By: mark frierson

When I was a younger man
The carnival did beckon.
The smell of sawdust, donnikers,
And corndogs too, I reckon.
This spectacle of colored lights,
Would fill the nighttime sky,
I could not resist their magic pull,
Yet could not tell you why.
Twas Mirthy world that called to me,
And on whose lot I stepped.
Chock full of rides, games, shows, and such,
And trucks, where stuff was kept.
I edged up to the offices
Of Conrad Wadsworth Mirthy,
The owner of the carnival;
A big man, gruff and surly.

I knocked three times, the door swung out,
He wedged between its frame.
“Yeah, whatcha’ need?” He scowled at me,
“Yeah, you kid, got a name?”
“Yes sir, hi, I’m Timmy Franks,
I’d like to join your show!”
He scratched his rear and rolled his eyes,
Then said, “the answer’s, no!”
“Oh please, sir!” I said boldly,
“I really want this job!
Give me a chance, I’ll even dance!”,
To patronize this slob.
He chomped down on a fat cigar,
Then on my foot he spat.
He said I looked just like a freak,
I really disliked that!
“The ten-in-one’s a hirin’ boy-
Care to give that there a whirl?”
“You’d make a right fine glommin’ geek,
Or a half boy and half girl”.

He laughed as sweat ran down his brow,
He rubbed his eyes and farted.
I took the chance to get away,
And quickly I departed.
“Hey there wait, come back here now,
We’re not quite done just yet!”
“You’re done, not me!” I screamed aloud,
“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
I dashed and ran, fast as I could,
Through the midway maze I went,
‘Round the corner, till I came
To a red and white striped tent.
I was standing in their sideshow,
The one they called Dark Wonders.
A tent full of monstrosities,
Anomalies, and blunders.
Freaks, misfits, and mutants
Would line up on the stage,
For all to stare in wonder,

And earn their minimum wage.


Just then I felt a poking nudge,
A rap upon my shoulder.
To my surprise, a tiny man,
Or a child who looked much older.
The cane withdrew, his hand came out,
He asked me, “where’s your pass?”.
“Oh, I’m not here to see the show,
It’s a job I seek, alas”.
“Employment, eh?” He said to me,
As I stared at this strange elf.
“I’m Phineas, the owner here!”
“Now tell me ‘bout yourself.”
“I’m Timmy sir!” I said aloud,
“But have no talent or skills.”
“And frankly all the weird acts here,
Are giving me the chills!”


“Oh them, don’t worry, they don’t bite-
Well, not hard anyways!”
“And usually they just sit and stare,
Or walk ‘bout in a daze.”
“That Mirthy though, he seems quite mean,
And came across real rude.”
“Don’t like him much!” I said aloud,
“He’d make good lion food!”
“That my boy can be arranged!”
Said Phineas, with a smirk.
“Now back to you, let’s chat some more,
Then get you off to work!”
“What can I do, what can I be?”
“I want to play a part!”
And Phineas just listened on,
As words poured from my heart.
“You don’t look like a freak to me.”
Which was quite a joy to hear.
“But I think you’ll work quite nicely”,
Then he sent me to the rear.
“Now be off with you, and take good care,
I’m sure you’ll do just fine!”
Then they dressed me in a costume,
Made of hide from some wild swine.
They soiled my cheeks and mussed my hair,
Then placed me in a cage,
Along with some white chickens,
Helping me enact my rage.
There was some time between my acts,
This diary I thus started.
I’ll tell you now of these strange folks-
Bizarre, yet kindly hearted.


The Blockhead

The blockhead was quite different
Than I thought that he would be.
His head was large and grainy,
As if carved out of a tree.
He pounded nails into it,
With a hammer large and thick,
Followed by an ice pick.
It was really quite a trick!
The holes left by the screws and spikes,
Were not much of a pain.
He’d fill them up with putty,
And a matching colored stain.
Several years have passed now,
I read that he had died.
Seems termites bored into his skull,
And ate him from inside.


The Frog Boy

Flip was a unique paradox,

Not frog, yet not quite man.
He hopped to get from place to place,
And ate lunch from a can.
He’d never did consume much
Based simply on his hunch,
That if he stayed all skin and bones,
No one’d eat his legs for lunch.
His limbs were all but useless,
Yet somehow he did get by.
He’d never let me help him out,
Although I’d often try.
He was a strange sight to behold.
Some folks would even wince.
They couldn’t see that behind the frog
Was a kind and gentle prince.

The Bearded Lady

Gertrude the bearded lady

Was as nice as she could be.
She was very short in stature,
Which made her sometimes hard to see.
She seemed a little dwarfish,
Though she called herself a midget.
And she never could sit still, you see,
She always had to fidget.
Her beard and hair were very long,
All tangled up and matted.
She played with it, as did her cat,
Which left it all quite ratted.
It was not cut for fourteen years,
A fact I found quite weird.
Yet the strangest thing about her
Was that she kept stuff in her beard.

The Mule Faced Woman

Wilhelmina was truly quite homely,
With a face just a mother could love.
Over time it had grown quite disfigured-
An odd gift from the man up above.

Though with it she made a good living,
And stayed cheery, regardless, throughout.
She never did think she’d find true love.

Fate has a strange way of working things out.

Proposals were actually quite common,
‘Till she finally accepted just one.
Then soon became happily married,
And gave birth to a fine baby son.
Her offspring though otherwise normal,
Grew up to act really crass.
He treated her rather poorly-
Seems that he was the real jackass.



So, there they are folks, every one,
In all of their macabre glory.
This diary might have ended here,
‘Cept there’s much more to this story.
There’s still one left, a single soul.
And very soon you’ll see,
That I saved the very best for last,
As that one soul is me!
I stayed for years, and made new friends,
Grew wiser, strong, and bolder.
Looking back, I learned allot.
Things mean more when you’re older.
Though our differences were obvious,
Looks are still only skin deep.
The common thread was our disdain
For Mirthy, that fat creep!
Someone had to stop this man,
We knew this all too well.
He’d ridiculed and mocked us all-
Made life a living hell.
This tale began quite differently,
With Timmy, mild and meek.
But if you haven’t guessed by now,
I’m Zar, the jungle geek!
I would grimace for the crowds,
Then gnash and lick my chops.
I grabbed those chickens by the necks,
And bit off all their tops.
I drank their blood quite eagerly,
And savored every drop.
Sometimes I’d get into it so,
I’d find it hard to stop!
Phineas knew this all too well,
As did the other acts.
They took advantage of my craze-
A dire plan did hatch.

Then one night, near my show’s end,
To Conrad’s bed they crept.
They tied him up and gagged him,
Right where that bastard slept.

They dragged him under darkness,
Off to Dark Wonder’s tent.
He ‘s tarred and feathered by this point,
And in my cage he went.
All I could see was chicken-
A wildness filled my eyes.
I chomped down hard upon his skull,
Much to his own surprise!

He screamed allot, and flailed about,
Just like the other gender.
Yet, for such a tough man though,
He was actually quite tender!
I didn’t like the skin at all,

As it was much too greasy.

The innards were my favorite part-

Though rubbery and sleazy!




And so ends

Conrad Mirthy-

No sleep lost in our beds.

And the sideshow got their newest act,

‘Cause I liked chicken heads!


“All’s well that ends well!”

Is what they often say.

Thus, I wouldn’t change a single thing,

Up to this very day.

 Yet, despite this tarnished outcome,

It’s left me still believing,

That there’s good inside of everyone,

And looks can be deceiving!




The Cast in Order of Appearance


Conrad Wadsworth Mirthy the Carnival Owner

Penny the Pinhead

Terry the Outsides Talker

Boneaparte the Living Skeleton

Woody the Blockhead

Flip the Frog Boy

Gertrude the Bearded Lady

Wilhelmina the Mule Face Woman

Sideshow Tent

Zar the Geek

Bits & Pieces of Conrad Wadsworth Mirthy

Ralph the Dog Faced Boy


Other Cast Members in Group Shot


Drusilla the Monkey Girl

Phineas the Showman

   Roberta the Rubber Girl




The Artwork on this page is a collaborative effort between Mark Frierson and John Robinson,


Dark Wonders a Sideshow Fantasy, is the conception and creation of Mark Frierson,


We welcome you into our World of Sideshow Fantasy,

So Step Right this Way, Come in a little Closer,

You will see Flip the Frog Boy, Gertrude the Bearded Girl, Woody the Blockhead, Ralph the Dog Boy

and many, many more. These attractions will Amaze You, they will Shock You and even Amuse You.

So pick up your Ticket and Enter Right through Here,

The  Big Show is about to Begin!



Posted here with the permission of Mark Frierson & John Robinson copyright ©2007 All rights reserved.


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