Tonight was a very funny and weird night. And why? Because much of the evening’s activities were centered around carneys. That’s right; the carnival has come to Bloomington.

At first, I was going to go to the carnival (called Fun Frolic or something) to watch Jesse and crew tape some segments for a new IUSTV show, Cruise Control. They didn’t stay that long, and by the time I got back from dinner, they had finished and left. From Jesse’s phone call, they got some really good footage and it was “a big white trash event.”

Since the Fun Frolic was literally 2 blocks from my house, (on the parking lot of the Stadium), me, Nick, Brian, and Mike decided to go there to see what was going on, and of course to laugh at the carnival folk (AKA carneys, pikeys, gipsies, wanderers, gippos, etc). By the time we got there, they were already closing up shop. Ah well, too bad. It was just as you would expect; a bunch of trailers and trucks in a parking lot, with rides, games, and foodstands set up. We made a quick tour around the place and then left. No carney stories for the night. Or so we thought.

Since there wasn’t much fun for us at the carnival, on account of it closing up, we decided to go to a party that Laura and Katie had invited us to. This party was close as well, about 4 blocks from the carnival, so we figured what the heck. This party started off pretty normal. Reminded me of a very stereotypical high school or college party. HOWEVER, then it happened. Within an hour of us getting there, a bunch of older folks started showing up. That in itself was a little weird.

Then, Katie mentioned something about a bunch of carneys being there, and it clicked in my mind. These older people were no ordinary people…they were the CARNEYS! They had walked from their trailers and caravans at the Stadium to this party. Mike and Brian later mentioned that they recognized a few of them from when we were at the Fun Frolic earlier. Who invited them? I still have no idea. So the party was pretty funny. Lots of weird carneys, typical college folk, etc. Here are some of the highlights (rogue’s gallery):

– Carney with the lunar moth as a pet.
– Carney who was in his mid 40’s, who’s father bombed some building in CA during the 60’s. He says he’s a “game man” (referring to his job at the Carnival).
– Carney in his mid 50’s from Tennessee who didn’t talk much, except to tell things like “I met the King” and other such nonsense.
– Carney who tattooed his name (Steve) on his neck in gothic lettering.
– Carney ladies (yes, as frightening as it sounds).
– College guy who trashed his own backyard in a drunken rage, including smashing a Foosball Table to bits.
– 2 black guys in their late 30’s who were rapping in the living room.
– Stoner kid who wouldn’t shut up about all the car wrecks and arrests he’s been in.

It was quite the group of people at this party. For the most part, these carneys are all very tan (from working in the sun), have their cell phones in holsters and stuff on their belt, have REALLY bad teeth, and are indeed white trash. I don’t know if that covers it all. You really have to just call them carneys/pikeys/gypsies. The carneys were predominantly male, and ranged from teenager to mid 50’s. Lots of carneys; probably about 20 or more. Honestly, some of them reminded me of the Caleco’s occasional clientele. And no, they didn’t really smell of cabbage (although I tried to stay a fair distance away from them).

Sorry to offend anyone (especially the carneys), but it was really funny for me. We left as the rappers were trying to rhyme a few lines for everyone in the room. They weren’t really that creative. Everyone was just “cool” or “my boy.” I got “my Chinese boy, we cool” or something like that. It was funny though. Interesting experience, indeed.