Archie Shitsville’s life was a lot like his movies: entirely predictable, full of C-grade actresses with generous bosoms, the Technicolor process made him look slightly negro, and at odd times in the silvery dark even as you munched through a caravan of popcorn you found yourself wishing it would all come to a swift end. But I suppose I owe some wonderful things to the great ape who was the unwilling source of my creation. He bought Shitsville Ranch in the Sixties and gave it to my mother as a wedding present, which is why the Vegas Mafia could never roll him for it.
For a long time I sat in the mountain sunlight admiring the view and the patio furniture and trying to think up a nicer way of saying “In lieu of flowers send money”. Then I thought perhaps that was the real reason unlettered folk turn to ‘poetry’ made up of kindergarten rhymes on special occasions: funerals, weddings, etc, where in my book torturing your family into donations somehow seems less friendly than asking for the cash straight up. Meantime my cousin Francis Matlock Shitsville was very upset by the news, as upset as I was when I heard that Davy Jones had passed away on my birthday last year. Blind with drink and tears Francis ferreted through my records and finally pulled out an ‘Archie Shitsville Live in Vegas’ LP from the Seventies, which had been shut away from the light so long that the inner sleeve turned to dust when it was exposed to the air. Then he boarded himself up with a bottle of tequila and listened to it over. “Oh, my love, my darling… I’ve hungered for your touch…” I could feel the vibrations through the floor.
“His voice in that version could m-m-move m-mountains,” Frankie sobbed.
“My father had a lot of practice moving mountains,” said I. “He lifted at least a hundred and seventy kilos every time he got out of bed.”