Harmon Leon, who lived among carnies while researching for his book The American Dream (Nation), often witnessed carnies fend off groupies at county fairs.
He figures townies are attracted to the whole bad boy mystique of carnies, since many of the carnival workers are ex-cons.
Though there are rules about mixing with townies in carnie subculture, Leon says many of the traveling ladies men quit their gigs to run away with locals.
Perhaps the appeal of carnies is their work ethic.
According to Leon, carnies take their jobs very seriously and pride themselves on finding new ways to scam customers.
They take psychological digs at patrons like telling them theyre not strong enough to knock down cans tricking them into spending hundreds at their booths.
Leon says pro carnies are amazing to watch, something Americans everywhere can do this summer as fairs head into their towns.
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