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The average performer can safely allow an audience volunteer to stand on his chest while lying on the bed, and can allow a cinderblock to be broken on his chest with a sledgehammer without ill effect inertia keeps the shock wave within the cinderblock, which isn't too hard to break. Beef — A complaint from a patron concerning anything about the show. You have the patch and your fellow carnies to back you up if you create a beef you can't handle, but to keep respect you should try to "never let a beef leave your awning".
Bendover Store — Cynical nickname for a game joint involving thrown balls, where the agent has to bend over hundreds of times a day to retrieve the balls. Bibles — Items often, but not always, miniature Bibles sold for extra income by performers in a ten-in-one. The freaks would sell "pitch cards" printed with photos and biographical information, giants often sold souvenir rings, etc. Big Eli — The ferris wheel, from the most successful of the ride's original manufacturers, the Eli Bridge Company.
Bill — An advertising poster as also used in the circus. Also, a roster of acts or performers as also used in theatre and wrestling. Bit — Another term for a fee due from you. Billboard — See Amusement Business.
Blade Box — An act in which the performer usually a woman lies in a box while steel blades are pushed through it, apparently a traditional "cutting a woman in half" illusion, until the "blowoff" is announced: We are not doing this to be lewd or crude, but this feat requires her to twist and contort her body so severely that she cannot perform it while hampered by even this small item of clothing here, honey, just hand out that costume and I'll fold it up nice for you and now that she has prepared herself, she will recline in the cabinet and opening the curtain as Sheila, lying in the cabinet, waves her arm to the crowd I'm going to close the lid.
Notice that the lid has openings for 13 steel blades the crowd also notices even more openings they will get to peer through.
Now I am not going to cut this beautiful young lady, because as I insert each blade she is bending, twisting and contorting her body in and around every one of these blades of steel, just like a snake, just like a rubber band, she can bend her body as these blades threaten to sever the most delicate parts of her body.
Pause for a look down into the box. And now, I'm going to give the real men in the audience a chance to come up on stage and see for themselves! Sheila invites each and every one of you up here to see how she does it. You're going to see how her amazing body can twist around these razor-sharp blades, you're going to see the texture of her skin!
But you should know that this lovely and talented little beauty receives no pay for displaying herself to your eyes in this fashion. Sheila feels that exposing her act and her body this way is worth one dollar, because she is paid only through your curiosity and your generosity.
Now if I can get you all to line up at the foot of the stairs, just hand your dollar to the man at the foot of the steps and come up and see this beautiful little girl in the state she is in now, unashamed and waiting for you to view her.
The tip was moved through the area so fast they hardly had a moment to figure out that they hadn't seen a nude girl, even though they had seen the "magic secret" of how she was contorted around the blades. A classic "blowoff" feature. Blade Glommer — A sword swallower.
Blank — An engagement with poor attendance, or a player who looks like a good mark but who actually has few dollars to spend. Blind Opening — A bally by the outside talker, or introduction by the inside talker, phrased in general terms that could apply to any or a changing array of attractions. It might describe the horror and thrill you'll experience seeing nature's strangest oddities, but it did not need to be specific about exactly which oddities.
Blockhead Act — An act in which a man seems to drives a spike or ice-pick or other long slim object into his nasal passage. Actually the spike inserts very easily, and the "hammering" is mimed. The stunt was originally done as part of a human pincushion act. Burkhart added comedy patter and byplay and made it into a comedy act that stood on its own merits.
He started performing it inbut it was still too "strong" for many of the shows he worked back then. He did play it successfully in Ripley's Odditorium in New York in the late s, where Robert Ripley dubbed Burkhart "The Human Blockhead," a nickname he carried proudly as he achieved great popularity with the act until his death in Many modern-day performers have copied Burkhart's presentation in style, or even copied his entire act line-for-line.
It takes skill to be able to"build a tip" q. Blow Your Pipes — To become hoarse from screaming at 'marks' all day long. Blower — A game in which numbered ping-pong balls or paper money, blowing around in an air stream inside a glass booth, must be grabbed out of the air.
Blowoff sometimes shortened to "the blow" — This is where the real money is. Because you often don't have to split your "inside money" with the front office! At the end of a ten-in-one show, the crowd sometimes just the men is often offered an extra added attraction for an extra fee, something you can either pay to see if you have a strong enough stomach or perhaps a strong enough desire to see a lady you think might be naked, as implied with the "blade box" or you could "blow off" and leave without seeing the extra feature.
Since the "inside talker" was also usually the magician, he would do his brief magic act for the ladies and children while the gents paid a little extra to go behind the curtain to see the blowoff. It might be simple to the point of crudity: Now that there's just us men in here, the tattooed lady is gonna go behind the curtain and any of you that wanna go with her can give me a dollar and follow along.
She's gonna sit in a chair, she's gonna lift up her dress and she's gonna show you what you've all been waiting to see. Now who's man enough to go back there and see for himself? I know there isn't a single one of you out there who doesn't think he already got his money's worth.
But you came in here to see more than a set of knockers. We couldn't tell you everything on the outside because you know there's women and kids on the midway. But back here we can talk right out. It's going to cost you another half a buck, but if it's the last fifty cents you have in the world, it'll be well spent. Lulu's going to put on a show you'll remember the rest of your days. And there ain't no fooling, neither. She's going to come out just the way you want her to, and you're gonna see it ALL!
Now I'm going to show you fellows something you may have heard about but I bet you ain't never seen it. And if you want to stay for it, why your tips will be the only pay I get. But it's worth it, believe me. You'll thank your lucky stars you did, and with what you'll learn tonight, when you go home you're going to make your own little ladies VERY happy they let you come in here!
Let me give you a little hint. When I start this little private show just for you, there ain't going to be but two things on this stage, me and this soda bottle.
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Booth — A game run by community group or sponsors, not by professional carnies. Boston Version — Cleaned-up version of a strong show routine. Bouncer — A rubber reproduction of a pickled punk q. There were any number of reasons for using reproductions instead of genuine specimens including legal restrictions and easier availability.
Bozo — Character who insults customers to induce them to try to throw balls to spill him in a dunk tank. The joint is usually named "Dunk Bozo," in less sensitive days it was known as the "African Dip" or in even older days "Nigger Dip".
Bozo's "calls" over a loudspeaker are very effective at drawing customers. BR — A fat-looking bankroll flashed by an agent to dazzle the mark, who comes to believe he actually has a chance of winning it. Briefcase Show — A carnival made up entirely of individual independently-owned attractions, so each ride or show would have its own ticket booth.
Broad Tosser — Operator of a three card monte game, rarely seen in carnivals today because it is so widely known to authorities and public alike as an unwinnable swindle. Build-Up — A game offering the player an assured prize with continued play, PLUS all his money back, but each play costs twice the amount of the previous play.
Since most people don't really grasp the amazing speed of exponential progression 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64… the cost grows huge. Most players give up and abandon their money, because even Bill Gates doesn't have the bankroll it would take to win.
Whatcha got ta lose? Remember, when you beat me you get all your money back and this beautiful Rolflex watch. The only way you can lose at this game is to run out of money or drop dead, and you look healthy to me. Sometimes this term is applied to games that let you trade several small prizes won for a single play for bigger prizes. Building a Tip — What the "outside talker" does, gathering a crowd of potential customers a "tip".
He then "turns" the tip, sending them to the ticket booth. Bull — A promoter of wrestling matches. Bullet — A round painted panel within a banner giving descriptive or promotional information about the banner's subject. A banner, for instance, might depict a "Frog Boy" as a green frog-shaped animal with a human head. Anyone with any sense knows that such a creature could not exist. Inside is a man with flipper-like arms and legs. And, indeed, as promised, the people coming out of the show can be heard to say "I didn't really believe he was going to look like that banner.
Evans see their catalog in our "On the Midway" e-book made a lovely chrome bumper car. About the size of a roller skate and quite heavy 18 poundsthe car was pushed with considerable force to bounce back and forth along a short straight track with bumpers at each end.
When the car stopped, a pointer on the side of the car indicated one of a series of numbers painted along the track, thus choosing your prize or advancing game play. Bunkhouse — An wheeler converted to provide extremely spare housing. The owner rents space to workers who don't own personal trailers and who don't make enough to afford a motel. The trailer is split down the middle, on each side are closet-sized cubicles with outside doors, big enough for a mattress plus about 18" to move around.
Some "rooms" have one bed, some have bunks and others in the "fifth wheel" section have an elevated bunk with a little more elbow room. Burn the Lot — To allow agents to cheat brazenly and leave the locals so outraged that they won't allow yours or any other carnival in their town for a long time. Burr — Operating expenses. Butcher — Strolling refreshment merchant, peddler of lemonade, candy, pretzels, and other edibles.
Cake Eaters — Locals, rubes. Canvas Joint — A game housed in a portable canvas-on-wooden-frame shack. Capper — Confederate or shill. Cake — Money made by short-changing customers at ticket boxes. Call — The time you need to be on the lot and ready to work. Also, your repertoire of lines to "call 'em over," attract marks to your joint: Once the call has worked, the agent "closes the sale" using his tried-and-true assortment of "cracks.
Carnival — An outdoor entertainment usually consisting of an overall management that carries some of its own rides and concessions, plus additional offerings by independent showmen, ride owners and concessionaires. The benefits of being with a large carnival include a pre-arranged route with no need to plan one yourself, and many of the costs are included with the rent, like advertising and insurance. The downside is that you have to pay dearly for it.
Innumerable additional dings electricity, tip to the lot man, mandatory show t-shirts, clean-up, even parking may add up to hundreds of dollars. Also, the large shows always suffer a certain number of still dates or blanks on which you will still have to pay full rent; you can lose a lot of money and have to play a couple of spots to catch up. Carny — Someone who works in a carnival. The term is also applied to the carnival itself.
Don't call us carnies. Carnies are junky ride jockeys that are here today and gone tomorrow. The difference between a carny and a showman is the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad! According to others, as a sign that a couple intends to be monogamous or relatively so for a while, thus keeping the individuals more or less from straying and from unwanted romantic advances, they may engage in a carny marriage.
The sign that they are "married" in the eyes of their fellows is a ride once around on the carousel or ferris wheel; a divorce is less formal, sometimes with a ride turning in the other direction, but more often at the end of the season or when both parties just say "to hell with it.
Carousel — A perennial favorite ride. A turning platform with seats, some made up on poles as animals, especially horses, and some of which move gently up and down in a slow "galloping" motion. Music traditionally a mechanical band organ provides atmosphere. Carry the Banner — Said of a carny or pitchman who is penniless, and has nothing to do but "make-work" jobs with the show.
Catch Wrestling — A style of wrestling using tricky submission holds see "At Show".
The name refers to a colloquial phrase "catch as catch can", to use any means you can get away with to get a job done. Cattle Rustling — To actively attract customers whose attention legitimately belongs to another joint see "Overcall". The lines of demarcation generally extend from the edges of your joint straight out into the midway.
Chart — A table of values used to convert the numbers you scored in game play to a final score.
Never a legitimate way to play a game, the chart enables so many possible ways of confusing a mark that an agent can easily "build him up" again and again, letting him believe that he is very close to a big win, but really never letting him get a winning score.
A "Chart Store" is a joint featuring this type of game. NEVER play a chart game! Chaser — From mainstream slang "skirt chaser", an employee who would rather "come on" to pretty women than do his job. Check Up — When an accumulation of money is taken out of the agent's apron to a safer place.
The money is counted in front of the agent, and the agent gets his cut later. Cheese Wheel Mouse Wheel — A game now rare with a round cake-shaped play area, with holes in each of several segments around the circumference. Customers bet on which hole a mouse will choose to enter.
The mouse will always enter the hole secretly wiped by the agent with a drop of ammonia. Chester — A child molester. A carny might be more likely to notice someone's undue interest in and behavior toward children because he is always observing the behavior of individuals in the crowd, and because venues like a carnival, where there are a lot of children and more than the usual chaos, tend to attract such predators.
Chill — To get the mark to leave "He was getting rangy, so I chilled him. Chopped Grass — Dried herbs used in medicines being pitched. Naive, gullible player as in W.
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Ciazarn — Carny talk, a sort of "pig-latin. A white woman would use beer to stiffen and bush her hair in an 'Afro' hairdo. The bally involved kidnapping by 'Arabs' and being forced into harem life, followed by a harrowing escape culminating in refuge there in the show. Circus Candy — Cheap candy in an impressive looking box.
Circus Jump — A difficult move between lots, usually calling for tearing down, driving, setting up and opening for business on the new lot without time to sleep. If you're good, and you're really "on," the midway looks mighty empty after your bally.
Clem — Another term for "mark," particularly a gullible rural local. Also, a fight between a townie and carnies. Clerk — A concession employee, usually a less-skilled or less-motivated person operating hanky-panks and other un-rigged games, whose chief function is to collect players' money and make change.
Paid much less than agents. Clutching — "Riding" the clutch on a ride same function as the clutch on a carostensibly to provide a few thrilling speed variations or outright jerks to please the riders, but really to generate "thrown change. Players may win the coconut, or other prizes.
In British colloquial use, "to shy" means "to throw with a sideways snapping motion. You get the mark going at x amount a shot. You let him continue shooting and pay after he owes you several fees. When he gets so high you "collect": The object is to keep him confused, still shooting, and owing you more. Color — Blood, especially when drawn intentionally by "blading" with a small hidden piece of razor, in carnival wrestling matches.
Comic Book — A "comic book idiot" is a lazy and stupid employee who would rather read comic books than serve patrons or do his job. Committee — Representatives of the local sponsor, usually a local charity with whom proceeds are shared. A sponsorship arrangement goes a long way toward cooling police scrutiny of the games, and often includes the sponsor's advertising and ticket-selling efforts as a part of the arrangement. Sponsorship makes it easier for the show to locate on public land.
Members of the committee may count tickets at the end of the day to make sure the charity gets its agreed share. Occasionally or often, depending on who you ask the committee members may be on the take. Concessions — The food stands, games and shops on a midway, given the right to be there by virtue of a hefty payment to the carnival owner usually on a dollars-per-front-foot basisplus a percentage of their gross, plus electrical charges, bribes and more. Concession Manager — Second in authority only to the carnival owner, the concession manager supervises the location of the concessions, arranges for security personnel, and handles beefs arising from concession operation.
Cook House — A sit-down eating establishment on the lot, open to the public and carnies alike. An 'Indiana-style' cookhouse was a large tented area, offering table service or counter service. Often their kitchens were in a separate wagon or truck. Today, cookhouses are smaller, housed in a trailer, and are exclusively for employees the public can eat at food joints on the midway.
Cool Out — Convincing a mark that he has not been taken. The term comes from the big con games. Cootch Show — A raunchy girl show. Cop — To cheat or manipulate a sucker at some point in a game, or to take anything especially if you take it by subterfuge. An agent might arrange his counter at just the right height and invite pretty marks to lean over for an extra-close throw so that he can cop a feel of breast.
Also, when a rigged game malfunctions, carnies say that it copped. Evans Company catalog sold pegs for a Pitch-Till-You-Win game with the claim that they could be set to "cop or blow as desired," meaning they could be set to easily accept a ring thrown by a customer or be impossible to ring. Corn Game — Bingo game with dry corn kernels used as counters. Corn Punk or Corn Slum — A pitchman's remedy for corns. At one time, count stores were not open in the daytime because women and children were not allowed to play.
One former carny said, "The nice part of a 'count store' was that you never gave anything away. My game could not be beat. I only gave it away if I wanted to.
I could always keep the same flash. If you packed it nicely you could use it year after year. Many more people will pay for entertainment than will pay for teddy bears. Country Store Wheel — This "wheel of fortune" distributes as prizes blankets, dolls, novelties, groceries or any kind of merchandise.
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Is a subtle, unconscious game of follow-the-leader going on? This is a sign the other person feels emotionally in sync with you.Flirting Tips With Magic Tricks
These results suggest that cooperators may be more emotionally expressive than non-cooperators. We speculate that emotional expressivity can be a more reliable signal of cooperativeness than the display of positive emotion alone. You can generally trust your gut as to whether someone is going to go full-Jeffrey-Dahmer on you: We then report two experiments in which participants, given a set of headshots of criminals and non-criminals, were able to reliably distinguish between these two groups, after controlling for the gender, race, age, attractiveness, and emotional displays, as well as any potential clues of picture origin.
But if you really want to know if a man is dangerous, ask a short guy: Although men generally perceived masculinized faces and voices to be more dominant than feminized versions, this effect of masculinity on dominance perceptions was significantly greater among shorter men than among taller men.
How can you tell if someone is going to cheat or mislead you? When your motivation is high, you actually become much more accurate at judging other people accurately. We become much better able to read cues. Then you start being able to discern certain things. Again and again, it was a cluster of four cues: None of these cues foretold deceit by itself, but together they transformed into a highly accurate signal.
And the more often the participants used this particular cluster of gestures, the less trustworthy they were in the subsequent financial exchange. Give their clothing a look.
The women tend to show more cleavage. The guys tend to show more muscles. To learn how to deal with a narcissist, click here.