June 1, 2002


No little people--just big headaches in ``Midgetville'' (WAYNE PARRY, June 1, 2002, Associated Press)
Greg Scott had heard the rumors: Somewhere in northern New Jersey, a colony of angry, shotgun-toting midgets lives in tiny houses under a bridge overpass, wreaking their terrible vengeance on intruders.

So he did what countless others have been doing for years. He went to see it for himself.

"I heard that it was founded by Ringling Brothers Circus to harbor their performing midgets," Scott said.

Scott said he heard an apocryphal tale of a man who drove through the area in search of the elusive little people, but couldn't find any.

"He began to honk his horn, trying to coax one out, but then the unthinkable happened," Scott said. "All the midgets, naturally disgruntled from all the abuse they received, rushed the car from their houses, and trashed it with baseball bats."

It's been like this for decades on Norwood Terrace, a tiny crescent-shaped road where many of the houses are indeed smaller than usual. And although none of the residents are dwarfs, the tall tales continue to draw carloads of late-night joyriders who speed along the narrow roadway, usually with the headlights off and the horn blaring, tossing beer bottles and eggs at the tiny homes and screaming things like "Wake up, you ... midgets!"

When I worked on the NJ Gubernatorial campaign in 1985, we went to every county fair (all 21) and the state fair. At one--I think Monmouth Country or Ocean County--the Democratic Party booth (yes, I worked for a Democrat--I hated Tom Kean) was next to the freak show booths. One had a two-headed goat. One had some kind of mutant chickens. But the one closest to the Democrats had a menagerie of Haitian midgets. So you'd be standing there, with the candidate shaking hands and chatting people up, while in the background you'd be hearing this continual tape loop : "Tiny people! See the tiny people! Haitian midgets! See the Haitian midgets!" Over and over and over and over again. It was like something out of an Ed Wood film. Posted by Orrin Judd at June 1, 2002 12:40 PM
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