Monday, July 11, 2005

Sideshow Performers A Dying Breed

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Parents, here’s some bad news: Your child’s dreams of becoming a sideshow snake charmer or fire eater are in jeopardy.

That’s the hard-edged news from sword swallower Todd Robbins, whose Coney Island Sideshow Skills 101 class scheduled to begin tomorrow (Jul. 12) could be cut off due to a battle with land developers.

That means classes on fire eating and sword swallowing are on hold until Robbins and pals can prevent developers from turning the Coney Island amusement park into “a mall with another Gap and Starbucks.”

Once that happens, Robbins can get back to teaching young proteges how to walk on glass and shove nails up their noses. Now he’s warning his students to not practice things like sword swallowing at home because, “You could puncture your esophagus and bleed to death in five minutes.”

Until classes begin, Robbins will have to reminisce. He says, “It’s fun to see students put the torch in their mouth for the first time. When they realize they’ve eaten fire, they usually do a giddy dance.”

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