“I am a retired army veteran, and my name is Donald Harding, but for some reason people call me ‘Party Hearty.' I guess that must be my free spirit, and my good looks … and my unwillingness to do anything. Let’s go get a beer, please?”
We went into some bar, sat at a booth and I ordered a pitcher. I have known Donny for years; he is one of the many characters in Coconut Grove. Donny tells me about his performance at the Miami Improv’s open mic:
“Yeah, I did a stand up comedy act a couple of weeks ago. I brought the house down. I knew I was stoned and drunk, but I didn’t know it was that funny.” He continues, “This woman bought me a Boilermaker at the bar. That’s a shot of whiskey and a mug of beer. Then I had a Cape Cod, that’s vodka and cranberry juice.” His face becomes serious for a moment, “I drink a lot of juices now, trying to flush out my system. I am really trying to straighten up and get off the streets.”
I asked him if he has any new comedy material:
“People like dirty jokes, they really do. Okay, here’s one, If Hillary Clinton becomes president … Bill will be the first lady.” Donny begins laughing and goes on, “The one thing about pregnant women is this: They are hot and wet for nine months … and then when they have the kid … that thing tightens up.” A man walks in and sits down with us. “This is my friend Charlie. Let’s get another pitcher, and I’ll tell you some great stories. I did carnival work for 37 years.” Donny yells, “Carni power forever!”
I order another pitcher as Donny begins telling us about his experience in Vietnam.
“I got drafted February 28, 1968. It was wonderful getting shot at every fucking day. Especially when that AK-47 got me here.” Donny lifts up his shirt and points to a bullet sized scar on his stomach. “In December of ’71, my helicopter got shot down, First United States Air Calvary. All four of us were crushed under the helicopter. They sent me out to a hospital in Honolulu. I was in a body cast; I swear … the only thing you had cut out was your wiener hole and your ass hole.” He pours himself another beer and asks, “You can’t publish this stuff, can you?” He then continues, “I was in Vietnam for four years. I was a POW for 272 days in North Hanoi. Some guy named Richard Milhous Nixon decorated me and 19 others with a medal of honor … just another piece of garbage that my ruthless government gave me.” -- Jason Handelsman
Harding asked the New Times to provide his contact information so he can meet more people and share his jokes.
Contact Donny at:
Donald J. Harding
PO Box 14001
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.