Gary Chapman - 1
- 1999 11 Nov
The First Tuesday
We Talk About Sports
It's probably best to start with something light. I hear he's a big sports fan, so I can't help but wonder what he sees so fascinating about it all. I muster up all the journalistic confidence I can find and broach the subject.
MS: Let's start with the topic of sports, if you don't mind.
MS: What is their purpose?
GC: The best thing I can find for myself in sports is their ability to reveal myself to me.
Score, I inwardly cheer.
MS: What do you mean? I must ask...
GC: Golf is the best. Humphrey Bogart, I'm told, wouldn't do business with anyone who wouldn't get drunk with him. I won't do business with anyone who won't play golf with me. Only on a golf course do you really see who someone is. And who they are on the golf course is who they will eventually be when the crisis comes.
GC: You find out if they're patient. You find out if they're honest. You find out if they have an ability to laugh at themselves.
MS: Do you think that the game allows you to see things about yourself that you wish you would change?
GC: Unquestionably. I personally, of course, haven't found anything bad. But I've seen it happen with other people.
MS: Are there any other sports in particular that speak to you?
GC: I'm a football fanatic. But I think it's because of my great inability. I have huge regard for huge people.
MS: You mean physically huge?
MS: Does this come out of any bad experience that you've had in the past with huge people?
GC: No, it comes out of being extremely small as child. My grandfather literally used to refer to me as "the midget." He loved me, so it's OK. Yeah, they took me all over the place. They took me to doctors...
He can't be serious...
GC: Oh yeah. Near and far. And they would all collectively say, "There's nothing wrong with this boy. He's just so small." It's true.
Now I can't stop laughing. He's so matter of fact about it all.
GC: It was the summer between my seventh and eighth grade year in school that I exploded. I literally grew six inches. And I have stretch marks on the back of my knees to prove it.
MS: Before that did you grow up thinking that it was bad to be small?
GC: Not bad, so much as terribly unique. I think it forced me to be funny, to some degree.
Here's a wide open door to glimpse into Gary's psychemaybe.
MS: So now what do you rely on to be funny?
GC: Well, I'm getting small again.
MS: You don't mean physically though, do you?
GC: No, no...I'm actually slumping.