Monday, October 1, 2007

Freak of the Week #3 - Pickled Punks!

Gruesome, ain't it?

click to enlarge

Throughout the long and sordid history of carnival or circus sideshows, one constant attraction has...survived. The Pickled Punk! These preserved portraits of putrescence earned their name because they were often displayed sealed in large pickle jars filled with formaldehyde or other preservatives. Malformed infants, cyclopean animals, two-headed snakes, and other indescribably wretched medical waste, their afflictions broadcast for all eternity on dusty tables and racks in tent corners.

Most of the more heinous displays of nature's brutal sense of humor were saved for the end of nickel-and-dime low-budget sideshows, for what's known as the "Blow-off." The Blow-off is a hidden attraction, one teased throughout the show, covered with a curtain or drape or folding wall. You pay extra valuable dollars to view the blow-off, which would invariably be a disappointing jar of jellied flesh scooped out of a hospital dumpster. Sadly, as there are ever-dwindling numbers of true human oddities and specially gifted individuals in these days of perfection, pickled punks make up the majority of most sideshow attractions.

And 99.9% of the time, they're fake. The molded rubber birth defects, suspended in a brine which obscures molding marks and other amateurish fakery, are called "bouncers."

But you'll never be disappointed or sad at Thimbleton's Circus and Oddities...we live by the old rules here...real living, breathing meat, twisted daily for your amazement...

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