Ringo Sparkus was born in New York City to Markus Sparkus and his wife Valerie May Sparkus. His father was a bench painter for the parks department and his mother suffered under the delusion that she had invented the echo and spent most of her time applying and reapplying for patents. When these were denied she drafted appeal after appeal while supposedly working on an echo that would return as a color. When Ringo was nine years old, Markus Sparkus was sent to prison after being accused of conspiracy to commit crimes against the Grand Scheme of Things.
Not having enough money to live on, Ringo and his mother moved in with a homeless person in the alley next to their old apartment. Ringo stopped going to school and collected bottles and cans, while his mother spent the day applying for research grants to continue her studies. Soon, however, the man with whom they shared the GE fridge box asked them to leave, as he was fed up with all the bottles and cans piling up from Ringo's hobby.
They spent the next several months living in the park sleeping on benches and eating pigeons that had forgotten how to fly. Many times Valerie May Markus would remark to her son, "Look here, Ringo, I do believe this is one of the benches your daddy painted."
"They all look the same, Ma," Ringo replied.
"No, no, son. Your father would always paint his signature mark on the bench so it would be recognized as his work. See, right here is his special mark."
Ringo looked to where his mother's pointed.
"That says shit, ma. That's on practically all the benches in this park."
"Yes, Ringo," Valerie May said. "He was a very prolific painter."