Saturday, April 15, 2006

Inside the mind of a carnival tycoon


Your ol pal here wanted to share with you a brief glimpse into the mind of a fast-rising genius among the ranks of the new age circus scene. I'm including a letter from my colleague Wink, a gentleman and scholar, to an old college girlfriend of his. He gave me permission to reproduce. Hope you find it in your heart's little bloody space to empathize with this crazy fucker's plight.



Dear Carol,

Well, actually I didn't really quit. I'm just taking a sabbatical, some time off. I really need it because things have been crazy around here lately. More on that in a minute. I don't know if you remember Chuck Wilbur. He's one of my best friends from Andersonville. Chuck and I went into business together a few years ago and started up an entertainment management company. At first we specialized in representing low-end magicians and down on their luck illusionists. It was a mere pittance, money-wise, at first, but we really started learning a thing or two about the performance spectacle industry. Soon we ran into some producers from that old show Wild Kingdom (you may remember it). There are all sorts of Hollywood TV types skulking around LA you know. So these guys had a whole stable of exotic animals and a slew of incredible tricks, plus pyrotechnic equipment. They just needed some investors with vision. Chuck and I hit it off with these dudes immediately. We took a sojourn in SE Asia for two months recruiting the best of the third-world beast training circuit. We came up with an idea to meld magic and Jack Hanna style animal tricks. Chuck knew a guy who worked with Cirque du Soleil who could help us develop a few other contacts and find a ring leader. Our vision slowly became reality.

So we started up JM Tickles Inc. and worked at first in Vegas, doing shows at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. Eventually, we got a contract to start up a west coast traveling show. We based our offices in Rancho Cucamonga and did a lot of work up and down the central California coast. Chuck got his license in primate education and I started working more closely with our team of dwarves. These guys were vicious and I took a real beating, psychologically and physically. Angry little men, they were. But the money was coming in buckets, and Chuck and I were truly living out the dream. From 2003 to 2005, everything was ridiculous. Long drunken nights in Mexico, sex with strange people (and sometimes animals were involved), vampiric tendencies, intravenous drugs, fist fights, sour milk, bandaids, strange rashes, mornings with the bearded lady, I mean seriously, this was circus living at its best (or worst). We had this one kid who did a three week tour with us, and the SOB had flippers for feet. I mean he really had flippers, man.

But this was all very taxing on my soul as you can probably imagine. Traveling constantly and having no routine in life, no roots, nothing to call home. Just a lot of money and disease and feeling sorry for myself and the veritable freakshow of employees working for us trying to squeeze out a few ducates for a meal of fish and vinegar. By the early part of this year, about February, I was at my wits end. Chuck and I were fighting and getting at each other's throats a lot. We would argue about little things, you know, who's turn it was to regulate the harlot division, getting Sam from Guatemala to clean up in the monkey cage, buying propane for faux explosions during the grand illusion session that we ended every show with. We had government tax guys breathing down our necks, ATF agents complaining about fire hazards, a small group of Berkeley hippies picketing outside our ticket windows crying foul about our waste disposal techniques, alleged environmental misdeeds and, gag, animal cruelty. Do these people honestly not understand that you have to beat an elephant very severely to get it to walk in the direction you want it to? I mean, we had adoring fans to please. But worst of all, it was those damn dwarves, or midgets, or whatever the hell we are supposed to call them now days in this PC society. These silly bastards beat me within an inch of my life on Valentines Day because I served them Dos Equis amber instead of the lager. I spent four days in ICU and was on crutches for three weeks. I felt it was time to make some serious changes.

So here I am, now about to take a trip to Argentina and recollect myself. Chuck and I have agreed that we are going to do some different things when I get back. I have in friend in Buenos Aires, a Mr. Miguel "Lige" Rodriguez who plans to set me up for a few weeks and talk to me about growing opportunity in Latin America. One thing I know for sure is JM Tickles has to clean up its performance and get a little classier. With that said, I'm going to be looking for talent soon. We have an opening for a pretty face and a girl who can move well. We've decided to 86 the whole fire dancing bit, and instead need some female presenters. The show is going to take a tour through the southeast in September so that is when we'll need to pick up some fresh young performers. Weren't you a cheerleader for the Falcons once? Would you be interested in doing some work with us? Just a short two-week contract while we trek through Ga, S.C. and Tennessee. All you'd have to do is wear a sequined oney and present digital cards while the tightwire jugglers interact with Martin McFriend, our top elemental steward. It pays good money and your family could come see you. Anyway, just a thought. Sorry for the long rant. I think I just needed to get this off my chest before I pop some pills and board my flight. Hope all is well. Best,

Wayne "Wink" Niggins
eXTReMe Tracker
Adult Dating Site
Adult Dating Site