spray paint their feelings about the boy band on that wall is beyond me, even though I had to agree that Menudo did indeed suck.
From the post "Menudo Sucks", August 27, 2009

The news broke today that Ricky Martin has written a letter on his blog acknowledging that he is gay.

In the world of E and Hollywood Tonight and TMZ, this is major news that keeps the celebrity-pulp-news cycle going for another few hours. But it wasn't exactly a bombshell for me because I don't know who Ricky Martin is. In fact I thought he was Julio Inglesias's son and couldn't figure out why his last name was Martin.

In fact, as everyone but me probably knows, Ricky is one of the leading stars of Latin pop music and, so far as I know, has nothing to do with Julio Inglesias or his son.

I read the story about his coming out on Huffington Post, and was really struck by the number of people who commented on it. It seemed as if every other one was saying something to the effect of, "Hey, Ricky, tell us something we didn't already know."

But, perhaps surprisingly to all who have read this post up to this point, today's topis is not really about Ricky Martin at all. No, it is in fact about my darling.

I told her about the people making the comments about his statement and then confessed that I didn't really know who he was.

LK admitted that she didn't know much, either, and had never heard any of his music. Then she added, "But I am pretty sure he started out in Menudo, and I seem to remember he sang the theme song for the soccer World Cup. And if I am not mistaken, I think he's from Puerto Rico."

A quick trip to Wikipedia confirmed that she was right on all three. When I asked her how she could possibly know these things about someone she hasn't even listened to, she just smiled and said, "I don't know, but I'm good, aren't I?"

Which she is, because this sort of thing happens all the time. She will pull from her memory the most trivial facts about the most minor people and have no idea how she knows it. But she will be quite certain her facts are right. And they usually are.

She is especially good with minor celebrities, dead singers and actors from the 40's and early 50's, and royalty. When some actor from the 40's dies at 92, she'll tell me that his third wife ended up marrying some bandleader. When some young spoiled toff in the UK gets caught doing something naughty, she will tell me that their father is seventh in line to the throne if Charles dies before the Queen. I could go on, but you get the idea.

After more than a quarter of century I am not surprised at this phenomenon, but I still do wonder just how it happens. I have an image of a little creature working inside her head whose sole purpose is to file away anything that might astound people ten years later and retrieve it without LK even being conscious that the creature is there.

Her brilliance at pulling trivia bunnies from her magician's hat can even turn her philosophical. She reminded me of that graffiti that had been scrawled on a wall across the street from our first place. The message was simple - "Menudo Sucks".

"We always assumed that was just criticism from someone who hated the group," she mused, "but maybe we were wrong."

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