…specifically, a piece written in anticipation of this past Sunday’s annual hotdog-eating contest there. The cast of strange characters involved makes it sound like the movie The Quick and the Dead (still Sam Raimi’s best, if you ask me), with colorful, cartoonish weirdoes assembling from far and wide for combat.
I honestly strive to be a straight-laced, moderate fellow but somehow seem to end up being a ringmaster as a hobby and knowing several people with ties to things like sideshows (and burlesque).
One of my favorite bartenders, at the fittingly named bar Shade (not far from the defunct Baggot Inn, where Dawn Eden and Caren Lissner plied their trivia years ago), with whom I’d never really expected a bond to form or common interests to emerge, turned out to be not just a multiply-pierced and tattooed gothy person who likes punk, which is already pretty cool, but also a friend of sideshow people and a fan of sci-fi, Nietzsche, and John Stuart Mill, with a background in biology — and old professional ties to the Kubrick-inspired Korova Milk Bar, where I attended a Space: 1999-themed party on Sept. 13, 1999, the day the Moon blew out of orbit (on a fictional TV show, or so the official story goes).
Ah, but who is to say which are the most valuable forms of weirdness? Let the market sort it all out, like a giant, beautiful hotdog-eating contest. Anything else is sheer arrogance.