In 2002, Commercial Appeal columnist Michael Kelley bludgeoned Prince Mongo in print. "I've watched as you annoyed one neighbor after another with yard displays and antics that lack creativity and fail to make a statement about politics or culture or anything else," he wrote. "It has become apparent that you're just a provocateur."
When I mentioned his life in Memphis, Mongo said he's been the victim of harassment for decades there. "When I ran for office and gave speeches, I'd always express myself in a fanatical way," he says. "I'd call the other guy a fabulous thief, and every time he'd prove me right."
Okay, Mongo is definitely not crazy. And he's also not perfect. But he most definitely is one of those rare things on this planet a man who lives life on his own terms. After I spent a couple hours with Mongo, he showed me the cooler in the back of his truck, full of ice and leftover food from a morning delivery. "I try to help unfortunate families who can't pay their bills," he says. "There is no mercy on Earth to help those people."
Good thing there's mercy on Zambodia. Long live Prince Mongo.