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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News

November 12, 2015 Edition - ANNUAL TONYA BIRTHDAY ISSUE
(C) 2015 Portland Ice Skating Society

Welcome to our traditional annual birthday edition of "The 
Portlandian". In this issue, we have an update on the museum 
project, discover a Tonya reference in a local newspaper, cover 
breaking news of yet another Olympic corruption scandal, and 
as a special birthday treat, finish off with some pulp detective 
fiction featuring many thinly disguised characters from the 
skating world (including you know who).

This time of year marks a number of important anniversaries: not 
only is today Tonya's 45th birthday, but last Friday was the 40th 
anniversary of the very first gig by the Sex Pistols. And today 
also marks the 40th anniversary of the finished edit being 
produced of Queen's iconic music video for "Bohemian Rhapsody":

We're sure that there's some kind of connection between all these 
things, we just can't work out what it is yet.

There's not much Tonya news to report, though in this instance 
it's one of those cases of "no news is good news" - our sources 
tell us that Tonya and her family are doing fine.

By the way, I wonder if anyone has ever skated to Bohemian 
Rhapsody? Now that the ISU has ditched the archaic prohibition on 
vocal music in eligible skating, there's an opportunity awaiting. 
Of course, clocking in at almost 6 minutes, it really would be a 
Long Program in the literal sense of the phrase...

Maybe one day we'll get around to writing "Tonyarian Rhapsody".


Now you really can spend a night at the museum. In fact, several 
nights, and days as well. Well, at least at the Tonya & Nancy 
museum (which is the only one that really counts), as Matt & 
Viviana have now listed their museum on AirBnB. As one person put 
it, "a must stay for figure skating fans and people who want to 
use 'I live in a Museum' as a pick up line".

They also made a surprise trip to Portland earlier last month, 
and visited the Clackamas Town Center Mall, the location where 
Tonya did most of her training. Unfortunately the rink was 
removed several years ago, but to a Tonyaphile, it's almost like 
visiting the site of Woodstock. No word on whether they took up 
the invitation of a local to visit the Dockside Saloon, or that 
science museum where Tonya can be seen studying a brain in a jar 
in "Breakaway", but you can find a brief video of their trip to 
the mall on their Facebook page:


The impact of the events of almost 22 years ago continue to be 
felt in ice skating, even out here in NZ.

A few months ago Disney on Ice toured out here. In an interview 
with a local paper, one of the skaters, Josh Uster, explains how 
he got interested in skating at the age of 11 after watching the 
1994 Olympics:

"I think everyone fell in love with skating in the 90s, with 
Nancy (Kerrigan) and Tonya (Harding)," he says, "I saw it and I 
just took to it."

You can read the rest of the article here:

No word on whether he finds the Disney factor "dumb" or "corny".


Hot on the heels of the FIFA scandal has been the news in recent 
days of another massive case of sports cheating being exposed. 
And this one is about as big as they come: the World Anti-Doping 
Agency has accused the Russians of systematic doping on an 
industrial scale, proving that nothing has really changed in that 
area since the Soviet era.

Already the affair has claimed its first scalp, with former 
International Association of Athletics Federations President 
Lamine Diack resigning from his position on the IOC after being 
placed under formal investigation by French authorities. Putin 
has ordered an investigation, although the idea that anything of 
this size could possibly have been going on without his 
knowledge and approval is pretty hard to believe. And there is 
now serious talk of the Russians being tossed out of the 2016 

Events are still unfolding, but we'll be keeping a close eye on 
this one over the next few months.

And now we move on to our special birthday feature:


                      "THE BIG ICE RINK"

                        A Skating Noir

The scene: the interior of a badly-lit office, Portland, Oregon, 
1994 - oops, I mean 1949. But we'll let our hero take up the rest 
of the tale:


There's a million stories in the big skating rink of life - and 
this is one of them.

The name's Boni. Sam Boni. I'm a private dick. Gumshoe. P.I. Call 
it what you will. I run the Figure-skating Bureau of 
Investigation here in Portland. As you've probably guessed, I 
deal with ice skating crime.

One day this dame walked into my office. Said her daughter, a 
skater by the name of Nicole, had gone missing. She showed me a 
picture. Blonde. Nice rack. Legs up to her armpits. A real class 
act. I was smitten. I immediately decided to take the case. 
Little did I know it would lead me on a wild goose chase halfway 
around the West Coast.

I'd need some information, and I knew just where to get it. My 
favorite snitch, a reporter called Christine. A broad with the 
inside edge on the sleazy underbelly of the sordid cesspool of 
vice known as ladies' figure skating. She knew nothing, but she 
gave me a lead, a skater known as "Ice-T". 

I found her down at Morry's bar. That's a seedy dive over in 
Clackamas County - the rough side of town. I knew she was there 
because her pick-up truck was parked outside. "Ice-T" was a real 
tough cookie. When I went inside the joint, she was shooting some 
pool with the local hustlers, and taking them to the cleaners, 
too. A sassy blonde with a pack-a-day habit, she was the type who 
knew a truck axle as well she did as a triple axel, but she had a 
heart of gold. She didn't know anything either, but she told me 
to talk to a slick customer known only as "the Fat Man".

Fat Man, it turned out, was in the protection game. The "Mr. 
Big" of the deal, in every sense of the word - he weighed 300 
pounds. He ran an outfit called the World Bodyguard Service, a 
security agency for skaters. At first he wouldn't squeal. But 
then I turned on the heat, and he folded like a cheap accordion. 
He spilled his guts. Literally. All over my trenchcoat.

But Fat Man did give me another lead. A clown who operated the 
biggest numbers racket in figure skating. A man who "knew the 
score". Actually, he knew all the scores for the skating 
contests, because he made them up beforehand. A skating judge 
named Yuri, and his sidekick, a saucy little French minx called 
Marie. "Yuri". Sounds kind of Russian. I might have known some 
dastardly commie was mixed up in this caper. After dropping off 
my trenchcoat at the dry cleaners, I decided to pay him a visit. 
He didn't know anything either, but he gave me another

I had to take a detour down to Frisco - Chinatown, to be precise. 
My contact there was a shapely Oriental babe known as "Madame K", 
who was also reputed to control most of the city's opium dens. 
She couldn't help, but did give me the name of a suave Italian 
nicknamed "The Speedskater", who was rumored to be the Godfather 
of the international skating scene. Perhaps he'd know something. 
Russians, Orientals, Italians - this case was turning into a 
regular League of Nations.

As I exited Madame K's joint, I was to have an unpleasant 
encounter - with a thug known as "Jeff the Knife". Ice-T had 
warned me about this guy: a dangerous unstable psychopath with a 
penchant for violence. And she should know - he was her ex-

"I hear you've been getting nosey" sneered Jeff, as he poked his 
"heater" into my ribs. "Sticking your schnozz into other people's 
business. Well, here's a warning about what happens to nosey 

The pain was excruciating as Jeff stabbed my nose with an ice 
skate. But I now knew one fact: Jeff must have been sent to 
scare me off - and that meant I was getting too close for comfort 
for whoever was behind this thing.

The Speedskater fancied himself to be a bit of a Ladies man. And 
Mens, Pairs & Dance as well. I never liked these foreign Romeo 
types. Speedy turned out to be a total chump. This guy was so 
dumb he couldn't empty booze out of an ice skate if you told him 
the instructions were written on the sole. I was going nowhere. 
It looked like I was skating down Christopher Bowman Boulevard - 
in other words, a dead end street.

But I did get another name, a character called "Max the Pimp", 
based in Lake Oswego. Max's line was selling pictures of the 
stars. Not movie stars, like Bogey or Bacall, but actual stars - 
astronomy photos. But that was just a front for his real 
operation. You see, Max was actually one of the biggest wheels in 
the smutty picture business. Here I finally struck paydirt.

I showed Max the photo. "Yeah, I've seen her. A real doll. But 
she wasn't blonde - she had dark hair, and she didn't use the 
name Nicole. Instead she called herself 'La Azalea Noir' - 'The 
Black Azalea'. Most of my stuff is fairly mainstream. But 
occasionally I get a customer who wants something, well, a bit 
different", he said. "A bit out of the ordinary".

He paused, and drew back on his cigarette. "There are some guys 
who like... the kinky stuff".

I slipped him a few pictures of George Washington to help loosen 
his tongue a bit more. "Gimme some names", I asked.

"There was this one guy. I only know his first name - 'Chuckie'. 
He paid me big bucks to take photos of this Nicole broad spanking 
him while dressed in her skating costume. That's Chuckie who was 
dressed in Nicole's skating costume, not Nicole - she was wearing 
high-heeled boots and a gas mask. He asked me to send the 
pictures to this Post Office box in Sacramento. That's all I've 

The next morning, I was on the train down there. It wasn't much 
of a lead, but it was all I had. I sat outside the Post Office 
for hours, staking it out. I was giving up hope. It looked like 
Max had given me a bum steer. Then it hit me, like a nightstick 
on an ice skater's kneecap. I was such a mug. Perhaps Max was 
actually Chuckie, and this was all just a cheap ruse to get me 
out of the way. I suddenly realized - this wasn't going to end 
like a Sonja Henie musical. I had to get back to P-town - and 

By the time I got to Portland it was almost midnight. I went back 
to Max's, but he wasn't there. But then I had a stroke of luck. A 
discarded book of matches with the name of a now defunct ice-
skate factory on the back. Could this be where he'd taken Nicole? 
I gunned the car hard and put pedal to metal - time was running 
out for "The Black Azalea".

When I entered the factory by the back door I found Christine, or 
rather, what was left of her. She'd been "whacked" - bludgeoned 
to death with a baseball bat, then crudely cut in half & 
dismembered. It wasn't a pretty sight. I guess she'd stuck her 
nose into one too many skating scandals. She must have sensed the 
Nicole story would be a big scoop and been on my tail ever since.

It was obvious I was dealing with a real psycho here.

Then I saw two shady-looking characters. I immediately recognized 
both of them - the first was Max and the other was "Jeff The 
Knife" - he was probably responsible for what happened to 
Christine. Together they were hauling something up a flight of 
stairs. There was no mistaking that curvaceous form - it was the 
unconscious body of Nicole, bound and gagged, and they were going 
to dump her into an ice-skate sharpening machine. Nicole was 
going to be "iced", hurled into a death spiral that really was 
deadly. A triple-toe-double-toe-loop combination into oblivion, a 
double Salchow into the great hereafter if I didn't act quick.

But then I made a horrible discovery. I was unarmed! I'd left my 
"piece" in my other trenchcoat when I dropped it off at the dry 
cleaners. Curse that Fat Man! There was no time to go back to my 
office to get another gun. I decided there was only one option: I 
was going to have to bluff it out.

"Okay Max!" I yelled, "The jig is up! This place is surrounded by 
coppers with Tommy guns! Surrender now, or I'll give the word and 
they'll pump you so full of lead you'll look like Swiss cheese!"

"You don't fool me, you two-bit punk!", sneered Max. "I know 
you're alone!".

"Not quite!" A woman's voice came from above and behind me. It 
was Ice-T. And she had a crossbow. The bolt struck Jeff straight 
between the eyes. He dropped Nicole and fell down the stairs. It 
was obvious that he was now where he belonged, and it was a place 
that would be way too hot for any skating.

Max immediately panicked. Like most bully-boys he was gutless, 
and with his muscle-man gone, he turned into a quivering 
jellyfish. As he ran along the gantry to try and escape he 
slipped and fell into the skate-sharpening machine, making a 
ghastly shriek as he was processed into a human toe-pick.

"After you left", said Ice-T, "I realized that Jeff would 
probably be mixed up in this. So I followed him". We untied 
Nicole, who was none the worse for wear after she came around. 
Once again, I had cracked the case - with a bit of help, of 

Afterwards, I married Nicole, and made an honest woman out of 
her. I think I'll quit the P.I. game, but I can't completely 
escape from skating. It's in the blood. Perhaps I'll settle down, 
start a family, maybe set up a nice little business sharpening 
ice skates. Because at the end of the day, there's only one thing 
you can say about this tawdry affair:

"Forget it, Sam, it's figure skating."


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