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[at-l] Trash talk

    I was going to ignore the latest round of screeds aimed in my direction 
as, like many of you, I'm getting tired of the whole thing.
    However, some of the more recent comments have taken the level of 
conversation to a new level---the gutter---and they deserve a response.  To 
ignore them would be seen, in the eyes of some, to acknowledge them as fact.

    In a recent post, F.J. McGillicuddy related the events of an unpleasant 
evening in a Gorham, N.H. restaurant, where his evening was ruined by the 
behavior of "Baltimore Jack and his drunken group."

    Well here's a surprise!  I'm not going to deny that I was there, or that 
this actually took place.  But Mr. McGillicuddy was so eager to score 
debating points against me, and so eager to damage me publicly, he omitted a 
few facts from his story.  Like the truth, for example.

    I checked my journals to see what I'd written re. this night, and lo and 
behold, yeah, there were a bunch of us at the restaurant.  And yeah, several 
folks had been drinking, tho to categorize the entire table as my "drunken 
group" seems a little strong, especially in light of the fact that at least 
one person present at the table doesn't drink.

    Anyway, being a good-sized group, we were a fairly lively one, and one 
fellow in particular, who shall remain nameless, was getting particularly 
vocal.  I did my absolute best to shut him the hell up, told him to keep his 
voice down and to watch his language, and in these efforts, I was supported 
by others at the table.  Dinner proceeded without incident.  However, 
feeling badly about what had transpired, on the way out of the place, I 
sought out the owner/manager and apologised to him.  Far from being upset, 
he shook my hand, thanked me for coming (I'd been to the restaurant 
previously), and he invited me back the next day.  I've been back there 
several times since; he's told me that he welcomes the hikers that I've sent 
his way (there are several other Chinese Restaurants in Gorham), and that 
his place is looking forward to serving hikers again this year.

    This being said, I regret that it ever got to the point that we had to 
tell several members of our party to settle down---this absolutely shouldn't 
have happened.  But when it did---when inappropriate behavior took place, 
other hikers immediately put an
end to it.  I do not know if Mr. McGillicuddy failed to mention all of this 
out of ignorance of the actual events, or because he didn't witness all of 
the actual events, or whether he IS aware of the actual circumstances, and 
has decided to tell a different version.

    In any case, THAT is what went down in Gorham that night, and while 
there are no doubt some who will question or doubt my version of events, 
happily, there are half a dozen witnesses who would corroborate everything 
I've said, including, if necessary, the guy who was told to shut the hell 

     So, the point of this story???   It's very simple:  If you want to 
spread gossip and trash talk about other hikers, fine.  That can't be 
prevented.  And if some folks wish to use this forum to slander and malign 
the reputations of other hikers, well, that's fine, too.  Nothing I can do 
about it.   But if you're going to engage in this sort of behavior, whose 
sole intent is damage the image and repuation of other folks----is it too 
much to ask that you get your damned facts right before doing so?  To do 
otherwise reflects far worse on the teller of these tales than it does on 
the intended target.

     A closing note:  Several weeks ago, I was taken to task on this site 
for having the temerity to suggest that we temper some of our comments with 
tact, respect, and civility.  For some folks, this was not a popular 
suggestion; in fact, the suggestion of introducing this tone to the list was 
greatly resented.  Well, just for the hell of it, I'll try suggesting it 
again.  But in addition to tact, respect, and civility, howz about we add 
one more element to our posts:  Truth.  If you're going to talk trash about 
another hiker, get your facts straight.

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