Monday, September 17, 2007

Freak of the Week #1 - Pasqual Pinon

Welcome to freakStomp's Freak of the Week, a weekly feature celebrating the unusual human conditions which, through nature's whim or sheer fabrication, amused, mystified, and startled audiences throughout the ages!

As we draw the curtains back for this first oddity, I must remind you that no flash photography is allowed! Autographed photos of our attractions can be arranged through seance at the end of the tour...

Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present for your puzzlement Mr. Pasqual Pinon, the Two-Headed Mexican:

(click the pic to enlarge)

Listen closely as we weave the convoluted and melancholy tale of our doubly strange friend..

While no exact date can be verified, Pasqual Pinon is said to have been birthed in the year 1862. As told on stage while his parasitic twin stared motionless at the astounded audience, Pinon lost the family ranch to legendary bandito revolutionary Pancho Villa, and fled Mexico thereafter. The twin, which once was as spry and lively as you or I, had been frozen into place due to a stroke Pasqual suffered at the age of twenty. If you doubted the authenticity of the double header, Pasqual would lift the neck of his "brother," showing you the "neck" attached to his forehead. Paqual himself was not much of an entertainer, and would sit patiently showing his sibling from every angle while an interlocutor such as yours truly spun his biography and fielded questions from the audience. Pasqual supported his family of seven (he had twice the sex drive of normal men!) for two years, touring the country with the Sells-Floto Circus.

And living a lie...

The truth underneath the expressionless features of his second head was just as interesting (and convoluted), though, don't you worry!

A sideshow promoter discovered Pinon splitting rails in Texas back in 1917. He found Pinon's tumor to be striking in size, but needing that extra touch to...bring it to life. There are two versions of the tale which branch from here:
  1. A fake face sculpted from wax was placed over the tumor's peak, hair arranged around it so that it appeared natural.

  2. A metal (silver, so some versions go) plate with a nose structure and facial features was surgically implanted underneath the skin of the tumor, and makeup was applied to the resulting blank "face."

The biggest mistake the sideshow promoters made in this ruse was that in all cases of parasitic twins connected at the skull (craniopagus parasiticus in medical terms), the secondary head is always upside-down!

Whichever version of the fakery you choose to believe, after two years Pasqual began to deteriorate mentally (some even say the silver face plate was compressing his brain!), and the Sells-Floto manager paid to have the tumor removed. Pinon retired to a normal life, and no information exists as to what became of him. In any event, it must have been a load off his mind...


Anonymous said...

Holy dual-craniumed conundrums Barker-man! Swell picture! I want one to hang in my living room.

The Barker said...

Sir, a blacklight poster of that image could be in your future, if you can pop seven balloons with these darts!