The Great Zucchini
“The Peekaboo Paradox:” The strange secrets of humor, fear and a guy who makes big money making little people laugh.
“This unmarried, 35-year-old community college dropout makes more than $100,000 a year, with a two-day workweek. Not bad for a complete idiot.”
Trey’s aunt saw me taking notes. “You’re writing a story about him?” Vicki Cox asked, amused. I confirmed that I was.
“But … why?” she asked.
A few feet away, the Great Zucchini was pretending to be afraid of his own hand.
“I mean,” Vicki said, “what’s the hook?”
Now, the Great Zucchini was eating toilet paper.
“I mean, are you that desperate?” she asked.
On the floor in front of us, the kids — 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds — were convulsed in laughter. Literally. They were rolling on the carpeted floor, holding their tummies, mouths agape, little teeth jubilantly bared, squealing with abandon. In the vernacular of stand-up, the Great Zucchini was killing.
—Gene Weingarten, Washington Post: The Peekaboo Paradox
It’s a long article — well worth the time — about the fascinating Eric Knaus. (The article is a few years old; another treasure waiting patiently to be discovered.)
I recently read another Weingarten piece, Fatal Distraction, about children forgotten in cars. Heart-wrenching and awful to learn more about these cases. The Great Zucchini article isn’t as gut-clenchingly sad, but it features sufficient poignancy.
via Jason Kottke