Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Secrets of the Strange
When I first returned from living in the UK I was a bit of a mess for about 8 months to be honest. I had left behind me some really sublime memories that where coated with deep deep heartbreak , my grandfather had died also and I moved into his house. In order to get my life back on track I concentrated on getting my own stamp on the house, get a job and get myself some hobbies and interests since my friends had all virtually settled down.
One day whilst walking around the city I seen a poster for ‘ Jim Rose - secrets of the strange’ tour. A voice in my head screamed ‘Cooooooool!!!!!!!!’ and I promptly decided to ditch the idea of getting any groceries and spent all my money on two tickets to see this master of illusion.
Tickets firmly in hand I danced with excitement all the way home and went about the business of thinking who I could bring. Bare in mind I was only home around a month and getting back in touch with people when I was feeling low seemed like a tall order for me, to be honest my self esteem had taken a firm beating and I just thought people would have the ‘ Oh youre back now and you want us to socialise with you when you where away for so long ' mentality(we are a great race of be-grudgers we Irish)‘ but how and ever I rang up a couple of friends who I was close enough to that would be far from that train of thought. The first reply from one friend was ‘ you want to go and see Who? Are you fuckin mad Jude? The second offer was greeted with ‘Theres no bleeding way youre going to get me in the same room with that guy’..
I found myself thinking ‘Jesus my friends were a bunch of sissies’. I looked closer to home and since my sister was living in new york and my brothers still chided me for being in the Bram Stoker society I thought I would have to bring someone wet behind the ears as far as Jim Roses reputation was concerned. Can you think of the least suspecting person you would bring to such a spectacle?? Three little letters M- U- M. Yes here was someone who was oblivious to all that Jim Rose and his carny family stood for. I rang her up , gave her a little warning that it was on the line of sword swallowers and contortionists and I tried to fight back the howls of laughter when all I could see was Mr Lifto in my minds eye..
My Mum is so cool in many ways, like all good mothers shes got mountains of wisdom in a single sentence, and is well versed in the ways of the world and knows to a certain extent theres a seedy side of life out there but bless her nothing prepared her for her nights entertainment with her daughter. When we got to the venue it was perfect. Tiny little tables dotted the open plan ‘stage’, purple lights dimly lit but added incredible ambience and overhead on the PA was ’Deadbolt’ - a voodoo rockabilly band which exuded 50’s kookiness in a macabre way. I was like a child at Christmas eve, so excited with anticipation. My mother who had heard a little bit about Jim Rose from my elder brother was a tad apprehensive , I lied through my teeth telling her she had nothing to worry about.
There were about a hundred and fifty people in the ‘intimate’ theatre but the tables where well spaced out and we where lucky (?) enough to get one near enough the front, the rest of the audience where on staggered seating at the back. The lighting changed from purple to midnight blue and the show began. No dramatic entrance which I thought showed style, Jim simply appeared from behind the curtain, told his story of how he came to be in the profession he had found himself in and proceeded to show some of his party pieces for example chewing razor blades and swallowing them on a string and bringing them back up, putting a fork up his nose. I looked over to my mother who was goggle eyed in amazement and smiling like a Cheshire cat.
As far as my mother was obliviously concerned the worst was yet to come.
He introduced the next act who took a couple of minutes to come on stage and in the fleeting interval my mother whispered to me ’this is amazing, did you see him with the string of blades? Mother of jesus!’ I was delighted she was enjoying it albeit in a ironic way. Then a guy called Pyro came on and generally showed his abilities his tongue could withstand when it came to putting out cigars , a hot iron and those gas burners one uses to caramelise crème caramels. You cant help but ask yourself over and over again how these guys discover their talents??
Then Mr Lifto came out on stage, I had to tell mum about him, but I only told her when we got there, she had seen him on a Friday night late night tv show before with a couple of irons dangling from a coat hanger that was secured through his nipples. Mr Lifto proceeded to tell the audience that this was his first attempt to lift since he ripped his scrotum whilst touring with Nine Inch Nails. My mother thought he ripped it with nine inch nails. He was using elephant tape on his member as a precautionary measure and proceeded to lift 4 cavity blocks much to the ladies bemusement and the gentlemens anxiety.
I guess the cruscendo for my mother came when Bebe,Jim's Wife came out with an angle grinder and a bucket of champagne and ice , she and another girl did a slot with the bebe angle grinding away on a groin plate she was wearing and then her assistant carved her initials with a chainsaw in an apple she was holding in her mouth, all very fine and dandy and THEN the girl pulled back the leather skirt she was wearing and hooked the ice bucket with champagne on to her ring that was hanging from her nether regions, and swung it happily like a young child in a playground! The look of shock on my mother was something to behold.. Still mum tried to take it in her stride..
When the show finished Jim Rose announced that there would be on sale a limited number of books available to buy and some of the performers would be in the bar of the venue to sign them. Mum waited in the eves with a brandy. I was one of the first to get mine signed. The highlight for me was that Jim called me beautiful and asked me , yes me to go party with them!!. And when Pyro was signing my book he told me his room number in the hotel they where staying (it was great to know I had still got the ol black magic). Then it dawned on me...As you know my mother was with me and as she lived a good 15 miles away , I remembered seeing my mothers car keys on the table as soon as Jim gave me the invite DAMN I had no other choice but to go home , I couldnt rush her home and tell her I was going partying with those guys she would have had kittens! (and Jim would probably sign her up). The next day in work she was telling her friends in work what she had seen and she told me her street cred had shot up with the younger members of staff, she said she would go again when they came and she would be bringing her friends too. I on the other hand got so much more out of it and it did my self esteem the power of good.