Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
That’s bad luck: three on a midget.–Groucho Marx
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART FORTY-ONE: DAYS OF WRATH
“You must indeed be careful, Yob,” said Count Justin Victor to Cadger Tandy, “very, VERY careful, when navigating through this life. Especially if you seek to make a career of mingling among the demimonde, which you evidently do, or else you wouldn’t be seeking me out every night.
“Life is brief. Life is fragile. Life, even and despite the great advances of medicine, can end in a single moment. Take me, for instance. I was very nearly slashed to death with a razor by a bughouse Nigra during an alleyway dice game. Sure, the dice were gaffed, only there was no way he could of knowed that them bones was shaved. I was slicker’n snot. No, he just had a bellyful of bad hooch and a nose for of talkum powder. Lucky thing I had my sword cane–and it was also lucky that the other Nigras took off and ran when they seed we was getting in to it. It was down by the levee in Old New Orleans, back in ought-six. Pickins on the coast were kinda slim that year, on account of the great earthquake. So I headed east. Joined a circus. And that was when I was very nearly shot by a jealous midget right there under the big top. Though what I am saying? All midgets are jealous. It’s a matter of course.It goes with the territory of being short. They all wish they was normal, and, if not normal, then they’d much rather be too tall than too small. Sure, their small size has its advantages. They can ride a Saint Bernard dog like a horse. They can be squeezed into narrow transoms so they can burglarize an office. They get drunk a lot quicker on a lot less. They don’t have to eat as much. Prostitutes don’t mind fucking ’em, because they think they’re cute, unless they behave like nasty little midgets, which, of course, most of them are. Also, they can impersonate children and insinuate themselves that way into the good graces of homeowners, while they case the joint. Then later, they can come back to the domicile and ransack it.
“To me, a stupid midge is just like a lizard or a bug. I want to smash it. And I made no attempt to hide my contempt for the little vermin. Every time I saw the Lilliputian–I think his name was Major Mite–I was given to saying things like ‘Little Man, you’ve had a big big day,’ and ‘Out of the way, Pygmy, and let a real man through,’ or ‘Move over, Mr. Midget Man–you’re playing in the BIG leagues now!’ Big haw haw from all the assembled. Or maybe I’d say something along the lines of ‘Lead, or follow, it’s all the same to me–but if you’re not going to lead, then get out of the way.’ All the carnies thought I was some kind of sport. They knowed I was a card sharp, but they also knowed I never cheated them when we’d get together to play a friendly game of euchre. There’s a lot of card playing and idle chit chat going on in the circus and the carny, because when you’re not working your ass off, there’s long stretches of nothing to do at all, especially if you’re rained out. Small wonder, then, that certain people start to get on your nerves.
“Like midgets. They always walk around with their heads held high–as though they were normal people, like the rest of us. And I hate ’em. With their squeaky voices and their big cigars and their tailored clothes and all their continental airs–and yet, in the final summation, they’re barely even human. ‘Go chase yourself’–that’s why I want to say, every time I see one. ‘Go take a long walk off a short pier. Go take a slow boat to China.’
“Sometimes I even want to say to them, ‘Get out! Get out! You’re everything that’s wrong with America!’
“They’d be much better off, I think, if they lived in their own little village of freaks, away from normal people, and we would all be much happier too, if we didn’t have to look at ’em. Actually, I hear tell of a place in Florida like that, but I never really believed it. All they grow in Florida are watermelons, coons, alligators, anacondas, and possums. I hope the rumors are true, and there is actually a Tinytown or a Gnome Village down in them parts. Because here’s what every pocket-sized dwarf, half-baked homunculus, sawed-off runt, minikin, halfling and bantling needs to have repeated again and again until it penetrates their thick and tiny skulls: normal people want them out of their way! They want them OUT OF THEIR WAY!!
“What gets me about these filthy little midget men is that they all want to hang about with all the normal-sized men and women. Especially our women. Ah so. They likee. But it just ain’t gonna happen, Yob. Not if I have anything to say about it! What could possibly be more repulsive than watching a tuxedo-wearing top-hatted midget hobbling about in elevator shoes or boots with Cuban Heels, escorting a normal woman to a night out on the town with the expectation that afterward the gnawed off little freak is going to take off his ridiculous clothes and make sweaty love to her? You know what I say, Midget Boy? I say, get down, little dog—GET DOWN! Get your filthy hands off that girl, you pint-sized Casanova! She’s not for you, even if you do want her. Listen, little shrimper: The cocksuckers in hell want ice water–but they sure ain’t a-gwine to get it!”
“One day I had the effrontery to say as much to Major Mite. We were both in our cups under the big top. The peewee had a bag on and commences to pull out a .38 revolver almost as big as himself. I thought to myself, ‘It couldn’t possibly be loaded,’ so I ups and swats it right out of his hands. Well, Sir, it hits the sawdust floor and goes off, and the bullet comes within inches of crippling one of the circus elephants. Me and the Midge both got our asses chewed for that cute little stunt. After that incident, me and the Major suspended hostilities for the nonce. I never got to like the little punk, but grew so I could tolerate his presence without cracking wise. As for what he thought of me, I know full well that the stunted little dwarf had a grudge against me, because I have a keen sense of hearing and can also read lips, and I heard him blabbing to the dog-faced boy about what a loocher I was.
“Well, later on I got back at him but good. I trained Sheba the circus dog–a clever little poodle–to growl at him every time she saw him. Seeing as how the Midge sometimes had to put on white face and work with the clowns, that made things a mite uncomfortable. ‘Specially when Sheba took a bite out of the seat of his pantaloons. The clowns thought it was so funny they wanted to make it a part of the act, but the Midge threatened to quit, so the Ringmaster said that Sheba had to wear a muzzle whenever Major Mite was around, which she didn’t appreciate one bit. I’m sure the Midge suspected that something was still up between me and him, because whenever I wasn’t looking he would give me the rudest looks.
“Yob, I tell you–If the evil eye alone could turn sawdust to quicksand, I would of been in it up to my neck.”
Lulu Belle & Scotty
I’m No Communist (1952)
27 INTROS TO BAD 70S TV SHOWS
They didn’t include 1957 because they couldn’t get the rights to Elvis singing “All Shook Up”.
A very dirty song, as Justin Green once pointed out.
A well’a bless my soul
What’sa wrong with me?
I’m itchin’ like a man in a fuzzy tree
P.S. John Denver sure was ugly.