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Gypsy & Willy - The Original Libertarian Bloggers

How Can You Laugh at a Time Like This?

Willy Chaplin

No. 7

Want to own your very own Renaissance man?

March 7, 1998

I would like to have a patron. You know, like the great artists and scientists had during the Renaissance. I know! Leonardo DaVinci I am not! But, I am sort of a latter day Renaissance man, don't you think? I have dipped my wick into many different fields of endeavor...and, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your point of view), rather too often into the ooh-oohs of women lucky enough to have encountered me in at moments of weakness. In fact, when I was contemplating writing my autobiography, I though of entitling it "I cudda been a contendah, but I got my dick stuck in my ear!" Unhappily, understanding this title depends upon knowing a very old joke, one you youngsters out there might not have heard. To wit:

A woman is riding on the bus and notices that the man sitting in front of her has a banana sticking in his ear. She says, "Pardon me, sir, but you seem to have a banana sticking out of your ear." The man does not respond. She continues, a little louder, "Excuse me! Sir! You have a banana in your ear!" But, he still he does not answer. Finally she shouts, "Mister! You got a banana in your ear!!"

At last, he turns around and says softly, "Could you speak up. I am having trouble hearing because I have a banana in my ear."

Now, I know that this joke is a bit lame, but I have always liked it and the punch line seemed appropriate (given the alterations) as a description of my life.

Anyway, I would like a patron...no...NEED a patron. I even have a short list of likely candidates prepared of people with whom I have something in common. It is:

By the way, I have ordered the list in what I believe is descending amount of wealth and thus ability to pay/play. And, as I said, I have something in common with each of these very successful men. What I do not have is their email or snail mail addresses so that I can appeal to them directly. Even if I did, the letters would undoubtedly be intercepted by some flak-catcher who has never heard of me, figured I was a dangerous crank and who would more than likely discard them without passing them on to the Great Men. So I thought, what to hell, why not put it on the Internet. Maybe one of you out there knows how to get to these guys. Or maybe they will be searching the Net looking for favorable mention of their names and run across this article. What exactly do I have to lose?

At the top of the list is the Richest Man in the World, Bill Gates. Besides having the same given name, William, which we have both discarded along the way as being too formal, we have another thing in common. We have both been flogging the microcomputer revolution from day one. Both of us understood, in the late seventies, that these little machines were the wave of the future. In fairness, Bill probably got the message shortly before I did. At the time, I was working as a consultant for my old firm, Honeywell (Yes, they rehired me after my fugitive and prison escapades, mostly because of the intercession of Bill Sackett, who had become a Senior Vice President in the interim and whom I have mentioned in a previous article). I ran across a copy of the BASIC interpreter that Mr. Gates and colleague had put together, disassembled it so I could see how the sucker worked. I marveled at its simplicity, its completeness and, most of all, its compactness. It ran in less than 32K of ROM (Read Only Memory) and, using it with only 7K of RAM (Random Access Memory), you could actually construct programs that did complex things. In fact, in 1977, writing in 6502 assembly language for the PET computer, I was able to program the very first version of my backgammon program, using hooks into Bill Gates' BASIC interpreter to do the graphics, the floating point arithmetic and the Input/Output duties. The program actually played a passable game of Backgammon. I later sold it to VisiCorps (neé Personal Software) and eventually made over $100,000 on it, but that is another story.

It is certainly true that Bill made a lot more of the revolution than I did. But, to this day, I admire him not for his business success, not for his foresight in riding the crests and valleys of the computer tidal waves, but for his technical expertise. His BASIC interpreter was my inspiration and launched me into what has been a lot of fun, if not always financially rewarding. So, Bill, do you want to own me?

Next, there is Ted Turner. My relatedness to him is more indirect. I knew his wife, Jane Fonda. Well, I actually never got to meet her. But, she visited the commune I had helped establish, at the corner of 13th and Q in Washington D.C., on several occasions, being an old friend of one of my fellow communards, Saul Landau, well known leftist author and movie maker wanabe. Sadly, I was always off doing other fugitive things at those times. She even asked if she could live there at one point (the place had become sort of radical chic-chic), but in a vote that divided almost exactly along gender lines, we rejected her. The women actually had a good point (and managed to lure Saul over to their side) that if Ms. Fonda lived there, the commune would ever after have become HER place and would have been overrun with media freakoes. As I said, I wasn't there for the vote and I am not sure which way I would have gone. On the one hand, I am all for reason and logic. On the other, as another male at the commune, Frank Lemons, commented, "Gosh, I would just like to have taken one bubble bath with the lady..."

So what do you think, Ted. Is this connection enough to have you consider patronizing me?

Then there is Larry Flynt. Clearly he and I have similar opinions about the first amendment and freedom of speech. Not only that, but I always liked and admired his no-bullshit version of the tits-and-ass magazine, Hustler. I always felt that the intellectual pretensions of Playboy and Penthouse were over-the-top nonsense. I mean, it might be true that the prose in these magazines was "superior." But, how many teen age boys (or any other non-gay male, for that matter) read the articles, the stories or the jokes BEFORE beholding that drop down centerfold in all its naked glory? Maybe Frazier's brother Niles, but who else? I would be proud to be Larry's protegé.

Finally, there is Howard Stern. I have a feeling that he, like I, probably "blows" all his money on his kids or pot or both. So, he couldn't afford to be my patron. But, as I said in my opening piece (The first day in the rest of my life...), I owe my recent "change of life" conversion to him, at least as he depicts himself in the movie Private Parts. Like so many others, I fell in love with that big goof-ball watching that flick. Besides, he is a PRACTICING libertarian, just like me. He even briefly ran for governor of New York as a libertarian until he found out he would have to disclose his finances. So, maybe he CAN afford me. How about it Howard? Want to help a fellow libertarian out in his time of need? I promise you won't regret it. Oh, hold on a second. Unlike Howard, my penis is not small. At least my wife Gypsy says so. She says its "adequate." But, then, Howard's wife said that too, didn't she? Wives are like that, I guess.

So that's my appeal. If any of you out there are in contact with any of these gentlemen, put them in touch with me. I would publish my phone number right here, but I'm afraid too many babes would sexually harass me. That reminds me. There is one guy with whom I have much in common who is not on the list...Bill Clinton (first name William, etc.). But after the way I have been savaging his good name...I doubt it. Besides I KNOW he can't afford me!

See you tomorrow...


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