Monday, September 11, 2006

The Last Sideshow? Part 3

If you haven't read parts 1 and 2, you'd better or you won't understand what is going on.

Ward Hall is dressed for show, red pants, vest, and tie, powder blue tailcoat with sparkling silver accents, and a tuxedo shirt. He is a smallish in stature and looks like he could play the wizard in the Wizard of Oz. To carry the allusion further, Ward commands the stage and casts out a spell over the audience. He hardly seems 80+ years old. His love of the SHOW oozes out every pore and punctuates every sentence. Just a mere transcription of his bally does not do him justice.

But, I try...

Once the outside talker freezes the tip and has you waiting for the magician to escape from the chains and the midget to eat the fire, he begins the real pitch.

“Now these are only two of the many performers and strange sights that you’re going to see here at the World of Wonders, Palace of Illusions; the world’s largest fairground show. The first midway show to be invited to this fair in seventeen years.”

Talk about an up sell.

“Here you are going to see the things that are advertised and represented by the artist on these posters to the right and to the left of the doorway.

Today, you are going to see screwy Louie, the human blockhead, a man who drives nails and ice picks into his head with a hammer.

Susie Stretch, the rubber girl, who stretches her skin just like elastic.

You’ll be entertained by Voltara, the electric woman, who sits in a real electric chair. High voltage passes through her body; lighting torches from her fingers and a light bulb from her mouth, without any harm what so ever. She’s immune to the shock of electricity.

Today, from San Jose, Costa Rica, the world’s most unusual dancer is Vikki Condor; a woman who dances and is the only woman alive with four legs, four feet, and twenty toes.

From Germany, you’re going to be entertained by Unique Monique, a modern medical miracle; a woman who is alive and yet she apparently doesn’t have any head at all. I know that sounds incredible. It is incredible. And today, when you see the headless woman, you are invited to walk right up to her and extend your hand out to her; even though she has no head, she apparently can’t see you,she’ll know you’re there. She’ll reach out to you and, if you wish, you may personally shake hands with the headless woman. When you touch and feel her warm flesh, you are going to know, beyond any shadow this is a real woman, alive with no head.

Today, you are going to be entertained by the world’s champion lady sword swallower; you’ll see our lady fire manipulator, who drinks burning gasoline; the pain proof girl, who dances up a ladder of sharp swords, and you are going to see, from Newark, New Jersey, Juanita Perez, the woman who is probably the strangest in our show.

We call her Spidora. She is nineteen years of age, a high school graduate. This young lady has a normal head and she has a beautiful face, but that’s where normal and beauty ends because she has a body from the neck down that resembles that of an ugly tarantula spider. It’s not pretty and it’s not nice and when you look at her, it may shock you. But, she is someone you will talk about and remember for the rest of your life. And, if you have any questions about her, ask her. She is an intelligent, educated woman and will be glad to answer your questions for you.

This is a big show.

But, there is one attraction here, bigger than all the rest. She is here for this fair only, that’s why we have no picture of her out here. She comes from Beijing, China. Her name is May Ling. Perhaps you saw her on the news in the past week or read about her in the Pioneer Press, but my friends today; you can see here a woman who is probably the tallest human who ever walked on this earth. Standing eight feet, one and a half inches tall, you walk right up beside of her, so you can compare your height to that of the Chinese giant girl. And if you have a camera, bring it in with you, take a picture of yourself standing by the Chinese giant girl—at no cost—and you’ll have something to show your friends at home, of who you met and what you saw here at the strangest show on earth.

This is a big show. There is one small part of it, that’s the price of admission and that is only six of the fair tickets.”

Now that the tale has been told, it is time to turn the tip. Some of the tip will leave after the bally, but many, including you and me, will be paying our tickets and seeing the show.

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