Reprinted on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Moon landing.
Years ago--I think it was the 10th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong's moon walk, I had the honor of interviewing Armstrong for my college newspaper.
Being a "writerly" sort, asked him specifically about his words on setting foot on the moon. How did you come up with "One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."
Armstrong looked me dead in the eye, "I never said that."
"Mr. Armstrong," I replied, "I've heard the recording a thousand times. I've read about it in history books. Every school child knows you said 'One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.'"
Armstrong said, "What I said was 'one small step for man; one giant leap for Manny Klein."
I begged the famous flier to explain.
Armstrong told me this story, "When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, the walls in our apartment house were very thin. You could hear everything. And every night I would hear our neighbor, Manny Klein, begging his wife for oral sex. Every night, Mrs. Klein would demur.
"Finally," Armstrong continued, "Mrs. Klein relented. She said when a man walks on the moon, I'll give you oral sex. Hence 'One small step for man; one giant leap for Manny Klein.'"