You know how sometimes you see a guy with an absolutely appalling combover, and you play out in our head how you--a complete stranger--are gonna do the guy a HUGE favor by walking straight up to him and saying, "Look, pal, maybe you should rethink the hair. I'm just sayin'"? That's the way I am with the Washington DC real estate industry every time I see the words "upper brackets" used to describe a house or a neighborhood. It's such a tacky term, you'd think The Preppy Handbook had never even existed.
Anyway [is it still an aside if you start with it?], if you go to any young child's birthday party in one of these "upper brackets" neighborhoods, you're likely to find a slightly dissheveled guy bossing parents around and holding every child present absolutely transfixed by making a fool out of himself--for $300, due in full at booking. That would be The Great Zucchini.
"How the hell does a guy get into this racket?" you might wonder from the back of the room "Sure, he's magical, like The Toddler Whisperer, and yeah, he must be pullin' down a hundred grand a year, working only two days a week, but what kind of guy can actually ENJOY subjecting himself to this?"
Well, clear your calendar, because The Washington Post Magazine's Gene Weingarten explains The Great Zucchini--in about 10,000 words. The story involves the IRS, Atlantic City, Jonestown, Starbuck's, and Holden Caulfield, and that's just for starters.
It's a looong piece, and the hyper-empathetic Great Zucchini might suggest that you'd be better off spending waking time with your kid, and save the article for the evening. Or read it on the train or wherever, but definitely keep reading it. Wow.
The Peekaboo Paradox [washpost]
The Great Zucchini - "Washington's funniest and most magical
PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN entertainer" [thegreatzucchini.com]