Rss Feed
  1. Sting Of Celebrity Death By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

    In December the Grim Reaper furiously worked celebrity deaths like he had to meet a quota, but he sauntered into 2017 with little fanfare and snatched a superstar from my heart. Just a few years ago I heard my celebrity crush was ill…

    If he has a quirky charm AND is prone to unpredictable outbursts – I’m fascinated! I’m a sucker for a “Bad Boy”. A lack of father love and ensuing abandonment issues give me a lifetime pass on my poor attachment choices.  

    For years I’ve been enthralled by his majestic capacity to perform, which is only eclipsed by his lightning speed ability to strike fear and abject terror. A beloved entertainer AND known murderer, my “Bad Boy Crush” is star of Sea World

    Bull Orca Whale - Tilikum!
    You can understand my shock and dismay when I learned Tilikum was sent to a medical pool. Through the cooperation of an anonymous source*, I acquired an extract of Tilikum’s medical file. With only the best intentions, I present this confidential excerpt:

    Dr. Jennifer Melfi   Thursday, March 22, 2012   New Patient Intake Session 1

    For the 3rd time in fifteen minutes the gruff park attendant, Colleen, quizzed me on the safety instructions. As I arranged myself in the blue nylon hammock suspended over the orca medical pool, I recited: “1, Maintain the required distance from the patient as specified in Judge Welsch’s court order. 2, In the event patient becomes agitated, volatile or violent, yell help!”  

    Satisfied with my response Colleen hefted a bucket of fish onto the nearby platform and, with a practiced underhand toss, lobbed a bullhorn at me. It landed on my files and set the unwieldy net hammock rocking. Colleen swaggered off to a corner of the empty stadium and stationed herself under the sun-bleached Dine With Shamu sign; giving me privacy with my patient and giving Colleen the opportunity to smoke her cigar. I picked up the bullhorn, steadied the hammock and began.

    Dr. Melfi: Good morning, Tilikum.

    Tilikum: (No response)

    Dr. Melfi: (Turning on the bullhorn) Good morning, Tilikum. I’m Dr. Melfi.

    Tilikum:  How you doing?  My friends call me Tili.

    Dr. Melfi: Friends like Anthony Soprano?

    Tilikum:  Yeah, it was Tony got word to me about you. Said you don’t judge and you might be able to help.

    Dr. Melfi:  Do you need help, Tili?

    Tilikum:  (Shrugging) Who knows?

    Dr. Melfi:  Tili, what’s bothering you?

    Tilikum:  Nothing.

    Dr. Melfi:  Nothing? Then why am I in this hammock?  I’ve got problems with heights, this life vest is itchy and…

    Tilikum:  I miss my work… the cheering crowds, star billing… (Sob) I miss My Chum.

    Dr. Melfi:  (Reaching in the bucket on the nearby platform) You miss these bits of fish?

    Tilikum:  No, Dawn! (Quietly) I miss Dawn…

    Dr. Melfi:  Your trainer?

    Tilikum:  I called her, (Sob) My Chum.

    Dr. Melfi:  Tili, you killed her.

    Tilikum:  That’s no reason to punish me. Jeez! First they censor my routine then ban me from performing at all. I need my work. I’m an artiste!  

    Dr. Melfi:  You’re a serial killer!

    Tilikum:  So I’ve done a little killing on the side.

    Dr. Melfi:  Three dead human beings is “a little killing on the side?”

    Tilikum:  Hey, I got nothing close to Tony Soprano’s numbers! And the official report said that naked guy found dead on my back died from hypothermia.  (Shuddering) Frankly, I felt violated.

    Dr. Melfi: How do think the audience felt seeing you kill your Chum, Dawn?

    Tilikum:  Doc, they got what they came for. My act is pretty exciting, all that kissing and hugging a beautiful blonde. And the synchronized swimming is a real crowd pleaser. Don’t even mention our ballet duet.

    Dr. Melfi:  Your ballet duet?

    Tilikum: (Sternly) I told you not to mention that!

    (I discreetly cast my glance toward the Dine With Shamu marquee in the distance. Colleen is nowhere in sight. A faint wisp of cigar smoke hovers in the dank air like a mocking smile. Tili shifting his 22-foot mass in the 8 foot pool beneath me commands my attention)

    Dr. Melfi:  Yes, Tili!

    Tilikum:  As I was saying Doc, the crowd loves all the rehearsed tricks, bells and whistles. But what does that ticket really purchase?  It buys the ever-present thrill that I might drop the Shamu mask and be my authentic self, a Bull Orca KILLER Whale! It only takes a moment to leave the training and friendship behind, grab the fragile mammal beside me and… dive to the watery calm below…  dragging the pale hairy hunter who captured me at the age of two, clamped firmly…

    Dr. Melfi:  Tili, you are in pain.

    Tilikum:  Whoa, stop the presses!

    Dr. Melfi:  These months of isolation have been hard on you. You’ve lost a ton of weight.

    Tilikum: You think?  I’m down to 10,000 pounds Doc, just skin and bones! I think Colleen’s been hiding meds in my herring. (Withering disdain)  Herring?  I should be eating sea lions. I’ve got no energy, no appetite. I haven’t had a live dolphin in decades. Do you know what it’s like for me here in eight feet of water!?? Take a bath in your kitchen sink!

    Dr. Melfi: Tili…

    Tilikum:  And I’ve been having these dreams Dr. Melfi…

    Dr. Melfi:  Tili, our time is up.

    Tilikum:  Since when is thirty-five minutes an hour?

    Dr. Melfi:  Since 2009! (Quietly) And this bullhorn is killing my eardrums.

    Tilikum:  What’s that, Doc?

    Dr. Melfi:  I said this might take some time. Do you have insurance?

    Tilikum:  (Menacing lunge) After twenty years of jumping through hoops I’d better have insurance!  (Less menacing) Colleen will handle the paperwork.

    Dr. Melfi:  Same time next Thursday?

    Tilikum: (Turning away) If I’m in the mood.

    Thanks to my anonymous source*, this is all I am at liberty to share.

    I can’t explain my attraction to Tili’s looming strength and seductive vulnerability.  I knew “Bad Boy” Tili and I will never work together. Who ever heard of a stand-up comic opening for a Bull Orca Whale?

    “It was a great show ladies and gentlemen. We both killed!”

    I’ve ditched my online course in whale training. Tili’s gone but not forgotten.

    Tilikum c. Nov. 1981 -Jan. 2017 R.I.P.

    *Colleen Ebbets

    I'm around town. Come see me one place or another.

    7:30 Fri. Jan.13th
    Fun Size And Venti 


    8 PM Sat. Jan. 14th Block "B"
    Diverse As Fuck Comedy Festival
    Nuyorican Poets Cafe
    236 E. 3rd St. NYC

  2. 2 comments:

    Post a Comment