OMG. Dreams DO come true.
So I'm at this princess birthday party for girlfriend's 4 year-old niece outside of Washington, DC. I'm trying to be helpful, and her sister-in-law asks me to help the entertainment set up -- and don't be put off if he's a little "off." So I'm thinking, "Sweet. I'm the clown's roadie."
So in walks this middle-aged guy in cut-off shorts and a dirty t-shirt carrying a big-assed broken suitcase with tons of stickers on it. This is the performer? He looks like the yard guy. Maybe he changes after he sets up his rig and all.
And he's pretty high maintenance, and wants the furniture turned a certain way, and the presents in another room. (What, no brown M&M's?)
And about 30 minutes later he's ready to start The Show. No costume. Just some props. And the kids are all sitting on the floor waiting for the show. Some of them have seen this guy before, and they are mesmerized. One little boy is practically levitating with excitement.
And the adults are in the kitchen just off the main room where we can see everything, and my GF, Melanie, whispers something to me, and the performer looks up from across the room.
"Ma'am? Yes, you. Can you please be completely quiet so the kids can fully enjoy the show? Nothing personal. I was at the Vice-President's mansion and asked Mrs. Cheney to do the same thing. Thanks..."
So I rib her a little. "You just got shushed by the clown." Heh.
And then he announces himself. "I ... am the GREAT ZUCCHINI." And he starts doing this magic trick.
What? OMG. This guy is ripping off this legendary kids performer -- THE GREAT ZUCCHINI -- who I read about in an online feature story at least 4-5 years ago. So I run into another room to hop on the Web on my phone. I'm going to bust this clown who's stealing his act. Wait. WashingtonPost.com? And the picture on my phone is the SAME GUY who is actually performing in the next room.
OMG. IT'S THE _REAL_ GREAT ZUCCHINI. I've heard of this guy for years, and I finally get to see his live show. And it's AMAZING. He has these kids transfixed. And it's trick after trick after trick. He should have a TV show. I've never seen 4-5 year-olds this excited.
And some of the adults snicker at him. And now I'm offended. "Show some RESPECT. This guy is an ARTIST." I'm totally star-struck. I mean, this guy is literally a genius with these kids. "You are in the presence of GREATNESS!"
And after the show I work up the nerve to go up and meet him, and he's a really nice guy, but GF and her sister and her sister-in-law give me HOLY HELL about how star-struck I am.
And then he invites us to go with him to the track to go drink and gamble, but that's a whole 'NOTHER story...
Here's the story I read long ago: http://www.washingtonpost.com/.../01/18/AR2006011801434.html