Tuesday, May 16, 2006

You're going down, Osmond, you sniveling little shit...

Flamingo Jones (see blogroll) recently posted a tale of triumph and conquest involving masks, whipped cream, and clowns. Hers is a story of the power of the human spirit, the indomitable drive for victory, the undiluted will to power!

I, too, have such a story. A combination of modesty and political correctness has stilled my tongue lo these many years, but La Flamingo has inspired me, nay empowered me to take pride in my victory and tell my story that others may be similarly uplifted.

The truth can finally be told; I kicked Donny Osmond's ass and made him my bitch! (By the way....nice digital watch you got there, sissy.)

The place: Jacksonville, Florida. The time: 1990, I guess. I was in the record business, on the road with one of our recording artistes, whose name it would be indelicate to divulge. The local slack-jaws had organized some sort of festival, featuring big tents, fried foods and live music. There may also have been a hot air balloon, and maybe a jet-ski, too.

This show was what we called a "track date". A stripped down recording of the set had been prepared, minus lead vocals and most of the drums. When the lights came up, the tape rolled, the drummer drummed, the Talent sang, and I, along with various crew members, pretended to play various instruments. (I always "played" bass. "Played" it on the Mickey Mouse Club a couple of times, in fact.) Orleans ("Still The One") opened, the Talent was next, and Donny Osmond was the headliner. It was a daytime gig, so we were finished around 5:00 or so. Instead of the usual backstage catering, the organizers had planned a dinner for the acts, the organizing committee, donors, etc. Attendance at the dinner was obligatory, kind of a grip & grin & meet & greet & eat.

Most of the crew blew off the dinner, succumbing instead to the twin temptations of cold local beer and hot local wimmin. My job, however, required me to stay with the Talent. Make introductions, field interview requests, tear him away from autograph seekers, etc. (I should mention that the Talent was, at the time, hugely popular as a result of his regular role on a "daytime drama.") So dinner is served, and we sit down at long tables laden with grub. At one end of the table, me, the Talent, some other of his "people" and a couple of local teevee reporter-babes. At the other end, the Osmond contingent. You never saw such white people in your life. The Continental Divide is the line which separates North America into the Atlantic and Pacific watersheds. Our table had a similar divide. At our end: Cokes, beer and iced tea. At the Osmond end: Seven-up, water, and milk. Donny and Company eschewed both alcohol and caffeine, suckling only at the bland, pale teats permitted by their Mormon religion.

Not bad, anyway, for a day in Jacksonville. Dinner was fine, the Talent was gracious, and I was making significant headway with one of the reporter-babes. My totally sincere line of bullshit, however, was rudely interrupted by raucous shouts from the Utah delegation.

"Spoons!", they shouted. "Spoons!" I was momentarily puzzled, wondering if the Latter-Day Saints were engaged in some manner of post-prandial religiosity. It was then that I observed various Osmonds and Osmondettes hanging spoons from their noses.

(This is not an actual Osmond. I wasn't sure if taking their picture would be like stealing their soul or something, so I'm using a stand-in. This is, however, what it looks like to hang a spoon from one's nose. As always, kids, it's OK to try this at home without adult supervision!)

It soon became apparent that this was a competitive event, the purpose of which was to determine who could suspend a piece of cutlery from their face for the longest period of time. And I gotta tell ya', Donny Osmond is a world-class spoon-hanger. He was blowing Mormons away left and right. Mutha'-fucka' is one spoon-hangin' sonofabitch!

But I am not one to shrink from a challenge.

So I spooned up and slid down to the Osmond end of the table. "You and me, Donnie," I said. "It's go time". Shit, it was like a cliched scene in a B-western. Folks were scurrying out of the way, diving behind watering troughs, ducking into dry-goods stores, you name it. I wiped my nose with my napkin and gave the bowl of the spoon a quick buff with the edge of the tablecloth. We squared off. "Spoons up!", someone shouted. And it was go time indeed.

It could only have been minutes, but it seemed like hours. There I was, with a spoon hanging from my nose, eyeball-to-eyeball with a bona-fide star of stage, screen and radio, with a spoon hanging from his nose. Time passed. Old folks died. Babies were born. Suns exploded. And still we sat...heads in hands...face to face....nose to nose....spoon to spoon. Now I don't mind admitting that i was tempted to play dirty. A question popped into my mind, unbidden. "So, Donny, about Marie. Nice rack, huh?" My better nature took over, though, and the provocative query remained unasked. Still, I was not about to lose to this capped-tooth pretty-boy. A thought occurred to me. Ever so slowly, with movement so slow as to scarcely be perceptible, I eased my hands up and back toward my occiput. I made small talk to distract my foe. "One Bad Apple...was that you or the Jackson 5?" I asked innocently, knowing that everyone gave the Jacksons credit for that pop music gem. I couldn't tell if his nostrils flared, obscured as they were by the spoon hanging from his face, but I saw a glint in his eye. I had drawn blood. I zeroed in on his eyes with laser-like precision. We were locked in, ojo a ojo.

He was mine.

I slowly raised my gaze toward the top of his head; he returned the gesture. And that was when he saw my fingertips, poking above my head like nubby devil's horns. Whether it was his fear of Satan, or merely a reaction to my audacity, I'll never know. But the involuntary change in his facial expression was sufficient to dislodge the silverware, which fell to the table with a satisfying "clang." I removed my spoon with my left hand and offered my right to my vanquished enemy. He returned my offered handclasp like a gentleman, knowing full well that he had met his match that day in the Duval County Convention Center and Expotorium, or whatever the fuck it was called.

Sweet, sweet triumph. Drinking and dancing and choruses of "Huzzah!" occupied the evening, followed by my return to the hotel, where I and a member of the ActionChannel 25 FirstCoastNewsTeam consummated the evening in a manner befitting a champion. In our enthusiasm, we stirred the ire of the next-door neighbor, TV's Cathie Lee Crosby! But that, amigos mios, is a story for another day.


  • That's a *classic*, BST. I never knew the guy was Mormon, but it makes sense. (I'm now flashing back to the most boring business trip I ever experienced -- to Salt Lake City.)

    By Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas, at 3:25 PM  

  • Holy Christ. First you unseat a champion, then you deflower a news maiden.

    I'll never be able to write a blog entry again.

    I been schooled.

    By Blogger Bobby Lightfoot, at 5:24 PM  

  • Fanatatic.

    Yeah, it's too bad you didn't get the opportunity to spoon Marie.

    By Blogger Kevin Wolf, at 9:34 AM  

  • I like the fact that whenever I read her Blogspot URL, my brain aphasias it into "Flaming Cojones."

    Fits nicely.

    By Blogger Neddie, at 2:44 PM  

  • When I lived in Vegasbaby, we called the Flamingo Hilton the "Flaming Oh!"

    Not that there's anything wrong with that....

    By Blogger roxtar, at 5:21 PM  

  • This was one dang funny post!

    I can totally do a rendition of "Puppy Love" that would set your heart all aflutter.

    Swear to God on a spoon.

    By Blogger blue girl, at 3:21 PM  

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