Mike Mazurki

"Kid Chissel," Mike calls. Eyeballs twitch and in walks a man carved by his name: Noble Kid Chissel, Middleweight Boxing Champion of the U.S. Navy, Pacific Fleet, World War Two. Most good fighters then were doing a stint in the service. The competition was stiff, and Kid was popular. After every match, his opponent prone on the mat at his feet, Kid would sing Back Home in Indiana. Now his voice is still melodious and true, but Kid doesn't have much to sing about. His house has burned. Particularly painful is the scrapbook loss. Without them a large chunk of Kid's identity is ashes. He has lost the evidence to back such claims as being best man at Marilyn Monroe's secret wedding. A kind of visual castration has taken place. Devoid of pictures, Kid is reduced to being like everyone else. He cannot endure this and is compelled to brag more now than ever before. And that's saying something.

Kid fiddles with the bolo tie dangling beneath his Indiana granite jaw--part of his physique that constitutes an endless source of pride. His shtick today is being columnist for a chain of newspapers whose raison d'etre is filing notices for the County Clerk's office. He spots one of the Great Maestro Brothers and waves his Stetson. Dick Maestro publishes The Boxing Record. He is eating with Doc Levin. Doc invented the mouthpiece. Sitting on the other side of Doc is Count Billy Varga, the vain and handsome wrestling champion who retired and bought a goldmine. The Count is waiting for a paparazzo to pick him out of the crowd, but Kid is unimpressed. He wants to start Sylvia Mazurki yakking about Marilyn Monroe, who she knew when she was younger. It's not a tough job.