Friday, April 01, 2011

Mae West: Penguin Island

MAE WEST never turned down an opportunity to visit a zoo. Oddly enough, on Easter Sunday in 1939, when the movie queen was in Texas admiring some tropical penguins, she heard a nasal voice call her name.
• • “Who’s that?" Mae exclaimed. "Who’s talking to me?”
• • The tallest, most muscular penguin nipped her gently on the wrist, where a bracelet, glittering with channel-set diamonds, peeped out from a white embroidered glove. "It's Maxsie, Mae. I hoped you'd come up to see me sometime. And you finally did."
• • Mae inspected the three-foot-eight creature with brownish grey markings. "Maxsie Palooka! Is it really you, covered in dirty grey feathers?"
• • Maxsie cleared his throat. "I used to be snow white, but I drifted south. I prefer the temperate zones. A little birdie said you were still on the West Coast, Mae. You're lookin' good."
• • "Sounds like you're still in the ring, wearing your mouth guard, Maxsie. It's a little difficult to follow this . . . uh, conversation."
• • "I hear ya!"
• • "Howja happen to wind up behind bars?" Mae wondered aloud.
• • "I was on a yacht, ya see, with my former trainer Big Mook. And a catamaran, carrying Christian missionaries, was in distress. We hauled them up, then these mugs start blessing anything in sight. One tall bible-beater tried to baptize Champy, my faithful water spaniel, and Miss Mischief, Big Mook's macaw. Then one of the elders said: This mistake causes a problem for the Almighty, who usually only allows humans to be baptized! Next thing, my spaniel Champy starts yapping in English, praising Jesus Christ, and saying his soul is saved. I try to reach for my doggie — — but I got fluffy wings where my fingers used to be. Amazing, eh?"
• • "Maxsie! I just can't help staring!"
• • "Visitors say that all the time. But it's cool. I'd rather be looked over than overlooked."
• • "So you've been reborn — — as a flightless bird, living in a tank. Astonishing!"
• • "I was always one for the chicks. Now I'm surrounded with 'em." Maxsie gave a soft grunt. "Least I didn't come back as an entrĂ©e on a menu."
• • "Gotta be going, honey!" said Mae. "Can I peel you a grape or. . .?"
• • "Feeding time's in an hour. Yesterday we got squid. I expect they'll toss me some krill today." He sighed. "Mae, I really miss the strawberry cheesecake at Junior's on Flatbush Avenue."
• • Jim Timony was returning from the men's room and Mae asked him to take some pictures. As they walked towards the exit, Mae thought she heard a lot of agitation in the tank, churning the water like an Evinrude.
• • Happy April Fool's Day!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Photo of Mae West and penguins — — courtesy of Damon Devine, Hollywood.
• • Do not copy this image without obtaining permission first. Be nice.
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• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Though the absurd title of this R&B single — — “Collard Greens & Cornbread” — — sounds like an April Fool joke, apparently it is for real (good heavens!). And Ashford and Simpson can take the credit along with Tiwa Savage, Andrew Wansel, and Warren Felder.
• • TV Guy columnist Hal Boedeker writes: Fantasia Barrino returned, blond and bold in red gown, to sing “Collard Greens & Cornbread” forcefully. Her look suggested she is ready to tackle the role of Mae West. She ended the song by declaring, “Steven Tyler, I love you.” ...
• • Source: Article: "‘American Idol’: Which two contestants are out?" written by Hal Boedeker for The Orlando Sentinel; posted on 31 March 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1886th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Easter Sunday, 9 April 1939 • •
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