Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Carnival of Curiosity and Chaos

Sometimes it really does pay to just get out of the house and go for a walk.

Last Saturday, for no reason in particular, I went for a walk and decided to veer from my usual path from and go on Philadelphia Street, the main stretch of Indiana, PA. Much to my surprise, Sacred Ink Tattoos, a popular tattoo parlor, had flown in a sideshow troupe, the Carnival of Curiosity and Chaos, from Chicago, for a one-night-only live performance, free of charge. And there was to be not one, but two performances of body suspension.

How could I say no?

What followed was one of the most fun evenings I’ve had a long while. In addition to the show, there was free food (hot dogs and shrimp!), live music, and art and tattoo/piercing antiques on display, such as an actual centuries-old Mayan ear spool. As for the sideshow itself, the only way I have to describe it is this: it was f**cking awesome! The performer, Tom Hill, did a jaw-dropping, and sometimes side-splitting, variety of stunts, including (but not limited to) fire-eating, whip cracking, upside-down straightjacket escape, jumping up and down on broken glass (with an audience member on his back!), eating fire, staple-gunning paper donkey tails to his ass, and hammering over 12 nails into his nostrils… at the same time. At certain points throughout the show audience members were called upon to “assist” in the acts, although mostly they were made the butt of some fairly raunchy jokes. For example, I myself foolishly volunteered, and, while I won’t go into details, I can say this: never before (and hopefully never again) have I found myself wearing a balloon animal strap-on. Yep, that’s right, balloon animal strap-on. It’s that kind of show. After the show, I got to talking to Tom and he was a pretty cool guy, very interesting to speak with.

As for the body suspension, I took some video for you all to see. I only managed to film the first performance, by Tom (my phone’s battery died), but the other performance, by Sacred Ink owner Sean Hughes, was just as impressive. Here’s the video:
I’d like to thank Sean and the very cool people at Sacred Ink for putting the whole evening, free of charge. An awesome time was had by all, and it was a very cool event. If you ever get a tattoo or piercing there, tell them I sent you!

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