There’s a rumor going around, a ridiculous rumor concerning the circumstances surrounding my birth and I’d like to clear it up right now. What better place to do it than here in this preface to Chronicles II. I intentionally left this stuff out of Chronicles I because I didn’t want to give it any more power or credence than it already has, but now, looking back, I see that was a huge mistake. My father once told me, son he said, “Only through retrospect will it become clear that hindsight is definitely overrated.1 Whatever you do, don’t look back.2 ” My father was wrong. Sometimes you have to look back, everybody does. Sometimes that’s the only way things are going to make any sense.
Putting off till tomorrow what can be done today 3 has always been my modus operandi, but every once in a while something of great import will raise its head and demand a more urgent approach. Then you have to lay down your usual m.o. and take the devil by the horns, 4 carpe diem, that sort of thing. This is one of those times. I used to be a firm believer that the best way to fight fire is with fire; 5 experience has taught me this is not always true, but in this case it just might be. I don’t know who started this crazy story. I have my suspicions, but they will have to remain just that until such time as I can say with absolute certainty who said what, when and where.6
I’ve given this matter a lot of thought and I’ve come to the conclusion that instead of feeding it to you piece meal and colored by my own perceptions, it would be better to give it to you straight up and verbatim, the way it came to me - scribbled on both sides of a small brown paper bag in an almost indecipherable hand writing and signed by "You Know Who". I can tell you one thing; this person, this lunatic, should get an F in penmanship. How did this little brown bag come into my possession? Unfortunately, I can’t disclose that piece of information at this time without betraying a few key people whose loyalty and support have been constant throughout my career. Here it is. Just read it. You be the judge.
Regarding: The true identity of BobThe real Bob, the real creative genius, is none other than a gifted dwarf named boB, that’s right, no typo; a gifted dwarf, formally named “Little b-o-big B”, boB for short, who lives in a cramped and crappy studio apartment somewhere in New Orleans. boB has rarely, if ever, been seen by anyone other than the fake Bob and a handful of carnies since 1946 when his heartless mother abandoned him to run off with the bearded woman leaving poor little boB in the care of an Hermaphrodite by the name of Big Mama Dick. The performing Bob, the fake Bob, pays for the real boB’s upkeep and sometimes when Little b-o-big B delivers something too good to be true on demand and under pressure, Fake Bob gives him a bonus.boB lives and sleeps in a custom grand piano with special attachments; a roll-away cot and a little kitchenette with a two burner hot plate. The only time he leaves the piano is to write, compose, paint, shower and shave, use the toilet facilities and have phone sex. Bob and boB are exactly the same age, in fact, they were born on the same day of the same year at the same hour at St. Mary's Hospital in Hibbing, Minnesota. And, anecdotally, once, a maternity nurse brought Bob and boB to the wrong mothers who coincidentally shared the same last name and the same room in the hospital, Room 2B. Check it out. The mothers of course, recognized the mistake immediately; one said "This ain't my boB," the other said "this ain't my Bob neither" and without making a big tadoo, reversed the switcharoo.
Six years later, Bob ran into boB at the carnival and they immediately became tight, each being drawn to the other magnetically by some strange and unknown charisma. Unfortunately, those were the days before the rights of "Little People" when dwarfism carried a stigma. Back then, heartless mothers of dwarfs, with non-existent maternal instincts, could simply abandon them and often did just that, dropping them off at the circus or the carnival knowing they would be raised and well cared for by the Society of Compassionate Freaks. In fact, when a little dwarf acted up, all a mother had to say was, “The carnival’s coming to town” and the poor little dwarf would shiver and shake and immediately act like a good little boy or girl.
Young boB was tongue tied, he couldn’t sing worth a darn, but he could play Big Mama Dick’s piano like nobody’s business. He wrote a lot of music and lyrics for Mama’s private behind the curtain performances at the carnival. She had an amazing voice with tremendous range, one minute sounding like Madam Butterfly and the next like the Barber of Seville. This act pulled in big bucks and Mama Dick made sure boB got everything a young boy needed to be happy. A sweet little bicycle, plenty of good food, nice clothes, anything his heart desired. Sometimes when young Bob came to visit young boB, the two would run off together to ride bikes along the railroad tracks, climb trees, jump cricks; and sometimes they would just hang out at the carnival and eat french fries with vinegar or shoot craps with the Human Pincushion, the Fat Lady, the Rubber Man and the Sword Swallower.
When Little b-o-big B was about 17, Mama Dick died by electrocuting herself accidentally by sticking a butter knife into the toaster to get out her bread. It was then that Fake Bob dreamed up a scheme to steal his little dwarf buddy away from the carnies and both of them took a greyhound to New Orleans where Bob found boB a place to live, and that’s when the deal went down. They drew up a contract, signed it in blood. Bob went on the road with his guitar and harmonica and a suitcase full of songs that boB wrote. And that’s the way it’s been ever since. Bob in the limelight and boB in a stinky apartment down in New Orleans
Signed, You Know Who
And just so I can beat all those evil mofos (who go on and on about my so-called plagiarism) at their own game, I’m including notations of every line or phrase I “steal” during the course of writing this 2nd book of Chronicles.
1 In retrospect it becomes clear that hindsight is definitely overrated! (Alfred E. Neuman, Mad Magazine)
2 Don’t Look Back (She Belongs To Me, Bringing It All Back Home, Bob Dylan)
3 Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today" (Thomas Jefferson)
4 Pauline wasn't happy and took the bull by the horns by demanding a raise from her boss. (Sheila from wiki-quotes)
5 Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire (Shakespeare in King John, 1595)
6 Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third. (Bud Abbot of Abbot and Costello)