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What about the Phil Donahue Legionnaire's Disease incident? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Abel
This article doesn't flow well. (I should know, I wrote most of it.) Some major escapades may be missing; some facts may be fabricated. The article doesn't explain how media outlets were so gullible to carry Omar the Beggar on 4+ shows. Most of all, information is needed from the biopic Abel Raises Cain. which might explain some of this.Ghosts&empties 20:10, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
- I can't seem to find any confirmation about Abel dying on the 23rd. Please confirm the fact before reinstating it.
- Peter Isotalo 00:07, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Is he Jewish? Badagnani 05:09, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
- "They were one of seven Jewish families..." From the documentary Abel Raises Cain. So yes. Score 1 more for Team Jew! Booya! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 12:26, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
The Big Toe is Growing
Years ago, Alan was dressed mostly as a doctor (white garments & a stethiscope) and was accompanied by a female dressed as a nurse. He was strolling in midtown Manhattan asking people to participate in a study, the thesis being that the Big Toe was growing (presumably, implicitly, and statistically, over some time span). In one hand he held a horse-shoe magnet while in the other he held a spray-can of deodorant. He then asked passers-by if they were willing to participate. Those who agreed were asked to remove their shoe and sock from one leg. He then applied the magnet to the toe - absurdly, of course, but few took ntice.
The results of this study were subsequently published in the National Enquiror.
I know all this - because I participated - being the only one to realize it was a hoax.
Two things gave him away. Beside the ridiculous hypothesis, were his absurd use of the magnet, and his wearing of sneakers which made him look - to me at least - un-doctorly!
I attended a lecture by Mr Abel in the late 1980s or early 1990s at a Manhattan adult education center. He was a rather entertaining speaker. He told the following tales, which I have no outside verification for...
He claimed that he had for years been the drummer for the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. He said he'd gotten the job by nagging the orchestra director for months, sending a postcard nearly every day. The director really disliked the nagging, but one day during the summer, the Radio City drummer suffered some major medical malady, the usual backup drummer wasn't available, and every other candidate was out of the city, mostly doing seasonal work up in the Catskills, forcing the director to call Abel in. When the drummer failed to recover, Abel got hired on fulltime and remained for a number of years.
Abel claimed that when he faked his own death, he attended his own funeral in disguise and was astonished to find that many people he would not have expected to attend were there and greatly saddened, while a number of people he would have expected to attend did not.
picketing for bathroom access
One time Abel wanted to use the restroom at the hotel next door to Grand Central Terminal. They refused him permission, so he set up a picketing operation, which included a fake old-style wooden outhouse on the sidewalk of 42nd Street in front of the hotel, which is wide enough that he was able to persuade the police that he was not impeding pedestrian traffic. Abel marched back and forth with a sign, explaining to people that since the hotel did not provide public restrooms, he would. The hotel caved pretty quickly.
Abel claimed that whenever he wanted to sit by himself on a commercial flight that wasn't full, he would take out some tampons and insert them into his nose and ears, explaining to seat mates that he had a medical condition that would cause him to emit mucous from all orifices due to the pressure changes involved in the flight. This generally caused the seatmates to ask flight attendants to relocate them to other open seats.