Index of Sample Nodes || The Structure of Figurski
Copyright 1998 by Richard Holeton

The No-Hands Cup Flipper: Nguyen Van Tho, admirer and imitator of Eugene Zanger, the eccentric resident performance artist of Casa de Fruta, a 120-acre family-run roadside attraction on Pacheco Pass along Highway 152 near Gilroy, California. As eatery manager and coffee host, Zanger began flipping cups by accident during a busy shift in August 1973, then started performing full cup rotations, occasional double flips, and (upon request) bi-directional coffee-pot spins -- and Casa de Fruta became The Home of the World-Famous Cup Flipper for a generation of travelers. Zanger’s 300-plus flips a day for 15 years were enough to land him on the David Letterman Show in 1987, where Nguyen -- a boat-person immigrant who’d lost both hands as a toddler during the war, then became a talented footbagger after getting laid off from his San Jose chip factory job -- saw him and was inspired. Hired as a busboy at Casa de Coffee, Nguyen studied Zanger’s technique and spent his free time furtively practicing with restaurant breakage. Becoming adept with both arm stubs as well as his Hackey-Sack-trained feet, he expanded his repertoire to include triple flips with delicate china and Japanese ceremonial teacups, then took his show on the road. People who saw both of them said that the student surpassed his aging master (they also said that both cup-flippers strangely resembled Texas billionaire Ross Perot, Nguyen of course in a more Indochinese way).