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December 03, 2021
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Elvis in a Trash Bag

Oct 08 2021

Several summers ago, my daughter, Rose, and I were juggling in a parade in a small northern Maine town.  Like any parade, there's an hour or so set aside for lining up.  Marching bands use this time for tuning up, even as the floats put the finishing touches on their displays.  All Rose and I needed to do during line-up was warm up a little bit and watch the activity going on around us.And boy was there activity.

Directly in front of us was a local Elvis imitator.  I would estimate his age to be around 70. and  let me just say that a 70 year old man with a beer belly should never wear a jumpsuit unzipped to the navel.  That and the fact that his hair was more like Larry Fine of the Three Stooges than the king of rock and roll made him quite a spectical . His act, apparently, was to walk next to a cadillac that was covered in Elvis bumper stickers while his wife drove the car and blasted Elvis music out the windows.

Then it started to drizzle.  Not wanting a wet King, his wife handed him a garbage bag.  As quickly as he could, he tore a head hole in the top  of the bag and pulled it on over his jumpsuit.  Now any remote comparison to Elvis was gone.  He was just an old man with crazy hair inside a garbage bag. That's entertainment!

I suppose this Elvis not-so-much-of-a-look-alike used to have a better act.  At one time, the jumpsuit probably fit.  Perhaps he even used to dance like the king, although now any pelvis shaking would result in a dislocated hip.  Perhaps he had a whole stage act worked out that he performed when he was younger in local variety shows.  No need to stand outside the caddy in a cool drizzle. 

It's likely his act slowly aged even as he tried not to.  Less dancing, fewer calls for his act, a growing abdomen.  

I am now weeks away from turning 60.  I no longer juggle quite as well as I used to.  I too am growing in girth even as my height stays the same as it was since high school. I have repetitive motion injuries in both wrists preventing me from juggling like I did at 30 or 40.  I'm not getting called to as many gigs as I used to.  I wonder if I'm becoming Elvis in a trash bag.  I fear becoming a characiture of my old self, and even more afraid I won't even know it when it happens. So f you are reading this, and you're watching my show, and seeing me  become a poor imitation of my previous self,  let me know.  It'll be hard to hear, but that's better than becoming an Elvis in a trash bag.


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