I am a stranger in a strange land. What’s bizarre is that I lived in that land for at least three years and was born just north of there. I find it amusing when I go back home when people are stumped over how much I’ve changed. Well, a decade does that to you. Anyhoo, my last trip home I took a little trip to the fair. You know this; I’ve shown you the evidence. What takes the cake (the one that is not moldy) is that I had the kind, scantily toothed man running the freak show call me over for a little chat. He asked me where I was from. I told him Oakland, California. He said…
“I just knew you were a tourist, you’re just taking pictures of everything. I bet a city girl like you never seen anything like this before.”
I had to laugh. What to say, what to say. You know, I’ve been to that county fair numerous times before. Hell, I’ve had my knitting win prizes at the fair, and got a $10 prize for my award winning wax beans. Yes, I’ve been there. However, I apparently carry myself much differently now.
So, I know what’s really on your mind. I have one thing to say. We could do that, but there’s always the question of what to do with the hostages. I say we open the liquor cabinet, crank the music and demand to go to Barbados. We’re talking total party plane here.
Oh. I guess you weren’t thinking of that. No matter, here’s what else is on your mind.
They don’t let you take pictures in that freak show. It’s a shame; I could’ve promoted that bitch all the way to the west coast. No matter, we can all still enjoy the old skool painted freak show signs.
I like carnies, they’re good people. This traveling freak show had the added bonus of being a petting zoo. You could feed and fondle the freaks. (You just take that sentence however you want to. We have a similar phenomenon happening in San Francisco, but it has an entirely different context.)
In the world where you can’t put people on display, we can still exhibit freak animals and pickled punks. I have to admit I was disappointed, because I really wanted to see another octomom live and in captivity. I miss the days of the real side shows. Remember the girl that changed into a gorilla?
Penn & Tell actually perform that act on stage in Vegas. I loved it. They also did the headless man shtick.
I know exactly how that one’s done, and there’s a reason it’s done in a darkened room under a spotlight. Don’t worry, that’s all I will say. I love believing there are headless people roaming around out there and there’s actually quarters hidden behind my ears, as you do.
Now, there are some things that reach freak show status, but aren’t actually in the freak show.
Those guys aren’t nearly as interesting as the fish people, though. I know you were waiting for this…
While on this ride, you must obey all posted signs and placards. Oh, and keep in mind that people get nervous when you start taking pictures of things they don’t understand, but are impossible to resist if you happen to be me.
Enjoy your weekend and take in a show some time, preferably a freak show that’s not on cable. Of course, that may be hard these days. Freak shows are not politically correct or socially acceptable. And besides, if you actually could find freaks hanging around waiting to relieve you of a few bucks for the privileges of gawking, it’s not like they’d openly advertise it.