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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Carnies are a Rip-off - or was it the Jager?

Was it the Jagermeister? I'm not sure, so I gathered my brains this morning and pulled out the Palm Beach Post TGIF section and sure enough it said that the Hellzapoppin sideshow revue show at Fright Nights admission was free with the Fright Nights admission. Granted, the official website Frightnights.net did not advertise that there was a side show available. So the sideshow was actually an added bonus. But there was an additional admission fee, $5 per person. So how the hell did we spend $180 in addition to $75 on admissions for five people? I'll answer that: it must have been the Jagermeister.

The Palm Beach Post reported that the side show had freaks and geeks like a lizard man, a man/iguana man, a one-armed burlesque dancer and a wolf boy - none of which were actually part of the show. Although their likeness was painted on the side of the tent.

Now I'll tell you the acts that were actually part of the show and I'll add that the show was indeed worth every bit of the $5 extra that was charged. I still don't know about where the $180 went, but we'll let that slide. There was a knife swallower who then swallowed a larger than the knife piece of wood. The emcee swallowed a condom- wrapped pocket knife and then pulled it through his nose.  Although, I feel, we could have done without the explicit opening of a condom from it's wrapper in front of little kids. He also took two corn kernels, put them up his nose and squeezed them out through his tear ducts. There was very hungry flame eater, a glass eating act, glass walking and jumping on a pile of glass act, a climbing several rungs of sharp edged knife ladder act and oh yeah can't forget the climatic knife blade box act. All of the performers were fairly fit and decorated with many tattoos, facial and body piercing, ya know, that goes with the territory.

I was overcome by the desire to research the underbelly of the carnival act (as I have in the past) and visit where they live when they aren't on the circuit, if they even have a permanent residence. Also to visit their living quarters while they travel. I frequently wonder what they do for entertainment and relaxation when they aren't performing. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't heavy drinking and drugging involved, actually. I think they are likely artists of their own ilk and kind and deserve to be flushed out in the form of a novel or at least a chapter in my novel.

I believe that my very own Margo Spamozzi will be following a carnival because of her lust for the overall experience. There's a dark side in all of us. For Margo, it's part of her being fickle. You'll have to stay posted for that one.

Anyway if you're interested in seeing Hellzapoppin sometime they are reported by the Post to have appeared on National Geographic and the History Channels, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and now the subject a a new reality TV show - check them out if you dare!

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