Sunday, while being both Earth Day and Yom Haazemat, was also a very nice day, weather-wise. So I met some friends at Coney Island who I haven't seen for awhile.
Among the things I did, (aquarium, boardwalk, etc) was a Freak Show. Now, this wasn't the type of Freak Show you see in movies, whether its in Mexico, or 75 years ago when you were allowed to have actual freaks. Instead, it included a magician who would consider doing birthday parties a "promotion", a guy who could eat half a lighbulb, a geek (guy who bites head off of chickens) who just laid on a bed of nails, a fire breather (which was acutal kind of cool), a dancing little person (more on that later) and a contortionist who "was sooo flexible" that she could curl into the fetal position. This lady also double as a snake charmer whose only skill seemed to be that she could lift up the python she had.
It was $6 to enter, not a bad deal I suppose. But what that actually meant was you paid $6 for the right to pay more money inside to see the "cool things." The flexible lady cost an addition fee to see her in the fetal position avoiding "sharp knives" in a box. Then there was a "mummy" of a wiseguy who apparently was only 3'9". That cost another dollar. Then, in between acts, there was a commericial for some pizzeria, thats right, a commerical in the middle of a live show.
Now back to the little person. All he did was dance, which was a little odd since it doesn't constitute "freak" in any way, and seemed to be a bit like exploitation. But anyway, before his act, the "MC" went over "Little Jimmy's" career. He opened for Sister Sledge, sounds fine.
Then the hammer...
He was in a movie you might have heard of. No, not Wizard of Oz, he wasn't 90. But another classic known for its use of little people. "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Not the fake me out remake, but the original with Gene Wilder. Now, it was always a goal of mine to meet an Oompa Loompa, and a real one, not "Wee Man" from Jackass. Granted, I was 9 when I made that goal, but either way, its been realized, and honestly, it feels great. One of the guys in our group even said "good show" to him as we left, and he ended up talking to up for about 20 minutes. That's right, not only did I meet an Oompa, but spoke to one as well. You'll be jealous of me the rest of your life (or until you meet your own Oompa Loompa) if you are any sort of decent human being. I didn't ask if he was a "front line" Oompa, or just a "backup" one, but I wanted to. It was to the point that I considered following Little Jimmy home to see if there was in fact a chocolate river. Then I realized I was 27 and that would be odd.
For what totalled 9 dollars, the Freak Show was a good time. It was one of those "so bad you'll always remember it" type of shows, and of course, the Oopma Loompa.
To be fair, I'm sure all these acts have better stuff, but they get about 5-10 minutes to do something on a tiny little stage. When the fire breather was doing his act, I saw the contortionist checking out his show. Turns out they're married. Hmm, even "Freaks" get married, who knew?