Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Another Catastrastroke

Things happened to Jimmy Durante that never happened to any one else. If anyone else told you the story, you’d swear it was made up, that it was some kind of comedy routine. It wasn’t with Durante.

Here's one from United Press International that appeared in newspapers starting May 31, 1963. Every time I post one of these columns featuring Durante, I can always hear his voice in the quotes. I imagine you do, too. Dem’s da conditions dat prevail! Hot-cha-cha!

Walls Tumbling Down on Durante

By UP-International
When Jimmy Durante returned from a recent personal appearance tour he pulled up in front of his home and discovered a catastrastroke.
His old homestead had been leveled to the ground.
"The only thing still standing was the chimney and the swimmin' pool," the Schnozz cried out, obviously still in shock. "You coulda knocked me over with a ton of feathers."
Sure enough, Jimmy's home for more than 30 years in Beverly Hills, had been demolished as thoroughly as Jimmy destroys pianos. "The first thing I do is look up my wife Marge, and I say to her, 'Marge, what's going on here? I turn my back and look what happens! No house!' And Marge tells me she can explain. But I still don't understand the explanation.”
DURANTE stroked his nose, more from affection than out of contemplation. It seemed to give him strength to continue his story. “Before I left town Marge says we need another bedroom in the house for our baby, Cecelia Alicia, who is now two years old. I says 'OK. Knock down a couple walls and add a bedroom.'
"But she got carried away. With the help of some bulldozers my little Marge knocked down every wall in the jernt. She tells me it was impossible to extend to the back door without knocking down the back of the house.
"So I says, 'Why didn't you extend to the front?' And she says, " 'We couldn't extend to the front without knocking down the whole front of the house.'
“It looks like they compromised and pulled down everything just to be sure there was enough space to add another room. "Maybe it's a good thing they tore down the house," Durante sighed.
"After all it was only a three-bedroom place. For a home in Beverly Hills that looks very bad. To tell the truth, I used to hear my neighbors grumble about having a house like that in such a nice community.
"And anyhow, Marge tells me it costs almost as much to repair a house as to build a new one. That's a fact."
The Durante swimming pool will remain intact and unused.
"I never swam in it before, and I ain't gonna swim in it now," he declared. "It's just to look at for prestige. Beverly Hills, you know."
How big will the new house be when it is completed? "I hate to tell you this," Jimmy said, hanging his head. "But it's only got three bedrooms. If you ask me, it's another catastrastroke!"

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