Blog From a Carny. Very Interesting. (1 Viewer)

Joe Btfsplk

Mar 16, 2009

Very harsh at times and hardcore throughout about a carnival worker, his work, his travel. Good read.


"Jack Kerouac was a self destructive drunk and a good enough writer I think. His book "On the Road" was a fictional story. As a fictional story I think it's good.

So why then did a generation accept it as true and set out "On the Road?" Because they were fucking idiots, that's why.

Most of them were fairly "Well to Do" little snobs that watched too many movies and read too many stupid books and thought it would be cool. Then reality set in.

Jack was a bit of a fraud in some ways. Reading the book and living "On the Road" in some form or fashion for many years of my life I can tell you it's not near as exciting or romantic as he portrayed. That tells me he was full of shit.

It was a fictional story and I believe that's what he intended in the beginning. But a restless generation accepted a lot of it as fact and created a Jack that never really was.

You wouldn't believe some of the morons I've met in "This" generation that embrace that book as the "Real Thing".

We are the real thing, us Carnies. We are the real "Road Dogs". We are tough, and resourceful, "We" know how to survive.

Over the years I have met so many "Pseudo Road Travelers" pretending to be something they're not. Running home to mommy and daddy when reality sets in and they realize it's not the grand romantic adventure they read it would be.

I can survive on fuckall, I've done it. I've traveled, hitchhiked, two thousand miles without a dime in my fucking pocket. I can tell you it wasn't too romantic. But I can do it if need be. I am the real thing.

I met a number of them with guitars on their backs too, imagining they could sing for their supper I suppose, fucking fools. They sucked on the guitar as well, I know, I can play for real.

Go home to mom and dad fools, it's where you belong. They paid for you to get that degree you have, use the fucking thing, I would. Leave the road to those better equipt for it.

Do you think any of these fools ever listened to any advice I gave them? No. Why would they, I didn't paint a romantic picture, I told them to go the fuck home and quit being stupid.

Do you think they were interested in the "Real Thing?" No. Why would they be, they wouldn't know it if it jumped up and bit them in the fucking ass.

Survivors are born, they see the world from a different perspective and this allows them to see loopholes, scams, ways to get by that others don't see. That's what Carnies are, they're survivors in a sense.

We have real stories to tell. The media, hollywood, and book publishers aren't interested in us though, they want shlock, bullshit. Ask Barbara bamberger Scott, writer of a supposed Carny book with a bunch of made up contrived characters and stories.

The funny thing is that the true stories are far more interesting than the romantisized, contrived shit that get's published and passed off as truth. Funny fucked up world.

So You Wanna Be A Carny

Why? You can run, but you cannot hide. People have fantasies of running away, dropping out, leaving all the bullshit behind. I've met lots of people over the years that were running away.

A Carnival is a good place to hide, no one really gives a shit who you "really" are. You can give a fake name, fake SSN, I know all the tricks. No one will find you if you don't want to be found, and no one in Carny land will ask too many questions.

But again, why?

Life has a funny way of following us no matter where we go, because we have to bring ourselves along. We can't leave ourselves behind with all the other shit. No matter where I go, there I am, fuck.

The Carnival lot is like a little self contained society that travels around, it's easy to disappear there. You can live and travel for years at a time off the radar if you do things right, and keep your mouth shut.

I can't count the times I've told people to go home and face their shit. It's the same thing with a lot of the younger people I meet on the lot, or on my own crew, the ones with some kind of promise......."Go the fuck Home".

There are "True Carnies", and then there are the "Runaways", and they're not all young by the way. "True Carnies" are transient by nature, "Runaways" are just doing it because they think they have no other option.

There's always another option..."Grow the fuck up" it's called.

Even if I weren't a Carny, I would be some kind of transient drifter. I would be on the road in some form or fashion.

Years ago, when I was young, I said "Fuck the Carnies". I went drifting around by myself. I hitchhiked here and there, worked for a bit, moved on, and did it again. I met every kind of weirdo you can fucking imagine that summer."
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Aug 9, 2018
That is pretty interesting, the guy feels like a very jaded human through his writings. Pretty good writing though.


Oct 24, 2015
Exeter, United Kingdom
so I presume a carny is a bit like a 'showman' in the UK / Europe - they travel around enmasse in expensive RV's and fifth wheel trailers - stopping at each point on their well worn route to set up a circus or fayre for a week, make a load of cash and repeat, ya ? doesn't quite sound like the gritty life he's hinting at ! I mean why would someone who's part of a carnival need to hitch 2000 km with no money ? I'll give the blog a read coz I like stuff like this but I hate arrogant fucks who claim to know how to travel 'better' than you and I, which is how the above piece sounds to me - we're all still learning, right ?


Mar 28, 2018
Greensboro \\ NC
I personally will make a write up sometime in the future. I haven't actually read the blog, but the writer did seem a bit edgy in the above. /shrug

Matt Derrick

Permanent Wanderer
Staff member
Aug 4, 2006
Austin, TX
I gave up after reading the first few paragraphs. Dude sounds exactly like every gatekeeper 'I'm so much more hardcore than you' shit head I've ever met.

I love that jack Kerouac is a liar cause he didn't include every excruciatingly shitty moment in a book he was writing.
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Oct 24, 2015
Exeter, United Kingdom
I read some of the blog and found it mildly interesting - the guy leads a pretty joyless existence though - he's down on everyone and everything (except tough guys)... I imagine stories from carnies 50 or 100 years ago would be much better....

Beegod Santana

Burrito fund contributor
StP Supporter
Jan 28, 2008
The woods
I enjoyed the blog. Guy's definitely a little jagged, but that's what 20+ yrs of carny work will do to you. I'd recommend it to anyone thinking of living that life.

I did find it a little funny how much he hates any traveler that isn't a carny (and many that are) but then admits he tried it himself for a year and couldn't cut it alone outside the carny world.


I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Jun 3, 2019
Right! listen up ya fucking peasant travellers!! what do you know about travelling 500 miles through a -20 degrees fucking snow storm blizzard!? in nothing but ya boxer shorts, while shadow boxing to keep warm!! nothing!! cause yaarr fucking peasant!


Oct 16, 2015
I gave up after reading the first few paragraphs. Dude sounds exactly like every gatekeeper 'I'm so much more hardcore than you' shit head I've ever met.

I love that jack Kerouac is a liar cause he didn't include every excruciatingly shitty moment in a book he was writing.

I think you really hit the nail on the head with this comment.

It's akin to little children hearing their first story and asking "But when did they poop?"

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