…..Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974
I must admit that about the time Watergate came along I was working my first job as a linofilm typist, and politics did not really concern me overmuch. Today’s generation looks back fondly at Watergate just as they do the Battle of Gettysburg or the Boston Tea Party. Just another history lesson.
The suffix -gate derives from the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s, which resulted in the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon. The scandal was named after the Watergate complex in Washington D.C. What I find really funny, though, is that the “gate” part started a whole slew of scandalous escapades. “Gates” abound everywhere.
There are Arts and Entertainment gates:
* Closetgate (2006); controversy after the TV show South Park aired a parody of Scientology
* Nipplegate (also known as Boobgate) (2004); Janet Jackson’s famous “wardrobe malfunction” during half time of Super Bowl XXXVII
There are Politic gates:
* Billygate (1980); Then President Jimmy Carter’s younger brother Billy legally represented the Libyan government as a foreign agent
* Bridgegate (2014); New Jersey Governor Chris Christie allegedly ordered lane closures from Fort Lee, New Jersey, to the George Washington Bridge, because the Fort Lee mayor did not endorse him for his re-election
* Hairgate (1993); Controversy surrounding a haircut given to U.S. President Bill Clinton
There are Journalism and Academic gates:
* Hackgate (also known as Rupertgate) (2011); Allegations that the now defunct News of the World had hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians, and members of the British Royal Family
* Reutergate (2006); The controversy over Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj manipulating news photos with Photoshop
There are Sports gates:
* Deflategate (2015); Did they or did they not under-inflate the footballs?
* Tripgate (2010); Strength and Conditioning Coach Sal Alosi tripped cornerback Nolan Carroll as he ran down the sideline
* Bumpergate (1982); During the Daytona 500 race, drive Bobby Allison allegedly modified his car so that his rear bumper would fall off, giving him an aerodynamic edge
Funny thing is that these scandals aren’t limited to U.S. soil. Just listen to the names and places:
* Portraitgate (2009, Ireland): Two oil paintings depicting Brian Cowen, Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, in the nude, were briefly displayed in Dublin art galleries in March 2009 as an act of guerilla art
* Toiletgate (2006, Elista, Kalmykia, Russia); The allegations by Veselin Topalov and his manager Silvio Danailov during the World Chess Championship that Topalov’s opponent Vladimir Kramnik was visiting the toilet suspiciously frequently during games
* Pastagate (2013, Canada); Controversy in which an Italian restaurant was investigated by the Quebec government for using words that do not comply with their language laws, such as “bottiglia”, “calamari” and “pasta”
* Porngate (2012, India) Three members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in India resign from their offices after accusations that they watched porn during government proceedings.
* Bottlegate (2001, Ohio); Rowdy fans of the Cleveland Browns threw plastic bottles and other debris on the field after a controversially overturned call in the final minute of the game led to the Browns losing the game to the Jacksonville Jaguars
You get my drift. So I figured, if there’s so many scandals out there with gates on them, why not create a few of my own?
* Grannygate: Busted for keeping grandson up way past his bedtime and offering him sugared drinks
* Catgate: When coaxing live cats to lay on the toy train track didn’t work, I offered my collection of stuffed unicorns as test subjects
* Employeegate: There are enough infractions in this scandal that this blog cannot list them all. I am on double secret probation until I am 85
* Flippergate: numerous violations of the “put the TV flipper back on the end table where you found it” rule. The scandal is that I never remember the rule — until I lose the flipper
* Irishfestgate (2012); I boasted to my 6 foot, 225-lb. son that I could keep up with him beer-for-beer at Irishfest. Guess who won, and guess who was sick for two days
There are a whole slew of gates for those who are curious — check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scandals_with_%22-gate%22_suffix. I’m sure if you scoured your past you’d find a lot of gates, too. But thankfully, since most of us are just regular guys/gals, the media won’t be knocking on your door — er, gate — any time soon.
Just be smart, and keep your gate locked.
Just in case.