After we closed,
before we went to bed, I had to show Dad the gaff on my boy
and girl thing. He looked at Mom and said, "He's a chip off
the old block, all right." He gave me a big hug, put me in
bed and gave me a kiss on the forehead and said, "Goodnight,
I didn't know it but the half-and-half in Dad's show was
demanding more money and threatened to quit working if he
didn't get it.
The so-called half men and half women were, for the most
part, female impersonators that shaved all the hair off the
left side of their body from head to foot, then donned a bra
with one boob, a long haired wig, an evening gown split down
the middle and a woman's high heeled slipper on the left
foot and a man's shoe on the right. Showing the sex organs
was unheard of at that time.
Well, when Saturday night rolled around, Dad informed Miss
Carlyle that her services were no longer required.
With me, I was a natural for the part, with my smaller left
foot, leg and thigh, my high pitched voice and chubby
breasts plus the fact that I could show my girl and boy
During the next week, Dad changed the names on the Half and
Half banners from Carl Carlyle to Thomas Thomasina. I guess
that was because my middle name is Thomas.
Mom went to the library and got all the books she could find
pertaining to hermaphrodites and the byline on the end
banners read "The Son of Hermes-the Daughter of Aphrodite,
brother and sister, joined together in the same body.
Well, I did the hermaphrodite bit for over six years and
fooled thousands and thousands of marks, including nurses,
doctors, interns and I bet you everything I own against a
one dollar bill.
If there are folks still around that saw Thomas Thomasina
back in the late twenties or early thirties, they will swear
on a stack of Bibles three feet high that they saw a real,
living and breathing hermaphrodite.
I still remember the line of crap Mom taught me to tell the
marks after they came in to the blowoff. I started off with
"I was born in Glasgow, Scotland, of normal parents. My
father was a sergeant in the army and my mother taught
school at the Academy of Learning in Glasgow. I went to
school as a girl, until I was seven years of age, then I
noticed a growth on the top of my vergina, my mother
thinking it was an enlarged clitoris, paid no attention to
it. But it continued to get bigger. When I started to
urinate from it, she got worried and took me to our family
doctor. After a close examination, he found out the growth
wasn't an enlarged clitoris, it was a penis! I've been
examined by doctors all over the world and they declare that
I'm a genuine hermaphrodite.."
Now for the
"To those of you who don't believe that I have the sex
organs of both male and female, there's only one way that I
can prove it to you. That is to show you and I will, back
here inside this enclosure."
Mom would draw a curtain across the half of the blowoff and
then say. "The price is fifty cents for those of you that
would like to see her expose the sexes, please step this
way." And then she would knock 'em loose for a half buck
After all the marks were in the enclosure, I would sit in a
chair on a raised stage and open my legs apart and show my
boy thing and my girl thing. To make the girl thing look
more realistic, Mom would dab a little bit of lipstick in
the crease and with two fingers, I would spread the crease
apart just enough for the marks to see the pinkish red. That
clinched the deal.
After flashing my girl and boy thing, I would say, "If there
are any questions you would like to ask me, kindly stay
behind and I will try to answer them."
Well, these two sophisticated looking broads stayed behind
and asked me how often I menstruated. Hell, I didn't know
what they were talking about, but I took a shot and said
"three or four times a week." Well, the broads must have
thought I was joking and they went out laughing. Mom said,
"What did you say to them marks that was so funny?" I
answered, "They asked me how often I demonstrated." Mom
said, "you mean menstruated.
What did you tell them?" I replied "I told them three or
four times a week." She busted out laughing and said, "From
now on, if anyone asks how often you have your periods or
menstruate, tell them once a month."
During the years I worked the half-and-half, Dad bought new
cars, trucks, a complete ten-in one, new banners, tents,
house trailers and a new aluminum banner line.
Then my voice changed and my boy thing grew bigger.
To be Continued