Mouthful of Midget

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"Awesome," I intone. "You're my new hero, mon. Why aren't you in Hollywood or New York? You could be the next Billy Barty or Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf."

"I've thought about it," says Chuey, who has a degree in computer animation from Collins College in Tempe and works as a computer geek by day. "People tell me that all the time. Ultimately, my dream is to be behind the camera, as a director. But if being in the spotlight led to that, that'd be okay. It's not like I have an agent or anything. I seem to get a lot of one-time gigs. Like when I came in the other day, there was this lady's phone number on my time card. She wants me to appear at her wedding reception and jump out from beneath her wedding dress when her husband lifts it to get her garter."

"What about the whole 'midget' thing?" I ask. "Obviously the word doesn't bother you."

"Technically, I'm a dwarf," he informs us. "Calling someone a midget is supposed to be like calling a Mexican a wetback. But I love the word 'midget.' It's better than 'dwarf.' I get e-mails from other little people sometimes, asking why I use the word 'midget,' why I exploit myself. I tell them, 'Someone gave me this gift, I might as well use it.'"

Chuey comes from the tiny town of Guadalupe, just next to Tempe, where his family runs a Mexican fast-food restaurant called Filito's. One of his three older sisters is Bernadette Jimenez, the current mayor of Guadalupe, who headed a recall election last year against the former mayor and three members of the town council. The baby of the family, Chuey always knew he was different. But it was when he was in high school that he began to use that difference as a path to popularity.

"I emceed my first event when I was 17," he says, laughing. "They had to sneak me into the bar to do it. When I first hooked up with Giligin's, I thought it would be another one-time deal. At first I did it for the money. Now I look forward to it. I wish I could teleport myself immediately after my day job, I'm in such a rush to get here."

When it's finally my turn to head to the stage and try my stomach's luck on the wheel, neither the Cap'n nor Chuey shows my corpulent self any leniency, cracking jokes like, "Look, it's a leftover float from Mardi Gras." On my second turn, I hit three "Fear Factors" in a row, and have to down a bowl of boiled beef blood and a couple of handfuls of silkworms, then suck on a tongue depressor that had been nestled between Chuey's sweaty, unwashed butt cheeks. I want to hurl while downing the beef blood, which has the texture of warm tofu, but persevere, only to lose all my points when the wheel falls on "Bankruptcy."

Afterward, Chuey and Jett disappear somewhere outside, where she's promised to let him do a Jell-O shot off her tuchis in exchange for a glimpse of his midget wang. A few minutes later, Jett bounces up to me and sticks her finger in my mouth.

"What the fuck!?" I holler. "Why'd you stick your digit in my gob, you sicko?"

"I just had that on Chuey's you-know," she giggles.

"Thanks for sharing," I spit. "So how was it? Bigger than a breadbox?"

"Well, all I can tell you is . . . it looks big on him!"

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons