So, I got a message on the couch surfing website from a guy who had biked to Louisville from somewhere in Indiana. It was his birthday and he was stuck in a city he didn’t know, the poor thing. My heart went out to him, so I hopped in the shower and ran out to meet him and show him around the city. Somebody had directed him to a part of Louisville known as the Highlands, where all the head shops and little stores are. He’d given me the wrong cross streets, but I found him anyway. He was tall and amiable looking with floppy hair under a dirty hat, with a half filled backpack hanging off one shoulder and a crumpled cigarette, which he stubbed out on his shoe as he hopped in the car.
I took him out to get some pizza and he told me all about his life with the carnival. I’d seen him mention a carnival in his message, but had assumed it was the name of his band or something, but I slowed down my chewing for a moment and gulped- I was having lunch with a carnie! AWESOME! He said he used to run the basketball hoops, but had been promoted to the goldfish booth. He tried out his cons on me, “Step right up, win your kid a fish, they get THIS BIG!” and he framed the length of an impressively overgrown imaginary goldfish. I don’t think I would try for a goldfish, but I’m a hard sell.
From there, I took him to see some art at 21C, mostly because I wanted to see it. We were limited to things that were free, or cheap, so he bought us some beer and we sat in the park and argued about the availability if information on the internet. He had left school in eighth grade but said he tried hard to educate himself. I never trust those types, they end up finding more of what they already know. He was agreeable, though and sitting outside was nice. He wanted me to drive him back to this troupe’s camp site so he could make an illegal fire. Just to show them that they weren’t the boss of him. It was epic, he was trying to drag me into his weird carnie drama! Then he tried to make out with me and I threw his things out of the car and ditched him at the park.
So, for your entertainment, I bring you this wonderful little segment on how to outwit carnies.