The Death of America's Greatest 2-Star Celebrity
For some reason, my roommate still has the newspaper delivered to our house. I've heard rumors that he got some deal where we're getting it for free or something. Regardless, no one ever reads it and numerous copies are continuously sitting on our porch or in our living room.
Last night, I was really bored, so I grabbed the issue that was lying on the couch (which turned out to be from December 13th) and began reading. I stumbled across the following obituary, and I found it very odd. And since I spend my time wisely, I decided to share my thoughts on it with you all. Lucky you.
Creator of 50-Star Flag was Teen in Lancaster
Now, maybe it's just me, but this headline seems very wrong. It mentions nothing of death. Rather, it seems like it's saying that a 50-star flag was literally just created by a teen in Lancaster. Terrible job, headline-writer. I mean, literally, your only job is to write headlines—and you fucked that up.
Robert G. Heft, the "Betsy Ross" of America's 50-star flag, has died.
Pegged for life.Okay, this sentence pretty much sums up my greatest fear in life—becoming known for something inexplicably obscure. Like something that's just enough to maybe get you a small Wikipedia entry, and enough that people are like, "Oh yeah, that fucking guy." Steve Bartman, for example. No one knows and/or gives a shit about what Steve Bartman did before October 14, 2003, and no one will care if he does anything notable for the rest of his life. The guy could cure cancer and people will still think, "Oh, there's that dipshit who fucked up the Cubs' chances at the World Series. Sure, he saved millions of lives, but would it have been too much for him to let Moises Alou catch that goddamned ball? Fuck! I love the Cubbies! Deep dish pizza! ‘Da Bears! Another random Chicago stereotype!"
Anyway, I'll bet if you could travel back in time to the late 50's and tell teenage Robert Heft that someday he would be known as the "Betsy Ross of America's 50-star flag," he'd immediately stop crafting his design and say, "Fuck this. I couldn't give less of a shit about this goddamned new flag. I will not be called the ‘Betsy Ross' of anything."
In 1958, a history teacher assigned Heft and his classmates at Lancaster High School to each redesign the national banner to recognize Alaska and Hawaii, both nearing statehood. Heft, who was 16 at the time, crafted a new flag from an old 48-star flag and $2.87 worth of blue cloth and white iron-on material. His creation earned him a B-minus. Heft's teacher later changed that grade to an A after Heft's flag was sent to Washington, D.C., and selected by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Teacher: I'm sorry, Bobby. I like your design and all, but sadly, I just don't think you put forth as much effort as you should. You probably spent too much time watching Father Knows Best and listening to Bill Haley & His Comets instead of working on your project. I'm going to have to give you a B-.
Heft: No ma'am, I tried really hard! Look at this blue cloth and white iron-on material. This cost me $2.87, which is like spending $21.37 in 2009.
Teacher: Why do you know the conversion rates for 2009?
Heft: That is random, isn't it?
(Three weeks later)
Heft: (waving his congratulatory letter from Eisenhower in the teacher's face) BOOM, bitch! You know what that is? That's a letter from the goddamned President. They chose my flag. Motherfuckin' Heft in the hizzzzyyy!!!
Teacher: That's wonderful, Bobby!
Heft: That's wonderful, Bobby?! Let me ask you a question (takes out a pistol and aims it at the teacher): Do I look like a bitch?
Heft: Do. I. Look. Like. A. Bitch?
Heft: (shoots teacher in the kneecap) Say what again!
Teacher: No! No, Bobby, you don't look like a bitch!
Heft: Then why you gonna fuck me like a bitch? I don't like to get fucked by anybody except—well, probably no one as of yet because I am a 16-year-old in 1958 America. Regardless, can you help me remember what grade you gave me on my flag?
Heft: (shoots teacher in the shoulder) Say what again!!
Teacher: I, I gave you a B-, I think!
Heft: That's right! You remember! Now here's what's going to happen: you're going to change my grade to an A. Otherwise, I'm going to call up my new friend Mr. Dwight D. Eisenhower here, and have him go WWII on your ass. Capiche?
(Five years later, Robert Heft had a son named Steven Heft. In 1968, the entire Heft family went to Big Kahuna Burger to celebrate Little Stevie's 5th birthday. It was there that Robert told him the story of how his flag came to be chosen by the President himself. Little Stevie thought that this story would make for a really good scene in a movie. Years later, when Little Stevie was a famous director making movies in Hollywood, he recalled his pop's tale, and added it to his film. Of course, by then, Little Stevie had changed his name to what you all know him by today: Quentin Tarantino. Also, everything you just read is patently false. Or is it? Yeah, it is.)
Heft was one of thousands to submit a flag design with alternating rows of five and six stars. But apparently he was the only person who actually stitched together a flag and shipped it to D.C. His design became the official national flag in 1960.
So basically this guy added two stars to the flag? Why is this a big deal?
Teacher: Class, the President has asked us to design a new flag that reflects the impending statehood of Alaska and Hawaii. Yes, you heard me correctly: Hawaii. Isn't that some bullshit? Like we real Americans want those tiki-torch-lighting, lei-wearing sons-of-bitches to be a part of our country! What if—and this just randomly popped into my head—what if someday we had a President from Hawaii? I mean, really—Hawaii?! Oh, me and my nonsensical, off-topic tangents! Where were we? Oh, yes: the flag. I'll go head and assume that none of you are retarded, and that you realize that the 48 stars represent the current 48 states. Alright, get to your flag-making! (She lights a cigarette, takes a long draw, and then decides to beat a kid in the front row for looking at her funny. I mean, it's 1958, she can do whatever the fuck she wants.)
(Meanwhile, Bobby Heft is sitting in his place in the back of the room, mischievously thinking to himself): Wow, I didn't know the number of stars correlated with the number of states! Maybe I am a retard. But I do have a dastardly plan. What if—and bear with me Bobby (wait a second: I'm telling myself to bear with myself? I really am stupid)—what if I add two stars to the flag? You know, because we're adding two states to the country? Brilliant! Brilliant, I say! No one else could possibly think of that!
Heft worked as a motivational speaker in retirement, sharing his flag-making success story. His inspiring tale connected him with people around the world.
"And now, our featured speaker: the man who radically altered American history by adding two—count ‘em!—two stars to our nation's flag. That's right, folks: the one, the only, Roberrrrrrrrtttt Heft!!!!"
Heft appears, and leads his 1-hour, 45-minute speech with his flag-making story. The rest of his lecture, however, seems very random and downright strange, as it contains segments discussing: his drug experimentation in the mid-60s; his torrid affair with Diane Keaton; his obsession with The Golden Girls; his torrid affair with Michael Keaton; how the fact that there are two nuts named after people (Hazel and Filbert) really makes him happy; the attempt by his competitors to paint him as a traitor by concocting a story falsely claiming that he bet on the USSR hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics; how fruit makes him incontinent; and, finally, a humorous tale involving him, his wife, a hooker, and a little bit too much Viagra. If you are in the market for a motivational speaker, you can find Heft at www.iamajackassformakingfunofadeadguy.com.
"He didn't let his notoriety become him," said Rodney Wakeman, a friend of Heft's and co-owner of the funeral home in Saginaw handling Heft's arrangements, which are pending. "He was a very down-to-earth individual."
"When you first look at Bob, you wouldn't think this was the man who designed our 50-star flag, but once you listened to his story, you couldn't help but be in awe," he said.
Just curious: what would give it away that this was the man who designed the 50-star flag? For all his supposed "notoriety" and celebrity status, he's still just a regular guy. Most well-known people don't really stand out. Like one time I saw Dan Marino in a hotel in Florida. Now, when I first looked at him, I didn't think, "Here's the man who holds most of the NFL passing records." Rather, I thought, "Here's a socks-with-sandals-wearing asshole accosting a well-meaning maid for no reason." I'm not making this up. I literally heard him say, "Can't you speak fucking English?" I don't know what this story has to do with anything, but it signifies the end of this post. R.I.P. Robert Heft.