Interview of the Week: Mutt Metheny

This week’s interview is with Seattle Sailors D Murphy “Mutt” Metheny.

SHL Digest: We’re here today with one of the SHL’s more colorful characters, Murphy “Mutt” Metheny.  Thanks for speaking to us today, Murphy.

Murphy “Mutt” Metheny

Murphy “Mutt” Metheny: Nobody’s called me “Murphy” since I was in diapers.  Call me Mutt.

SHLD: Okay, Mutt.  Where did you pick up that nickname?

MMM: Well, my mama says it’s because when I wanted something, I was like a dog with a bone, and I wouldn’t stop ’til I got it.  My daddy says it’s ’cause I was a real ugly baby.  They’re probably both right.

SHLD: Where are you from, Mutt?

MMM: I’m from Pickle Thicket, Arkansas.

SHLD: Pickle Thicket?

MMM: Yessir.  When I say that, everybody thinks I made it up.  But it’s a real place.  About a half hour from Little Rock.  Not that you’d find it on a map; it’s a little flyspeck of a place.

SHLD: Pretty small, huh?

MMM: There were about 300 people there when I was a kid, and it’s probably gone downhill since then.  There’s one stoplight, one gas station, three churches, and a half-dozen bars.  If you aren’t a drinking man, you can go down to the creek and watch the moss grow.  That’s about all there is for entertainment.

SHLD: You’re the only professional hockdey player ever to come out of Arkansas.

MMM: That’s right, but it’s also kind of a cheat.  We moved to Minnesota when I was about six.

SHLD: That must have been a culture shock.

MMM: More for them than for me.  Those Minnesotans didn’t know what to make of a big ol’ goofy kid who sounded like Forrest Gump.  But eventually I found out about hockey.  They made me a defenseman, probably ’cause they figured I was already dumb and ugly enough that a few concussions and missing teeth wouldn’t hurt me none.

SHLD: We’ve heard that you’re a collector.  What do you collect?

MMM: Keychains.  I’ve got over 10,000 of ’em.

SHLD: Wow!  How did you get started collecting those?

MMM: Well, my daddy was a long-haul trucker, and he’d be away from home for weeks at a time.  But every time he’d come home, he’d bring me keychains from all the places he’d been through.  When I grew up, I picked up the same habit.  Every time I’d pass through a new town, I’d get me a keychain or two.

SHLD: And from there, you built up to thousands?

MMM: Well, once word got around that I was a collector, people started sending ’em to me from all over.  I’ve got keychains from every state, every Canadian province, and a bunch of foreign places too.

SHLD: Do you have them displayed at home?

MMM: I had to.  My wife got sick of me filling up the garage with tubs and tubs of the things, so she told me I needed to do something with ’em or they were going straight in the trash next time I went on the road.  So I had a friend who’s a woodcarver make me a big wooden map of the USA, and I stuck the keychains from each state up on the map.

SHLD: That sounds cool!  Does your wife like it?

MMM: I dunno,  I think she might wish I’d just left ’em in the tubs.

SHLD: Do you have a favorite keychain?

MMM: Yup.  It’s a purple one from Miami, and it’s got a palm tree and a marlin and a sunset on it.  My daddy brought it back from a long haul he took in the dead of winter.  After that, every time I got cabin fever from the cold in Minnesota and I missed my daddy, I’d take that one out and imagine being out there on the beach with him.  It kept me from going crazy, or crazier than I already was.

SHLD: So, your Sailors have had a tough run after a surprisingly good start.  Do you think you can get it turned around?

MMM: Probably not.  I mean, we suck, so I figure we’ll probably keep sucking.

SHLD: Fair enough.  Thanks for one of the more interesting interviews we’ve ever had.

MMM: The pleasure’s mine.  Send me more keychains!