The Monkey Boy


My whole life, I've enjoyed visiting sideshows at the state and county fairs, even the ripoff shows.  I used to go to see how badly they were done, and get mad because I thought I had been ripped-off.  Now, I go and laugh about how badly I'm getting ripped-off.  But, I'm still amazed by that damn giant cow.  How do they do that?  I've see them all -- monkey boy, snake girl, gorilla girl, tall woman, short woman.  When I was young I went to see Gorilla Girl and explained to my friends that it's just mirrors, and it's not a real gorilla.  I now regret that so the last time I went a few years ago I tried to see how worked up I could some teenage girls by acting nervous. When the gorilla jumped out, I screamed and ran out the door with a pack of truly terrified girls right behind me. What a kick!   

Once while visiting the Monkey Boy "exhibit", Mr. Monkey Boy motioned for me to come closer.  He stopped grunting and whispered, "Hey, can I get a cigarette?" I gave him a smoke, but I warned him about the dangers of smoking.  I'll bet Monkey Boy picked up that habit in one of those damn government testing labs.  Damn them all for addicting poor Monkey Boy!



They no longer have shows like Harvey's at the NC State fair.  I don't know about my home town of Wilson.  Harvey's show was always there, and I don't know if any other show took his place.  I consider shows like his to be the "real" sideshow.  I think Snake Girl and the others are about all that is left around here, but they are a poor substitute for legends like the Human Blockhead, the Human Pincussion, and Static Electricity Guy.  Oh sure, you can walk down the midway now and see Big Butt Girl and Smells Like Garlic Man, but they work at the coin toss game.          


-Bryan Bass                                                         

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