An individual exhibiting such uniqueness or individuality that he or she will cause a roomful of bar cronies to exclaim, "That's one interesting motherfucker!" Actual sexual relations with one's mother are not required.
Every American child ought to be taught about Albert Fish at an early age. Maybe they could have "Albert Fish Day" in kindergarten. I know they have all these fershuggener workshops where they try to teach little kids about child abusers but they don't go far enough - They never make the crucial connection between "Don't get in cars with strange men" and "So then the Big Bad Wolf disguised himself as Grandma so he could eat Little Red Riding hood". I heard about this experiment where a bunch of little kids went through a two day program with lectures, videos, hand puppets, coloring books, animated cartoons, and Jerry Lewis hollering "Don't get in a car with a strange man! Don't take candy from strangers! Don't talk to people you don't know!" and at the end of the second day the kids were let out to play in the schoolyard where, one by one, at least half of the dumb little monkeys immediately let themselves get picked up by cops disguised as perverts. Damn! Two straight days of the most intense Jack Webb "Know Your Enemy" indoctrination but some fatzo in black leather chaps, no pants, and a picture of a black guy tied to the back of a pick up truck and dragged down a dirt road tattooed on his forehead says "Yo, Half Pint! Wanna smoke some crack and blow up a Mosque?" "Uh . . . Yeah, sure!" Kiddicide - It just ain't sporting!
What "Albert Fish Day" would accomplish is combining yer basic Child Predator Awareness jazz with every healthy child's innate fear of THE BOOGEY MAN. We all remember The Boogey Man - Maybe you called him by a different name, but you know who I mean. When we were lil' barefoot chilluns way down yonder in New Orleans we called him "The Walking Man". Yeah, one night when all us Saleebys were asleepin' my lil' sister was moved to look out her bedroom window and saw HIM walking around in the dark outside our house, eyeballing the place with shrewd yellow eyes, rubbing his greasy hands together - Hey, I didn't wanna hear no details, I didn't wanna know about it, I was awready scared outta my mind of the people living inside the house, the idea of people every bit as creepy walking around outside while we were asleep was too much to deal with. I spent my childhood hiding under the bed staring up at the slats. At dinner time they'd send one of the cats to get me - They could keep their dinner, I'd eat the cat. But there was no getting over The Walking Man for my sister, she even wrote a song about him and it went like this - "The Walking Man, The Walking Man, The Walking Man, The Walking Man . . . " And she was the one they thought should get piano lessons? Decades later as an adult insomniac who spent hours wandering around the neighborhood in the middle of the night I grew concerned that my twilight marauding had as disturbing effect on the local children as whoever was outside our house had on my sister. Running into a neighbor at the supermarket I asked if any of the area kiddies had reported a "Boogie Man" or a "Walking Man" skulking around in the dark. "A Walking Man? A Boogie Man? Uh . . . No." she answered "But they've all been talking about The Tooth Fairy a lot lately." But lemmee tell ya . . .
Albert Fish - A little old man of the early twentieth century who molested more than a hundred children, murdered at least thirty, and ate quite a few of those - was such a Capital "M" Monster that when I first found out about him I thought it must have been some stupid sick joke - Kinda like a lot of you right now reading this, no doubt. Flipping through some sub-Flynt smut rag one day back in the early eighties I found an article entitled something like "The Most Horrible Criminal In American History". Nobody reads the articles in those magazines but this one I had to check out just to make sure no one was wise to my pre pubescent career as the Dreaded Archie Comics Bandit Of Algiers, Louisiana - "Driven To Crime By Love For Veronica!!!". But, no, it was all about Albert Fish and the fact that, after my lifelong fascination with The Weird, The Creepy, And The Just Plain No Good, I had never heard of this fiend lead me to suspect that I was reading something that had been ground out just to make a quick fifty bucks (Which, twenty years later, is something I have not been able to live out anymore than the Jacuzzi Three Way photo spread I had been looking at earlier). My curiosity was peaked, however, and for years I asked so many people if they had ever heard of this Albert Fish guy who liked to eat little kids that it's no wonder not a single one of those people is still talking to me. Finally, Ted Bundy, Jeff Dahmer, and that silly Hannibal Lector came along to have Regular People gabbing about serial killers even more than British Rock Stars - Quite an improvement, actually - and now you can find Albert Fish in more books at Barnes And Nobles than you can shake a biscotti at.
World's Greatest Sinner
- Frank Zappa
Albert Fish was born in Washington D.C. on May 10, 1870 which was far too early for Elvis to appear on the Ed Sullivan show and solve everybody's problems. When Albert was five years old his father died and he was sent to St. John's Orphanage which he cited as the beginning of his problems. "I saw boys doing many things they should not have done" and, Brother, I don't wanna hear no details! Ain't it bad enough they made me read "Lord Of The Flies" in Junior High school? Sheesh! After a childhood in an orphanage "Please, Sir, can I have some more?" was Albert's Life Motto. "I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt" No, no, that wasn't me explaining this article, that was Albert trying to explain his crimes.
Albert got out of the orphanage when he turned eighteen and began a lifelong career as a housepainter. In future years many children who lived in or around houses he was hired to paint were molested or disappeared. No telling what they would have found on his drop cloth if they'd had DNA testing in those days.
Albert got married and had six children until his wife left him with all the kids. Fish's children all claimed that he was always a perfectly normal Dad but I would like to know what kind of parents they were to Fish's grandchildren. Actually, I wouldn't. No, I don't want to know about that at all. Two and a half seconds after telling us what a regular Guy Ol' Dad was they'd tell stories about watching Albert climb up a hill every morning at dawn to scream "I am Christ!!! I am CHRIST!!! IIIIAAAAMMMMMCHRIIIIIIIST!!!!!" at the sun. We all remember Robert Reed doing that at the beginning of every episode of "The Brady Bunch". Then Pa Fish made a wooden paddle with nails sticking out of it and had the kids beat him with it until he was covered with blood. I always knew something was missing from "The Gilmore Girls" but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I don't remember Mister Brady ever coming out of the garage with a nail studded wooden paddle and taking his pants off so Alice could beat him into hamburger but, hey, TV was tamer in those days. Did they have anything like that in the "Brady Bunch" movie?
Check this out - Fish liked to soak cotton balls in alcohal, shove them up his ass, and then light em up! If he had been born eighty years later he coulda played bass in Kiss! Ha ha ha! He liked to do that to little kids, too. Oh, now I can't tell any more jokes about it. Too bad he didn't like to do it to Republicans and Frenchmen. Shucks!
He was also a coprophile. No, not a crocodile - A coprophile! If he had been a crocodile that would have explained everything. "Oh! Well, of course your little girl got eaten up - You hired a damn CROCODILE to paint your house, you dumb bastard!" But crocodiles don't eat shit, do they? Maybe the ones that get flushed down the toilet. But lemmee tell ya . . .
Throughout all this monkey business Fish was convinced that he hadn't done anything wrong because, According To The Filosophy Of Fish, Angels had never come down from Heaven to stop him from doing anything. Yeah, that's how it works, right? If you are about to do something that Our Father Who Art In Heaven does not want you to do he will send a Host Of Angels down here to tell you "Now, hold it right there, Buddy! It's one thing to castrate a little boy but NOW you are gettin' WAY OUTTA LINE!! Now, STOP IT!!!", right? Right? Just the other day I had an idea for a comedy routine about the only person who came home on September 11, 2001 to find a message on their answering machine that went "Dad! Arab terrorists are hi jacking the plane and cutting people with box cutters! They would have cut me but I sucked all their dicks! The other passengers are getting ready to attack em, but not me! 'Let's roll'? Screw that!" but just when I was starting to write it down A Gathering Of Angels Appeared Above My Head And This Is What They Said "Well, now WHOA there, John Saleeby! Write that down so other people can read it and there will be a warp in the Time - Space Continuum and John Ritter will die of the same thing that killed Joe Strummer!" Well, damn, I don't want that on my head! That bicycle helmet, I mean. I'll look like a sissy. Yeah, that's how The Universe works - "Think I'll drink a coupla beers, go online, look at pictures of girl's asses, and -" "DANGER DANGER, John Saleeby!" "Aw, not you Angel queers again!?! You don't want me to have any fun! Where were you when Albert Fish was runnin' amok?" "Who?" "Albert Fish." "Fish?" "Albert Fish!" "What is that? Some kinda cartoon character? A talking fish?" "No, it ain't a talking fish! He was a freakin' serial killer!!" "Never heard of him." "Never heard of him? He killed a buncha little kids back in the twenties and shit." "Oh, well - The twenties! That was before we had all this high tech electronic surveillance equipment." "Oh." "No wonder we didn't know about about him. We were busy back then watching Fatty Arbuckle at Hollywood parties and stuff." "Oh, great. So Albert Fish got to eat kids and I can't tell off the retards who work at Popeye's Fried Chicken without you weasels getting all prissy on my ass. Damn. That is messed up."
But that's not all of it. Howzabout Albert Fish's hobby of shoving needles into himself right between his scrotum and his rectum? Yeah, sometimes he'd get carried away and stick the needles in so far he couldn't get em out. X Rays taken after his capture show he had at least twenty nine needles inside of him. He had "I AM CHRIST" spelled out on his butt with alphabet refrigerator magnets. HARDCORE! When they finally fried him on the electric chair all that metal inside his body shorted out the system and they had to start all over again. The bad part is, he probably enjoyed it. Why they didn't just kick him to death after the first try I'll never know. I know too much about the bastard already.
Two boys were playing together and after one disapeared the other told The Cops that The Boogey Man had taken his playmate away. The Police, being grown ups, didn't take that very seriously but when Albert Fish was arrested in the case the Boogey Man Theory was proven true. Albert Fish was a Boogey Man. They've never caught a Werewolf, a Vampire, a Thing From Another World, or A Five Hundred Foot Radioactive Dinosaur With A Gripe Against The Japanese but with the life of Albert Fish we have definite proof of the existence of The Boogey Men.
My sister ain't the crazy one in the family.
I walked into the house of miraculous recovery
- Guided By Voices
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John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
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