Part 3: Dapper Dan Fills in My Gaps…

previous installments

Part 1: Help Me Find My Soulmate!
Part 2 of My Long, Painful, Humiliating, Crowd-sourced Ventriloquism Journey


…as I slowly fill in his.

Time: 8-31 weeks later (the time it takes a D*mmy Rate package to ship from Lower to Upper Peninsula Michigan)

Hello again ventrilaphiles of Hive. It’s been a bit. To recap events up to now…

  • Almost seven years into my Revised Bergen Method ventriloquism training, it was time to select and eternally bond with my ventriloquial figure.
  • At the whim of Hive community Ed Billings, Man in Dress was selected and I was anxiously awaiting his delivery.
  • Our bonding chamber was built. Medical-grade earwigs had been sourced. 55 gallons of hydrochloric acid were brewed. I was ready to bond.
  • Dapper Dan, with a menacing innocence had appeared suddenly, seemingly miraculously on the bookshelf of my rapture cellar.
  • A suspicion was growing that there was some connection between the amnesia that wiped all my 2008-13 memories and the fact that Dapper Dan’s previous bondmate was alive, and unaccounted for.

There are those rare friendships where time just doesn’t matter. An absence of years feels like days. Everything picks right up where they left off. A continuation of a life-long conversation. This was apparently not the type of relationship I had with Dapper Dan. I was familiar with the phrase “painfully awkward,” but I had never before experienced an awkwardness so profound it manifested as physical pain. As time wore on these awkward feels I was handed faded into the distance replaced by a longing to feel my hand fade up the distance of Dan’s handhole. Comfortably, familiarly back inside of Dapper Dan his words slowly began to flow through my open-lipped, gritted-toothed smile.

Dapper Dan recounted what he could of my lost years…

Ruthlessly ambitious and mindlessly idealistic I joined Obama’s ‘08 ground team. It was going well, but I couldn’t stand out from the 1000s of other ruthlessly mindless campaign volunteers. To score a job in the administration I was going to need a hook, an angle—something even bolder than a Vampire Weekend t-shirt and a pair of purple Chucks. I was long on ambition but short on the passion or talent needed showcase it.

Determined but utterly lost I hit the town to find my special purpose. With $30 dollars in my pocket, I entered Al’s Last Chance Loan & Pawn hoping to acquire the dreams someone else had sold for a bag of meth. I browsed Al’s aisles— past tubas, nunchucks, trumpets, nail guns—hoping something would speak to me. Then I saw this dapper little lad. He was sitting listlessly, but full of promise behind 3 inches of smoke-stained plexiglass. You didn’t need to be well-versed in ventriloquism, the bonding process, the Bergen Method, revised or otherwise to see he was something special. I negotiated a $30 package from Al that included Dapper Dan and what he called “a quickie” bonding process performed in the alley behind his shop. The process was horrific; rubbing alcohol, consumer-grade earwigs, and synthetic catgut. The bond was bad, lopsided, stronger for Dapper Dan than for I. It was done so poorly the bonding forces blew a hole in the back of Dapper Dan’s head. Not that I noticed. And not that ever-obedient, eager-to-please Dapper Dan would have complained.


Following either the Bergen Method or the Revised Bergen Method, you won’t set even one finger inside your figure until at least 47.5 preparatory months of handwork training. With a cruel combination of ignorance and hubris I almost immediately stuck my brutish, untrained hands, hangnails and all, deep inside Dapper Dan’s innocent cavity. And I just didn’t stop. I’d never even “worn the sock” before, and here I was relentlessly finger-and-handing poor Dapper Dan on a daily basis. This lack of craft, dangerously-sloppy handwork, combined with his gaping head wound was slowly killing Dapper Dan. I didn’t care. My blind ambition and lack of a proper bond was turning me into a monster. I, frankly, viewed Dapper Dan as no more than, I’m ashamed to say, a d*mmy.

This beautiful, impeccably-dressed, 6th-dimension-portal-eyed, slack-jawed, balding child was just wooden arm candy to me. And just what I needed to catch the eye of satanic, cannibalistic, Democrat big-wigs like John Podesta. If my aim was catching big game coastal elites I couldn’t have designed a better trap. Not only were Dapper Dan and I registering thousands of voters, we were also a hit on the pizza party circuit. We were getting noticed. Noticed all the way up to the BHO. It was an honor, but hardly a surprise, when I got the word at the inaugural ball that we’d been tapped to be Deputy Under Secretary of Education.


It’s at this point in the story where Dapper Dan became less helpful filling in the gaps. Although it was really “we” who were appointed to the role, I thought it was all about “me.” Most days Dapper Dan was left crumbled in my office closet. Although Dapper Dan was more than happy to describe his time in my closet in excruciating detail, it did little to jog my own memory. I trotted Dapper Dan out mostly just for parties, and only after I’d had a drink or six. When he did make an appearance, my handwork, previously brutish, had become downright belligerent. With each drunken routine Dapper Dan’s insides, and his fully-bonded heart, tore a little bit more.

The ‘12 campaign presented Dapper Dan with a life-or-death decision. Hit the road with me, my blind ambition, my criminally-negligent hand, and be dead in a month—or make a break for it and live. Dapper Dan knew what he had to do. Using one of the few tools ventriloquial figures have in their toolbox, the mesmerizing technique of Franz Anton Mesmer, Dapper Dan compelled John Podesta to spirit him away and hide him safely in a storage closet of Comet Ping Pong.

From here. Dapper Dan pieced together the rest of my story from snippets of patron’s conversations overheard through his closet door.…

Four years of drinking and DC politics took their toll. When knocking on doors without the benefits of Dapper Dan’s charisma, voters just found me repugnant. As my voter registration numbers fell, so did my standing in the party. Without Dapper Dan as a draw, invitations to the pizza parties slowed, and eventually stopped. My Comet Players card was canceled. Emails to John went unanswered. I drank more to numb the pain and I drank to forget. By November ‘12 I had drunk so much I forgot it all, including Dapper Dan.

Waiting for Ed Billings, Man in Dress…

Over the weeks and through many sleepless nights, as Dapper Dan mouthed my story, our affections for each other grew. We had formed, naturally over time, one might say organically, a bond. We were one. When Dapper Dan finished his story, almost on cue, the doorbell rang. It was a courier with a package. Hands tense with anticipation I signed for it. Tears beginning to well in my eyes, and brought it inside. I opened it slowly, prodding its soft contents. I wondered at first if these were the glorious padded walls to Ed Billings, Man in Dress’s long soft tunnel. I quickly realized it was not. What I was unpacking was the luxurious memory foam pillow I had ordered to help with our sleepless nights. I had forgotten all about her.

Without dramatic cue this time, about three well-rested weeks after that Ed Billings, Man in Dress arrived.

He was exquisite.

Looking down upon his handhole, Dapper Dan agreed, was like staring up into the tunnel to heaven.


Dapper Dan and I were smitten with Ed Billings, Man in Dress, but now we were faced with the most difficult of challenges—we were fully-bonded, there was definitely no going back on this, now or ever. So what could we do? We knew we needed Ed Billings, Man in Dress in our lives, but no traditional bonding structure existed in ventriloquism that supported what the three of us had. No traditional bonding structure existed.

To be continued…

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