I remember one day in the sideshow. On this morning Doc calls me over to his housetrailer and he has this big sewing needle out on the table. He says, I have a new act that you can do Markie. I watched….I thought sure he was going to have me push this needle down the hollow throat of the rubber chicken and claim he was the sword swallowing chicken. Nope, I could not get that lucky!
Doc picks up this huge sewing needle and proceeds to push the thing into his arm. There is blood just dripping down his arm – but he is in no pain. I start to shake a bit…feel a bit woozey…
Doc pulls the needle out, wipes it off – does somthing to clean it up…I don’t know I was ready to get very sick to my stomach. Doc says: “okay, markie…you try it”
I start to argue with Doc – “Oh no pal, I’m the magician and the bed of nails guy…yada yada.”
Batman Rick says: You are the pain proof man. I agreed – but that was the wrong thing to do in this case. Rick picks up the sewing needle…kinda moves it out of the way and squeezes abit of fat from around my stomach….”Just relax” he says “When you squeeze the fat here it will stop you from getting sick to your stomach” I thought he was right because I was feeling alittle better.
All the sudden Rick pushes this needle into my stomach and I leave out yell: “OOOUUUUUCCCHHHHH” ~~~~~I must be honest, it hurt!
Rick said “Control your mind Mark…it’s all in the mind” Well, this all builds up to the bed of nails stunt…because Rick was 100% right, it was all in the mind.
As my blood filled my t-shirt and made a mess everywhere I started to feel better about the pain.
Now my cousin Jim comes walking over and sees my blood everywhere and says: “Are you okay Mark?” Now, I am trying to get used to the pain and am in shock because I have a needle hanging out of my stomach….Jim heard a huge “OOOUUUCCCHHHHH” and came over to see what the noise was about…..but here I am with this needle in my stomach and my own blood everywhere and Jim asks me the dumbest question ever: Are you okay Mark? I said to him, “Would you be okay with this needle in your gut?” Jim thinks this is a joke or a magic trick and he says: “that’s gross.” Now, I don’t know how to take that from a guy that sticks stuff up his nose for a living.
Rick says to me: “See it’s been 5 minutes and you are fine…do that in the show tonight” So, well…i end up putting it into the show thinking it would be no big deal and on my first try there is this 6 foot tall dude there trying to impress his girl – he knows how we do each act, the swords fold up, the girl is a guy, the guy is a girl, we use trap doors, we use fat suits – you name it and this guy was WRONG….about everything. Well, I pushed that needle into my arm and this dude just faints…his friends catch him ~ he’s out cold. It’s tear down night – we are moving out of one town and into another one….well, we get finished and go to Denny’s and there is this farmboy that tried to impress his girlfriend.
Well, I send Jim out to the truck to re-adjust my bed of nail because we just threw them into the truck and I knew they kinda rolled around abit on the way over to Denny’s. I order my food and Jim’s – he is outside stacking the truck.
Well, the Fatlady is in the Denny’s and our midget was there and well..we were used to people looking at us funny and like we were weird. This farmboy sees that the fatlady is still in her ‘fatsuit’ so he knows that was WRONG and he sees the midge is walking around – with no trick mirrors – so he knows that’s WRONG. This ugly farmboy was about to make the worst mistake of his life and he didn’t even know it. Rick and whatever girl he has at the time are sitting there eatting and this farm boy walks over to Rick and says: We don’t serve long haired hippies in here.
Ricks says to him – trying to be polite ~ “Oh? Why not, they serve hog like you here farmboy.” I thought oh no…here we go…This dude says to Rick: “How about you say this outside?” All I can think about is Jim is outside re-making the truck and this could get messy and I am not in the mood for this. The dude says to Rick:” say that outside” So Rick says to the dude:’Why, you can’t hear inside? Go eat you slop hogboy and if you still feel like you want to wallow in your own muck, maybe after I eat…wipe that dung off your boots and eat your slop and when I am finished I’ll take you on…fair enough?”
This guy makes an attempt to grab Rick – All I remember seeing is ole farm boy gets thrown through a plate glass window – people are running everywhere and someone calls the cops. This dude lands in the parking lot – Jim turns around and ole farmboy missed my bed of nails by about 3 inches. The cops come….Rick pays $250 cash for the broken glass and ole farmboy goes to jail for disorderly conduct.