In paranormal news the author of the original “Exorcist” novel has passed on.
(We need not mention again some of those peculiar St. Louis origins)
And another item laments the passing of “The Greatest Show on Earth”—Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey service is packing up its tent for good.
(St. Louis was another railyard on the circuit)
Combine the two, and what you almost have is the common variety mega-church. . . . . and they’re not going out of business anytime soon.
You sell spirituality with showmanship—and next you have “Monster Trucks for Jesus” Night down at the ole’ arena. And throw in some death-defying motorcycle riders leaping through the air as they spin in circles, the squealing tires spitting up mud, and you have a show!
The audience holds up those giant foam-rubber fingers, pointing to heaven in the cacophony of blaring speakers—and next they’re throwing down popcorn at Beetlejuice—just another “rodeo clown”.
If he wasn’t aping-it-up on the crowd, it would be back at his other job operating amusement park rides at a traveling carnival.
A rough life, it is—always on the road with just a few dollars allotted a day to buy beer and snacks at roadside convenient stores, if not sleeping out under the stars and traveling hundreds of miles a day.
So how did he get this job? Call him “a spiritual wrangler” or all-around “straw-headed dummy” as he otherwise works up the crowd when he’s not busy doing odd jobs for the company.
(– Or working the merchandise booths out in the curving cinder-block hallways outside the main floor)
If he’s not put-out by fire extinguishers, it’s practically getting mowed down by “Grave-Digger” the monster truck. Let assured, he’ll get carried-out on a stretcher before the night is over.
If it’s not a “special effect” using lights, spiritual wraiths fly all over the arena dome like tissue-paper and gusts from fans as an evil voice cackles. Dark forces apparently.
Forsooth, a moment where all is lost. But wait!
Next, a giant wooden crucifix is lowered from the rafters as the crowd comes down and lays hands on each other’s shoulders, “Old Glory” playing on the mega sound-system.
A light show and holy crescendos as Beetlejuice holds his hand to his heart, his hair in a tangle there in an old filthy coat before he wanders off to take a piss.
Demons and devils are at hand. . . . . later shoveling out all the trash that piled on the arena floor.
There’s always next season. He could work for the traveling rodeo.
(If he doesn’t set-up shop next season with a booth at the flea market)
My America, ‘tis of thee—free land of liberty—and the grand open road.
It’s “a Missouri thing!”