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Don't Be Cruel

March 09, 1986|PATT MORRISON

On weekends, on cue and on request, Gary Jung transforms himself from an operations manager at a Monterey Park bank to "The Chinese Elvis"--the first and, so far, the only. Jung began imitating his sisters' Elvis Presley records when he was about 8 years old. But he discovered that others liked his "Hound Dog" yowl a few years back at a USC Frat Row party, where his songs brought down the house. The Hong Kong-born banker, who trades daytime pinstripes for marquee-white Elvis bell-bottoms stitched by his aunt, swivels and pouts so convincingly and belts out so impressive a rock 'n' roll growl that audiences, including some of his "very traditional" Chinese relatives, are converted en masse . Even his answering-machine tape swings with "Don't Be Cruel." Just back from an appearance on Japanese television, Jung hopes to star in a comedy film, "The Impersonator," and gain a wider audience. Some of his Elvis earnings enabled him to buy his second Presley ensemble--a black leather outfit that Elvis wore in a 1968 TV special. Jung sees no spookiness in the fact that he shares a birthday with Elvis. Jung admires Presley because "he left something for the music world; young and old really enjoy it. So long as people want to hear Elvis' music, I want to perform it. I never get tired of it."

Kids Read the Darndest Things Joining the supermarket tabloid rack is the newest browse for the knee-high set: Dollstars, a quarterly, $2 kiddie mag that chronicles the doings of popular dolls, cartoon heroes and Teddy bears, in big pictures, big print, and in the most matter-of-fact terms. No Cabbage Patch cleavage, but an exclusive Q & A with Garfield, the crotchety cat; a "Dollywood Reporter" page of innocuous "insider" gossip, such as the debut of left-handed and astronaut Cabbage Patch dolls, and a rather steamier item that sounds like a "Dynasty" sendup--a Barbie-imitator doll with a dual identity. She's a career woman whose magic earrings transform her into JEM, leader of an all-girl, all-good rock band called the Holograms. The New York-based magazine, aware of possible criticism for commercialism, has as executive editor puppeteer Shari Lewis, who contributes bedtime stories, jokes, and articles on things kids can do without spending a cent. Features include a home tour of the Care Bears' pied-a-terre. Missing from the pages are any Rambo-like doings. Although having ultimately decided not to editorialize against war toys, the magazine, by ignoring them, in effect accomplishes the same thing. Says Editor in Chief Bob Woods: "It doesn't fit into our editorial package, and I guess we're just sort of ethically opposed to it."

Annie Get Your Stereo Despite Los Angeles' "disturbanity," which has forced most critters out of our area or into our garbage cans, the mountains and deserts are still rich in wildlife--and the Friends of Animals Inc. want to keep them that way. The New England-based organization sent a press release winging across 3,000 miles to offer "Tips for Hunt Saboteurs," ideas on how to keep hunters and prey apart. Stroll through the woods the day before the season opens playing a tape of wolves howling, or lead a bounding, slavering dog to scare off the fauna. Scatter rotten eggs and cow dung in hunting blinds to irritate the most dedicated Nimrod. Drop human-hair cuttings, gathered from your barber shop, to scare off deer. The organization, mindful of all the humans mistaken for five-point bucks and shot each year, also suggests setting stuffed animals in heavily hunted areas as decoys. Surprisingly, the group says it has no branches in California--perhaps because loud music tends to lure urban wildlife here, not scare it away.

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