Fifteen Minutes: Shameless Exploitation or Capitalist Initiative?
In this age of leisure it is possible to make a living by engaging in the most useless activities imaginable. Things that in the past, no one would have even considered paying someone else to do. In our brave new world, supply will meet demand every time...for a price. A man who made it his business to squeeze the bejeezus out of every living creature he encountered might have been ostracized in a less modern society. Today he has a show on the Discovery Channel. Jerry Springer has made a fortune exploiting and exhibiting the perversity of others. And professional wrestlers pay their way by stripping down to their skin-tight undies and stringing together the words ismackdowni, icandy-assi and isuck iti into barely intelligible phrases.
Yet, there is someone else out there. Someone who can top all of these people. Someone who, measuring a mere four feet two inches and weighing in at 90 pounds, is still making more money and doing much less than most of us. His name is Beetlejuice, a dwarf who at 30 years of age switched from a career in law to one in entertainment.
Beetlejuice is one of a growing number of little people who hire themselves as entertainers (Hank the Drunken Angry Dwarf, Mini-Me and the stars of WrestleMania IIIothe pinnacle of Dwarf Wrestling, in which the notorious Lord Littlebrook, got to face his arch-nemesis Little Beaver, in a match for the ages). Unlike most other dwarves in ithe businessi who entertain us only with their antics and comedy skits, Beetlejuiceis act is this and a hell of a lot more. In short, Beetlejuice gets hired to be tossed.
Remember that rager in Cabot? Remember wading our way through throngs of fellow students, desperately seeking the fabled keg at the end of the hall? And as dope as that party was, wasnit there just a little something...missing? This is where Beetlejuice comes in. For the modest fee of $600 an hour (plus transportation), he will entertain your guests by dressing up in a Superman suit, putting on full protective gear, and letting you and every single last one of your guests grab him (he is also equipped with two handles) and toss him as far as you possibly can. He emerges unscathed due to the protective gear and two queen-sized (recently updated to king size) air mattresses on which he lands. This is supposed to provide entertainment for you and your guests for a prolonged period of time. Of course some people are not as easily amused as others, which is why The Jolly Dwarf, the company Beetlejuice works for, also offers to provide you and your guests with beer, alcohol, strippers, music and even a bus to pick you up and take you to their Jolly Dwarf Party Hall.
Although some people have raised objections against him and what he does, Beetlejuice loves his job. According to his manager Sean, ihe works only a few hours a week, gets to drink for free, and he gets all the womeni (see www.Jollydwarf.com for explicit details). iLook, man, he is just an entertainer, he loves being tossed, and besides at parties, people usually toss him once, to say theyive done it, and then they just want to hang out with the guy, ecause he really is a cool guy.i Beetlejuice himself has many times said he does not find what he does degrading and that he enjoys his job.
There is also the question of Beetlejuiceis safety. Beetlejuice has never been hurt on the job. iThe whole thing is very safe. Itis funny ecause most people think theyire gonna toss him over the mattress, and they donit get how hard it is to throw the guy. I mean he weighs at least 90 or 95 pounds, and no one has ever tossed him over. Not even me.i says Sean. Incidentally, at six feet seven inches, weighing two hundred and eighty-some pounds and lacking both front teeth (a minor boxing incident), Sean also holds the record for tossing Beetlejuice, isome seven to eight feet, although he likes to say itis something like 12.i Some digging on the Internet reveals allegations that seem to indicate that some tiny tossees have served as human projectiles for distances exceeding 35 feet. These findings, of course, could not be confirmed and their claims are highly dubious. A toss of that magnitude woud be equivalent to tossing a dwarf from the back door of Matthews to just in front of Straus.
Beetlejuice also offers other services such as imidget bowling,i in which he is loaded onto a skateboard and thrown down an aisle against the traditional ten pins. But Sean explains that he doesnit like it too much, because ihe has the smallest head Iive ever seen, and it hurts him a bit to be bowled, even though he wears the helmet. He enjoys being tossed a lot more.i At 15 and 3/4 inches around, Beetlejuiceis head, according to Sean, "has to be a record of some kind."
Another big plus to Beetlejuiceis line of work is the lack of competition. iDude, there is no one else out there doing this. I mean Hank, who is pretty close to Boston, charges at least $1000 an hour and you have to hire him for at least three hours, and he doesnit even let people toss him. I really donit know of anyone else who offers the services we offer,i boasts Sean.
But no more. Due to my own lack of funds and an overwhelming sense of meta, I have decided to play Steve Jobs to Beetlejuiceis Microsoft. As of now I am officially for hire. I can play games such as iToss the reporter,i iJournalist bowling,i iChant epithets at the young writeri (a personal favorite of my roommates) and any others you might think of. Come on, you know you want to. For the love of God, I need the money! Three loan sharks and a ruthless bookie are after me...