This text was intended to be revealed after my last hand was dealt. After my ashes were sprinkled on a bench in a park in Las Vegas, the capitol of Disneyland. Since this plan is taking longer than I thought, “Now is always a good time.” You can quote me on that. So, in the spirit that every saint has a past and every sinner a future, I present “The Confessions of X Swami X.”
My long affinity for benches goes way back. I was discovered under a whimpering moon, Thursday night, December 17th 1925, on a park bench, during a recess of the Scopes Monkey Trial. The next day, surrounded by spectators, spontaneous laughter broke out and has echoed through my nervous system until December 17, 1968 when I was there for the debut of “Planet of the Apes.” What does this mean? It’s all foretold in the Mayan calendar, the ennegram, a sonogram, an anagram and various telegrams. The meaning escapes me at the moment. But I’ll get back to ya after some coffee and bad acid.
My parents were neither very poor or conspicuously honest. All my ancestors were born to be hanged. Under star crossed skies, they were “swingers” who suffered unplanned fatal falls off horses, scaffolding and benches.
My father, whom was never firmly established, might have been a cop. I always had more confidence in my mother because I was born in the same town where she was known to frequent. They met during regular business hours and had a stormy fifteen second relationship. The early years are a bit of a blur but I will be forever grateful to Judge Crater.
During WWII, I served in the Merchant Marines. Bowlegged and on the run from some rough tattooed bunk mates, I looked for deeper meaning in my not so divine comedy. In Italy, I got on a hot streak selling Jesus bubble-heads. The Pope got word of it, horned in on my concession and ran me out of town. I jumped ship in New Caledonia, waited out the war as a greeter in a bar and opium den called, “Mother’s Milk”. Got back to the states on a tramp steamer…..naturally.
My parole officer sent me to a Hindu hustler named Swami Premananda. He had a rap instead of a rap sheet. His ashram was in D. C. Through exhaustive study and hallucinogenic vitamins, I learned the Swami code, “Have a good time, don’t hurt anybody and don’t get caught.” Twenty years of schooling and Harry William Hart become X Swami X. I was now a “swinger” but fortunately nobody sprung for the rope.
I like to talk but I’m shy. So, I hit the rode in a ’62 VW van with Rosey Palm, the one gal who never gave me any trouble, and could help out with the driving too. I had a lot on my mind crossing the country. Can I get Zsa Zsa Gabor’s phone number? I heard her sister lives in Palm Springs. Should I go back to the ashram and retrieve my Playboy magazines? What does a lynch mob look like? Has the guy I borrowed the car from, to get a haircut, called the police? I better keep moving. Where to go to get a docile crowd? California? Yes!
I hit all the hot spots as I hustled my act to the Pacific Ocean. I broke it up, at “The Burning Bush” in Pahrump. “The Dead Tortoise” in Blythe, “The Burnt Tortilla” in Barstow, and “The Rubber Room” in Needles. These were mere warm-ups for, “The Big Room” at Olive View Mental Institution. I got a lot of laughs from the straightjacket set. I needed a note from my Swami to get me out and on the road to my destiny.
[ 1972] When you’re on the run and find you can’t go no-further, it’s Venice Beach. Where losers collect like driftwood, where Mayans, Muslims, and even Mormons are welcome, where nudity is cheaper than second-hand clothes, where the scent of pot and suntan lotion mingle in salty air, where monkeys fucking under a palm tree is considered entertainment, where Pollocks on credit stroll with banker’s daughters, where homos, hobos and hipsters are thrown together like washed up seaweed, where thousands migrate to bask in the sand, where cool blue waves struggle after a long journeys end, where a room and a view is cheap, where wine and cold beer are within staggering distance, where musicians, chainsaw jugglers, lawyers, pickpockets and comics work the unsuspecting, where a nude beach is an island of freedom, where the laws of Santa Monica and Marina Del Reno are out of bounds, I found my constituents, my comrades, my brothers and sisters, my audience.
I owe a lot to my manager in incognito, The Big Pollock, for keeping me safely in poverty and no pussy. He insisted distractions would have a deleterious effect on my comedic output. He said, “Humility and ability to stay bummed are what drives one to make funny, and success burns comics out early.” Well, I’ve been doing it for forty years. Thanks for nothing Pollock.
Author unkown..The Big Pollock