What you get is what you see!

As for the fainters we got our share......


by Judy Tomaini Rock


Not all "carnies" Tell lies!!! I realize some do build up the story, as to be more like what is expected, but I can tell you one thing, as strange as some of my family stories are, they are 100% true in every way. I was lucky enough to be adopted by very honest caring parents. With a Giant for a Father, and a half girl for a Mother, every day was and is a real experience. As Mother says "What you get, is what you see".

As for the fainters, we got our share back when I was just 2 or 3 years old. I can still see the little green bottle of smelling salts, my Dad handed me, as he lifted me down off the stage, when we had one drop.


I realized in adult years, my Dad's sense of humor, in a grown man waking up to a tiny little girl standing over him with a bottle of salts.


Back then in the late 40's and early 50's, the only place someone would disrobe, would be the half and half in the blow off. Still when Popeye Perry bugged his eyes out, he would drop a couple of marbles on the stage, and they would drop like flies. And when the pincushion poked the first hat pin through his arm, there went some more. The sword swallower would also bring a few to their knees. Especially on a hot day.




Would you believe, the standard thing they said when they were revived, "it must have been something I ate."


We also had a runt tattoo artist that worked out of his trunk in the tent. He had a real high faint count. So the fainting isn't something that was learned by going to see my friend Jim Rose, it has been around since the beginning of time. People back then weren't desensitized to the blood and guts, that you see every time you turn on your TV. So the faint count was much higher back then.


We never compared how many fainted with the other sideshow owners, my Dad just had his private little joke of the day and let it go at that.


The Guinness show just goes to show you this is what people want to see. The sideshow is back, and a new generation of performers has been born.

2006 Judy Tomaini Rock, All Rights Reserved

Published with the permission of Judy Tomaini Rock


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