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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