Flea Circuses

     by Judy Tomaini Rock


All the Circus was, in our sideshow, was a card table, set up in the show tent, with a bright light so the people could see the Chariot races, and the fleas making the little rides move.

As far as I know, we never had a name for it, just referred to it as the flea circus.


At the time we had the biggest sideshow in the business, and the more my Dad could offer the people the better. Instead of one person doing all the acts, there was a different performer for each act. The best in the business worked for us. My Dad paid well, and was very good to the help.


Some of the more generic acts, like the flea circus, had several different people that could fill in at any given time, so if one didn't show up at the last minute, someone else could take over.


My Dad learned early on, not to have a alcoholic work the fleas. When you are working them they are set up on your arm, to be better seen, while there, they tend to take little snacks from time to time. If the Ringmaster has been drinking a lot, the fleas would pick up the fruit of the vine, along with the snack. The poor little fleas would get drunk and either die on the spot, or just walk around real slow till they died.


That was a sure way of telling if the help was drinking on the job. That was the reason it was non drinkers that got the Ringmaster job.




   Tomaini Sideshow Bannerline

2006 Judy Tomaini Rock, All Rights Reserved

Published with the permission of Judy Tomaini Rock


All stories are the property of Sideshow World & their respective authors.  Any republication in part or in whole is strictly prohibited.  For more information please contact us here.


Back to The Judy Tomaini Rock Series      Back to Main


All photos are the property of their respective owners whether titled or marked anonymous.

"Sideshow WorldTM" is the sole property of John Robinson All rights reserved.

 sideshowworld.com   sideshowworld.org   sideshowworld.net  sideshowworld.biz   sideshowworld.info

is the sole property of John Robinson All rights reserved.

E-Mail Sideshow World     E-Mail The Webmaster