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Tiny Town, USA – People -- strangers -- are never quite who we think they are. Unless you're very good at reading people, that is. Certain poker players have developed this skill into an art. 

Anyway. This is Alex.  

He's a familiar figure on the downtown scene, knocking about here and there with a western-style kerchief or a scarf around his neck, showing up at public meetings, outdoor protests, musical gatherings.

We never bothered to engage him in conversation, writing him off as just another local eccentric; light in the loafers: heavy on the meds.

Recently that changed. We ran into him in Buffalo Street Books as he insinuated himself into a conversation about Peter Lorre, the actor.

Turns out Alex once sat next to Peter Lorre, in New York. Alex said he didn't want bother Mr. Lorre so he just sat there quietly.

We thought that was the end of it and we waited for him to move it along.

But, as turns out, this was just an introductory story.

For Alex had a far more intimate brush with Hollywood when he worked with Robert Downey Sr. on a film in New York, he told us. (Baby Downey, Jr., was there as well, says Alex, but he was just a wee sprat then, hardly big enough to tip a jigger of rock n' rye).

The film was called "Greaser's Palace" a vulgar B-movie send-up of the Life of Christ. The New York Times panned it in a review  on Aug. 1, 1972.

At the time, Downey Sr., was best known for the  movie "Putney Swope"; but Downey also was a master of the offbeat super low budget film. That makes "Greaser's Palace" an unusual flick. Shot in New Mexico, the film cost $1 million at the time, an extraordinary chunk of change for Downey to blow on a production. Detractors say he used it to poor ends, but "Greaser's Palace" is a cult classic today, according to Prof. Wiki.

Alex asked us if we could guess what role he played in the movie. We were stumped: A cross-dressing Pontius Pilate perhaps?

He gave me his screen name and we searched online -- there it was: Alex Hitchcock.

He played The Nun. We weren't that far off. Maybe we should take up poker. 

– C. Penbroke Handy 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 04:40
 

As a nation mourns, Tiny Tim appears in Tiny Town to bless us

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 ←TINY TOWN'S TINY TIM (NOTE: RIGHT-HAND)

 THE REAL MCCOY ↓ (NOTE: LEFT-HAND)

 

 

TINY TOWN, USA –With another dead Kennedy in the national boneyard and pop singers like MJ who refuse to die, it is with great relief and pleasure we report the spirit of Tiny Tim as alive and well in Tiny Town.

 

The manchild we call Narcissus (pictured above left) cannot play a lick on his tiny guitar. But his presence alone suffused the barren Downtown Central Business District with a peaceful, honey-lighted special effect on Aug. 29. Good enough for Tiny News!

Key differences between Tiny Town's Tiny Tim and the original: Our Tiny Tim cannot sing or play music. However, his haunting atonal mewings are spine tingling. Secondly: Our Tiny Tim has a guitar, not a ukulele. Thirdly: Our Tiny Tim is right-handed. The original Tiny Tim was a southpaw, like Jimi Hendrix, who was born here, and the superb Tiny Town-bred guitarist Peter Salidar. 

For these reasons and for the fact that it is important to provide content for TTT until we get the weekend police activity log up and going (Cop Central PR often doesn't post weekend wrap-ups until late Monday) we bring you this newsy bagatelle.

In 1932, Mr. Tim was born Herbert Khaury, son of a Lebanese Maronite Catholic dad and a Polish mom who was Jewish. That alone makes him somebody worth remembering as the World Bank considers bringing the winter Olympics to Beirut.

He died in 1996, curiously, from a second heart attack that struck him down during a performance of his signature tune "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" played at a Gala Benefit of The Woman's Club of Minneapolis, MN. (this according to Prof. Wik I. P'Dia).

What man hasn't suffered a touch of angina at a woman's club, we ask you? 

Tiny Town's Tiny Tim looks fairly robust these days and we look forward to years and years of him. While our boy appears to lack any redeeming social significance or musical knowledge whatsoever, he nonetheless belongs here because he IS here and there doesn't seem to be anything we can do to make him go away.

No, you won't hear him singing old Tin Pan Alley tunes or see him charming TV audiences with his eccentric falsetto. You will find him occasionally in face paint, talking to himself and presenting odd facial affects as he flounces down The Commons. 

He is a freak! But he's our freak. 

And as we bury another Kennedy secret, as the nation gasps when it turns out MJ was merely in a demerol coma and claw marks are found on the inside of his coffin lid, as the body count goes up across the globe in wars only a Christian could dream up and a Muslim take seriously, God/Allah Bless Tiny Tim, where ever you are.

– C. Penbroke Handy 

Last Updated on Friday, 04 September 2009 23:53
 

Gull rejects Livingston's "mystic babble" lives like other scavenging shore birds

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TINY TOWN, USA –– Jonathan Livingston Seagull -- one of numerous attempts to translate the thoughts of shore birds into English -- was published almost 40 years ago.

America's municipal water supplies were poisoned with LSD at the time so naturally it became a national bestseller.

Richard Bach, the author, apparently spoke with sea gulls. He is not to be confused with Joe Mitchell, author of Joe Gould's Secret, a superior text printed in The New Yorker around the same era and reprinted in Up in the Old Hotel. Joe Gould, a.k.a. "Professor Seagull," actually spoke seagullese. 

In a lucky but not at all transcendent incident, the 39th offspring of J.L. Seagull met with our shore bird unit for an interview recently. The gull, who calls himself "Triple-X-9er," reflected on his legacy and not without a few squawks about Mr. Bach.

Here is a partial translation of what he had to say. The reporter's questions have been removed for ease of reading:

"Fock you! Fock you!  Fock you and you and you! (Triple-X-9er was cursing other gulls who came nearby) ... And fock Richard Bach too! Gimme a french fry, gimme another french fry. Gimme some bread. More. More!

See? This is what a focking seagull does, ok? We eat shit fock and flock and lead miserable lives. No one of us escapes. J.L. Livingston got into some bad clams back in the day and filled that Bach guy up with a lot of mystic babble.

What focking seagull doesn't know how to fly? Tell me. You're a focking seagull, you fly. You don't fly, we peck you to death and eat you. Or the wharf rats get you. Fock you! Fock you! (another gull attempts to get in on the action) Gimme another french fry.

Growing up I caught a lot of crap from the other gulls about J.L. He's a focking laughingstock. The fock did he get out of it? A bucket of bait and some freakin stale bread. Meanwhile the little Jew bahstid who wrote the book gets a million dollars. Did that sonofabitch get to Nirvana? Bet your ass he did. Meanwhile J.L. flew into a prop plane outta La Guardia, but you don't read about that shit, do you?

I come up here following the Santaro garbage trucks ... I been to Fresh Kills, Seneca Falls, I seen a lotta good dumps. But no dump is better than this place (Tiny Town's Alewife Park) ... Fock you! Fock you! (another gull came by) ... You wouldn't believe the shit some of these people feed us. Yestidday I gotta chunk of pannini -- with the cheese and spinach still in it! This morning a guy pukes up his breakfast! It was all intact! A focking Greek omelette, rye toast and home fries. Me and a coupla the boys settled down on that shit and was there a hellzapoppin' fight over who got the feta!

"Boids of a feta," I joked. A coupla them laughed and I made my move and got the better of that omelette lemme tell you. 

(Other gulls appeared) Fock you! Fock you Smitty, Fock you Rex! I'm squawkin heah!  Gimme another fry. More! How about that sammich? Whaddya got there? Oh yeh. I love sliced turkey breast - HEY! Fock you! Fock you and you and you! ...."

The interview came to an abrupt end as several formidable gulls landed near us and Triple-X-9er got into a fiendish squabble over the remains of our reporter's sandwich. 

–– C. Penbroke Handy.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 August 2009 12:14
 


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