Posted: May 29, 2012 in Ramblings...

By now, the man known as “Tater” has become somewhat of a legend in his local community. His story is amazing, fantastical (at times), and tragic. I had a chance to sit down with him for a candid interview this week, and he opened up to give us all a glimpse of the “real” Tater.

                Gabriel VanShootenstein Woodcock, was born in 1978 to Theodore & Emily Woodcock, in the rural village of South Hamptonshire in the United Kingdom. His father was a blacksmith who toiled day after day making horseshoes for Milton Bradley; his mother, a seamstress for the local placemat union. Together they scraped by, but were eventually able to afford passage for their only son to the new world aboard a sea-faring vessel named the “Lucky Russet.” It was from this vessel that Tater took his nickname and thus started life afresh.

                While aboard that influential voyage, he identified with a group of Portuguese immigrants, from whom he later developed his personal style and taste for spicy food. Upon setting foot in the new world, he was unfortunately denied work in the local drywall business due to his small stature, and therefore had to say goodbye to his newly acquired confederates. Although, disheartened, he quickly picked himself up and resolved to make something of his life by enrolling in Sebastian’s community college. He was relentless in his approach, and zealous to acquire a technical certificate in Botany. However, realizing that his dreams had been crushed before due to factors he could not control, he also obtained an understudy degree in Quality Control. With the promise of a head greenhouse director position on the horizon, Tater relocated to the Dayton, Ohio area, and although he was not able to secure the position he wanted (due to being beaten out by a man 30 years his senior, and with previous experience), he did find, what he believed to be, temporary employment at a local Calibration lab. Soon his patience paid off as he rose through the ranks of the Quality department and although his hourly wage was not ideal, he actually came to find that he enjoyed his daily labor.

                He had not been idle with investing his time in the company of the ladies either. He was involved in many social events and having a particularly sharp aptitude for footwear, and eyebrow fashion, he found his arm occupied at almost every gathering. Unfortunately, he did not consider that his popularity could also be a target for predators. During one of these social occasions (a camping trip) he was ambushed after a particularly rough night of cheerful exuberance by an unconstrained harlot who threw herself at him with vigor and left him awkwardly confused after their hurried relations.

                Time passed and Tater fell to the vices of his youth and inexperience. He became involved with recreational drugs and a white trash sweetheart. In one such instance, he returned after the close of his 3rd shift job to his companion’s double-wide trailer only to find her sneaking out of the back with another suitor. Even though the new lover was much larger in build than himself; Tater confronted the man, to defend his honor. Even though Tater had the shock of this surprise in his favor, he was still served a vicious right hook to the ear, and fell to the ground; his balance shaken. With superhuman strength he returned from the ground with an earth-shattering uppercut, breaking the gentleman caller’s nose. As the man recoiled in pain, a brutal awareness of future repercussions flashed in Tater’s mind, and he desperately ran to his car. Without looking back he sped away from the scene. After a few blocks he allowed himself to rest easy. This rest was short-lived however, from when out of nowhere slid a pickup truck directly into his path. The distance was far too short for him to dodge the truck or change course and he slammed into the truck with such force that he punctured his front tire. The man’s bloodied visage appeared instantly at Tater’s driver side window, and before he knew it the man had punched out the window, and struck him in his other ear. Tater threw the car into reverse, applied the gas, and sped away again, driving on flattened tires, while frantically calling the police. Before he knew it he found himself in jail.

                He had to remain in jail for a three day period, during which he learned from his previous life lessons and resolved to correct his course in life and return to a normal existence. He found new employment, kicked his drug habit, and eventually found a new love interest. He purchased a house, planted some roots, and even started having children. But the echoes of his previous life were still lurking just below the surface.

                One day, while he and his wife were playing with the kids in the backyard, an unfamiliar face greeted him while leaning on his fence and inquired if he was, in fact, Tater. He responded affirmatively, but was immediately served a summons for a paternity test. He felt this was very odd, due to the fact that he had been married now for 10 years and had only 2 children that he then knew of. The woman who had initiated this paperwork was none other than the camping trip damsel; so he was concerned. The test proved to 99.98% certain that he was, in fact, the father of yet another child. It turns out that this woman had actually been with multiple partners at this time and had eventually hooked one, and gotten married while pregnant. The fiancé believed the child to be his until a time (10 years later) when he discovered his wife had been cheating on him; at which point he began to question the validity of his original assumptions. Through a paternity test he satisfied himself that he was not the father and then denounced his wife and left. This left Tater with a good deal of explaining to do to his own wife, and a handsome child support check to write from then on out.

                The years went on and Tater continued to maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle. Eventually he had another child and things began to get quite crowded. He also discovered that his two boys may actually have a future in MMA wrestling, as quite a few of his material possessions were destroyed in his boys wake. Eventually the cost and emotional overload pushed Tater to declare his desire to stop having children. His wife however, was not in accord. It was out of his desperation that he succeeded in undergoing a Vasectomy without his wife’s knowledge. His wife however, soon discovered what he had done, and resolved that she might get her way after-all by making extra efforts in the middle-time when it still might be dangerous to have relations. Tater, obviously a man who had proven to break under pressure before, succumbed to his wife’s solicitations, and  eventually found himself to be the father of yet another child.

                And that pretty much sums up this man’s legacy and brings us to the present. It was thus with great interest that I interviewed him. And it is with great anticipation that I present that interview to you today.

Charliesphotoblog: So seriously, how did you get the nickname Tater?

Tater: Ok, you seriously have your facts wrong here. I mean, do you even fact check anything you publish? You need an editor or something… The vessel I came over on was called the “Grubby Russet” gheesh…

Charliesphotoblog: Sorry about that…

Tater: LOL. Seriously, I got that nickname from when I worked at my last job. The guys there seemed to think I looked like Mr. Potato Head. My second day on the job they brought in a potato and put a little uniform on it. I was a victim of constant heckling, which then resulted in obscenities being thrown around with reckless disregard between us. I earned my stripes within a couple of months, and then I was probably the best employee that worked there.

Charliesphotoblog: It’s nice to see you are so modest. But if you only had one word to describe yourself what would it be?

Tater: Unpredictable.

Charliesphotoblog: Why would you say that?

Tater: I have been diagnosed with a rare disease called ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) I don’t think I have ever finished anything, I mean I can be working on the biggest project in the company and the next thing I know I am sitting at Chili’s with no idea how I got there, then when I get back to work I’m on the internet for a few hours. (See? Unpredictable)

Charliesphotoblog: What are your interests?

Tater: Food, Video games, and throwing my weight around the Quality Assurance business.

Charliesphotoblog: If you had a family coat of arms what would be on it?

Tater: It would definitely have a minivan on it somewhere, a capitol ‘B,’ a dollar sign, and a double-wide trailer.

Charliesphotoblog: Speaking of minivan’s, what are you currently driving, and what is your favorite feature?

Tater: I roll a 2000 Dodge Caravan with 245,000 miles on it. My favorite feature is the custom spoiler, for obvious reasons.

Charliesphotoblog: Certain people have made allegations that you currently live in a trailer park. Is that a true statement?

Tater: Well Charlie, I like to refer to these  trailers as “modular homes”. They were brought in on wheels, but they now sit on cinder blocks. I hardly think that dubs them “trailers”

Charliesphotoblog: This has been a little alluded to in my introduction, but how many children do you have?

Tater: 4 at this time that have been confirmed through DNA testing, 1 on the way testing TBD…….

Charliesphotoblog: Wow, so… just wow… Um, okay, so let’s suppose you had an entire day without having to watch the kids, what would you do?

Tater: A perfect day for me would be like 3 hours of just complete silence, and then a large lunch of Thai food.

Charliesphotoblog: If your house were on fire what 5 things would you save?

Tater: Assuming family could be rolled up into one item (if not I’ll sacrifice the wife) I’d take them, plus my cell phone, Prozac, dress shoes (where I hide my money), & my Playstation. LOL

Charliesphotoblog: I’ve noticed that you are quite attached to your cell phone.

Tater: What is your question?

Charliesphotoblog: It’s not a question, I was just making a statement.

Tater: I understand your concern Charlie, and you may be right. I think that my heart may stop beating without my cell phone, I believe it helps me perform my job at the optimal level.

Charliesphotoblog: This is your chance to plug any autobiography you might be coming out with; do you got anything?

Tater: Sure, the release date is TBD, but it’s going to be called “The Tater Times (Memoirs of a broken man).”

Charliesphotoblog: Sounds awesome, I’ll keep on the lookout. And thanks for the time for this glimpse into your life.

Tater: You are quite welcome, I want everyone to understand how awesome it is to be a “plus sized man” in this unforgiving world.

  1. your sister in law says:

    So wow…… I have to say I didn’t know what to expect when I heard about the “tater” interview but epic is all I can say. Lol

  2. Super Cool Unknown Guy says:

    Isnt this that white trash guy from the trailer park you were telling me about?

  3. tater says:

    Modular home, not trailer……….

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