Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Slings of Outrageous Fortune
The Lawless Years: Urchins on their home turf, armed to the teeth and dressed to kill, First Street, Raymond, Washington, 1949.
From left to right, Billy (Squint-eyed Kid) Zambaras, 6 years old, flaunting his intimidating, fearsome mien in the face of the blinding, winter light; Christos (Ladybird Killer) Zambaras, 11, notorious for disarming birds by flipping them the peace sign with his right hand just before slinging the fatal shot at them with his left; Angie (Turkey-Diddle-I-Them) Buttrick, 13, lanky lobber whose favorite targets were the rear ends of drunk loggers, truckers and longshoremen staggering out of his grandma’s saloon.
As mentioned by Hoyle in his groundbreaking study, The Evolution of Slingshots in the United States and Their Role in Intimidating Stoolpigeons while Keeping a Poker Face, these three infamous Greek-American punks were the forerunners of inner city gangs that later terrorized urban America, as they were the first to successfully employ the now-classic dictum adopted by so many zealous professionals from all walks of life: “Never Get Caught Playing According to the Rules,” or its better-known, more overwhelming, poetical manifestation favored by so many of our back-watching, self-righteous politicians, to wit “Ex-Lax Slanderer":
NB: These tatterdemalions were also among the first to introduce hodgepodge raiment, which became so popular in the latter half of the previous century--notice the chaotic, albeit exquisite juxtaposition of haberdashery covering Squint-eyed Kid's frame--not to mention the patent rubber galoshes perfect for sloshing through muddy puddles just before heading back home to headquarters.
NBB: Unfortunately, the only gang member still living is The Squint-eyed Kid, who had the good fortune at the tender age of 27 to escape from Life in the Clutches of America. He is now happily married living the Life of Riley in his beloved Hellas and still thinking seriously of writing his poetic Magnum Opus, "I Was a Gunsel Who Killed Mockingbirds for the Thrill of It."