"Seek not the good in external things. Seek it in thyself." - Epictetus

Danny DeVito: “My mother used to shrink me and trap me in a jar”

When Danny DeVito arrived for this interview Monday morning, he did so holding a cup of coffee and a rain-soaked magazine over his head, shaking off the January chill. The magazine he held was an issue of Country Living, a special edition titled “Big Ideas for Small Spaces.” That title is particularly triggering for DeVito, whose childhood was marked by witchcraft, shame, and torment. “You get to a place where you finally feel like you’re okay – like you’re managing,” he said. “And then you see a simple magazine and your life is upended.”

DeVito’s 51-year career would seem outwardly successful, his public life positive and uncontroversial. However, lurking beneath the surface is a lifetime of emotional turmoil. Today DeVito decided to come clean in this shocking tell-all. The decision was not made lightly. “I questioned even coming here,” he said. “But then I opened my mailbox and found this,” – he shook rain droplets off his copy of Country Living – “and that was the last straw.”

His young life in Asbury Park, New Jersey seemed perfectly normal to outsiders. But his mother was hiding a dark secret. “She was a witch,” he said. “She came from a notorious group of Italian sorcerers and wanted to raise me into the life. When I refused, things got bad.” When asked for specifics, DeVito began to choke up. 

His reply came in short bursts of sobbing speech. “She had this…special way of punishing me when
ever I refused to go along with her devious penchant for witchery. She would shrink me and place me inside a jar. She’d seal the jar up and leave me there for hours. Once, she put a spider outside the jar just to terrify me further. I was afraid it would get into the jar somehow and eat me.”

For most, the idea of a Hollywood actor with a household name stuck inside a jar, banging fruitlessly on the glass and howling for help, would seem hard to believe. DeVito insists it’s what happened, and he has carried the trauma with him well into his adult life. “I gotta tell you,” he said, “when I first went on set to start filming Twins, I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was gonna eat me. I saw those big Austrian jaws, that 'I eat nails for breakfast' smile, and I just thought, ‘I’m done. It’s all over for me.’ In a heartbeat, flashbacks of that spider, tapping away on the outside of my jar, just came spilling back into my head. I freaked out, man. I freaked out.”

His story did not end in tragedy. At the age of 18, he was finally able to leave his home and pursue a career in acting. Though his mother attempted to cast another spell, DeVito dodged the blast of shrinking energy on his way out the door. It was the difference between freedom and slavery; normal size and micro size. “I think if I didn’t pack a bag and run right then and there, she might have kept me in the jar forever.”

Today, DeVito is a new man. “I’ve been seeing a therapist, and I haven’t been shrunk since I left home. But sometimes I think it was my fault. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I feel like I deserve the jar.” It has certainly been an uphill battle for the actor, but he has resolved to never give up. “The real blow came when I did some research and found that I’m not the only one who had to live like that. People are shrunk every day throughout the world, but it’s never talked about because we don’t see these people. We probably step on them on our way into the kitchen, we shred them when we mow the lawn.”

Now, DeVito dedicates the part of his life not associated with acting, to seeking justice. “I’m sticking up for the little guy, literally. I want every little squirt banging away inside their parent’s jar, thinking all hope is lost, to know that there’s always tomorrow. Through our pain, but also through our perseverance, we are all connected, together as one. It’s a small world after all.”

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Balloon animals facing extinction

“If we don’t act now, the balloon animal population is going to pop.” This was the urgent message of Rubberto Pagliacci, Executive Director of the Balloon Animal Defense Agency & Broader Organization for Objective Management (BADA-BOOM). His words come at a time when balloon animals worldwide are on the verge of extinction. Pagliacci was very sad, and attributes the massive drop in balloon animal production to the pandemic currently sweeping the globe.

“Notice I said production,” said Pagliacci. “Because the problem with balloon animals is they cannot naturally reproduce. They must be made, and the many embattled clowns currently out of work due to the pandemic are unable to fill this sudden and steep deficit. Due to social distancing rules, they are unable to perform at children’s birthday parties, and many have simply been fired because they are unable to fill balloon animal quotas. There has also been a recent bout of asthma throughout the clown community, rendering many of them unable to blow up new animals even at their homes.”

Even worse, some say that balloon animals kept in people’s houses will not solve the problem. “They won’t last long,” said Kirk Du Soleil, Director of the BADA-BOOM Animal Welfare Division. “Balloon animals do not fare well when kept in captivity, and should float freely in the wild where they belong. We’ve seen historically that balloon animals kept in cages at carnivals have developed severe emotional problems. They are not pets, and sooner or later one of them is going to explode.”

“It’s a massive problem,” said Pagliacci. “Right now, the balloon animal population is numbered at around one to two hundred, and even those numbers are inflated. Anyone who argues that this issue is being exaggerated is simply full of hot air.”

One of those very critics is Ron Helium, a staff writer for Balloon Benders’ Weekly. He claims the balloon animal population will not only survive, but will experience a resurgence when clowns start getting vaccinated and return to work. “Organizations like BADA-BOOM want people to donate money to them, so they make outlandish claims like this to stir up fear, when in reality this whole balloon animal issue is simply being blown out of proportion.”

Pagliacci refutes these claims, and warns that there is dangerous historic precedent for the likelihood that balloon animals will simply vanish forever. “Remember what happened to the ancient balloon people,” he said sternly. “The balloon sapiens were a powerful race who once flourished throughout the world, in all shapes, sizes, and colors, competing with homo sapiens for dominance. Then, with the beginning of the industrial era, they all floated away from the Earth, never to be seen again.”

Kirk Du Soleil agreed, stating, “If we don’t do something soon, balloon animals won’t be here in another 10 to 20 years. Humanity will descend into utter chaos, and eventually collapse. Ignoring this issue is like taking a needle to the whole planet. Sooner or later, it’s going to burst.”

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National Guard to deploy fleet of Tom Cruises to enforce mask wearing

In a Friday interview with Mann Commandly, chief of the National Guard Bureau, the press learned that the military reserve force is taking additional measures to ensure the safety of the public during this pandemic. Most prominent among these includes a decision to deploy a fleet of Tom Cruises to enforce the wearing of face masks. The choice was made after a particularly angry Tom Cruise successfully intimidated an entire film set into donning the protective cloths, as well as committing to social distancing and joining a popular cult. 

Though the Joint Chiefs of Staff initially considered the undertaking an impossible mission, they later learned that the Church of Scientology can readily produce as many as 500,000 Tom Cruises, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. “We actually began this effort back in ’87, when we initiated the Tom Cruise Cloning Project,” said church leader Cosmo Spacely. “Back then, we had minted an initial set of 100 Tom Cruises, to great critical acclaim and success. When we released them into nature, they quickly became productive members of society who ensured the safety of the American people, and enticed the public to support our humble little religion.”

When asked about one malfunctioning Tom Cruise, however, Spacely proved to be evasive. The faulty Cruise in question generated controversy back in 2019, when it could be seen screaming from the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The Cruise had scaled the massive building, hammering erratically on windows during its ascent and putting a fright in residents of the building. “Look,” said Spacely, “that’s all based on hearsay and when that Cruise was retrieved and returned to our factory, we saw no signs that it was defective. We’re convinced it was putting on some sort of performance act for an upcoming film.”

Some Tom Cruises had entered the testing phase last week, and could be seen flying over major U.S. cities, scanning the streets below for anyone in violation of mask wearing policies. “One of them reprimanded me personally for wearing my mask beneath my nose,” said Kay D. Homes, a Los Angeles restaurant worker and aspiring actress. “It was really quite something, and it taught me the value of Scientology – I mean, mask wearing. After I’d pulled up my mask, the Cruise exclaimed, ‘Woo!’ and flew off toward the Griffith Observatory. These Cruises are American patriots and I look forward to seeing them throughout our country.”

National Guard Bureau chief Commandly says the fleet could be deployed in full as soon as Monday. “We’ve had great results,” he said. “I’ve been given some sort of book on Dianetics which I’m told will help me fully understand the ultimate mission of the Tom Cruise collective. It will be looked over by the President next week as we roll out this campaign to establish the mass wearing of masks. The Church of Scientology will be working with us to ensure the success of this great undertaking. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier about it.”

The original Tom Cruise is expected to formally make the announcement this Sunday, when he will attend a charity fundraising webinar for the Church at a furniture store in Brooklyn. Called the Cruise Couch Dance-Off, it is expected to attract celebrities including Oprah and Joe Pesci. Viewers will attend online through a link provided by the Fun Good Time Scientology Club via Facebook.

“I really want a lot of people to attend,” Cruise said in a Tweet last week. “Are you dedicated to ending this pandemic and ensuring the domination of the Church of Scientology over our nation? Then show me the money!”

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