Fame is fleeting, but internet infamy will haunt you for a long, long time. The latest person to feel that swift — but long to dig out of — sting of going unwittingly viral is young Luke Gatti, the kid who just really, really wanted some mac and cheese this weekend. His recent petulant outburst has now reportedly led to an abrupt departure from the University of Connecticut.
Barstool Sports posted photos Tuesday of what appears to be Gatti packing up a car, and when the lamp's on the sidewalk, it's probably a sign someone is moving on. Death & Taxes, meanwhile has compiled tweets from locals saying he was kicked out. Gatti became a sensation this week after an outstanding video of his tirade, entitled "Drunk Kid Wants Mac and Cheese," was posted on YouTube. It has over 1.6 million views so far. Ironically, within the first ten seconds of the clip, he's seen bragging, "Yeah, yeah, I'm going to get expelled for this. Just give me some f__king bacon jalapeño mac and cheese." It goes on in this vein for nine minutes. And it's clear at the start of the video that he'd already been demanding the food of the gods from the school's Union Street Market for some time. Oh the stamina of youth!
This charming self-proclaimed 19 year-old gentleman, who I would not be so presumptuous as to assume may have been operating on the toxic cocktail of Jager and white male privilege, did not seem to comprehend, as the market's manager quite reasonably explained, "You can't come in here with an open bottle of booze, dude. Think." Not even when he opened his wallet! Not even when he called the manager "a f__king fag." Not even when he began pushing the man. Police arrived after a 911 call saying a "disturbance had now become physical." In their arrest report, police noted he'd been "verbally and physically abusive." The clip ends, predictably, with Gatti facedown on the floor in handcuffs. Shockingly, while a student at the University of Massachusetts Gatti was arrested twice last year for disorderly conduct. During one of the incidents, he allegedly called a police officer by a racial slur.
I think it's possible that if a teenager has had now three serious incidents at two different colleges involving drinking, that kid may have real problems, and I genuinely hope that if that's the case, he gets help. I also know plenty of people who have been known to drink too much without becoming overly entitled, physically abusive, racists jerks. That behavior doesn't just happen out of nowhere. And somewhere in the fog of his pre mac and cheese craving Sunday evening, Gatti forgot that if you decide to go out there in the world and behave very badly, someone else may document that. And there will be consequences. Lasting consequences.
It's a lesson a whole lot of people seem to keep not getting. People like the recently unemployed Gerod Roth, aka Geris Hilton — who thought it'd be funny to post a selfie with a black colleague's young son, and then set off a torrent of racist remarks on Facebook. People like teacher Karen Fitzgibbons, who was fired from her job this spring after a racist rant about segregation. Guys — I realize you are not so great with the judgment calls. But YouTube and Facebook and Twitter have all been around a long time now. The iPhone came out in 2007. Figure it out. And Gatti, I imagine that you'll ride out this semester and wind up at some other campus by spring. Just know that when you, they have smartphones and YouTube there too. So the next time you go out drinking, try to remember that before your cheese craving gets out of control again.