“I just don’t like Slater” — That’s the reason a Chicago man gave for smashing a picture of Saved By The Bell’s famous singlet sporting ladies man. Long story short, the guy was drunk, in a bar and he ripped a framed photo of A.C. off the wall and smashed it to bits. He didn’t seem to have a good reason, or at least he wasn’t able to articulate it, so his feelings came to the surface in a total “hulk-smash” kind of moment. I would like to state, for the record, that I find this behavior to be inexcusable. An act of cultural terrorism, if you will. I was heartbroken and furious when I read this Chicago Tribune story and I’ve decided to make it my life’s goal to understand the inner-workings of this strange criminal. I will find the answers that will restore our sanity and allow SBTB fans everywhere to sleep a little better.
This story really drums up some questions I would love to ask the involved parties. Like, first of all, Mr. Chicago bar owner: Why did you frame and hang a picture of A.C. Slater on your wall? Is your establishment some sort of ironic hipster pseudo dive bar? Was that picture surrounded by other television icons from a decade most of your patrons are too young to remember? Or was there a picture of a handsome beau hunk on your wall because that’s the kind of things your patrons are into? Or, maybe Mario Lopez, the actor who plays A.C. visited your bar some time ago, gave you a signed photo, and now you’re afraid to take it down because you fear the uncomfortable moment you will have if he ever returns. In any situation, it’s not your motives I’m concerned with. It’s the motives of the picture-smasher.
As part of my ongoing investigation into this travesty. I will list several possible reasons for such a heinous, hateful crime. And when this nightmare of a man goes to trial, I will not accept “insanity” as an excuse!
Possible Motive #1 – Slater’s Chauvinism
Upon my review of the original incarnation of SBTB, I found that A.C. regularly used the term “babe” to refer to whatever female character he happened to be pointing his dimples at. Maybe the bar patron was incredibly sensitive about this, and since he couldn’t punch A.C. in the face, seeing as though A.C. is not a real person, he smashed the picture instead.
Possible Motive #2 – Slater’s Mullet
We’re all aware of how annoying the mullet has become. It was a fashion trend in the eighties among only the most stylish and mainstream. Then it made its way to the middle of America and overstayed its welcome. Unfortunately, it seems to be back again. Mostly among the underweight, sock-free sect, but it’s back regardless. Possibly, upon seeing Slater’s picture on the wall, a picture in which A.C.’s springy mullet was no doubt prevalent, the criminal flew into a furious rage. Since there were no malnourished art-school dropout vegans within arms reach, the man smashed the picture.
Possible Motive #3 – Forbidden Love
My third motive, and the one I’m considering to be real, is this: I’m suggesting that the man who yanked A.C.’s picture from the wall and smashed it into bits, did so because he was madly in love with A.C. Slater. We all know that love can last for a long time, as long as several seasons and sometimes well into syndication. Love makes men do crazy, crazy things, especially a love that can’t be acted upon. This man grew tired of watching Slater parade around in his onesie pretending to like girls and play sports. He couldn’t take it anymore. He vowed to stop watching SBTB in any form and made an effort to erase any reminder of it from his brain. Then, he walks into his local watering hole for a beer, and who’s picture is on the wall? I imagine the inner turmoil that arose. Love. Hate. Love. Hate. Love. Hate. Anger. Jealousy. Love. Hate. Rage. Smash!
We may never know the real reason this man did what he did, and we don’t know if he’ll ever do it again. But I will not settle until I find out. The memory of Slater’s picture deserves to be honored. Justice will prevail.