May 25, 2001

P-Dong leavin' for the 2001

“Excellence is one ‘m' away from Mexcellent," P-Dong says to me.

I'm puzzled. “That's not true. You need a ‘m' and a ‘t' and you need to get rid of the last ‘c' and ‘e,'" I reply.

Then the Dong hit me — hard in the stomach. Crumpled over in pain, I finally understood the enigma that I had been following around for a week to do this story. P-Dong, or as he's known legally Pete “One-Eye" Beatty, lives life looking at the big picture. He tried explaining this to me earlier in the week, but I wasn't able to, or more accurately ready to, understand. Smoking a Vantage, P told me the secret to life: “Live by the guess-timation. Details are for chodes, like Jeff Miner."

It's not apparent where this philosophy came from. Beatty was born in the tundra of northern Ohio, the son of a Cossack horse showman and a semi-pro bowler. By all accounts, it was a nice environment to grow up in. The Cossack horse circuit was not as lucrative as it is today back in P-Dong's youth, but Pete's parents had a bus token forging operation to make ends meet. “I sold bus tokens on the streets, all so I could make ends meet," Beatty free-styled to me as I laid down a background beat of humph-higgity-humph-higgity-humph-humph-higgity-humph.

That sort of enterprising spirit, as well as the good fortune to have the genes of Cossack and a bowler, help Beatty become the finest student-athlete in the state of Ohio. In his four years at Pepper's Pike High, P-Dong lettered in track, football, and baseball, winning state honors in the 100 meter, 10, 000 meter, and the 150,000 meter dash, and honorable mentions as a football and baseball machine in all four years, while maintaining a solid 4.0 GPA. “High school was like a non-stop erotic cabaret," said P-Dong, refusing to expound further.

Unfortunately the impressive resume was not enough for Beatty to be accepted to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or Princeton. Thus he settled on the University of Chicago. The Ivy's loss was the Midwest's gain.

Pete enrolled in the U of C in the fall of 1997, but shocked the collegiate sports world when he declined to participate in organized athletics, choosing instead to start a roving street mob. Thus the birth of the Pete's Pipe Layers. Headquartered in the infamous Pit of Burton-Judson, Pete's Pipe Layers roamed Hyde Park, causing very little trouble, but roaming with a reckless abandon nonetheless.

But Beatty was not all fun and games. In 1998 he gave his first-born child to the president of Northwestern in an effort to strengthen the peace between the U of C and its northern neighbor. The act, though, had whispers of scandals. Enemies of Pete have noted that there was no need to give a child to Northwestern, as the two schools had little history of hostilities. Furthermore, there is doubt that the child was actually Beatty's. Most puzzling was the president of Northwestern's acceptance of the gift.

The general public was much more accepting of P-Dong's gesture. Pete was universally hailed as a patriot, a true nationalist, an Autobot of the highest order. “The people love me. Straight out the gate y'all, we drop hits, tell me how nasty can you get? All the way from the hood to your neck of the woods, it's ripped. One thing for sure: Pete be good." Pete found himself in hot water with the media in 1999 after he was arrested with several hundred E tablets while crossing the border from Canada. However, he parlayed his notoriety into a successful campaign to be elected sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Although many pundits claimed that Beatty's moonlighting as the head of police in Phoenix would adversely affect his performance on the field, he defied all odds to lead the Maroon men's dodgeball team to a victory over the top-ranked Chinese team. Soon enough though, Beatty found himself battling drug problems yet again, as he resigned his position as Chief Justice of the SG Court, citing an addiction to painkillers that developed while rehabbing a torn rotator cuff suffered while wrestling grizzly bears in front of Cobb. A much-publicized torrid love affair with former White Sox closer Bobby Thigpen had many thinking it was curtains for the P-Man, and it was, in a way. Beatty disappeared in December of 2000, leaving behind only a cryptic treasure map.