Step right up and see the tattooed man!

As a child, the circus coming to town was a big event, rivaling the rock 'n roll concerts of today. Many of us did not have the price of admission to the big tent and we had to be satisfied with the sideshow which featured attractions like the Fat Lady, the Fire Eater, the Snake Charmer, the Bearded Lady and of course the Tattooed Man. While doing some mall walking the other day, it occurred to me that some of the people normally found in the old circus sideshows were parading around in the mall. I didn't see any Fire Eaters other than the few individuals breathing fire while talking to a customer service rep.   The dudes putting the make on some comely young ladies could qualify as Snake Charmers. There was no question about the presence of the Fat Lady - she was everywhere ( the Fat Man also for that matter)! The character that rivaled the presence of the Fat Lady was the Tattooed Man. He actually outnumbered all the walkers - as did the Tattooed Woman. Most of the tattooed individuals looked normal in every way except for their skin. I don't understand why anyone wants to make themselves a walking bill board. We used to call the sideshow performers freaks. Applying that term to the sideshow equivalents one sees in the mall would not be politically correct but it's apropos. I didn't see any bearded ladies during my walk unless I can count the individual that I'm sure was a transvestite. The more I walked, the more I classified everyone as some sort of freak. I brought my walk to a halt and headed home when I realized all of the freaks were looking at me as though I was a freak. After I got home, I realized why. Does anyone walking around with his fly unzipped qualify as a freak? Serves me right, it's about time I got into the twenty -first century. Just where should I put that tattoo?

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