'P' EACE riginal. "Carnivale. Defy Death And Win your fortune." brushed haphazardly in tar on the bleached torn side-curtain secured loosely to the groaning overloaded circus wagon. The dusty rock strewn road admonished the worn out sunbleached cartwheels...splintered-out of round...rickety clack disinterested.
The curtain flap flipped open briefly at the dusty command of the wind. The gaunt bear stared unblinking as the light shone in, illuminating the urine-stained straw lining the base of a crude box with rusty bars slightly bent out of boredom and rage. A larger covered box sat precariously at the rear, tent pegs splayed their wooden fingers out from the lower broken edges of the hastily strapped box.The whole sham was of haste...all bespoken of "come on down ye!"
The two men slouching in the front harsh sprung shiny wooden seat sat silent.Nodding trance, loose reins. One fat, one mean and thin like the animal glaring sullenly from its cage...the disgruntled 'P'clutching at his life blood with sharpened matted claws. A small honey pot. 'Peoples' looked at the half-filled jar as the brown liquid sloshed provocatively,beckoning. 'P' stared at the back of the two men rocking in rythm.The fat man in the fat hat wiped a fat hand over his equally ballooned face. Took a swig from a whisky -smeared bottle passed it to the thin man in the neat thin suit. Worn,but neat. 'Statesmanlike' fitted suit.
A big bustling town,bored drunk,dusty,uncaring, a rowdy people,misfits, looking for anything to pull their attention away from the depressive days of the not-so-great-Depression. Some had money,gaudy suits. Soldiers of fortune,mostly thieves,murderers.Wild uncaring women.Snotty-nosed infants were shooed away from the tent entrance as the suckers lined up,sat hawking and blue ringing the crude large tent interior with smoke and miner's cough.Sweat.They had heard about 'P'. The show began. The fatman rang. "Ladiiies and Gentlesmen...thieves..." Several snorted and giggled. "You have all heard about or have you not heared about 'Peoples' the bear?' The crowd of two hundred allsorts cheered. Nodded in definite confusion.'P' rose up on his haunches in the middle of the ring.The fat man let the heavy chain on his main actor out a little.The crowd recoiled then taunted.
The thin Statesman standing outside the tent brushed a hand through his stately grey hair,straightened his bow tie,flicked a fly off his high starch collar...straightened his false medallions on their equally false ribbons.Cheap clips. He took a swig from Doctor do Good. Grinned."Withouit further ado o ye brave ones of this gathering tonight,if any one of you, any man or woman, can take this small jar of honey off this bear, you will be rewarded with this large amount of money. A fat hand clumped the wad of 'rehearsed' crinkled notes in a pretty hired assistant's hand,rented for the night (and overnight)."Put one meagre note down,ye shall take the money pot if ye can take 'People's' honey pot off him!" The bear snatched the proffered honey pot and set himself. A huge drunken miner and his mates backed by cheering leering gamblers and quick rich fortune hunters and gatherers put their money in a pile,forming a roughshod chattering drink hero line. The huge miner made a grab for the honey pot...'People's' bear necessity in life...his only necessity.
The bear slashed him,the man fell,clutching at his face in agony. The crowd roared and supped on the adrenalin of death...smelt the raw intoxicating fear. Another lithe warrior,quicker, actually touched the honey pot. Then screamed as the ferocious animal bit down deep on his throat. Sixty men were dragged from the tent. Some died...no-one cared except for the local undertaker. He cared less after he went through their stained pockets. The respectable pile of notes from the contestants sat beckoning...along with the fat man's smaller pile in the assistant's perfumed hands.. The bear stood guard...clutching his liquid gold.Licked a bloodied claw.
"Are ye all done then good people?" The crowd was getting hostile,restless, a thief eyed the money off...then thought the better of it. To hard to fob off a maddened creature. A shout! The crowd turned as the Statesman flung back the tent flap and strode in. The crowd guffawed and fell about at the sight of the tophatted thin rather effeminate looking tosser. They started to clap. The Statesmen raised a hand to silence the revelry. "Go to it sir" bellowed the fat man!" Amid a huge incredulous gasp the Statesman spoke in a soft hypnotic tone,hardly audible."Pass me that honey pot please my good man-bear...your necessity in life...NOW!" The bear stared,suddenly thrust the honey pot forward fell to its knees and started to thrash and weep pon the sawdust arena. Stunned silence, a shout of "oh my God i'm ruined!" from the fat man as the Statesman took the money off the bewildered young assistant,picked his monetary haul off the floor-stuffing it in a large sack. He turned to leave. The fat man grabbed his arm in desperation and confusion "how on earth did ye do that man...HOW?" "Well..." chuckled the Statesman with a grin,"i'm from a place in America called Congress,a sort of a grab it while you can and to hell with tomorrow reign. Remember,we pollies have been taking Peoples bare necessities off them for years sucker.
The fat man,the thin man,the young lady, the tent dismantlers, the ticket sellers-sat smiling and laughing round the campfire on the outskirts of stupidity and sham.The fat man sham actor man kissed the bear leaning against him,gave him another raw steak as the thin man scratched the animal's head and spoon fed-him honey.There's a moral here somewhere but for the life of me i'm buggered if i can think of one? I suppose you could check out the Bear market? Or become an actor? Cheers...sorry bout the proof reading...i'm tired. Have a great weekend and a big lick of the jar for me.It's not the weekend? Don't tell me the bastards have pinched that too! Honestly,some people are so not!