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Originally posted by Scat
on one harrowing day when he was nearly three: Buster caught his right forefinger in a clothes wringer, losing the first joint, gashed his head near the eye with a brick that boomeranged after he threw it at a peach tree and was sucked out of an upstairs window by a passing cyclone that carried him floating through the air and conveniently deposited him, unhurt, in the middle of a street a few blocks away.
After that, his parents decided he'd be safer on stage.
Even his nickname was supposedly given to him under dramatic and unusual circumstances. Sharing the bill with the Keatons were the great escape artist Harry Houdini and his wife, Buster's godparents. Houdini saw little Buster, then only about six months old, slip and tumble down a flight of stairs, arriving virtually unharmed, perhaps even amused, at the bottom. "What a buster your kid took!" Houdini is said to have cried out. With those simple words, Keaton became the first person to use Buster as a name. Buster Brown, Buster Crabbe and Buster Poindexter all came later, presumably owing their names indirectly to Harry Houdini.