Seven score and a baker's dozen plus three years ago I saved it. 

Touch my chapeau for more mishmash.

Eugene - he left us too soon.

"I was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1919 to a Hungarian couple. I've been smoking cigars ever since."

Get it yet?  All that lies beneath the surface is revealed in the banana skirt.

Things kinda suck since me, don't they?

Unlike Hershel's, a head with options

This certainly is a thriller.

Chang and Eng Bunker - the prototypical Siamese Twins

(Chang is on the right)

Lee Merlin Miss Atomic Bomb 1957 Las Vegas NV

Hey pallie, have some gas on me.

Make sure you check out all of my sobriquets.

I'm gonna be singin' real soon.

It's his world, the rest of us are only taking up space.

Your Humble Webmaster just  passin' through

Vivat Rex 

“ Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come. "                                      

Emmett Kelly (Weary Willie) - star for many years of The Greatest Show on Earth

Angus MacAskill (the taller of the two), billed by Barnum as the  strongest man who ever lived (maybe not humbug here) often appeared with General Tom Thumb.

This Bronx girl was a most extraordinary songsmith and songbird.

Joseph Carey Merrick - "No asshole, I'm not Jumbo's brother!  And don't call me John."

Louis Thomas Hardin a.k.a. "Moondog" The Viking of 6th Avenue was a musician, composer and busker. 

In 1988 the Elias Sports Bureau developed a statistical model for managerial effectiveness by using calculations to project the expected number of wins (based on past performance and developing trends) for a team in any season compared to its actual number of wins for the same, with the difference being attributed to the manager.  Billy Martin's measure was almost 7 1/2 wins per year, the highest recorded for any manager since 1903 with at least 1000 games (his record was 1258-1018, a .552 wining pct.).  Barroom brawler reputation notwithstanding, Elias ranked him the best in MLB history. Anybody see his plaque in Cooperstown?  Me neither.  To learn more about this man you need to read The Last Yankee - a most compelling 'warts and all' biography by David Falkner (1992).

The aforementioned

You're on, Smokey!

It's always somebody's somewhere.

Hittin' the black

When the Yankees Were Not Ready for Willie Mays    By JOHN KLIMA   NY Times   Sept. 12, 2009

The Chairman of the Board - his slurve and gunk pitch (ball doctored with baby oil, resin and turpentine) got him into the Hall of Fame. He also had the Mick's back when they went out pub crawling.

Wight Power

I have nothing to say about any of this.

Welcome to the Egress!

It was a woman who drove me to drink and I never had the courtesy to thank her.

The Thing knows you are what you eat.

Class of 2020

Ser Samson Lee

Blame it on the Treaty of Versailles or the bossa nova but not me for what happened next.

Friday October 5, 1951 - World Series game 2, Yankee Stadium, 5th inning . . . Joltin' Joe is in center, the Mick in right.  Willie Mays hits an opposite field fly to right center.  Mickey races over (the Old Perfessor had told him "the dago's heel is hurtin' so go for everything") and is about to snare it when the Yankee Clipper calls him off.  Running full out, Mickey stops short to avoid a collision and gets the spikes of his right shoe caught on the rubber coated cover of a sewer drain.  Down he goes, tearing up cartilage or ligaments or tendons or any two of the three or all in the knee.  That afternoon was the last game he ever played without pain.  Until 1968 Mickey Mantle struggled to be as good as he could be, knowing that he would never be as good as he might have been.                                                                                                          

(The Last Boy  by Jane Leavy)                                                      

The unscheduled final port of call on April 14, 1912 - six days before the first regular season game at Fenway Park

Thomas Wolfe wrote you can't go home again, but Phineas Taylor knows better.

Kowabonga my ass!

For a great mystery read get The Hum Bug, a 2001 novel by Harold Schechter.  Poe confronts Barnum over the authenticity of the Davy Crockett items displayed in the American Museum (I suggest you start with the author's Nevermore  so you understand what’s going on). Barnum is impressed with Poe's ratiocinative skills and seeks his assistance to solve a murder where the victim’s loathsome wounds mirror a macabre tableau in P.T.'s wax exhibit.

Look up, my eyes are really nice too.

A two time MVP and a Gold Glove right fielder, he went yard 61 times in '61 and his thanks for breaking the 34 year old record was an asterisk. His mark stood for 37 and it took a juicer to top it.  

Thank God!

 Hey kid, can I get a beer?  Make it a Ruppert's Knickerbocker.

scouts chose to ignore Mays. On the same trip, the Black Barons visited the Brooklyn Bushwicks, a white semi-professional team whose general manager, Joe Press, was a part-time scout for the Yankees. Press booked Negro leagues teams like the Black Barons to play the Bushwicks and had a feel for the talent available. He liked Piper Davis, Birmingham’s second baseman, but he loved center fielder Willie Mays. Press pleaded with Paul Krichell, the Yankees’ head scout, to see Mays. In a letter to Krichell, Press raved about players but expressed dismay that the Yankees had chosen to ignore black prospects. “You could have had practically all of them, just for the asking,” Press wrote, naming several players, including Davis and Mays. When the Black Barons returned to play the Cubans at the Polo Grounds on June 11, 1950, the Yankees sent a scout, Bill McCorry, but again decided to not pursue Mays, who signed with the Giants nine days later.

Mother Monster says, "This one's done.  I'll have another."

Payin' respects at Monument Park

Why do I have to be naked to see the Egress?

Your money is no good here. Drink up, Mr. Torrance.

For all about Phineas T. you want to read P.T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman  by Peter B. Kunhardt Jr., Peter B. Kunhardt III and Philip W. Kunhardt (published in 1995).


December 8, 1980

Fedor Jeftichew, alias Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy - ole P.T. also billed him as The Human Skye Terrier and claimed he was captured by a hunter in the wilds of Central Russia.

Richard Valentine Pitchford a.k.a. 

The Night King raising new conscripts from the dead.

P.T.'s  mosaic lid at the 23rd St. N/Q/R subway station in Manhattan

The Say Hey Kid could have been a Yankee. In the 13 months leading to his acquisition by the New York Giants on June 20, 1950, the Yankees received numerous tips about Mays, then a teenager who was considered the best player in the Negro leagues. The story of how he got away is a window into a time when the Yankees resisted baseball integration with discriminatory policies that cost them   best talent available in the years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Although Mays is best remembered in New York for playing center field for the Giants, he actually played at the Polo Grounds first as a member of his hometown Birmingham Black Barons. He made his debut there in a doubleheader on May 29, 1949. Mays, 18, had just finished his junior year of high school. The Black Barons played the New York Cubans, who rented the Polo Grounds when the Giants were out of town. That was the first time Giants officials saw Mays. Their scouts were astonished at his advanced skills. That was also the first time Yankees

He was the original Voice of.

Carnak the Magnificent - he was, is and always will be the King of Late Night.

My appreciation goes to Michael S. for his valiant efforts in making this boomer's musical tastes somewhat more au courant, but ultimately the campaign was doomed to failure from the start.

Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It's staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in.

Wie du so bist, war ich ja. Wie ich bin, wirst du sein.

Clapton is God . . .

The Amazing Half Boy - born with a truncated torso due to sacral agenesis, Johnny Eck was also an artist, musician, band leader, photographer, illusionist, penny arcade owner, Punch and Judy operator, and expert model maker.

Did Mexico have to pay for this one too?

Perdete ogni speranza voi che entrate.

O Captain!  My Captain!

Two (or three) of Barnum's Human Curiosities

Charles Sherwood Stratton  "General Tom Thumb" - Barnum's main attraction and later business partner

I'm sure if I take this off the Egress would pay to see me!

Submitted for your approval

The 'Mighty Mite' was the only skipper who could control the Bambino. His was the first monument at Yankee Stadium.

P.T.'s international superstar Jumbo was struck and killed by a train on September 15, 1885  in Ontario.  Barnum claimed he died saving the life of a dwarf elephant named Tom Thumb - more humbug  and ballyhoo?  The pachyderm's remains were on display in Barnum Hall at Tufts University until destroyed by a fire in 1975.

Somehow he managed to make sense of it all back then.

William Henry Johnson a.k.a. "Zip the Pinhead"

I know all there is to about the Egress.

 If I get naked can I see the Egress too?  Don't look now!

Lou Thesz could work or shoot and was never double crossed in the ring because his opponents all knew he could hook too.  60 minute Broadways were no problem for him.

Very Kafkaesque, if you ask me. 

. . . but you knew that already.

Your son is a very willful boy, Mr. Torrance.  He needs to be corrected.


Class of 2019

Zacharley, the Cool Ghoul

Robert Pershing Wadlow, the Alton (Illinois) Giant, posing with his father - according to the Guinness Book of World Records he was at a height of 8 feet 11 inches the tallest man who ever lived.  

Three time World Heavyweight Champion  Mohammed Ali nee Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.   The Greatest  pugilistically besting Sonny Liston for his first title, but how would he have fared against the man on the right in a no holds barred grapple? 

Rondo Hatton, 'The Monster Without Makeup'  - Hollywood grade B movie heavy, he too suffered  from acromegaly believed to be triggered by exposure to poison gas during the Great War. 

Yeah, I was Kong before that nasty fall. All the reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries not only diminished my frame and altered my looks but left me dead broke.  My girl ran off with some other guy but then I got the gig as premier host of the Today Show, with that fool Dave Garroway as sidekick,  so it's all good.  I go by J. Fred Muggs now.   

The real Yankee monuments

 Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolf's bane blooms and full moon looms bright.

That Prince of Hum Bugs BARNUM, so it appears Some folks have designated me for several years - Well, I don't murmur; indeed, when they embellish it, To tell the truth, my friends, I rather relish it.

What's playing at the Bijou?

He ate large amounts of Nepali hashish and had almost no body fat - exit the dragon.

May I  please have a laudanum and absinthe straight up, shaken not stirred?

William Arthur 'Candy' Cummings - inventor of the curveball, father of the modern game

Santanico Pandemonium, a most shapely shape-shifter

I guess that Oval Office voice activated recording system wasn't such a bright idea after all.

Later for that jive-ass Tru Blood piss - I want my blood fresh and warm!  Hello fang bangers, can I get some?

We used to work  with Weary Willie in a clown car act.   

Tacoma WA  November 7, 1940: Galloping Gertie vs. Aerodynamic Flutter - Gertie lost.

Dearly Beloved Reader, thank you for visiting this store of dark events.  Best not to linger and heed Nietzsche  - when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.  He sure got that right. Also beware those in hats with covert agendas. Check back from time to time.  There may be developments.

                                                                      Your Humble Webmaster

Barnum's American Museum in lower Manhattan was so popular that many would spend the entire day there, preventing additional paying customers from entering when the place was full.  In classic Barnum style P.T. put up signs reading 'This Way to the Egress'.  Many followed their path anticipating a strange and wonderful new attraction. Eventually they came to a door labeled The Egress, which locked behind them when closed.  Now finding themselves outside the building, they would have to pay another admission charge to get back in.  Egress means exit.

I said she should take her clothes off for a better view.  

A last supper of pina coladas, fried prawns, foie gras and gnocchi at the Boscolo Exedra Roma - not a bad way to go out.

Who let the dog out?

London, especially after midnight, was always the favorite city of the Man in the Beaver Hat.

The Balloon-Hoax  refers to a newspaper article written by Edgar Allan Poe and published in the New York Sun on April 13, 1844.  Presented as a true story detailing the three days' journey of Monck Mason and his intrepid crew of 'aeronauts'  crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a gas balloon, it was quickly discredited and retracted two days later.  The author of The Raven  could ballyhoo too.


A hard man is good to find.

Hey kids, don't forget to send Soupy those green pieces of paper you find in Mommy's and Daddy's wallets.

If his back didn't get old early Donnie Baseball might have been as good as the Iron Horse.

Tyrone F. Horneigh, Standard Bearer

Leave that dial right there on 11, boys and girls.

Freddie the Freeloader and the Poor Soul

Arthur "Weegee" Fellig was the Matthew Brady of NYC street crime.  Murder was his business.

Maurice Tillet a.k.a "The French Angel" - a naval engineer, acromegaly led him to stardom in professional wrestling as it did for fellow countryman Andre the Giant a generation or so later.

No worries, 'tis but a flesh wound.  Anybody got a silver platter?  Make it sterling if you please.

A thing that goes bump in the night.

4E of FMoF

Jackie was out.

If I hear I'm the second greatest living Spanish painter once more I'll eat my hat!  BTW what time is it?  All my clocks have  melted.

Fuck the Russians.  I was the best and I did it alone.  I was also as mad as Morphy.

Rock 'n' Roll's Bard

The herd hungers.