Friday, May 3, 2013

P. T. So Good

Somewhere, the éminence grise of Bethel, Connecticut, Phineas Taylor Barnum is smiling. Heck, he's doing way more than that-he's probably laughing his butt off and the object of his derision is, in all likelihood, the luckless, lunchless, Henry Gribbohm.

What's not to love about this story? The whole 'lost his life savings' angle? He's thirty years old, for crying out loud. I am much more impressed if, at 85, he loses his life savings. As it stands the line should read 'his life savings, so far.'  Perhaps I should be impressed with his pluckiness (rhymes with luckiness, of which he has none).

Do the math with me. His object and desire was to win a $100 gaming system (or something, I'm hazy on what a Kinect actually is but I don't think that's the story, yet) and after he blew $300 NOT winning it, he went home, got the rest of his life savings (out of his sock drawer or coffee can) and came back to the same game of chance where the first $300 sank without a trace and lost the rest of the money.

I love his reference to the little ones. "You’re expecting the kids to win a few things, let the kids have a good time,” except the photo that comes with the article has a child in a stroller so I'm guessing the gaming system wasn't for Henry (or Henriette) Jr., unless they now drool-proof the controllers (wish they'd done that for mine).

Not enough emphasis, I believe, is being paid to the banana. Historically, bananas are a wonderful source of protein and the staple of countless, timeless, physical humor routines. And the whole notion of it being a rasta banana just cracks me up eight ways to Sunday.

In another time and place, after an encounter with what might be seen as the Duke and Dauphin (for considerably more than ten cents, each), Henry would have gone home wiser and lighter in the wallet for the experience. Maybe he'd have contacted the police but you know you're in 21st Century America, and only knee-deep in Maury Povich Country, when you call a TV news outlet and don't mind that your tale of woe makes you look like an idiot.

Andy Warhol just asked P.T. to pass him a cruller and he's getting comfortable, though not too, because Henry's fifteen minutes of fame will be over in the blink of a young girl's eye. Life is a carnival, Henry, believe it or not. Life is a carnival, two bits a shot. And in light of your companion, mon, perhaps a little more.
-bill kenny

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