Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tammy Todd's Door

Tammy Todd's Door
Originally uploaded by Snurri.
"The immediate cause of the Exile may never be known. In those soggy April days immediately following the event, when mobs were the rule, accusations and counter-accusations flew with regularity. As Walter Wenstrup pointed out in his pamplet A Call For Civic Order (largely ignored at the time), there are several factors which make isolating the cause largely an intellectual exercise. As Wenstrup states, '[n]either the offender(s), nor their offense(s), nor the aggrieved and/or their agents, nor the precise magickal means of this punitive action are known. One piece of the picture might help bring the rest into focus, but our scope of investigation being limited by our very isolation, patience and diligence are our only recourse.' Wenstrup himself postulated that some collective crime had precipitated the city's removal from common geography. Of course, Wenstrup himself was on more than one occasion singled out as the probable target of the Exile. . . . One of the more popular targets of public suspicion was Micah Ogden AKA Tommy Todd, one half of the popular co-ed burlesque act 'Maggie and Todd' with Alyx Scarpetta AKA Maximum Maggie. Ogden's solo portion of their nightly performances was notorious for the feats of erotic magic he performed, including the apparent summons of a female sex demon with which he simulated intercourse (amidst a complex arrangement of scarves and loincloths in order to circumvent the local decency laws) and a routine in which he danced with his shadow which some observers found offensive for its homoerotic undertones. (Ironically, such performances would be considered tame by today's standards, as any evening spent in the Robinson Tunnel clubs will illustrate.) . . . Todd and Maggie's act (as well as their romantic relationship) had ended some months prior to the Exile, and Todd had dropped out of sight. It was rumored that infernal orgies took place behind the bright yellow door of his home on South Oak Street. A recently divorced fireman accused Todd of seducing him in his dreams. In truth, Todd was in seclusion recovering from recent sexual reassignment surgery; his isolation was so complete that he did not learn of the Exile until a full week after it had happened. By that time he (more correctly, she) was the favorite scapegoat of high-rise demagogues and radio call-in shows. Todd, using the first name Tammy, granted an interview to the Star-Chronicle in which she tried to defend herself from the mounting wave of attacks, to no avail. Maximum Maggie appeared on the Channel 9 news to refute some of the charges, claiming that congress with demons had never been a part of their act and that she herself had appeared, disguised as a succubus, in those portions of Todd's act. . . . The public would not be mollified, however, and on April 14, 1966 a mob marched on Todd's home and demanded that 'he' surrender himself. (In the face of the marvels of the previous ten days, the collective refusal to accept Todd's re-gendering is perhaps unsurprising.) When Todd did not emerge, the restless crowd surged forward, only to be repelled by what one citizen described as 'some force both electrical and concussive, which caused me to lose consciousness for some minutes . . . [w]e soon found that we dared not approach the door, let alone lay hands upon it; even projectiles could not damage it.' It seems that Todd had sealed herself inside, and as far as anyone has been able to determine, she is there to this day. . . . Not long after, Maximum Maggie went into hiding as well, although she is still known to do voiceover work." (p.17-18)


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