Selections From My Most Wanted

The U.S. printed the 55 most-wanted Iraqis on a deck of cards to enable both easy apprehension and quick games of rummy. But its villains aren’t the only ones on the loose. JOHN WARNER deals a more personal hand.

Based on the U.S.’s pack of cards depicting Iraq’s most-wanted individuals

Card: Four of Clubs

Name: Jimmy (last name unknown)
Overall rank: 45
Date of offense: July 7, 1977
Nature of offense: Harmed self-esteem
Description of offense: On day-camp bus trip pointed at my mop of unruly blond hair said I ‘looked like a girl.’ He then nudged his seatmate, insisting, ‘Doesn’t he look like a girl?’ Seatmate nodded. Jimmy continued to point at me, chanting ‘girl, girl, girl,’ over and over. Entire bus began chanting, ‘girl, girl, girl.’ My nickname for remainder of summer camp: ‘girl.’ I was seven years old.

Card: King of Diamonds

Name: Steve Garvey
Overall rank: 2
Date of offense: October 6, 1984
Nature of offense: Lucky SOB
Description of offense: San Diego Padres first-baseman, facing Chicago Cubs reliever Lee Smith, hit ninth-inning, two-out, game-winning two-run homerun in game four of the 1984 National League Championship Series, paving the way for a game-five Padres victory, and ending the season short of the World Series for the best Cubs team since 1906.

Card: Jack of Ass

Name: Professor Jack Wealthington
Overall rank: 32
Date of offense: Fall semester, 1990
Nature of offense: Killed (temporarily) enjoyment of literature/offended fashion
Description of offense: While sleeping off hangover during class, required each student to ‘count’ the number of references to eyes in The Great Gatsby. Also, actually wore sports coat with elbow patches.

Card: 10 of Miserable Excuse for a Human Being

Name: Ratface Blockbuster Clerk
Overall rank: 27
Date of offense: Yesterday
Nature of offense: Being born
Description of offense: Insisted on, and even relished, ringing up late fees on movies returned 10 minutes after noon deadline.

Card: Queen of Hearts

Name: Mindy Kohlberg
Overall rank: 4
Date of offense: March 23, 1987, 3:23 p.m.
Nature of offense: Careless with feelings
Description of offense: When asked within my earshot by an intermediary as to the possibility of going to the prom with me, Ms. Kohlberg replied, ‘Who?’

Intermediary: ‘John, from History class.’
Kohlberg: ‘I thought his name was Ron.’
Intermediary: ‘No, it’s John, he sits right behind you.’
Kohlberg: ‘Really?’
Intermediary: ‘Yeah.’
Kohlberg: ‘Whatever, no. I don’t think so, ugh.’

Card: Eight of Stuffed Suits

Name: ABC television network
Overall rank: 17
Date of offense: May 15, 1995; March 28, 2001
Nature of offense: Criminal neglect
Description of offense: Poor promotion and time-slot yo-yo-ing, led to cancellation of sensitive, Herskovitz-Zwick-produced dramas My So-Called Life, and Once and Again.

Card: 10 of Vague Regrets

Name: Rob Latrobe
Overall rank: 23
Date of offense: January 24, 1983
Nature of offense: Threatening words
Description of offense: Once vowed to ‘get me’ after I butted him in the stomach with the floor-hockey stick during gym class. Been looking over my shoulder ever since. Frankly, I’d like to end the anxiety.


TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner