I got an upsetting letter from the mother of a midget, who wrote that she had watched an interview of mine on television and, “as the mother of a little person, was deeply offended” by my comments regarding little people; above all, the fact that I referred to them as “nuggets.”
What this woman doesn’t understand is that I am not the enemy. Next to fat babies, midgets are my favorite things to hold. I love them so much, and I want to help them to do adult things like drive cars, Jet-Ski, and lip-synch. I’m in awe of their little limbs, their large craniums, and their medicine-ball asses. I love the little baby steps they take while shifting their weight from side to side, and the fact that when you knock one over accidentally, he flails like a turtle on its back that can’t get up right away.
Let me make one thing clear: I do not have a midget fetish-I like to think of it as more of a healthy obsession. And because I adore them so much, I want to raise midget awareness and prevent their further exploitation by others. I am deeply offended by midget pornography and by people who hire midget strippers for bachelor parties. That type of behavior really crosses the line in my book. What I’m truly interested in is dressing them in evening wear, more along the lines of the attire Miss Piggy used to wear on the The Muppet Show, or the little man from Monopoly. I’m talking about tuxedos, sequined ball gowns, and fedoras.
More important, I’m interested in helping midgets realize that their height should never be a limitation. I want to challenge them with outdoor sports such as skydiving, bungee jumping, and water polo. To help them, I would also videotape these activities and review the footage with them afterward with some chalk and a pointer, much in the same vein as a football commentator. If a bunch of Elvis impersonators can get together and skydive out of a plane in groups, there is no reason midgets shouldn’t be allowed that same opportunity. I can’t explain where these feelings come from, and they are rivaled only by my deep affection for penguins. (The only difference being, once you catch a midget, they are much easier to hold on to.)
My midget fantasies were finally realized when I was on a hidden-camera television show called Girls Behaving Badly. In its fourth season the producers called me into their office and explained that a very cute midget had written in, begging to be on the show. “She’s really cute and lives in Pittsburgh. We thought since your birthday is coming up, as your present, we’d fly her out to do a bit with you.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “Let me see her,” I demanded as I leaped over the chair that stood between me and my producer’s computer screen. He opened the file and I nearly passed out. Her name was Kimmy and she looked just like me, but with smaller features. She had blond hair that was pulled back in a ponytail, was three-feet-eleven, and weighed fifty-two pounds. I know this because as soon as I got her on set, I immediately weighed and measured her.
The picture she sent showed her standing with one hand on her hip and one leg splayed out like a Rockette’s. The other hand was holding a lit cigarette. She was wearing a pink leotard with light pink tights, through which I could make out five miniature toes on each foot that were eerily reminiscent of my favorite appetizer, popcorn shrimp.
“Two questions,” I said, barely able to contain myself. “Can she stay at my house, and do I get to take her to a water park?”
A few weeks later the producers flew Kimmy to Los Angeles to be on the show. We decided we would incorporate her into a bit I did called “Officer Handy.” This was a recurring character I played, a security officer who takes herself way too seriously and gives out citations to people for ridiculous reasons, such as not staying within the lines when crossing in a crosswalk, or speaking too loudly while shopping in a mall.
They flew Kimmy in the night before we started shooting, so the first time I saw her was on set. I made sure to get there bright and early that day, as I wanted to make a good impression. She walked in with our talent coordinator and squealed, “Hey, everyone!”
Kimmy was even more than I expected. She had on a pink T-shirt with a pair of pink jean shorts and pink high-top Nikes. I wondered whether she actually needed them for ankle support or if she was on a midget basketball team. It took everything in my power to hold myself back from launching out of my seat like a rocket and tackling her.
She was heading toward me, smiling and waving, and I stood up from my seat and kneeled down on one knee, bracing myself for a hug. My body’s reaction was far stronger than I could have anticipated; I was magnetically drawn to Kimmy, mostly because of her little sausage fingers and Chicken McNugget toes. With arms spread wide open, I couldn’t wait to squeeze her. My eyes were popping out of my head and I had the slow, steady look of a rattlesnake just about to strike a mouse.
“Hi, you crazy bitch!” she said as she ran into my embrace. “I fucking love you!”
This was music to my ears, as I already knew I felt love for her. I knew this was what a mother bear must feel after giving birth to a cub. I loved her even before I met her, and I would do everything in my power to see her in a tracksuit.
“I’m so happy you are here,” I said as tears began to well up in my eyes. “Look at you!” I picked her up and spun her around to get a closer look at her ass. I stared at the back of her ponytail, trying to determine whether or not her hair was real or a clip-on.
“Don’t you think we look identical?” I asked her as I kept spinning her around. Once I put her down, she took a couple of unsteady steps before she was able to gather her footing, and then she sat down. “Sorry, I’m a little dizzy.”
Kimmy’s best features were her head and triceps. She wasn’t as fat as I would have liked, but she was extremely muscular, which made her shape very aerodynamic. I immediately started fantasizing about pinning a cape to her back and tossing her off the roof of my apartment building.
I didn’t want to seem desperate by throwing myself at Kimmy. I had to play it cool. “Why don’t you go get into wardrobe and I’ll get you a script,” I said. I had to approach this in the same way I would deal with a guy I was interested in: give her a little taste of me and then take off while she still wanted more.
The producers decided to have her play my deputy sheriff at a winery in downtown Los Angeles. How they grow grapes in a part of town that is mostly populated by gangs and high-rises is beyond me, but when alcohol is involved, I rarely ask questions.
The prank would take place during a routine wine tasting, with me pulling people over as they went from one tasting to another just three feet away-much like getting pulled over for a DUI, but on foot.
We dressed Kimmy up in a mini police woman’s uniform that basically made me foam at the mouth. I have never in my entire life seen anything cuter. Not only was Kimmy the same size as my three-year-old nephew, she was also flat chested. Even though I had no intention of getting intimate with Kimmy, if I had my druthers, she would have had two cantaloupes taking the place of her mosquito bites.
I had a barrage of questions to ask her and had compiled a series of flash cards to remind me. For starters, where did she shop for clothes? Were her parents human-size? Were her tiny fingers able to handle a set of chopsticks? How many people had she been intimate with, and what were their shapes and sizes? Was she able to take showers? And last but not least, can two midgets produce a full-grown person?
We didn’t have much time before the shoot, so I decided to hold off on my questions until after we were done. We went through the motions of what would take place. After I had questioned our unsuspecting victims as to how many glasses of wine they had consumed and what they intended on eating to soak it up, I would speak into my walkie-talkie, requesting backup. That would be Kimmy’s cue to come charging onto the scene and help me give our victims a field sobriety test.
The plan was for her to enter through a side door, run under one of the tables the wine was on and slide through, finally landing at our feet. Then I would tell the victims that we had no choice but to give them a breathalyzer to check their alcohol level. At this point I would pick Kimmy up and hold her in front of a person, asking her to breathe into Kimmy’s face. “She is trained to detect alcohol, not unlike a police dog,” I would tell the person.
The first woman I pulled over was outraged. This was the perfect type of person for our show. The more enraged she became, the funnier the bit was.
“Excuse me, Miss?” I asked as I pulled her away from a group of about eight patrons. “I’d like to ask you a couple of questions. First, I’d like to ask you for your license and registration.”
“For what?” she asked, confused.
“Well, I’m Officer Handy, and this is my beat,” I said, standing with my legs spread apart, gripping my nightstick. “I’d like to make sure you are not intoxicated.”
“This is a wine tasting,” she reminded me.
“Yes, I’m aware of that, but you seem to be enjoying your wine a little bit more than the crowd you’re running with.”
“Running with?” she asked, looking over at her friend, who was completely ignoring the fact that I was conducting an interrogation. He was the one who set her up to be on our show and had been instructed not to get involved. “I don’t know any of these people,” she said. “I’m just here with my friend.”
“Never mind him,” I said, referring to her friend and spreading my legs wider, with my arms crossed like the Terminator. “I’m going to need to know exactly how many drinks you’ve had since you arrived and how many you had before you got here.”
“None!” she exclaimed, incensed. “I didn’t drink anything before I got here. It’s noon!” After a couple of minutes of me asking ridiculous questions about her driving record, I yelled into my walkie-talkie that I needed backup.
Kimmy then hauled ass through the side door, slid under the table, and landed on top of my feet. The woman I was harassing was horrified as she looked down at my deputy. At this point I had to turn around to hide my laughter. We were in our fourth season of the show, and by this time I was having a hard time keeping a straight face during any of our filming. The jokes we were playing on people were becoming more and more ridiculous.
The woman didn’t know what was happening and was getting angrier by the minute. “First of all,” she said, “I am not intoxicated, and I don’t appreciate coming to a wine tasting, where you are encouraged to drink, and then being pulled over by a security guard.”
“Security officer,” I corrected her.
“Whatever,” she responded, still staring at Kimmy.
“Security officer!” I screamed as her shoulders jumped a little bit. I used this tactic on the show when people got indignant, and more often than not it succeeded, and I quickly regained control of the situation.
I grabbed Kimmy under her arms and lifted her up so that she and the woman were face to face. “Please exhale deeply into Deputy Kimmy’s face,” I ordered her. She looked at the group of people she had been separated from, who were now all watching. She took a deep huff and then blew into Kimmy’s face.
“Again!” I ordered. I had to stall before I put Kimmy down because I was laughing so hard, and she was the only thing blocking me. She was heavier than I thought she’d be and my muscles were starting to atrophy. There was urine running down my leg inside my uniform, but I just had to accept it until I could compose myself. I realized rather quickly that that was never going to happen, so in order to not have our victim catch me laughing, I put Kimmy down suddenly and ran out of the room.
The next two people we played this joke on reacted much the same way, and I was finally able to keep it together for the third person. So far, this was the best day of my life.
After I had changed my underwear and we were done with the day’s shoot, I told Kimmy that I was performing that night at The Comedy Store and that I would love for her to come. She was elated.
I picked her up at her hotel at 7 p.m. I was half hoping she was still in the police uniform she had worn during the shoot, but was also half wishing I could see her in a brand-new midget outfit. She came out to the car and climbed into the passenger side. She was wearing jeans that I had seen before at babyGap, her high-top sneakers, and a pink, rhinestone-studded tank top that was skintight, and barely covering either of her nipples. I was completely flabbergasted.
“Whoa, Kimmy. You’re really serious about having a good time tonight,” I told her, eyeing her tank top.
She started to laugh maniacally and said, “Girl, I have never been to a city like Los Angeles, and I am ready to rock!” Then she took out a Marlboro Red 100 that was twice the length of her fingers and lit it up.
She was a little firecracker and I loved it, but I also feared for her safety in such a revealing top. We headed toward a restaurant called The Stinking Rose, where I had made reservations after the hostess assured me they had high chairs.
The whole way to the restaurant, Kimmy went on and on about how grateful she was for my friendship and how this was by far the best experience of her life. Home life was not so good, she implied. I would have to wait until dinner before I pressed her for more details. This was just the way I imagined myself acting around Nancy Grace-available, yet distant.
Once we sat down at dinner, it didn’t take me long to realize that I would gather more information than I could have ever bargained for. The waiter came over and she ordered a Captain Morgan and Coke.
“Are you even allowed to drink?” I asked her.
“Sure,” she cackled, as she pulled out her ID for the waiter. Apparently, she was twenty-five.
“Wow, you look really young for your age,” I told her.
“Thanks, Chelsea,” she said. “I have to tell you, when I married my first husband, I wasn’t even eighteen.”
“What?” I blurted out. “Your first husband? How many husbands have you had?” I couldn’t believe this little nugget was having grown-up sex, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was horrified.
She went on to tell me that not only did she marry again, but her current husband was in prison for grand larceny. She lived with her mother, who has never accepted the fact that she married someone in prison.
“Wait a second,” I interjected. “You met him while he was in prison?”
“Yes, but he got out right after we met,” she told me. “But he ended up getting caught again. This time he didn’t do it. He was framed.”
“Of course he was,” I said in complete agreement. The idea that Kimmy was involved in something as sophisticated as a framing was alluring. My mind ran the gamut of criminal possibilities, from espionage to high-level racketeering, until I was interrupted by Kimmy asking if she could borrow money to pay her phone bill.
I was a little thrown off guard, but told her that wouldn’t be a problem. If this little spark plug wanted to squeeze me for a couple hundred bucks, that was fine with me. I was more intent on getting the waiter to take a picture of her sitting on my shoulders without causing too much of a stir.
Kimmy was on her third rum and Coke when she told me that she had almost all the money to bail him out, but was short one thousand dollars. “His trial isn’t until the spring, so I want to get him out before then, just in case he ends up getting convicted.”
I was beginning to become concerned with Kimmy’s alcohol intake and asked her if her little body would be okay handling that much liquor.
“Oh, I get fucked up all the time,” she said in a deeper voice than she had started the night with. The waiter came over and set down the tri-tip steak Kimmy had ordered. I was too nervous to eat and had only ordered a Caesar salad. I wanted to keep my hands free in case Kimmy needed me to cut her meat.
I squinted at her. “We still have to go to The Comedy Store, so maybe you should hold off on the booze.”
She told me more about her mother, who was collecting money from the government for disability, and a father who had left home when she was three. I wanted to tell her to look on the bright side-she couldn’t have changed that much in her condition, so at least he knew what she would look like twenty-two years later.
After Kimmy polished off her sixteen-ounce tri-tip, she asked me if I’d like dessert.
“You go ahead,” I told her. “Anything you want.” It was becoming pretty obvious that Kimmy probably didn’t get out of her hometown much and that her life in Pittsburgh was pretty bleak. I started thinking of different ways that I could help turn her life around.
Maybe I could move her out to Los Angeles and we would start our own detective agency, or maybe I would just quit showbiz, move to Pittsburgh, and she and I would open an arcade. I wondered if she would eventually get on my nerves if we lived together.
I thought about all the fun baby pictures I could take of her and then send out to my relatives. We would go to the mall where people take their infants for pictures, and I would have her surrounded by ducks, pumpkins, or maybe holding a bat and baseball. Would she be opposed to sleeping in a planter? I didn’t have the answers yet, but I knew my life would never be the same. I needed to help Kimmy and nothing was going to stop me.
After we finished dinner, the waiter obliged in taking a picture of us. Wanting to avoid causing a scene, I simply walked around to her side of the table and picked up the booster seat she was sitting in. I held it next to my body-Kimmy and all-the same way a professional soccer player would hold the World Cup.
I helped her out of her booster seat and we walked to the car holding hands. Kimmy kept thanking me for her dinner the whole way to The Comedy Store.
I got there just as they were calling my name onstage, and I motioned for Kimmy to come with me.
“Come onstage with you?” she asked.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “You don’t have to say anything, just follow me up, sit on the stool, and don’t say a word. That will be funnier. Do you need help getting up there?”
“No,” she said. “I’ll climb it.”
I got onstage with Kimmy following closely behind, and sure enough, she was able to wrangle herself to sit on top of the stool. I did my act and Kimmy would let out high-pitched squeals of laughter after every punch line. Other than that, I didn’t refer to her once. When I was finished, I looked over and saw that Kimmy had maneuvered herself around and was on her stomach, sliding off the stool.
Once we were off the stage, Kimmy sped up and poked the side of my leg. “Get me another Captain and Coke. I’m going outside for a cigarette.”
I got her drink and went outside to find her holding court with five male comics. She was standing in the center of the group, smoking a cigarette with one of her nipples fully exposed. Her speech was slurred as she explained to them that she had come out to Los Angeles to work on Girls Behaving Badly, and that she was only here for one night and wanted to make it count.
I walked over and pulled her shirt back over her nipple. I didn’t like the way Mini-Me was carrying herself. Her hair was a mess and she wasn’t too steady on her feet. Between slurred sentences, she’d laugh maniacally while her eyes rolled back into her head.
“Kimmy,” I said, hiding her drink behind my back. “Are you ready to go back to your hotel?”
“No fucking way, are you kidding?” she shot back. “I’m just getting started. You can leave if you want to.”
As if I was just going to leave my little doppelg"anger alone at a comedy club, surrounded by a group of male comics. I didn’t even want to think about all the horrible things that could happen to her.
“Kimmy, I am not leaving you,” I told her.
“I’m twenty-five years old, for Christ’s sake,” she told me as the guys all started laughing. One of the comics offered to give her a ride home.
“I don’t think so,” I replied gruffly, and then turned back to Kimmy. “I’m not kidding, we need to go now.”
“Fuck off!” she yelled, and then fell back into the ledge of plants behind her.
Now this was turning into blatant disrespect. I had not raised Kimmy to behave like this, and I didn’t know what kind of discipline was appropriate for a nugget. Would I just give her a time-out, or would I have to opt for a full-blown pants-down spanking?
“Listen, Kimmy, I am not leaving here without you. So you can either walk with me over to my car on the count of three, or there is going to be big trouble.”
Her next move was to pull her tank top down in the middle of her chest, exposing both of her nipples. I walked over to her, picked her up underneath her arms, put her on my hip, and headed for the car. All the while, she was kicking and screaming. I got to my car, opened my door, and threw her into the car seat I had rented.
Now Kimmy was crying. This made me feel terrible, but fortunately, right before Kimmy’s arrival, I had read What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and knew I could not let her manipulate me with tears. I had to remain strong. “Kimmy, please don’t cry. Please. What about if we get you some ice cream?”
“I’m thorry,” she slurred. “I’m tho thorry. You have been tho nithe to me, and I had the beth day today of my life, and I juth don’t want it to end.”
“I understand that,” I told her. “But you are wildly intoxicated and I really think you need to go to bed. You can barely stand up straight.”
I pulled out of the parking lot as she kept repeating herself over and over again. “I’m tho thorry… You are tho nice… I’m tho drunk.”
We pulled up to her hotel and she was still crying as she hugged me good-bye. One of the valets came over and I asked him to make sure she got up to her room safely. He took one look at her and flashed me the A-okay sign. I wrote down her address and told her I would send her the pictures we’d taken of me weighing her at the winery. As she was sliding out of the passenger seat, she turned back with tears streaming down her face and asked, “Can I get fifty bucks?”
At this point logic should have set in and I should have recognized a pattern. I, of course, was like a wife who keeps getting backhanded by her husband, but instead chooses to focus on the fact that he brings home a steady income.
I didn’t have that much cash left, so instead I wrote her a check. I threw in an extra twenty-five for good measure.
When I woke up the next morning the cloudiness that had taken over my brain the night before had dissipated, and I was finally starting to think clearly. I knew what had to be done: I had to raise money to get Kimmy’s husband out of the clinker.
I got dressed, drove directly to the production office of our show, and made everyone chip in.
The only resistance I got was from our line producer, Sam, who looked at me like I asked him for money to support Tonya Harding’s return to figure skating. “You must be fucking kidding me,” he said. “I’m not giving that little bitch a dime. That bitch is a con artist if there ever was one, and you must be a fucking idiot.”
Not only was I horrified by the blasphemy of Sam’s accusation, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, and reacted as such. “Pipe the fuck down!” I told him as I took a few steps in his direction, with one finger pointing in his face and the other in my jacket pocket, trying to make it look like I might be carrying a pistol. “You are going to give me money, you cheap shit, and you might want to think about what kind of damaging things you say before you ruin someone’s reputation. She is just a baby.”
“No, Chelsea, she is not a baby; she’s twenty-five and she’s a victim. I’ve seen people like her before and she’s full of shit. And the fact that you are stupid enough to fall for it is really disappointing. I thought you were smarter than that.”
I was offended that my intelligence was being called into question, but even more appalled by the way Sam was talking about a small child.
“You would never talk that way about a full-grown woman,” I told him as I stormed out. It disturbed me on many levels to think that Kimmy, someone who could just have easily been born in my shoes, or me in hers, wasn’t getting the support she deserved. There were so many similarities between us, and I felt it was my duty to help her achieve the most that a short life expectancy had to offer.
I ended up collecting $476 from the rest of the crew and then threw in $200 of my own money. I wanted to give her more, but was also saving up to adopt a highway, and knew I had to act responsibly.
I sent Kimmy a cashier’s check for $676, assuming she probably didn’t have a checking account, and waited for her call to thank me. The call never came. Three months later I got Kimmy’s contact information from our production manager and called her mother, who informed me that not only was Kimmy’s husband still in jail, but Kimmy had taken off to Costa Rica with the money I sent her and was now working as a scuba instructor.
I hung up the phone and sat down, stupefied. It wasn’t that she lied about what she intended to do with the money. What really got my goat was that after everything we had been through together, she had never once mentioned to me that she could swim. I would have killed to see that.