Offal performance | Bleader

Offal performance


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Daily Telluride Journal, August 3, 1901. This item puts me in mind of Yosemite Sam's deathless line from the classic 1949 Friz Freleng cartoon High Diving Hare: "I paid my four bits to see the high divin' act, and I'm gonna see the high divin' act!"

But it's true that sideshow letdown can inspire powerful emotions. Case in point: Maybe 16 years ago I was at a county fair in New Jersey. I paid $5 to enter what passed for the freak show tent, exhibits in which turned out to be mostly newspaper clippings glued to a board and some taxidermied snakes. The sole live exhibit was this shirtless and moderately obese dude tentatively presenting himself as an Amazing, Colossal Fat Man. He had some picture postcards of himself for sale. I bought one for 15 cents, but it's lost somewhere between the leaves of a book. If I had it at hand, I would scan and post it to show you how far this guy was out of his league. Upon leaving the tent, I swear to God I bought a corn dog from a vendor who easily had 250 pounds on the alleged professional. But the corn dog was good, so I didn't complain to the management. Of course, the dynamic might have played differently had I been an angry mob of Wichitans.

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