Mike Mazurki

Mazurki settles back to the chicken teriyaki. Rory Calhoun and Mushy Callahan accept his speechless invitation. Mushy's nose is albino strawberrys slumped by sunlight. Rory immediately starts needling Mike, asking how he got his cauliflower ear. Mike has told the story so often that the record scratches, but he is greatful to have an ear worth mentioning. "There's little blood cells in there," he says. "You keep hitting the ear and the blood cells bust and expand. If you get it right away, while the blood is still hot, you can drain it. Then you put an ice pack to it and it'll be all right. But then you go back and fight the next night, you get hit, it'll come up again. So every time you have it drained, or you wait two or three days, it forms a cartilage and hardens. But one time I had an ear way out like this." Mike cups an invisible softball over the left side of his head.

"I'm not complaining. It was an honor. Everybody wanted an ear." Mike cocks his head so his cauliflowered side leads, and he says that for a long time he used to walk like this. "It was a trademark, but you know, it's a funny thing--I was vain enough to think that if I didn't have an ear, maybe I'd make it big in the picture business. So I had a fake ear made. I thought it could get me lover parts like Rory's." Mike squeezes Calhoun's perfect ear. "It looked like the real McCoy, but everybody said I couldn't be a leading man. Who? Me with a raspy voice? Let me tell you though--they'd give talking parts to collies before they'd screen test a wrestler."