looking at the girls with a new look plus the fact that a
few carnies went on the make, thinking I was gay and wound
up with half their teeth knocked out from a pair of brass
knuckles I had. Dad had to pay for sewing up their lips and
getting them a set of choppers. He wholeheartedly agreed to
retire me as a half boy and half girl.
After that, I became the Human Volcano (or the fire eater),
ticket seller, head of the ruffles and a talker....and God's
gift to the local girls.
Dad used to say that three days in town and the broads would
come looking for Buster and Fats with mattresses on their
backs and he wasn't joking.
I don't know why but the girls in the small towns that the
local studs couldn't touch with a ten foot pole would crawl
in the pad with the carnies with enthusiasm.
A lot of times, the ride boys would pick up a gal and shack
up with her for the season. The carny managers welcomed the
gals because it meant that he had another ticket seller.
Back in those days, they didn't have just one or two central
tickets booths like they do now, where you have to buy a
strip of coupons for five or ten bucks. Each ride or show
had individual ticket boxes and the gals came in handy
A lot of the ride boys made their beds in the possum bellies
under the trucks and the gals bedded down with them. The
carnies called the gals "Possum Belly Queens." I know a few
of the 'possum belly queens' that wound up getting hitched
to side show owners and carney owners or became topline
strippers, making big money.
I had my share of shackjobs, but they were none called
'possum belly queens,' because I flopped on one of the
stages in the ten-in-one, covered with canvas. Dad nicknamed
them "Canvas Back Kittens." Of course he didn't mind as this
gave him another bally gal or someone to work the sword box
Well, everything was rosey that season. Mom and Dad closed
with over ten grand in the kick (pocket). By then Mom liked
her brew just a little bit too much and Dad and her would
get in some hellish arguments.
To be Continued