Tag Archives: carnival

The Cojoined (And Possibly Transgender) Mermaids of Wildwood NJ

22 Jul

July 22, 2015

Sideshows, carnivals, and traveling circuses used to feature all sorts of “amazing” oddities and displays. Bearded ladies, wolf-men, snake-people, and even mermaids could be seen and gawked at for just a few cents. But nowadays, not only has the price gone up, but the public demands more and more. Nope, plain old run-of-the-mill mermaids aren’t enough to satisfy audiences today. This amazing piece of sideshow art was on display in Wildwood New Jersey.


These are not your average mermaids, nope. These are conjoined mermaids. And ironically, they are painted behind a pair of seats it would be impossible for them to sit in.

This being the modern era, and not knowing thing one about how mermaids would reproduce- like a fish? Like a human? -the painting is very unhelpful in that regard, the possibility came up that maybe, somehow, those conjoined mermaids are also transgender. The one on the right does look a little more masculine than the other. (Unbelievably, alcohol played no part in that conversation.)

I will wisely leave that topic alone.

However, although I am sure that isn’t vintage, it is still a great example of old sideshow art.


What Is That Thing?

17 Jan

January 17, 2014

I recently had the chance to go back and read one of my old blogs, Imponderable #92: At the Carnival. This is the one where some idiot drops over $2,000 on a rigged carnival game in hopes of winning an Xbox and ends up with a stuffed banana. Reading my old blogs can be as painful for me as it can be for you, trust me, even more so, but this one just opened up a mystery for me, something I never noticed before. Here’s the picture I ran with the story.


What’s the classy guy drinking? It is clearly a Pepsi but in a weird container, like a normal paper or wax paper cup but sealed like a milk carton on top. I went back to the original, uncropped picture and found that there was a second cup in the scene too.

carny soda crop

Dating the picture is hard. Looking at their high-class threads, this couple could be from anytime between 1969 and infinity. The prizes are a little more help. While it is hard to date the Spider-Man and Superman pictures, the Simpsons didn’t start airing until 1989 and the Dick Tracy movie came out in 1990, so I’m going to date this in the early 1990’s.

I went online to look for that odd soda container but couldn’t find anything even nearly close. The only thing in even the same realm was some even older civil defense containers of drinking water.


Any of you ever see soda packaged that way? Because it is sealed it can’t just be something they sold empty and filled, it had to be produced by Pepsi and distributed that way. I have to admit, it does seem like a cool and cheap way to package soda, though I wonder if the soda would eventually eat through the paper, much like it is doing to our stomach linings right now.

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