Chicken Piccata and Hobnobbin’ with Slim Slimski
Follow a transvestite while he/she shops for clothes. Go to an underground tattoo parlor, get a tattoo, then go to a dermatologist and get it removed with a laser.
Those are just a few of the episodes we did for a TV show called Hobnobbin’ With Slim Slimski.
Rei Spinnicchio was the director. He was the cameraman. He was also the editor, the light guy, the sound guy. He was the guy. The guy behind the camera. I was the guy in front of the camera. It was just the two of us, thinking up wacky segments to shoot.
We would then go around our hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and film these episodes. Most of the stuff was completely spontaneous. Well, we’d make appointments; but what we did when we got there was just run and gun — improvise, see what happens. No script. It was a lot of fun. Nerve-wracking fun.
Rei had the idea to follow a transvestite while he/she shopped for clothes. “He” was a man, dressed as a woman. He called himself Marilyn. Most of the clothes shops we visited were in Fells Point, which is a funkified neighborhood deep in the heart of Baltimore. Marilyn seemed to like biker clothes—black leather motorcycle jackets, things like that. A man, dressed as a woman, shopping for biker clothes.
In another episode, we went to an underground tattoo parlor. It was in this guy’s kitchen, in his small apartment, in a nasty section of town. Strange-looking folks were waiting around to get tattoos. It wasn’t the cleanest place in the world and he was making some of the most bizarre tattoos I’ve ever seen.
Of course, I got one. The tattoo guy asked me what I wanted. I asked for a simple heart with “Mom” in the middle, on the inside of my forearm.
I got tattooed. The guy didn’t use any ink—he must have run out! So I felt the pain, but got no stain. It didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. Even without the ink, you could clearly see the tattoo. The skin was raised and red and it looked like I had been branded with a branding iron.
I showed my Mom and she thought it was real. Then she hit me in the head with a frying pan.
Just kidding. How could she be mad? I got “Mom” tattooed on my arm!
I went to the dermatologist soon after to see what it was like to get a tattoo removed. I wasn’t the first in line. There was a woman before me who wanted to get a big eagle tattoo removed from her chest. She was complaining that the wings of the eagle looked like chest hair when she wore low-cut shirts.
The dermatologist let Rei and I sit in on her tattoo removal. We all had to wear special goggles, so the laser wouldn’t fry our eyeballs. We looked like mad scientists. The doctor placed the laser pen on her tattoo and zapped. She flinched, like she’d just been Tasered. He put the pen back on the tattoo and zapped. She flinched again. He’d zap, she’d flinch, dozens of times – it went on way too long, like a torture session. She looked like she was having some kind of strange conniptions every couple seconds.
The doctor finally relented. The woman got out of her chair. The tattoo was still visible. Doctor Dude told us that a tattoo that big and dark would need a couple of sessions to remove. The gal didn’t look too happy. Plus, she had to pay for all this. She zombie-walked out of there.
I sat down in the chair. The doctor revved up the laser and zapped me. It didn’t hurt as much as the time I got my genitalia caught in my zipper, but it was close. The laser hurt more than getting the tattoo. After a bunch of zaps, my skin was on fire. I would have confessed to anything, just to make it stop.
No wonder that poor woman was flailing around like that.
For another episode of Hobnobbin’ With Slim Slimski, we went to the Timonium Fairgrounds for the 4H festival. 4H stands for Head, Heart, Health, and Hands. It’s a collection of young folks trying to improve urban, suburban and rural communities.
I walked into a large barn, with Rei following and filming. Some of these young folks were demonstrating how to milk a cow.
I like farm animals. They look OK from a distance. But I’ve never felt the strong urge to get real close to any of them, let alone start mangling their mammaries. The cow they wanted me to milk was named Leslie. Really.
I walked up to Leslie and sat down on a stool by her rear legs. She turned her huge head around and stared me up and down with these big dark eyeballs. I looked her in the eye, and then looked down at her udders and…
It was a little too soon for me. Call me old-fashioned, but I think it’s more appropriate to go out on a few dates, have some drinks, get to know a female before you start yanking on her breastages.
Then Leslie winked. I think she liked me. I liked her, too. But sadly, that was the end of our relationship. I walked away, knowing I did the honorable thing.
The highlight of the 4H festival was Rei following me around, cameras rolling, as I walked among the fairgrounds, checking out the games; you know the kind – games where you throw a hardball and try to knock down some pins, or you try to shoot a basketball into a hoop a million times in a row or you throw darts at balloons or toss Ping-Pong balls into small gold fish bowls.
If you win, they give you prizes, like huge stuffed animals. Those kinds of games.
As we were checking out the games, I walked by a dunking booth. Let me explain the dunking booth. A guy sits in a chair over a pool of water. There is a target over his head. You buy three hardballs, and if you hit the target, the guy gets dunked in the water.
This guy was hurling insults at people as they passed by. Calling people all kinds of nasty names. As I walked by, the guy got quiet. Then, all of a sudden I heard…
“Hey, you! Donkey Face!”
“Hey you! Donkey Face! With the ponytail! You can’t cut off that pony tail ‘cause it goes with your donkey head!”
That’s what he said.
I stopped walking.
“That’s right! Donkey Face! I’m talkin’ to YOU! Uno, dos, tres, come on, hit me Donkey Face!”
He kept chanting.
“Uno, dos, tres, come on, hit me Donkey Face!!”
A crowd started to gather. That made him scream louder.
“Uno, dos, tres, come on, hit me Donkey Face!”
I calmly walked over to the booth and bought three balls. He kept chanting. I reared my arm back and threw as hard as I could. I nailed the target with the first throw. Bulls-eye. He fell in the water with a huge splash.
But the damage was done. When my friends and family saw that video footage, they didn’t say, “That’s not funny. That guy was way out of line. Glad you nailed him.”
No. Instead, they started calling me Donkey Face. Not behind my back. Right in front of my face. Friends, band members, and family. My own father called me Donkey Face.
Not all the time.
Just most of the time.
Rei and I pitched the Hobnobbin’ with Slim Slimski TV show around to whoever would look. We had a couple of people interested. And then, suddenly nothing happened. I guess we were way ahead of our time. Again.
After clothes shopping with a transvestite, there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal. This dish is perfect after a long day at work.
I began with 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts that were a little too thick for this dish. So I cut them in half, and it worked out fine.
6 chicken cutlets, each about 1/2 inch thick
½ cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup white wine
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (no seeds!)
2 tablespoons capers
A few sprigs of parsley for garnish
Heat your oven to warm (the lowest setting).
Rinse off your chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel.
Put the flour on a flat plate. Add salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
Take a chicken cutlet, put it in the flour. Turn it over. Make sure both sides are lightly coated. Shake off any excess flour.
Repeat with all 6 pieces of chicken.
Put the oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, put the chicken in the pan.
Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown on the underside. Use your tongs and turn them over.
Cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Check for doneness. If done, place them on a plate and set them in a warm oven. If not, cook for another minute or so until done, then place them in the oven.
Turn the heat on the empty sauté pan to medium-high. Add the white wine and stir and scrape (deglaze the pan) for a minute or so.
Add the chicken broth and capers. Cook while stirring for a minute or two.
Add the lemon juice and cook and stir for a minute or two.
Take your breasts out of the warm oven. Place them on a nice platter. Pour a little sauce over each breast, garnish with lemon and parsley, and…