The Giant That Determines Sleep

Ken Mundis


A few tricks I learned on the Midway.  The little things I learned that helped me to survive.

I don't think most people realize that a lot of the carnival workers live out of a truck, a tent or wherever they can find a place to lay their head to sleep.  You know wherever you can find a place to sleep becomes your home.


I started out on the road with about 100 lbs. of canned goods that my mother and aunt sent with me when I made the decision to leave home and join the sideshow.  So now I'm on the road, I'm hungry and I have 100 lbs. of canned food.  Now what?  How do I cook it?  I don't even have a pot to my name.  Some would say why even cook it?  Even though at times it seemed as if we lived like sub humans, nowhere to clean up or cook our food, we were civilized.  Everyone likes a hot meal. (Ha, Ha!)   A really slick trick I learned from one of the old timers was to put a couple of holes in my can, then put the can in a paper sack, fill the sack with newspaper and light the bag on fire.  When it burns itself out you have a hot meal!!!


I'll never forget, it was at the Bloomsburg Fair the day before opening.  I was broke and hungry. A fellow showman taught me the art of cooking without the luxury of modern appliances.   We sat there enjoying our Italian dinner, talking and watching the sleeping giant (the Ferris Wheel).  Any carnie knows that itís the giant that determines sleep.  What an adventure!- Ken (Mad Dog) Mundis


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