Sunday, May 21, 2017

Not Barnum & Bailey … but memorable !

As the Big Top closes out its 146 year reign it brings back this memory:

In 1985 my little town of Vass, NC, with barely 700 residents, played host to a small time circus to raise money for a local charity. People from near & far came for the one-night performance and Tiny Tim was the main attraction. He plucked his ukulele while singing his off key theme song “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and the audience loved it. I couldn’t stay, however, because I had to be up very early the next day to get to my job in the ER of our local hospital.

Imagine my surprise upon arriving there early the next morning to see a familiar looking figure dressed in a long, dark overcoat, at the front desk.

It was Tiny Tim holding a small paper bag and demanding to see the ER Dr. “immediately”. He refused to be registered and was getting more agitated by the minute. Finally he opened the bag and produced a urine sample that he swore he had obtained from a girl in Vass (!) She, according to Tiny Tim, was accusing him of getting her pregnant and he wanted the Dr. to prove her wrong.

The whole scene was getting more and more bizarre. Both the Dr. and the nursing supervisor tried to tell him that it was way too early to determine anything but Tiny Tim just became more obnoxious. He started yelling about “my rights as a citizen” and “people taking advantage of me because I’m a star”, and it was at this point that the news photographers arrived.

In retrospect we could clearly see that we’d been conned. He managed to get a front page spread in the local newspaper, as well as mentions in the Raleigh and Fayetteville ones too. The unnamed girl from Vass “conveniently” disappeared and Tiny Tim, with a big “gotcha” smile on his face, tiptoed quietly out of our lives.


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Lol. Imagine a celebrity looking for publicity! Great story, Ginnie!

6:02 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Well, he was rather desperate, wasn't he?

2:46 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Good grief, if you hadn't of witnessed it first hand it would have been hard to believe. He did rely on the bizarre to keep him in the news.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

And he has since tiptoed out of public view. He was never a celebrity I would have gone to see or even watch on a show and this incident shiws what a wacky character he was in life.

6:07 PM  
Blogger joared said...

What a terrible publicity ploy in the ER of a hospital! I find it disgustingly selfish and inconsiderate of other human beings. He should have been arrested and paid a serious fine for such a disruption where life and death matters can be going on at any time. If he was going to sink to that level seeking publicity, -- it was beyond poor taste -- he should have been deterred from ever doing something like that in a hospital again.

That said, this is a great story and thanks for sharing! Just goes to show what some people in the business will do and what poor judgement they can have -- not the "stars on a pedestal" gods/goddesses so many in this celebrity obsessed culture seem to embrace.

11:36 PM  

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