Comfort Food, Magician Mac King and Candy

Inside Magic Image of Candy an Orphan of the Streets from Las VegasDo not miss the hardest working Magician in Vegas, says
Vinnie Favorito in today’s Las Vegas Sun.

We don’t know Mr. Favorito personally but understand he is a
comedian of substantial renown and a friend of Inside
Magic Favorite Mac King. In addition, as we said just this
morning when discussing a different topic, “any friend of Mac is
a friend of ours.”

We were dining that one of the many magic-themed breakfast
nooks in and about the Greater Area of Mystic Hollow, Michigan.
We forget how the topic came up – but not because we are
fabricating this story out of floss and flotsam. We were
discussing “comfort food” and comparing the merits Kraft’s
American Classic vis-à-vis the many private label brands
of Macaroni and Cheese and coming to agreement amongst all
gathered around the counter that Kraft must have a secret recipe
for delicious Mac and Cheese.

The waitress, Flobee (short for Florence Beatty, hence “Flo
B”) began extolling the substantial comfort one can gain from
carney food like Elephant Ears, Funnel Cakes, and Turkey
Drumsticks. One of the younger magicians made an inappropriate
comment about Corn Dogs providing comfort and the meeting was
adjourned without further discussion.

But it is unlike us to deviate from our topic. Usually we are
like a laser guided missile of messaging reflecting off the
stunned eyes of our readers. So let’s get back to it, shall we.
Sure.

By the Transitive Property of Friendship (A likes B, B likes
C, so A likes C) Vinnie Favorito is already one of our very close
friends. Of course, if he is lying about being tight with Mac
King or even Mac and Cheese, we will drop him like cockeyed
gymnastics spotter.

Old Vin is covering for our other close, personal friend Robin
Leach who we understand is taking a vacation in the cooler climes
of Europe.

Hoo-Boy, we don’t blame Robin for deserting the desert to
frolic in Sherwood Forest and swim the canals of Venice.

The summer months here in Mystic Hollow, Michigan are warm by
tradition but this year is best compared to a kiln-clay
relationship. We are the clay and the kiln is the outside
temperature. In fact, if you pushed our head down on the
sidewalk, you could make a wonderful ashtray with little or no
waiting.

We have experienced nights when the temperature didn’t dip
below 87 degrees Fahrenheit. We should know what that is in
metric numbers but we don’t. Seems like it converts to a two or
three digit number and that number is either a factor of or
divisible by 9/5ths or 5/9ths plus or minus the number 32.
Therefore, it could be a larger or smaller than 87 depending on
whether you add and multiply or divide and subtract. If it is a
larger number, we wouldn’t be surprised because it is really hot
right now.

And as hot as it is here in the lush, green climes of southern
Michigan, the mind boggles without pattern at the thought of
walking the Vegas Strip.

In fact, we were cleaning out our swimming suit last night
– in the hope we will one day be invited back to our
neighbor’s home and his six-foot above ground pool – when
we came across a full color flyer from Las Vegas.

By the way, it is thanks to our last visit – indirectly
– that he has a brand new above ground pool to go along
with his rebuilt trellises, decking, stone cooking center and
Tiki Lights. He has yet to thank us for all those new things plus
an ornate picture window and new puppy. Friends say he will thank
us again once physical therapy is through and his jaw gets
unwired. That’s just an excuse. The metal mouth binding didn’t
seem to stop him from ordering all those new things or giving a
report to our insurance company.

Okay, back to the laser-guided message missile.

The advertising flyer brought back sad memories for us. We
didn’t ask for it – it came to us. As we ambled up the
Strip, a very short man wearing headphones pushed the flyer into
our itchy palms.

There looking up at us was the pathetic, heart-wrenching image
of a modern day Madonna of the Streets. Apparently, the brochure
was to raise public awareness about the incredible array of
poverty happening in that vacation destination.

“Candy” looked to be about 25 years old with blonde hair and
modest earrings – some of them were even adorning her ears.
She clearly had hit upon hard times. She wore virtually no
clothes save her black patent leather high heels and a bright red
velvet choker. Her eyes pleaded with those who were to look at
her photograph. She was thin beyond reason; likely from her
starvation. We imagine she sold her clothes for food and was now
without a stitch of velvet or leather to exchange for comfort
food or even a loaf of bread.

There was a number to call to donate money. Apparently, she
was not only impecunious and emaciated, but she was also
homeless. The advertising brochure indicated “Candy” (how ironic
a name for a woman in her condition) could stay with donors for
an hour or even overnight.

We still remember the poor waif’s toll-free phone number,
223-4475. How do we remember a phone number after a year has
passed? No, we don’t possess an amazing memory. Candy, in an act
of apparent desperation found a phone number that matched up with
letters and thus provided a mnemonic device.

The last seven digits spelled out “BAD GIRL.” Crushing,
absolutely crushing. Candy did not look like a bad girl but she
apparently saw it differently. She had obvious natural beauty —
even in her most natural, almost nude state – and yet she
saw herself not a victim but as a “bad girl.” The ups-and-downs
of her life apparently convinced her that she was “bad” and
perhaps, not worthy of care or charity.

“Bad Girl” indeed. We know it is improper to boast of charity
bestowed but are not ashamed to say we tried desperately to help
Candy. We called the number constantly during our visit to Vegas
but never got to speak with Candy.

Either the line was busy or when it would ring through, the
call connected to Candy’s voicemail. We stopped leaving messages
after two or three days of trying to reach out to her. Her taped
announcement was heart rendering, “Hi, this is Candy. I want so
much to meet you and stay with you so you can treat me like I
deserve . . . please leave me your phone number and I will call
you back.”

In that message, we heard hope. Candy’s subconsciously asked
callers to share her vision of happiness that could be had. Her
timid, almost subservient voice told callers of her desire to be
loved. How haunting was the plea “so you can treat me like I
deserve.”

It is hip to suggest society has become heartless.
Nevertheless, the fact that so many were calling Candy to offer
lodging and money puts the lie to that myth. Interestingly, men
seemed to be the ones most concerned with Candy’s plight. We
watched as man after man took the brochure, considered its simple
but powerful message, and placed it in a pocket for safekeeping.
We think we were actually watching the arousal of a man’s
instinctual desire to care for and protect the vulnerable.

We went back to talk to the man who gave us the flyer but
could not get his attention. But while we stood beside him, we
saw sixty or seventy men of all background and age take Candy’s
brochure.

Sadly, we also witnessed women of various ages and
socioeconomic levels refuse to take the flyer. In fact, we noted
that those women who did accept the brochure did not keep it very
long. They blithely glanced at the image of their sister Candy,
crouching naked against a plain white backdrop, and then
exhibited their disdain, their disgust.

To our amazement, some of the women took the leaflet and did
not even consider its content before tearing it asunder or
throwing it to the gutter. Perhaps their mother instinct was not
as strong as the men’s effusive empathy. Or perhaps they
intuitively shared the feelings of guilt, self-loathing, and
despair of Candy and felt helpless. Who are we to judge?

But the point of this short article was too mention that
Vinnie Favorito is friends with Mac King and, in fact, recommends
him highly. Vinnie tells readers that the Inside Magic Favorite
Mac King is hands down the best magician in the business. He
writes, “I highly suggest watching his comedy magic show at
Harrah’s Las Vegas. I thought that I worked a lot, but Mac
has performances at 1 and 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Mac
is great for kids, and adults end up having just as much fun”

We need to finish our article and post it to the Inside Magic
website immediately. Seeing Candy’s flyer again just brought back
strong, disturbing feelings from within. Humanity stripped of its
trappings is humbling. It was sadly ironic that we began our day
speaking of comfort food and end it by re-living our imagined
encounter with Candy.

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