Good Family Values

One of the News Center's biggest supporters, Ms. Madeline Cole. Show her some Nude Hippo love at www.MadelineColeOnline.com.
Union Station in Chicago is a crowded, busy, place. Even more so when a train is running late. Such was the situation yesterday. I was standing between the Amtrak entrance and the escalators by the northern Metra tracks. The backs of my legs were pressed up against a bench. I was not going anywhere. In front of me was a young couple. He was a Marine, in uniform, and she was a young lady of, maybe, 20 or so. She was prattling on and on and on about how happy mom and dad were going to be when they saw the ring and how much grandma loved him and how sad it was that grandpappy wasn’t here for this because he had served in Nam and it was around this time that the young Marine bent down to fix the laces on his boots. She continued blissfully on, mentioning an Aunt Esmeralda three times, when she hit this line; “Oh, Ricky, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me!” and spun around with her eyes closed to plant a big, wet, …. did I mention that the young man was kneeling down and tying his shoe? ….. kiss right where his lips would have been. Which was now where my lips were roughly positioned. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of being kissed by a beautiful woman. However, even in my feeble brain, I realized that this would not be a good time to respond in a positive fashion. So, instead, I kept my lips tightly closed and tried getting her attention by talking out of the side of my mouth. It was then that the young man noticed the commotion and turned to see what was happening. He uttered a clear “Krystal, what the hell are you doing?” as he stood up. She, realizing that a mouth that should have been full of Krystal shouldn’t be able to pronounce words so clearly, opened her eyes. It may have been the first time in my life that seeing a look of horror in a woman’s eyes was a good feeling. I politely introduced myself and watched with mild amusement as they quickly found new places to stand, away from me and the several people standing around me laughing. However, we all agreed it was cute and that they now had a story that will last them the rest of their lives.

Hippoteers, allow me, as someone who has train-wrecked two marriages, to give you a small bit of advice; go and give your significant other a deep, wet, slow, kiss right now. When he/she asks why you are suddenly so romantic, just say that B3 (a/k/a Big Bad Bill a/k/a me) told you to do it. Do this once a week or so at random intervals and it will remind you of why the two of you got together in the first place. It’s better than any little blue pill as well. And, when the day comes that your significant other starts talking about how your long, slow, kisses remind her of a pool boy who recently moved in down the block ….. well, then you know it’s over and you can move on.

Besides, if you don’t treat your significant other with love and respect, the vampire moms of Mexico will come and rip out your arteries.

You knew that already though, didn’t you?

This vampire’s hungry for change.

Maria Jose Cristerna, the 35-year-old “Mexican Vampire Woman,” lives a normal life at home, waking the kids up for school, making her hubby breakfast, and getting ready for work at the tattoo parlor.

But she can’t forget how her childhood was ripped apart by domestic violence — it led her to express herself through body modification.

Now, she wants to join the fight against abuse in the home.

Don’t worry, I have more.

MOM!

Maria Jose Cristerna, 36, a mother of four, a tattoo artist and a former lawyer, sits in her tattoo parlour and boutique after getting 3D body implants inserted in her lower arm in Guadalajara February 4, 2012. Cristerna, who is dubbed “Vampire Woman” but prefers to be identified as “Jaguar Woman”, had her first tattoo when she was 14 and decided to physically transform herself after having gone through 10 years of domestic violence in her first marriage. Women in Mexico celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8.

(She) decided to physically transform herself after having gone through 10 years of domestic violence in her first marriage.

Mexico has a serious problem with domestic abuse. Some believe it is condoned by the church, it isn’t, others blame it on the yo-yo economy and no one is helped by the drug lords who treat all women like cattle. People like Ms. Cristerna may be odd but do a valuable service by shining a very bright light on this subject.

Of course it’s not just women who get abused. Mexico also has a problem with people tossing dwarfs into bullfighting rings.

The little-known sport of dwarf bullfighting has raised a red flag for America’s little people.

The sport, which has dwarf toreadors battling baby calves, is a popular attraction in Mexico and other countries where bullfighting is popular. There are as many as 20 different troupes, according to NBC Sports, but some little people such as Clinton Brown III fear dwarf bullfighting is blurring the line between entertainment and exploitation, especially because the bullish battles are carried out for laughs.

“These guys are really taking their life in their hands doing this,” Brown told The Huffington Post.

“Frankly, it’s a shame that these folks do have to resort to it.” Brown, who is a 3-foot, 3-inch tall financial analyst on New York’s Long Island, isn’t against little people engaging in athletic contests. In fact, he is also manager of the New York Towers, an all-dwarf basketball team that has won two national championships in the Dwarf Athletic League’s annual tournament.

Still, Brown thinks that the troupes — and the media — would be better off if they promoted the athleticism of the bullfighters and not their “wackiness.”

“Bullfighting is deeply entrenched in many societies around the world, and I’m sure some of these little bullfighters do it because they grew up watching it, not because they ‘need’ the job so badly,” he said. “It would be so nice if [the media didn’t focus] on the ‘wow’ factor of the story [and instead] focused on a human interest story in that community on someone that loves what they do.”

This fits in with the mission statement of Little People of America, a support and advocacy group for Americans of short stature as a result of dwarfism.

The group’s president, Gary Arnold, said the real problem he has with dwarf bullfighting is that its main purpose seems to be offering spectators the chance to laugh at little people.

“To me, that’s the issue,” Arnold told The Huffington Post. “We need to move away from employment opportunities that are specifically for little people and move into integrated employment opportunities.”

Dwarf matador Javier Landa of Mexico, however, says that’s not the case.

“They may think we go out there to be laughed at, but that’s not the case,” Linda told USA Today. “If a little person can fight a bull, he can do anything. That’s what we’re trying to prove.”

Danica Aldrich, 21, a little person who studies fine arts at the Art Institute of Boston, said that while she personally finds dwarf bullfighting demeaning, Landa makes a good point about little people being able to do anything. She fears that his audience is missing that message.

“The fault is not with us little people, but it rather falls upon the audience. It is the audience’s perception of the event as either simple entertainment or a freak show,” Aldrich told The Huffington Post.

“I find the most offensive reaction to performances like this are associations that people hold for little people as just being ‘miniature freaks’ when we are presented ‘packaged,’ such as little bulls for little bullfighters,” Aldrich said. “It is akin to making a presumption about the entire Italian culture from the show ‘Jersey Shore.'”

But recent dwarf bullfighting stories such as ones recently posted by Metro.co.uk and Buzzfeed come at a time when the prejudices faced by little people are receiving mainstream attention. In January, actor Peter Dinklage used his Golden Globe acceptance speech for “Game of Thrones” to raise awareness about Martin Henderson, a dwarf who claims he was partially paralyzed on his birthday when a stranger lifted and heaved him onto the hard ground outside an English pub.

The recent controversial discussion about little people between Rosie O’Donnell and Chelsea Handler is truly making little people speak up for themselves, Arnold said.

“More than any other time I can remember, the community rallied together and demanded a response,” he said. “In the past, what Rosie and Chelsea did might have been written off as a joke, and people in the general population might have thought that the dwarfism community was being too sensitive. But a lot of people showed empathy and rallied behind people with dwarfism as if we were a community of people who deserved to be treated like others.”

The public outcry forced O’Donnell, who initially tried to brush off with an apologetic tweet her controversial remarks about being afraid of little people, to invite Chicago-based musician and little person Chris Errera to her show on Wednesday to discuss her remarks.

For her part, Handler has yet to respond to her comments that sleeping with an adult little person would be “child abuse,” and her spokesman, Stephen Huvane, doubts one will be forthcoming.

“Chelsea is not one to respond to any particular complaint made by any group,” Huvane told The Huffington Post by email. “She saves whatever reaction she has for her own show. If there is something funny to say, she will figure it out.

Thing I learned that I did not know before;

(1) Someone actually watches the Rosie O’Donnell show. The O-Network will be thrilled to learn about that.

(2) Chelsea Handler thinks she’s funny? Well, that makes one person I guess.

(3) Career day for dwarfs must be freaking surreal. “Why, yes Mr. Johnson, with your Masters degree in astrophysics I’m sure we can get you a job with the finest dwarf tossing bar in Miami.”

Who says you never learn anything here?


Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Friday morning around 9:10!

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