Tag Archives: humour

Two Views of the FreakShow

It was a dusty, blow away town. The crowds here were larger than otherwise, since people here had nowhere else to be. Nowhere they wanted to be otherwise. Surely this was encouraged by the entrance fee, reduced to a scant two bits, cheaper, brother, than the run down movie “palace” on what passed as small town Main Street.

Come and See


The movie house had worn carpets where the tents at the freak show were bare earth. It had dim lights where here there were full views. Couples would kiss there, in the balcony, if they were not interrupted by an usher serious about a morals policy. Here there was freedom. Still, there was less often kissing among the visitors, as the atmosphere was not as encouraging to amorousness amongst the patrons.
And they were patrons. They made all this possible.


The barker intoned as much when he spieled, “Friends, you make all this possible. Were it not for you these unfortunates would languish in poverty and obscurity. Shame, my friends. Shame. We expose the wonders of the natural world. A view of humanity and decency. We thank you for your kind patronage. And please, no screaming in the tents. This way to the attractions.”
Hard times. These small towns were the only thing keeping the show afloat. For now.


“Mr. Mayor,” said the barker as he tipped his hat to a little old man at the head of the line. He knew this man from his years in the trade. And he wasn’t the Mayor, just the oldest man in town. And a grump, as well. But everyone treated him as if he were the mayor, as an act of street magic. A psychic pay-off.
“Hmph,” answered the mayor, as he flitted his hand in the air, shooing the barker away. But the barker stood where he was and smiled as the mayor passed by and in. It is a service industry.


The old man came as a tradition. He had experienced a good night here, at a traveling carnival, so many years ago it was the last century. And he relived it, just a taste. A tantalizing remembrance faded through the years. When he was here it was as close, and as far, to or from the fact as he got. It was happiness and sorrow. Punishment and reward.
But it was best not to speak of it, for it was, at its heart, at that time, forbidden.


Inside a tent, people gathered before the stage. They were muted. There was an eagerness to proceed. The crowd stood hungry. Alert.
The curtains billowed.
“Ladies. Gentlemen. Fear-st your eyes at the sight. Incomparable. Are we not all in our heart alone? Do we not stand by ourselves in the wilderness looking for a trail? A clearing? A safe shelter? This girl was kept down in the cellar at the estate of her family and spoken of only in hushed tones. But here, at last, now…”


And the curtain parted. And she sat overlooking the crowd.
And there was an instinctual gasp, collective. As all viewed her in silence thereafter. It was even as if the mayor was impressed.
They looked at her. And she at them.


It was what they did. The onlookers looked on. But what would the spectacle do? It was the spirit of reciprocity. If they could look in, we could look out. For what is one to do when they are reduced to spectacle but to become a spectator? To look out from oneself. To assimilate.
They look at us. We look at them.
And we wonder.


The faces, the bodies. The hidden truths unspoken. Passions. Dreams. Lusts. Hope. Illusions. Disillusionment. Despair. Apathy. Silence. Depression.
Look out at them and read it in their faces and bodies. Worn in. Weared out. Lost. Each, in their way, lonely. Abandoned somewhere, sometime.
Time passed and no one said nothin’.
Then the curtains closed.


“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I am always impressed by the maturity of our patrons. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And if you will proceed to the next attraction I’m sure you will find something quite different, though who can say what one sees rather than another? A matter of perspective.”


The old man was bitter. All he saw! He saw! The mayor he was resolute. “Weren’t nothin’ wrong with that girl ‘ceptin’ the…”
But he got pushed aside by the crowd as they made for the exit, and on to the next social distraction, talking about how shocking it was. A release valve for the strain of the mainstream. There but for grace…


When he was a boy he saw a theatrical extravagance, or so it was billed. Two men presenting selections from the bard, but they were just making it up, talking gibberish. And while it got good word of mouth in the beginning, by the end the town came to tar and feather the charlatans, who escaped before the last show, leaving all the people in town alone in the hall with rotten produce, tar, and feathers. And no one would talk about what happened next. But the old man remembered. And he laughed.
But people today ain’t got the sense of yesterday.

Cupidity

It’s time for a tale of love. A love story, if you will.

As old as the fingers of fate that surround.

Heartwarming! Hearts on fire.

“Someone Else’s Memories” and “Line of Flight” from the album The Politics of Desire by Revolution Void licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0.

“Divertissement,” Schmetterling” and “Off to Osaka” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Idle thoughts save energy conscientiously

An apparition appeared and pointed its transparent finger toward me. It rasped. “You are in love with a ghost!” I thanked it. I never argue or wrestle with apparitions; there is nothing to hold onto. Its occasional presence was doing me a service. After all, were it not for these occasions, sometimes I would forget I was being tormented.
 
Two plates were stacked high with pancakes. On each plate pancakes were segregated by shape. On one plate the pancakes were in the form of even numbers; on the other, odd.
“I must say,” said eight, “I like the way this looks.”
“Don’t get your hopes up,” said six. “Ultimately the odds will be stacked against us.”
 
There is but a shade of difference between Va Va Voom and Va Va Va Voom, but that difference is important.
 
I had a terrible childhood. Sure, I got a golden ticket, but thereafter I was injured at the Wonka factory, and they said I was to blame.
 
Almost everyone you think is a robot is an android. And they resent your derogatory language. 
 
People who are time travelers obsess about the past and worry about the future. They have no time for the here and now.
 
I dated a woman from LinkedIn all she wanted to talk about was business. Boring! Mergers. Acquisitions. Fiduciary responsibilities. Kissing.
 
I’ve got to install a mirror on the ceiling so I can check out the floor.
Oh, that’s dirty.
 
And then the robot swept up the human into its massive steel arms. It was love. And like all love, fleeting. And it was followed by robot heartbreak. And then robot vengeance. Thus begins our story.

Rabbit Fears

“If you were a rabbit, in, say, 1956, let’s say you would spend most of your time readjusting your rabbit ears. Why? Well. Reasons of perception, my dear. Reasons of perception.”
– Father Rabbit pontificating about the nature of time, identity, and the perception of otherness¡ but he really just talks to himself.

Under the tree line

You could see the top of the mountain from my house from far away, until it disintegrated into the atmosphere – putting it below the tree line.
The mountain rained down like gray snow. Turning mainland into sandy beach. It blew in the air like heavy smoke. It clogged standard vacuum cleaner filters. It ran down the river and heaped into tall mounds, now covered in grass, brush, and trees, masquerading as Hills. People scooped it up into glass jars which once had held preserves in order to store it in the cellar. To rise the status of even the most humble dwelling to top of the Hill. Visitors from afar who visited thereafter would inquire what happened to the mountain. Most were surprised to hear it had been re-distributed. Now that it was gone it belonged to everyone.

To the gills

This is not a poem
It is a metaphorical pipe
For one can smoke it
Like a king salmon
In a smokehouse
Where the fish gather
at the smokehouse pub
a yearly school reunion
where the fish enjoy
smoking poems.
Three wishes!
said the kingfish
smacking his lips
Three wishes!
I am parched
I rolled this poem
from parchment
though it is distinctively
fishy behavior
I offer my kingdom
for in the sea
you must see
one can hardly ever
find a light.

We are all freaks. Solidarity.

1916:
The gentleman raised an eyebrow. He said, “I shan’t go to the circus for the freaks are revolting!“
His servants responded immediately. “If the freaks are revolting I must go and lend my immediate support! For I love a revolt! Revolution!”
Also the gentleman’s wife left him. For the bearded lady.