When I was about 14 or so I was hanging at fairgrounds in Uxbridge with a couple of friends when one of the traveling carnivals pulled in to set up. It was a French Canadian troupe and they had a wall of death motorcycle rider and a strip show of sorts, the hanky panks of course, a bear wrestler and a sort of side show. One thing led to another and we were hired as extra helpers and we pitched in mostly for free passes etc. I become rather attached to motorcycle rider and he let me watch him practice after we got the wall together. I watched as he carefully checked the engine and as he just as carefully crossed himself before he started. There is no doubt he would be in big trouble if that engine failed and drove round and round the wooden walls. His wife was the stripper and I got to see pretty much what she showed in the show and it was pretty tame stuff, interestingly she too crossed herself before his show and her show. Even the bear wrestler crossed himself even though the poor bear had no teeth or claws. But there was one exhibit that they tried to keep me out of. It was called the secrets of life or some such thing and was clearly marked Adults only! You must be 18 or 21 and so forth. On Sunday the last day they made sure I was going to help tear down that night so they treated me to some extra goodies and a few dollars. There was no question of Sunday school or church. I had pretty much given up by then. I had been extremely ostracized for not signing the pledge not to drink or smoke until I was 21. I had gone to every church in town and found them pretty well the same.
We waited around to open at noon. I was pretty much trusted by then and had the run of the place. I got some time alone and ducked into the forbidden tent. There were about 50 or 60 huge bottles and each one held a deformed fetus.
It was eerie and I was fascinated I walked slowly around examining each container. Penises hung from foreheads, extra body parts here and there. Poor little sleeping monsters in every jar. I knew right then there was no god. No intelligence could do this. Even at 14 I was very well read for my age, I had already read Darwin and it was suddenly very clear. Life was happenchance totally trial and error. Even the term evolution was a misnomer. Life wasn’t evolving into anything it was just constantly trying everything, what worked lived for however long and when it didn’t work it died. I often wondered how they managed to believe traveling around with that show but I never believed in anything after that.
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