Reporter's Notebook: Being Tron Guy
Jay Maynard, also known as Tron Guy, has opinions and anecdotes galore. His well-honed attitude toward media types is that he will give an answer to all questions. It was no different with City Pages, even when the conversation swerved away from Internet fame and toward, say, gun ownership or national healthcare. Here are a few moments left out of the feature story, with videos – including footage of him taking City Pages on a flight in the Tron Plane – mixed in.
Tron Guy On Geeks "I'm just an ordinary geek," Maynard says. He built his first computer when he was 17 and has been working with them ever since. In school he skipped a grade and he says that bullies made him miserable through high school. He dropped out of college to work with computers and hasn't looked back. His home is littered with dozens of computers, and he and Neubauer use eight or nine.
March of the Tron Guys.
Tron Guy On Fame "I probably never again will be truly anonymous," Maynard says. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen. Tron Guy is a member of the first generation of human Internet memes. Locally, most people don't know about his net notoriety, but he thinks pictures of himself will forever appear on the Internet. He says that Jimmy Kimmel was nice to him, even gave him the name of an agent. The agent told him that it normally would take somebody ten to 15 years to reach Tron Guy's fame, but Maynard would need to put in two years of personal appearances in order to launch a career. Maynard decided it wasn't worth it. Locally, he's not very well known at all. He's only done two appearances in Fairmont, and says he isn't recognized around town. He also claims to be the second-most famous person to have gone to his high school. The most famous was major league pitcher Roger Clemens ,who started at the school the year after Maynard graduated. Maynard says that organizers from his high school reunion begged him to come to the reunion now that he's famous. He didn't go.
Tron Guy believes he can fly – and after sitting beside him, so do we.
Tron Guy On Camel Toes "A lot of the comments were "Ahh, fat guy in Tron suit and you can see his balls!'" Maynard says of the early Web comments of photos of the suit. While he was making the Tron suit, Maynard watched Tron closely and looked at the actors' groins to determine if they were wearing anything under the spandex. He thought they didn't, so he didn't either, much to the Internet community's disdain. He later found that the actors in the film were, in fact, wearing dance belts, which Maynard describes as a cross between jock and a thong. Now he no longer has a camel toe.
Tron Guy On Animaniacs: Maynard owns 40 Animaniacs t-shirts. Forty! He and Neubauer met in an Animaniacs chatroom in 1996. The two enjoyed that show was unafraid to be wild and slightly un-p.c., like the Warner Bros. cartoons of yore. They know the series backward and forward, and reference the show by episode numbers, and they have every episode of the show on VHS.
Tron Guy's first Jimmy Kimmel Live show appearance.
Tron Guy On Guns: "I bought (an AK-47) on the day congress passed the assault weapons ban as a [makes obscene gesture] to the government," Maynard, a gun enthusiast, says. He frequently packs a Glock 27 and says that Minnesota's gun permits are even better than the laws in his native Texas. In Texas, he explains, you must conceal the weapon you're carrying, but in Minnesota, you can have it visible. He conceals his when he carries. Maynard believes that by carrying a concealed weapon, he helps prevent crime. While we were talking about guns, Neubauer left the room and returned with a fire extinguisher. "Does this make me an arsonist?" He asked. The same principle applies to guns, they maintain. It's a tool to stop something bad rather than start something bad. A funny story they told me: One of Maynard and Neubauer's friends buys a new gun every year on gun control advocate Sarah Brady's birthday. His motto is, "If she wants me to stop buying guns, she should stop having birthdays."
Tron Guy On Politics: "I couldn't stand having you on my (Livejournal) friends list; you're just too right wing for me," Maynard says is a common complaint he gets for his political blog post. The two are libertarian-leaning conservative that believe in protecting gun rights and having a smaller, more efficient government. "I have severe heartburn with the concept of government-run healthcare. That is a train wreck waiting to happen," Maynard says. Neubauer has a simple request of the federal government: "Would you kindly stay out of my wallet and out of my bedroom?"
A characterization of Tron Guy on South Park.
Track Tron Guy's Flights here. http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N55ZC
Tron Guy's video archive: http://www.tronguy.net/videos/
Read Tron Guy's Livejournal: http://jmaynard.livejournal.com/
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.