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Old 04-10-2012   #31
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Re: Your Most Disturbing Ligotti Story

Gas Station Carnivals

Believe it or not, I actually do have some odd childhood memories very similar to those described. I grew up in south Texas, and there were often odd carnival and circus-like events and productions that felt very off to me, both at the time I observed them and when I look back upon them in memory.

I also recall being taken to some small magic show, and the magician struck me as being exceptionally disturbing, to the degree that my grandfather and the other adults seemed almost as put off by the children. The children also seemed universally disturbed, but none were crying...they simply sunk into their chairs with a look of unease and stared at the odd magician doing his tricks.

The world is an odd place. Certain stories point at that real oddness more than others, even if the images they use are fictional. This is how Ligotti, Lovecraft and a few others strike me...they are using the unreal to point to the real.

"Art should be a monster which casts servile minds into terror." - Tristan Tzara.
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Old 04-10-2012   #32
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Re: Your Most Disturbing Ligotti Story

Quote Originally Posted by NealJansons View Post
Gas Station Carnivals

Believe it or not, I actually do have some odd childhood memories very similar to those described. I grew up in south Texas, and there were often odd carnival and circus-like events and productions that felt very off to me, both at the time I observed them and when I look back upon them in memory.
I grew up in West Texas, just as grim but flatter and I totally second Neal on that observation. I remember these really odd carnival type events that seemed to appear and disappear at random. When you found them it was like they had been there forever, but when you went looking for them again people had no idea what you were talking about. It was truly surreal. I never thought of Gas Station Carnivals in this way but your comment Neal brought those memories back up in a way I'd never thought about. Truly insightful point.
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Old 04-10-2012   #33
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Re: Your Most Disturbing Ligotti Story

Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Quote Originally Posted by NealJansons View Post
Gas Station Carnivals

Believe it or not, I actually do have some odd childhood memories very similar to those described. I grew up in south Texas, and there were often odd carnival and circus-like events and productions that felt very off to me, both at the time I observed them and when I look back upon them in memory.
I grew up in West Texas, just as grim but flatter and I totally second Neal on that observation. I remember these really odd carnival type events that seemed to appear and disappear at random. When you found them it was like they had been there forever, but when you went looking for them again people had no idea what you were talking about. It was truly surreal. I never thought of Gas Station Carnivals in this way but your comment Neal brought those memories back up in a way I'd never thought about. Truly insightful point.
See, I'm not JUST mad!

Seriously, it's good to see that someone else remembers something like that. It was one of the weirder aspects of growing up in that time and place. I was raised by my grandparents, and my grandfather was retired Air Force, so we seemed to be going out of town all the time to go to Lackland or some other military-related location. Between my home town and our destinations, there always seemed to be these very odd carnival-like productions just...there. Like on the corner of an abandoned supermarket lot, there would be some random rides and attractions just...there. It was impossible to know who was in charge or what was going on, and I remember an odd silence...even though other families were sometimes there, too, there was none of the usual running around and laughing you hear at such places. Everyone was quiet, and I remember that many of the children would look like they were on the verge of tears. I remember passing a little girl who was actually holding her hand over her mouth, as if she was afraid that any moment she was going to start screaming.

Reality is weirder than most people realize.

"Art should be a monster which casts servile minds into terror." - Tristan Tzara.
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