The late great Lewis Grizzard once wrote a book titled “Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself.” Well, I don’t feel so great myself, but don’t tell thousands of Elvis impersonators across the country that Elvis is dead. Every town with a population of at least 100,000 has an Elvis impersonator, and they even have a yearly contest to name the best each year.
Of all the impersonators, though, Kevin Curtis from Mississippi may be the unluckiest of all. Who, you might ask, is Kevin Curtis? Well, according to a crackpot team of FBI agents, he was the man responsible for sending the poison ricin to the president and a U.S. senator. At least they made this claim for a few days before realizing that poor Kevin did a fair rendition of “Jailhouse Rock” but made a less than credible suspect in the poison case.
Now, I am far from an expert on Elvis impersonators, but my limited experience does not prohibit me from drawing a number of conclusions about this employment niche: Mainly, the average Elvis impersonator is not a rocket scientist and generally is not involved in politics. I’d wager a high percentage of impersonators are not even registered to vote, to which I can only say, thank God.
If I’m looking to find a presidential assassin and I’m an FBI agent, I’d look at my list of Elvis impersonators somewhere right after I look at the list of bridge club players in Canton, Ohio, and right before the list of attendees at the last annual Star Trek Fan Club meeting.
Listen, I know the government keeps a list of subversive groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Hell’s Angels and Donnie Osmond’s fan club. I even saw where the Army listed the Southern Baptists as a radical group and for a few days would not allow access on Army computers to enlisted soldiers.
I can understand listing the Baptists, as they are a dangerous group if there ever was one. If you don’t believe, me just go to the liquor store and call out the name of the Baptist deacon stocking up for the week. I’d rather face a charging cape buffalo than try to block the exit of an outed Baptist alcohol purchaser.
Now poor Kevin has been released from custody without so much as an “OOPS, we’re sorry.” Can you imagine what this type arrest will do to his impersonation career? There is no way he can pass a background check anymore. And I’m sure before long someone will try to pass a law that all Elvis impersonators must pass a back ground check before singing “Are You Lonesome Tonight.” On the positive side, at least he was already used to wearing a jumpsuit.
But perhaps the FBI was on the right trail after all. I mean, what imbecile sits up at night and says, “Hey, I think I’ll kill the President and here’s how. I’ll mail him a poisoned letter, heh, heh.”
Yeah, the president comes into the oval office still in pajamas: “Could you give me today’s mail, please, I’ve got to read the 60,000 letters I got today.”
So, maybe they are dumb enough to do such a thing. They also wear a disguise, move locations frequently, and let’s face it, how can you trust a 40-year-old man who still wears a onesie?
Anyway, the FBI says they now have the right guy, also from Mississippi. He’s a former friend of the impersonator and now a sworn enemy. Enough said. I don’t know which is worse, having an Elvis impersonator as a close friend or knowing one well enough to become a sworn enemy. I’d say this guy needs to expand his social circle, which may be about to happen once he enters federal prison. Until then I rest easy knowing the FBI is keeping close tabs on Elvis wannabes.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at email@example.com.