Uma Schizzy was different in a strange way. Tippy Murphy was strange in a different way. They were two peas in a pod but a better analogy might be two nuts in a shell. Together, they were two great tastes in one candy bar. One day, Tippy went out for a brisk walk, a brisk corn beef sandwich, and a Brisk ice tea. On his journey to the deli he noticed an attractive young woman, in a frizzy tutu, dancing down the sidewalk. He watched the ballerina leap and pirouette her way towards him. When she arrived in front of the dumbfounded fellow, she dropped down into a split, and giggled. Jumping up she reached out, grabbed Tippy, and spun him like a bug spiraling down a toilet. Out-of-control, he slammed into a mailbox. As Tippy lay flat on his back, the woman stood over him, smiled, and said “You’re a funny-duddy.”
In the sub shop, Tippy sat across the woman. “So, what’s your name?” asked Tippy.
Her name was Uma but she answered, “I am Matalya, the nimble Russian ballerina. Who are you?”
“I’m Zeppo, the animal trainer,” he responded.
Her eyes glistened, “How interesting. What types of animals do you train?” He proudly smiled and responded, “I train zebras, elephants, and kitty cats.”
She perked up and excitedly jumped in, “I love fluffy creatures. Sometimes I think I’m a Panda Bear.” Their conversation carried on through the day. A closeness unveiled. Feeling that they might be soul mates, they set a time and place to meet again.
“I met this wonderful girl today,” Tippy told his psychiatrist. “I think I’m in love,” he continued. The psychiatrist finished doodling a horsy on his note pad, looked up, and stated, “I don’t know if you should be getting attached to anyone right now.” Tippy fidgeted in his chair. His facial expression quickly changed to stone. He stood up and walked over to his to the trembling shrink. Cautiously, he spoke, “Now Tippy, let’s not get...”
“Tippy’s taking a break. You talk to me,” Tippy grumbled.
“Who are you?” the analysts said while distancing himself from the forceful patient. “Shut up!” the new macho Italian personality barked. “I’m Louie Carpelli. They call me ‘The Dog.’” Nervous, the shrink asked, “Why ‘The Dog?’” Tippy lifted the psychiatrist by the collar and pinned him against the wall and growled, “Two reasons: I bite.”
A pause ensued. The analysts took a deep breath and delicately responded, “What’s the second reason?” Tippy smiled, lightly slapped the shrink’s face, then grabbed his chin. “I also tinkle on fire hydrants,” he replied seriously.
The frightened doctor squirmed then mumbled, “So, tell me about this new girl. She sounds wonderful.”
The young woman sat on a park bench throwing walnuts to the ducks. Today, she was dressed in as Catholic nun. Holding some rosary beads, she kicked her legs as she quietly sang “Ave Maria.” Not forgetting about his date he had previously set, Tippy arrived on a Shetland pony dressed as a Rhinestone cowboy. His feet scrapped the ground as he pulled up next to the holy woman. “Afternoon ma’am,” Tippy said as he tipped his hat.
“Bless you my child,” she said in a soft comforting voice. “I was praying you would appear today.”
“Wouldn’t have missed it for the world, ma’am,” the cowboy smiled as he leaned over and spit, the saliva falling on the head of a duckling. Climbing off his horse he reached out and handed her some beef jerky, “Name’s Bucky Cowens. Please to make your acquaintance.”
“I’m Sister Helena,” she responded as she blessed him. The day was spent chatting. He tickled her with stories of branding cattle, punching doggies, and roping tumbleweeds. She astounded him of tales of scrubbing floors in a Switzerland convent, dancing in the mountains, and teaching the children how to sing. These were just a few of her favorite things.
“So, do you have anything in common with this man?” the psychiatrist asked.
“Yes, we both like apples,” Uma chimed with excitement.
“Well, apples are nice. Anything else?” inquired the shrink. Uma shook her head and looked down at her feet. “Are you sure?” the doctor pressed.
Uma shook her head again. Her face became red. She blushed, turned away, and began sucking her thumb. “I want my blanky,” she huffed in a child-like voice.
“Are you Uma?” he questioned.
The woman bashfully sat on the couch and began playing with her toes. “My name is Felicia.” She holds up four fingers and says, “I’m six years old.”
“Where’s Uma?” asked the counselor.
“She’s a bad mommy. She don’t let me have cookies. Can I have I cookie?” the girl asked.
“I don’t have any cookies,” replied the doctor.
The woman started crying. When the psychiatrist went over to comfort her she bit his hand. She jumped up and began stomping her feet. The tantrum lasted until her session was up. Then, she gained her composure, lit a cigarette, and said “Thank you, doctor. I need a martini.”
Uma sat on her porch, drinking lemonade and waving her hand in front of her face. She was dressed in a long southern gown. In her own world, she was unaware Tippy had made his way onto the premises. His face was painted green and he was dressed in army fatigues. Holding a stick, he darted from tree to tree. Approaching the front of the house, he rolled and dove behind a small bush. It was then that she noticed him. “I do declare, who is that hiding in the Ficus? Beauregard, is that you? You scoundrel!” she teased in a southern drawl.
Caught, Tippy stood up. “Private Kleason, reporting for duty, sir.” The crazy fools talked the day away. Tippy told her about a recon mission his platoon was sent on, somewhere on the outskirts of Da Nang. Glancing off in the distance, he took a puff of his cigar. “We never knew who the enemy was,” Tippy stated in a raspy voice.
“That’s plum hogwash! We sho‘nough do. It’s them damn Yankees,” she said.
“Our squad moved up the Yatzee river,” Tippy continued. “Diceman had point. We were trying to get back to the LZ to meet the birds at oh nine-hundred. Suddenly, a mortar landed on our right flank. ”
Uma interrupted, “War, war, war, that’s all I ever hear about. Fiddledeedee, I’m only interested in the dance tonight. Aren’t you gonna ask me?”
Tippy dove on the ground. “Incoming! Incoming!” he yelled, covering his head!
After a brief period of silence, Uma blurted, “Okay, yes, I’ll go. Pick me up at eight,” she blushed. She gracefully walked into the house. “And not a minute before,” she said as she shut the door.
“Do you know how to dance?” the psychiatrist asked Tippy. “You ain’t serious, Doc” Tippy laughed. “Do you know who I am?”
“Not yet” the shrink answered.
“I’m Shoe Slide Slick, and I can dance a lick!” Tippy smiled as he held his hands out for adulation. “Look Tippy...” the counselor began.
“Please, call me Shoe Slide,” Tippy interjected.
“Okay..., Shoe Slide,” the psychiatrist continued. “I don’t know if you’re ready for a dance. They’ll probably be a lot of people there and...”
“Whoa, Doc, are you questioning my dancing ability?” Tippy interrupted.
“No, no, I’m not at all disputing your ability to ...” the doc tried to reason before being interrupted again.
“Maybe you need a little proof,” Tippy stated. With one swoop of his hand, he pushed a pile of papers off the psychiatrist’s red oak desk. Then, like a gazelle, he leapt onto the bare office furniture.
“Please don’t...” the shrink began to plead.
“One, two, a one, two, three, four...” Shoe Slide started an uncoordinated tap dance as he sang the “Flat Foot Floogie.” By the end of the routine, everything--from books to pictures-- had fallen to the floor and scuff marks plastered the antique desk . At least, the psychiatrist thought, this patient never comes into the office with the same old song and dance.
That night, Benny Goodenplenty’s big band was playing. The music was hopping and the eighty-year-old folks were dancing like they were in their early seventies. Standing out, like a carnie at an Opera, was Uma. Her spiked hair glistened in green and orange. Protruding from her nose was a silver ring that hung over her blue lips. But, what drew the most attention to her was the way she purposely slammed into people as she danced. Sometime, during the Sinatra ballad “Laura,” she barreled over three senior citizen before being tripped by a walker. While the rebellious punk rocker was down, she was prodded by a slew of canes and called a “hooligan.”
Tippy was in the back of the room. He had been stopped at the door because it was formal affair and he was wearing shinny boxer shorts, sixteen ounce padded gloves, and a robe. (On the back, written in sparkles, it read: “The Heavyweight Chimp.”) From a distance, Tippy could see that his girlfriend was in trouble. “Adrian!” he yelled.
An elderly woman shuffled up to him and said, “I’m Adrian. Did you want to sign up on my dance card?” He pushed her down then trampled over her body in route to reach his beloved. By now, the geriatrics gang had gone into a frenzy and were kicking Uma--who had been instigating them by biting their shoes and flipping them the bird.
After barely fighting his way through the “cocoon club,” Tippy pulled Uma up by her nose ring and heaved her over his shoulder. As he fought his way out of the building, Uma began singing “And I Will Always Love You.” They made it outside, right as Sam Jenkins was rolling up the ramp in his three-wheeler scooter. The mad boxer flung the frail decrepit man out of his motorized vehicle and jacked his wheelchair. With Uma on his lap, the two rode off into the sunset. Somewhere on Highway 92, Tippy asked Uma to marry him. She promised to let him know at the next rest stop.
Uma sat in the psychiatrist’s office smoking a cigarette and reading a script. “Marriage?” the doctor sighed. “I don’t know if you’re ready for that type of commitment just yet.” Troubled by the comment, Uma--in dramatic fashion--stood up and huffed, “Well, my agent seems to think so.” “And your agent would be?” the analyst pried. Uma laughed, “Who else? Abram Horowitz, of William Morris.”
“Oh,” the shrink nonchalantly shrugged. The gesture jabbed Uma. She took a long drag of her cigarette and snapped, “He’s only the biggest agent in Hollywood.”
“Really” the psychiatrist stated, then continued, “I don’t recall seeing you in any movies.” With a fury, Uma fired the script at his head but found the wall behind him. “You’ve never seen my films because you stay cooped up in this, this hell hole judging people! Always judging! Well, I’m bigger than Bergman, Kelly and Gabor!”
“You should be. They’re all dead,” he added.
She slapped him. “Get out! I never wanna see you again! Did you hear me! Get out, I said,” the actress stormed.
“Why don’t we just sit down, relax, and talk. Okay?” he gently suggested.
She quickly calmed down. She stared in his eyes then blurted, “Kiss me you impetuous fool.”
The psychiatrist rubbed his forehead, took a deep breath, and sat her on the couch. “Speaking of movies, have you ever seen ‘Sybil?’” he asked.
The church was filled with every dysfunctional patient the bride and groom had ever met throughout their stays in the surrounding psychiatric institutes. As they awaited in the pews, some swayed back-and-forth, some played invisible paddle ball, and some made idle chit-chat... with themselves. Reverend Charlton stood on the alter. In front of him stood Tippy. He was dressed in a Chicago Bears football uniform and would only answer to the name Tuck McGee. His shoulder pads and helmet seem to compliment his black formal bow tie.
The wedding march begin to play. From the back, Uma appeared with her psychiatrist on her arm. (While looking at ink blots in his office, she asked him if he would give her away.) Today, Uma was dressed as a geisha girl. She wore a beige silk dress with crouching dragons and hidden tigers. Her hair towered in a tight bun. A flimsy bamboo fan covered her face. Taking tiny steps, she shuffled her way to the front. Because she was looking down, she accidentally banged into Tuck--luckily he was wearing a cup. “Me so sorry, Joe” she softly said. The psychiatrist placed her hand in Tuck’s. Tuck winked, patted him on the behind, and commented, “Good work, Spavoni. Lotta hustle coming down that aisle.”
While Uma’s psychiatrist wondered who Spavoni was, the reverend stood in silence, staring at the pair in front of him. They were different from the people he originally interviewed to arrange the wedding. The couple he talked with was a pastry chef and a surgeon. (The chef even told him he was a reverend once or twice.) Well, it didn’t matter, he just wanted to get all the insane guests out of his church--especially the naked ones--before they chewed up the gospel books. “Sung So Lo, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” the good reverend asked.
“Me do,” she said.
Turning to Tuck, who was now in a three point stance, the cleric looked down and inquired, “And, ah, do you..., ah, Number fifty-five, do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
“You bet I do, Coach,” the outside linebacker grunted.
“Then by the power invested in me, I now pronounce... all of you, husband and wife.” the reverend concluded. The guests exploded in a cheer, climbing on each other, and singing “Who! Who! Who Let The Dogs Out.”
The honeymoon was spent in a small quiet room, in the left wing of the Las Vegas Mental Health Hospital. The couple had been admitted because during the Lennox Lewis heavyweight championship fight Tippy climbed in the ring. He was dressed as a Canadian lumberjack who’s pro wrestling name was “Macho Moose Man.”
“I’ll chop anyone down who gets in my way,” he grumbled, swinging his plastic ax. His wife stood in the corner, on the ropes, wearing a French maid’s outfit with a cape. She went by the professional name of “Madame Mauler.”
As the crowd roared, the two began body slamming each other. Madame Mauler had Moose Man in a full nelson and was pounding his head against the mat when the people in white coats arrived. The duo was hauled away as the spectators heaved beer cups at their head. The Andy Kauffman moment was over.
The multiple personality pair are living a long happy life together in two completely different worlds that somehow intersect. Every day is a new experience for them--which is probably why they’ve been married for fifty-two years now. Incidentally, Uma’s psychiatrist is working on his fourth marriage. Tippy’s psychiatrist was never licensed. He was just the janitor in the building looking to help the day go by faster.
Today, Tippy is a renowned painter and Uma is a chicken farmer.
Who knows what they’ll be tomorrow.