BARKER: The James E. Strates Shows presents a real two-headed baby, with two perfectly normal heads, four perfectly formed arms and hands, and only two legs and two feet on the one single body. Born of normal parents of a normal birth, the same as you and I. Come in now and visit with the baby just as long as you like . . . (Fades.)
FORTUNE TELLER BARKER: Right now is a very good time to have a reading of your life. Have your fortune told, have your palm read. Special readings in private booths . . . (Fades.)
FORTUNE TELLER: Let me see your hand, please. Nineteen-forty-one, this year, is going to be a very happy year.
WOMAN: Is that so?
FORTUNE TELLER: What questions would you like to ask me, please?
WOMAN: I’m thinking of taking a trip. Should I take it?
FORTUNE TELLER: It shows a trip that you’re going to take that’s going to be very successful. My advice is for you to take the trip . . . (Fades.)
BARKER: And don’t fail to see that daring, sensational, death-defying human canonball, that famous Manuel Zacchini.
CHARLES HARRELL: Zacchini will you tell me just in your own words how the canon act works?
ZACCHINI: Well the canon act works by compressed air so the man is automatically shoot out on the different ways . . .
HARRELL: You shoot the canon, is that right?
ZACCHINI: I shoot the canon, that’s right.
HARRELL: And who is it who is shot out of the canon?
ZACCHINI: Manuel, my brother Manuel. But our family is made of seven brothers, which they all are in the canon business.
HARRELL: Yes. Tell me, have there ever been any serious accidents?
ZACCHINI: Not very serious. But some of the brothers got their legs broken, and ribs, the end of the spine, muscles . . .
HARRELL: When your brother is shot out of the end of the canon, is he conscious the whole time?
ZACCHINI: I tell you frankly, I hope so, anyway. (Fades.)
WEIGHT GUESSER: Anybody else? Who’s next one now? Come in and fool the guesser. Any prize you want if I fail to guess your weight. Don’t hurt, there’s nothing to hurt you. It isn’t like going to a dentist. Come on in. All I do, we guess the women by observation. We look in their eyes and tell them what they weigh . . . (Fades.)
MOTORCYCLE BARKER: Moto-maniacs, upside-down riders, crazy riders, crazy drivers on the walls of death. Passing and re-passing, crossing and re-crossing. Where they race, where they ride, where they race, ride, and drive. High-powered motorcycles on a straight-up-and-down perpendicular wall.
SPEEDY HAYES: Well, my name is Speedy Hayes. Thirty-nine years of age, been in this business for the past twenty years. I learned to ride in the racetracks of Schenley Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when motorcycles first came out.
HARRELL: Have you ever had any accidents while riding here?
HAYES: Quite a few. My collarbone broke about fourteen times, had my legs broke seven times, and my arms broke four times.
HARRELL: Where are your parents, Speedy? Are they still alive?
HAYES: Some of them are and some of them aren’t.
HARRELL: Well thank you very much, Speedy.
SIDE-SHOW BARKER: The feature attractions of this big circus side-show. The man that eats and drinks fire the same as you and I eat a hearty meal. Watch him! Mr. Pete Holmes draws beautiful pictures on that piece of white porcelain using nothing but smoke. Watch him!
BURLESQUE BARKER: Here at the vanities we present burlesque as you like it: red-hot, spicy, saucy, sizzling, burlesque entertainment. Now I don’t mean that these girls do any tap dancing, toe dancing, ballet dancing, soft-shoe dancing, or acrobatic dancing. The kind of dancing that these girls do is the kind that you expect to find at a carnival midway. And believe you me you will not be disappointed. If you’re a broad-minded person, if you’re living in the 20th century, the girls will give you the show, and I mean they’ll give it to you just the way you want it. It’s burlesque as you like it: red-hot, spicy, saucy, sizzling, burlesque entertainment. Get tickets, go now.
(Burlesque music fades out.)