ABE WATERMAN, OLD WHARF FISHERMAN, SELF PROCLAIMED “COOT”, AND BENJAMIN PHILLIPS BIOGRAPHICAL EXPERT, WAS INTERVIEWED AT THE LONE PINE TAVERN, BOSTON, MASS, JUNE 14 2004. THIS IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THAT INTERVIEW.
ABE: Oh he was eight feet tall he was, with arms like tree trunks and hair as red as the fires of hell. I hear he was born into a fish barrel outside of a flour mill. Others, Big Jiminy for example, Say Hi Jim.
ABE: Anyway, Jiminy told me he heard that a one eyed man who worked for the St Flanagan Memorial Hospital as a Biohazard refuse grinder found him wrapped up in a wicker basket on the door step of the Florence County Public Works Building, and raised his as his own. Either way he was a’ working the coal mines by age four…
INTERVIEWER: AGE FOUR?
ABE: YES GODDAMNIT! DON’T INTERRUPT ME WHEN I’M A’ SPINNING YARNS. Now where was I?
INTERVIEWER: Coal mines.
ABE: Right, Coal Mines. Then he don’t turn up again till aged fifteen, when he worked as a bear wrestler on a Mississippi River steam ship.
INTERVIEWER: Are there bears on the Mississippi river?
ABE: DO YOU WANT TO HEAR THE STORY OR DON’T YA?
INTERVIEWER: I Guess so.
ABE:Then we don’t know what happened to him from then till the time he was twenty-one. By then he had read every book in the world, EVERY ONE, and had built up quite a following as a Scalesman.
INTERVIEWER: Oh, what did he sell?
ABE: No son, a SCALESMAN, its a skill he picked up traveling around on the carnival circuit as a weight guesser. Between the ages of fifteen and twenty one.
INTERVIEWER: But you said you didn’t know what…
ABE: I SAID NOTHIN’. Now, in the spring of the same year…
INTERVIEWER: What year?
ABE: …he was married to the lovely screen vixen Rita Hayworth, who was all the rage at the time, in a beautiful ceremony officiated by pope Harry Dean Stanton the first.
INTERVIEWER: Harry Dean Stanton wasn’t pope! Forget this, I’m outta here.
ABE: With her at his side he became PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and he built the White House all by himself, biting through the three hundred oak logs required for the build two at a time with his teeth, completing construction in a fortnight. Hey, where ya going, I havenâ€™t told you about his many adventures on the moon.
INTERVIEWER: This is inane.
YES, IT IS.
BUT UNTIL WE FIND OUT MORE, THIS HAS BEEN: THE STORY OF BENJAMIN