Mom's hibachi mishap TikTok goes viral – Times Union

Heather and Karen Hansen are pictured with their family at Fuji 72 in Manahawkin, NJ. 
While there, their son Carter, 7 (foreground) bonked is head on a plate while trying to catch chicken thrown my the hibachi chef. The video of the incident went viral.
They had dinner at a hibachi, like they always do. And their son was hesitant at the griddle table, like he always is. 
But this time the 7-year-old from Niskayuna agreed to try to catch a piece of zucchini tossed by the hibachi chef as the cook prepared the food.
That’s where “as it always is” ended. Video of the trick gone awry led to the young boy going viral on TikTok racking up more than 2 million views in 48 hours.
Heather and Karen Hansen, their three sons and a few other family members were out for dinner earlier this month while on vacation in Long Beach Island, N.J. 
Carter, their second grader, was celebrating along with his two brothers and his moms. All five have August birthdays. The joint party is annual and held at Fuji 72 in Manahawkin, N.J., while on vacation.
Chefs tossing food for diners to catch is common at hibachi tables. In years past, Carter hasn’t joined in on the tricks. 
This year, Carter was game to give it a try. Heather wanted to catch the, er, catch on video. 
“He has always been scared of going to hibachi — he gets nervous around the big fire,” Heather says. “So, we were trying to make a big deal about the fun aspects of the experience, and he always likes to watch videos of himself.”
Carter missed the first toss, as customers often do. But, in the process, he bonked his head on his plate and bounced back up — like a cartoon character running into a wall. 
The 7-year-old was unfazed. 
“His entire life, he always has bonked his head in that exact same spot (one time with stitches),” says Heather, who did not envision the video going viral. It’s now up to nearly 21,000 shares and 1,300 comments. “So I think he was more embarrassed than anything.”
The family heard from Overtime, a sports platform, and their video was featured on House of Highlights, a company that posts sports highlights and funny videos. Currently, the video has more than 3 million views. 
When Carter popped up from the plate, his Aunt Jules LaGoy pulled him in for a hug and made sure he was OK. But because this is the internet and no one is safe from criticism, this seemingly normal gesture led Carter’s aunt to the land of online trolls. Commenters say she should not have coddled him. Many assume she’s Carter’s mom and dropped a dose of parent-shaming in the comment thread. Carter’s cousin Cade LaGoy, who is attending Siena in the fall, also is in the video — and the butt of plenty of critical remarks. 
“They think it’s hilarious and aren’t bothered by reading the comments section,” Heather says. “They are here for it.”
As for Carter completing the trick? The chef gave Carter two more chances.
He missed the second, but caught the third … and almost hit his head, again. 
Kristi Gustafson Barlette is a features writer who writes about what is trending in your life and in hers. You can reach her at


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