Frenchie

by Simqueen

 

I had just gotten some pictures back from this years Sideshow Gathering, and since I was going to visit my dad that night, I took the pictures with me. He really didn't understand what I was talking about when I told him I was going there, or that I had been making quite a few signs for the fans and performers. The pictures should clear that up.

As he flipped through, his face was going through all kinds of changes - from the raised eyeball to the all out grimace. He had questions.

“Is that guy green all the time?”

   “Yeah”

“Hmmm…this one looks pretty normal, what does she do?”

   “Belly dancing sword swallower”

“Swords!” he chuckled,” Well, she still looks pretty normal…How about her? What’s this one doing?”

   “Ohhh, she just ate some bugs, now she’s showing the audience that she really chewed them up”

“Yikes!” there goes that grimace, “That stuff makes my skin crawl! Ya know, when I was a teenager, they had this fair over on the west end with a geek! He ate a snake, and a live chicken! It was awful.”

  “Now it’s bugs. What else did you see at that fair?”

“All I really remember was that geek. But there was another fair, when I was about 12…

They were setting up at the old high school. I was watching with some buddies (This would have been in the late‘40s). Anyway this guy came over, and asked us if we wanted to help. So, we helped ‘em unload the trucks, and carry stuff all around. It was hot that day, and we worked all day for ‘em, carrying poles and stuff. When everything was done, the guy came over and thanked us.”

   “I said ‘wait a minute! Don't we get paid?”

       “Oh…Sure, kid, we'll take care of ya! When you come to the fair tomorrow night, tell the man at the gate Frenchie sent ya!”

   “So, the next night, we got cleaned up and went to the fair. It was a big thing back then, you wanted to look good. We went up to the gate and told the guy Frenchie sent us.”

     “Who’s Frenchie?” he said!  

Later on, as I was going out the door, I heard dad chuckle to himself…”Who’s Frenchie?” 

 

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