Hailey got her first sewing lesson as a 3 year-old from her Uncle Mack, who was a tailor to the stars in Los Angeles. Uncle Mack had made suits for Lon Chaney, Fred McMurray, James Cagney, and even Roy Rogers!
One of the last clients Uncle Mack made an outfit for was Paul Hogan, for his Crocodile Dundee movies. When Paul came to pick up his outfits, he had an interesting buddy riding on his shoulder. Hailey was surprised to hear that the critter, a Panda Lemur’s, name was Hustler. Hailey asked Paul, “Why is that cute critter named Hustler?”
Paul said to Uncle Mack, “Mack, would you and Hailey do me the honors of having lunch with me? Then I can tell dear Hailey the story of Hustler.”
Uncle Mack was working on a bridal gown for Anjelina Joli that needed to be done by Friday, but when he looked at the happy expectancy on Hailey’s face, how could he refuse.
“OK Mr. Hogan, I think we can get away for a lunch with you.”
“Please, call me Paul.”
They drove out near the ocean and chose an outdoor barbeque grill restaurant.
“I want to see how they do their shrimp on the barbie here. Plus, Hustler LOVES shrimp!”
As Hustler was on a tether, the restaurant was ok with him joining them for lunch.
All of them chose varying types of shrimp and all were delicious. Ever the little gentleman, Hustler waited until Paul gave him a teriyaki shrimp. Hustler nabbed it from Paul’s outstretched fingers and began to gnaw the shrimp as if he were starving.
“This is the best damned shrimp on the barbie this side of the Great Barrier Reef!,” said Hustler.
Uncle Mack and Hailey’s mouths dropped open and their eyes bugged out.
“He can talk!?!?!,” they both said in unison.
“Damned right I can talk. You don’t think anyone this pretty is going to stay quiet do you? Now give me some more shrimp and be quick about it!”
Both Uncle Mack and Hailey hustled to get their pieces of shrimp to Hustler. He chowed down and made short work of each piece.
“I prefer the chili lime flavor ones. I want more and I want them now!”
They needed to order more of the chili lime shrimp.
Paul, who was saying nothing, had the biggest grin on his face.
Uncle Mack said, “I think I know now why they call him Hustler.”
Paul laughed and said, “Few people know what I did before I became an actor and crocodile wrestler. My first job in show business was ventriloquist in a traveling vaudeville show. I’m glad to see I still have the gift. Lunch is on me!”
Uncle Mack and Hailey started laughing and Hustler, his belly full, curled around Paul’s neck and fell asleep.