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9:27 p.m. - 2002-10-23


I'm tired.

Dog tired.

Therefore, today/tonight I'm sharing with you people a column I wrote a few years ago when I was lucky enough to meet some true celebrities.

You're thinking...Jack Nicholson? Tom Cruise? Brad F'n Pitt??


Read on....

As a journalist, it is my duty to report the hard, cold news. As many of us know, this past Monday marked the new day of a new era. The day when a certain breed of people stepped into our city and made it their own.

No ... I'm not talking about the Democrats. I'm talking about the Wolf People.

As a sideshow attraction to the Sterling and Reid Brothers 3-ring Circus, the Wolf People are a feared group of half human/half-wolf oddities who have been rumored to eat the faces off of two-bit journalists while the journalist asks them what they eat. The press bio that I received last week described a group of people who were the conception of a lone wolf that attacked and raped a villager many years ago in Zacatecus, Mexico. They were the offspring of this wolf attack.

Okay ... right there I'm majorly creeped out. I made the decision that I did not want to go and interview the Wolf People, threw the press kit away and prayed very hard for hours that the Wolf People never find me and rip my eyeballs out of my skull.

It didn't work.

This past Monday morning, the public relations department for the Circus called me at the office and wanted to know if I would like to come out to the Fairgrounds and meet the Wolf People for a possible story. I know I let out a terrified squeal when I heard "Wolf People".

Folks ... it's really hard to tell somebody over the phone that you simply don't want to meet and interview their circle of friends because they're only half-human. Sorta like...your average Star Trek fanatic.

Plus, there's just no written guidelines in the journalist's handbook on how to conduct an interview with a wolfman and I wasn't quite sure how to approach such a task. I guess I could sing a chorus of "Werewolves of London", grin sheepishly and elbow them in the wolf ribs saying "Get it? Get it?"

But apparently, my common sense must have been pinching a loaf in the crapper because I bit the bullet and agreed travel out to the fairgrounds and talk to the Wolf People ... as long as none of them made fun about my weight problem.

I deliberately took our circulation manager Drunk-Assed Jamie with me. You know...just in case the Wolf People were hungry and hadn't been fed lately, I was going to throw Jamie in front of me and let them start gnawing away at him while I tiptoed back to the car.

We arrived at the Fairgrounds and found Robert Valentine with the Circus. Robert knew what we were there to see.

"You uhhh ... you wanna see the Wolf People?" he asked quietly, as if we were about to see a dead body in a freezer.

"He does," I said as I cocked a nervous thumb at Jamie. I was fully planning on nonchalantly covering my throat and keeping my eyes shut tight the entire time we were in the Wolf People's presence.

Robert took us to a trailer where we met Manuel, who I guess can be technically referred to as the Head Wolf. Even though I wasn't planning on looking at him, I did. He wasn't nearly as frightening as I imagined he would be. His eyes had no white to them, they were just coal black, the same as the rest of his face. And it was covered in coarse black hair. And he had fangs. And he tried to bite Robert who beat him with a crowbar until he got back in his cage, whimpering like a wounded puppy. But other than that he was just your normal everyday half-man/half-wolf creature thing.

Speaking absolutely no English, Manuel came with an interpreter who spoke broken English at best (Obviously, good help is hard to find when you're half-wolf). The interpreter had been working with the Wolf People for years and felt confident he could answer any questions we may have about Manuel and his brood.

"Have they ever eaten a human being?" I blurted out, my face covered with my hands.

You may think that's a lame question, but I saw "The Howling." I know these things occur within the Wolf People circle. I said that the other day ... there ain't no reasoning with wolf people.

Without asking, the interpreter said no. I found it rather cocky to just blow off my question like that, but when you're dealing with wolf people, the last thing you want to do is lose your temper at their interpreter's arrogance and have either the interpreter or the Wolf People snap and rip your jugular out of your throat before you can say "I think Michael J. Fox did a kickass job in 'Teen Wolf'!!"

The interpreter did explain to us that even though he's known the Wolf People for years, there are some questions that even he feared to ask them out of privacy for their condition.

Excuse me. In my mind, these people are out there making a healthy living off of their condition(although ... apparently not healthy enough for a massive dose of electrolysis), so their lives should be an open book.

If I wanted to ask them if they had any hostilities towards JoJo the Dog Faced Boy for taking their gimmick and becoming a household name, I should be able to do so. It is my journalistic duty to you ... the people ... to ask such questions.

Drunk-Assed Jamie, who never met a circus freak he didn't like, asked what the Wolf People eat. The interpreter made a motion for us to move back in case Wolfie was going to lose it over such a stupid question. He asked Manuel the question, Manuel shot back the answer -- Arby's.

While I tried to block the mental picture of Manuel with Horsey Sauce smeared in his whiskers, Jamie told me to go stand next to Manuel for a photo.

"Ummmm ..." I stuttered. "That's okay."

Jamie hissed "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Go stand next to the wolfman."

So I slowly walked over to the Wolfman, rubbing the crucifix around my neck furiously.

Getting a perverted thrill out of my fullblown anxiety attack, Jamie suggested that I put my hand on the wolfman's back and moved closer to him.

I have always been proud of the fact that I am not a prejudiced man. Then again, I had never crossed paths with a wolfman before.

I flat out DID NOT want to touch the guy. His press kit said that people in their own village in Mexico knew better than to go near the Wolf People. These are people that went to school with them for Pete's sakes! And THEY'RE scared of them?!? Sorry Charlie ... I wasn't in any big hurry to latch onto Lon Chaney. I rely on my hands a little too much to have them gnawed off by some Mexican wolf creature because Jamie was getting a kick out of watching me squirm like a virgin on Prom night.

Then, before I could let out a scream, the Wolfman grabbed my hand, put it on his shoulder, turned around and smiled big for the camera.

Meanwhile, I tried my best not to have a panic attack and go into spasms on the ground.

We made it out of the Fairgrounds alive. But not before two more Wolf People approached us and I came within milliseconds of soiling my slacks. On the other hand, Jamie acted like he had finally found his nirvana with the Wolf People. They clicked, despite the language and fur barrier and Jamie celebrated with his new family as they ran through the adjacent fields howling and urinating.

So next time you read one of my pieces and think "That kid has really lost it" remember ... I give for you people.

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