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The Curse of ‘Rory Rammer’

The Atlanta Radio Theatre Company issues the following in response to a number of public questions concerning the so-called “Curse of Rory Rammer.”

ARTC: Briefly, what is “The Curse of Rory Rammer.”
RNB: [Originator of the “Rory Rammer” series] There’s no such thing.

ARTC: Excuse me. Isn’t one of the continuing characters named “‘Skip’ Sagan?”
RNB: Yes, that’s true, but —

ARTC: Whom you have admitted, on an earlier occasion, is named after astronomer Carl Sagan?
RNB: Yes, I did name him after —

ARTC: Who is now dead?
RNB: So far as I knew, he was in perfectly good health when I started writing the series.

ARTC: And is not another continuing character “Professor Irwin Feynman?”

ARTC: Also named after a well-known scientist, Dr. Richard Feynman?
RNB: He is.

ARTC: And what is Dr. Feynman’s current situation, viability-wise?
RNB: Well, he’s dead. But the man was in his seventies! He worked on the Manhattan Project, God knows what he was exposed to!

ARTC: Let me now draw your attention to a new character in this year’s [2000] DragonCon performance of “The Queen of the Spaceways” — “Michiko Sakai.”
RNB: It’s not even been established that she’ll be continuing.

ARTC: As may be. The origin of that name?
RNB: Well, like many of my character names, it’s taken from aviation. In this case, from Saburo Sakai, an Imperial Japanese Navy fighter pilot of the Second World War.

ARTC: Would you read the following item, datelined the Associated Press for September 28?
RNB: [Paper rattling] “Japanese World War II fighter ace Saburo Sakai, who downed 64 enemy planes and then went on to reconcile with his former foes and urge his nation to face its wartime past, has died.”

ARTC: Indicating that Mr. Sakai is, in fact, dead?
RNB: Oh, for crying out — ! He was 84! He’d been shot three times during the war and lost one eye! I should live to be 84, even without bits being shot off me.

ARTC: And would you read further, in the second paragraph?
RNB: [Muttering] Look, you’re gotta believe me: I never guessed he had a daughter named Michiko! I pulled the name off a Web site for female Japanese nuclear engineers. Besides “Michiko” is probably as common a name as “Susan” —

ARTC: Don’t you feel any apprehension as to what might happen to this young lady?
RNB: Frankly, no. I don’t believe a word of this codswallop. If you do, though, I think I can propose an interesting experiment.

ARTC: That being?
RNB: How about I name the next “Rory Rammer” character after you?

ARTC: Stop the tape! Just stop the damn —

[Tape ends]