My Homegrown Hacker

Jeff Katz Facebook profile, June 10:

Cartoon Network is airing new “Johnny Test” episodes for 6/13/2011, which is on Monday. Also, it’s gonna smell like a truckload of diapers. Am I right?

I saw that update when I checked Facebook on my iPhone. Imagine my surprise. I don’t watch Johnny Test, I don’t think cartoon episodes stink, and I tend not to end my thoughts with “Am I right?” Nate had invaded my space (not Myspace. No one invades that anymore.).

Old me would have been pissed off at the violation and the embarrassment, but living with Nate has swept away almost all possible mortification. The insularity of being around Nate, the focus on his improvement and the non-stop sensitivity to his needs has created little room for outside judgement. That’s not to say I didn’t follow-up his status update with a disclaimer of my own:

Just to be clear, that message was placed by a hacker. His name is Nate Katz! I guess I’ll have to log out when I walk away from my computer.

That’s just what I’ve been doing, logging out of Facebook and Twitter when I walk away from my desk, but I don’t want Nate off Facebook. In fact, last year his professor/adviser had suggested Nate have his own Facebook page. He demurred, but, since his recent post, he’s been a bit more receptive to the idea. “Maybe in the fall I’ll do it.” I’d like that: Nate Katz, social networker!

(As background, Nate started talking about cartoons smelling back in late 2005. He would post on Simpsons websites like comments such as “Pretty interesting, but the episode smelled like the hand soap at The Doubletree Hotel of Anaheim, CA.” For this, Nate was booted from the forum. Lately, he’s been teasing Joey about Johnny Test smelling like a diaper. “Cartoons don’t have smells!” Joey responds. Nate cracks up. Whether Nate actually detects an odor as he watches TV, I don’t know. I’d like to think he does).


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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