|The Amazing Sluggo|
Slug or man?
See his eyes grow into stalks!
A wondrous creature to behold!
Come watch the show of a lifetime!
|Is he a man or a slug? He's both! One of our greatest performers, The Slugman will have you tapping your feet to the music as he dances and sings for you. Watch him as he uses his slug eyestalks to form your name, or EVEN YOUR IMAGE!|
ONE DAY ONLY
This Friday, 9 PM, at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
The following is a page from a publication entitled To the Circus Born: Herman Fuller's Menagerie of Freaks. The identities of neither publisher nor author have been established, and scattered pages have been found inserted into Circus-themed books in libraries across the world. The person or persons behind this dissemination are unknown.
The Amazing Sluggo
didn't want to sell me to Mr. Fuller, but I don't think he had a choice. Once you got fired for mouthing off to the foreman in our neck of the woods, you had a reputation. He just couldn't get any employment anywhere, and believe me, he tried. Night after night he came home dead tired and broken.
Of course I cried my little blind eyes out when Fuller took me with him on that muggy day in June of 1912, but you have to understand that to a small boy, the circus is also an adventure, and emotions seldom last long. Hell, I didn't even realize what it all meant; after about an hour of sniffling, all I could think about was the lions, and the dancing bears I thought I was going to see. Besides, Mr. Fuller'd promised me that my mom and dad could always visit when we were in town. He later told me that my parents lacked for nothing in the years that followed. I can't say if they did or didn't; we never did go back to our patch of Louisiana, and I never saw them again.
Anyway, when we got to the circus, I marveled. It was as grand as grand could be. A big tent, all manner of trailers and wagons, some real fancy ones too. He took me aside and explained that in order to work in his circus, I needed something unique. Said he knew someone who could make me special. And he did, oh Lord, did he ever! I didn't know the meaning of the word "disquieting" back then, but I was about to learn. He took me to Sally the Seamstress, bless her soul, and he told me: "Now, Uriel, Sally here is going to make your eyes better. Just hold still." And Sally, she just smiled with those big bright doll's eyes of hers and beckoned me closer. Everything smelled of lavender and swamp reeds, a really weird combination. I hesitated for a bit, but Fuller gave me a little shove and into her arms I went. Sally comforted me, because she knew I was just a scared little boy, but then she began working her magic. Didn't hurt either, that's the funniest thing. I mean, I felt my skin stretching, felt it cover my eye sockets. And of course, I felt it when she stitched the crosses on, but it really didn't hurt. And then it happened. She kissed the stitches and all of a sudden I could see! Let me tell you, when you can see for the first time after seven years, it's like you're born again. I found out nothing looked like anything I'd imagined. I didn't even know what I looked like, let alone the rest of the world. I guess that disquieted me the most about all of that. Fuller had to put me down in a chair for fear of me fainting and hitting my head. He was right though, I fainted.
I woke up in my very own trailer. Can you imagine, a seven-year-old boy getting his own trailer? I remember that one was painted bright yellow on the inside. Used to belong to one of Fuller's original clowns, Gusto. Italian guy, I think. Never did find out what happened to him. Fuller kept saying Gusto wasn't "compatible" with his vision for the circus, but he wouldn't go into detail. I do know that every time I mentioned his name to the other performers, they'd hush and look glum. Make of that what you will. Anyway, Fuller introduced me to Manny, the Man with the Upside-Down Face, and he set about developing an act with me. Now, I'd always been a good dancer, always making the girls giggle and the ladies in church swoon with my fancy moves, but that wasn't good enough. A Fuller act needed to knock 'em dead, so to speak. Manny taught me how to control my stalks, and how to bend them into shapes. Simple ones at first. Circles, squares, then harder ones like triangles and things he called hexagons. Eventually, I was able to form hearts, letters and after years of practice even people's faces. Now that was a show stopper, I tell you.
I didn't start doing shows until I'd been with the Circus for about six months, but when I did, they put me right at the top of the bill for a while. Every poster they put up would have my name up there in big bold lettering. "URIEL FISHBONES, THE AMAZING SLUGGO". That made me proud and I hoped that when my parents saw that, it made them proud too.
After every show, I'd have to lie down in my trailer. Other acts, they were far more athletic. Running, tumbling or swinging around and around they were, and there I was, just sitting on a stool, manipulating my stalks. And still, every time I was done, I felt so tired. I needed the applause though, it was the only thing