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Letter: Too loud!

Freaks were abound at the fair. I mean more than usual. You know, of the side-show variety. Not my cup of tea, but whatever. I’ll leave debates over ethics, morals, and taste to others.

No, my issue is the bombastic and poorly-scripted sales pitch blaring around each of the Midway’s several side-shows. Particularly around the “snake lady” and “spider lady” set up, where while waiting for the children, I was so lost in my fantasy about ripping down those cheap, blaring speakers and going all Office Space on them, I almost missed the kids at our rendezvous. When deciding where to eat, my large family opted for somewhere far, far, away from the booming shriek of the freaks. Even at the tables near the door of the adjacent building, the calls to “speak to the spider lady” could be heard clearly, to the voiced irritation of the table workers and the distraction of their customers. Worst of all, I watched a little girl crying, yelling desperately at the attendant of the harnessed trampoline ride for some reason, but he couldn’t hear her.

Look, Reithoffer, if a customer is interested, he or she will check out your freaks without needing you to turn up the volume to the obnoxiously ear-splitting notch on the dial. And if the customer is not interested, he or she will appreciate the courtesy and restraint you’ve shown. It seems kind of illogical and irresponsible to make your attractions so loud that the customers get irritated, the other vendors get annoyed and lose traffic, and scared kids can’t be heard on a ride that makes no noise.

Now, where’s the aspirin?

ERIKA MUSSELMAN

Gill

Wow!! I am not sure if your article is bashing freak shows, noise or both? If it is too loud for you then go to the other side of the midway, perhaps where the elderly sit playing Bingo and drinking coffee? "Freak Shows" have been around since carnivals, fairs and circus's began. It started as a way for people born with deformities to make a living when they could get no other jobs because of their looks. And from there escalated into people like P.T. Barnum, Bailey and Ripley all searching the world over to bring the strange and oddities for people to see. Not to scare people but to educate them as to other cultures i.e. shrunken heads. Freak shows are an American Icon. And I for one hope it is a tradition at county fairs that continue. As is the unscripted sales pitch to get customers to view the strange oddities. It is unfair to call these people freaks.("booming shrieks of the freaks") I guess I just prefer to call them human beings whom go out to earn a living any way that they can without taking a handout. Not "freaks" at all but reporting and good journalism should be more based on unbiased opinions.

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