Local Savant Not as Gifted as Mother Thinks
Chrislip mother Gladys Peters thought her ticket was punched the day her son was declared ‘learning impaired’.
“I’d seen the movie Rain Man, so I figured Steven must be some sort of genius,” bragged Gladys. “I’d drop a bunch of paper clips and ask ‘how many’ and he’d guess ‘orange.’ That’s when I knew he was even more gifted than Dustin Hoffman. I felt like I’d won the lottery.”
On the advice of her child’s doctor, Mrs. Peters immediately hired math teacher George Ricci to teach her son how to count cards in Las Vegas. While other parents might find it troubling for a mother to encourage her child to embark on a career in gambling, their kids were going to college and hers was not. This was to be Steven’s education.
Unfortunately a career in blackjack was out of the question for Steven, who still doesn’t know how many fingers and toes he has. However, Mr. Ricci did and was soon making his living in Las Vegas. Until, that is, he was discovered counting face cards with his toes by a Vegas pit boss, who insisted that George wear shoes in the future.
Undeterred, Gladys realized that her son’s gift was musical and she began auditioning piano teachers. While Steven eventually learn to pound the keys, the results were less than pleasing to his mother.
“The other savants can play ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ as if it was composed by Chopin,” complained Gladys. “But Steven couldn’t even play ‘Benny and the Jets’ as if Elton John wasn’t gay.”
Steven’s former piano teacher is currently performing straight versions of the music of Elton John and George Michaels in Branson Missouri to rave reviews.
Meanwhile, back in Chrislip, Steven’s genius was proving more profound and less lucrative than his mother had imagined. An increasingly disappointed Gladys next sought to teach her son to paint with oils, figuring that, if the trend continued, she would have a career in art and be able to support the two of them.
“After he ate a tube of burnt ochre, I was on the verge of giving up and getting a real job,” said Gladys. “But when he puked on that canvas, the result was pure genius! Finally, the world can see that I gave birth to a savant and not some kind of retard.”
Gladys reports that Steven is now eating twelve tubes a day in preparation for a showing in the Neue Galerie in New York early next month.