At The State Fair, June 8th, 2020
Our heroes Patrick and Timothy are 13 years old. It’s 1965 and time to go to the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln, Nebraska.
As usual our two young men sneak into the fairgrounds through the fencing on the SW side of the grounds. This is where the carnies park their Winnebago RVs (the better off ones have Airstream trailers). No one guards this area.
The skinny kids in jeans and t-shirts on a hot September day scoot through the wire and then walk to the pig pens. The sows are huge!
Patrick, “Looks like your aunt Clara.”
Timothy, “Well, that big black one looks like it could be your Dad. Explains your big afro.”
Patrick, “But look at the balls on that hog. Can you imagine the equipment behind it?”
Timothy, “Not my job.”
The young men move onto the Midway. They soon gravitate to the carnie barker who’s yelling at the passing crowd:
“Fatima, the most beautiful woman in the world! From Egypt! She will show you the secret belly dance of Isis! Come into the tent and experience the mysteries of the magical Nile. Only a dime!”
Patrick and Timothy couldn’t resist that! They got in line behind the farmers in their overalls. But when they came to pay their dime they were told:
“You boys are too young for these mysteries. Go get a snow cone.”
Maybe they were too young. Of course Patrick and Timothy ignored this order and snuck around back of the tent to take a peek.
Lifting the back of the tent and laying on their bellies the boys watched a rather large woman of olive skin gyrate to the music of some out of tune flutes. She was scantily clothed. Her costume was of beaded pink silk.
Patrick, “Hell, I’ve seen prettier girls at our school.”
Timothy, “But did they dance like that?”
Patrick, “Who gives a damn?”
Timothy, “Well, you got me there.”
The boys move onto the Midway and go on the rides. Eat corn dogs. Drink lots of sodas.
Patrick, “I bet we could get into the horse racing track and bet on the races.”
Timothy, “We are 13 years old. We can’t bet on horses at the track.”
Patrick, “Wanna bet?”
The boys go up to the entrance to the track and hide behind two huge farmers in overalls as they go through the portal. No one notices them.
Timothy, “Which horses do we bet on and how do we do it?”
Patrick, “If you don’t know how to do it by now, I feel sad for you.”
Timothy, “Ha ha! I mean really, you are barely tall enough to see the guy taking the betting money at the counter.”
Patrick, “Well, you ain’t much taller. We’ll get a farmer to make our bet.”
And that’s what the boys do. They find a nice compliant farmer who laughs at their ambitions.
Farmer, “Well, if you boys want to lose your money on these nags. Who am I to stop you?”
The boys watch the horses race around the track in anticipation of riches. Their trifecta play does not pan out.
Timothy, “Well that was fun.”
Patrick, “Let’s go see the mutants.”
Timothy, “Mutants? Are our classmates here?”
Patrick, “More likely your family. No. I mean the House of the Strange. It’s a trailer full of fetuses in formaldehyde in glass bottles.”
Timothy, “I dare you to spell “formaldehyde”. “
Patrick, “Now you sound like Sister Alice. C’mon. It will be fun.”
The boys pay 25 cents to enter a trailer with strange creatures painted on the side. The barker who takes their money says,
“Are you sure you boys are 18? Because these strange horrors will affect your soul.”
Boys in unison, “We are 18. And our souls have been saved by the sisters at Holy Family.”
Barker, “Well, all right then. You may enter.”
The boys go into the trailer.
The first creature they see is a three headed cow fetus.
Patrick, “Looks like your sister.”
The next fetus is a three footed calf.
Timothy, “Wonder what happened to the fourth foot?”
Patrick, “Beef jerky.”
Timothy, “Looks like your Aunt Bethany when she was much younger of course.”
Patrick, “How did you know my Aunt Bethany has three feet?”
Timothy, “How do you think?”
They move on to see a fish with three eyes.
Patrick, “Looks like your Aunt Sarah.”
Timothy, “What? My Aunt Sarah doesn’t have three eyes.”
Patrick, “She has one on the back of her head.”
Timothy, “How do you know that?”
Patrick, “How do you think?”
Our heroes come to the end of the horror trailer to the climax of strangeness. They enter a dark room of black velvet in black light.
They see an iridescent pink fetus, a human fetus. It is horrific! There are so many defects on this fetus that it was no doubt used in the movie Alien 4. (These rubber fetuses last forever.)
The boys gasp!
It was time to go home. The boys climb on their bikes and ride through the peaceful streets of Lincoln on a hot September afternoon.
When they get to their neighborhood they bid each other good-bye and go home to Mom and Dad, family and home.
The Carnies move on to another town.