Did you show up on the website that day thinking it would already be there? Is that how it started?
Were you sitting in your study, enjoying a nice glass of cognac and cough syrup, as you always do after a long day at the bullet factory? Then you looked up suddenly from your volume of Dickens and said aloud: “That time referee Jason Herzog prevented Norma Dumont’s breasts from being accidentally exposed during a bout with Ashlee Evans-Smith, surely it’s already documented on her Wikipedia page, right?”
Yes of course, you told yourself. Of course it’s been added by now. But you couldn’t shake the feeling, could you?
Did you think back to the time you noticed that the redcoat infantry depicted in the 1995 film “Rob Roy” were carrying rifles with socket bayonets – clearly, plug bayonets would have been the correct variety for the time period – yet no one had thought to list this under the “goofs” section on the IMDb page? No one except you, that is. If you hadn’t acted quickly to add it there, why, who knows how the fabric of society might have unraveled? And is that when you had to get up and go to your desktop Gateway computer just to check, just to be sure?
And when you pulled up Dumont’s Wikipedia page and saw no mention at all of the time referee Jason Herzog prevented Norma Dumont’s breasts from being accidentally exposed during a bout with Ashlee Evans-Smith, did your heart leap a little? Were you happy to feel of use to the world, to be the internet’s indispensable man?
But once you went to add this detail, did you worry that you might not be able to find a suitable citation? You remembered this moment, of course. How could you forget the time referee Jason Herzog prevented Norma Dumont’s breasts from being accidentally exposed during a bout with Ashlee Evans-Smith? But what if the rest of the world was content to forget? What if the moment had been lost, swallowed by the dark maw of history? What if you knew it happened but couldn’t prove it to the satisfaction of Wikipedia’s standards?
Is that when you Googled ‘the time referee Jason Herzog prevented Norma Dumont’s breasts from being accidentally exposed during a bout with Ashlee Evans-Smith’? And did your face light up when you found that article from 7News in Australia? But did it bug you a little how they insisted on using the phrase “wardrobe malfunction,” like it was all some big joke?
Are you a completionist? Is that your deal? You couldn’t stand the thought that we might only record who fought and who won, who missed weight and who pulled out for undisclosed reasons, without also noting this thing that almost happened but didn’t?
Or is all this actually about referee Jason Herzog? Were you worried that he might not get the credit he deserved, that this small but noble act of his might go missing from the permanent record?
How about all those times we almost or even actually did see the crack of some heavyweight’s ass as his ill-fitting shorts drifted down toward his knees while he stuffed a takedown attempt? Do you go and add those incidents to their Wikipedia pages too? Or was it the human element that made this different, the fact that one person performed a thoughtful act to protect another person’s modesty and dignity?
Or was it just about boobs?
Do you ever worry that some day the whole internet will disappear? Nuclear armageddon, maybe. A meteor strike. Some bullshit with weaponized electromagnetic pulse stuff. What if it all goes dark and never comes back? Our family albums on Instagram. Our self-righteous Facebook screeds. Our pithy and hilarious tweets. All just gone in an instant. But worst of all, Wikipedia, the Library of Alexandria of our time, will vanish.
And what then of your works? What of all your time and labor? What of this record of the time referee Jason Herzog prevented Norma Dumont’s breasts from being exposed during a bout with Ashlee Evans-Smith?
Will it all have meant nothing? If the record does not survive, did any of it even happen? Was it all just the dream of some mad god, over in an instant and forgotten entirely save for some vaguely unsettling feeling, the nagging thought that something has been forgotten and can never be reclaimed? Does that ever bother you? Even just a little?
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