Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Boise didn't get many circuses, but we did have the state fair and with it, carnivals. And to this day, my favorite part of any carnival is the sideshow.
Oh, some of you will say you like the rides, but I had an unfortunate experience on a ride called the Zipper as a child that involved reviewing the contents of my stomach over and over until the ride stopped. Let me just say that a corn dog looks better going in than coming out.
Yes, it was the sideshow that captured my attention the most as a child. I loved the garish signs and painted canvases promising oddities and unique acts like human pin cushions, fire eaters or a sword swallowers.
But it was the freak shows that truly fascinated me. Or at least it was what they promised.
Dispite my parents admonishments that everything was fake and it was a waste of money, I'd be lured by the promise of getting a glimpse of the human spider, the x-ray man or the inevitable two-headed calf (growing up in farm country seemed to keep a ready supply of two-headed calves on hand). Most of the time my parents were right. My fifty cents would usually buy me a glimpse of a jar filled with fetal pigs or a shadow behind a screen that may or may not have been a giant spider with a man's head. But occasionally, just occasionally, you'd see something really bizarre.
Anything is possible in Timidopia!