“Basha the Jungle Girl” was the ultimate carnival hustle. Now you KNOW they can’t turn a girl into a gorilla –  so it wasnt’t a question of IF they were  going to scam you – it was just a question of HOW?

A bunch of us high school kids stood near the tent opening  wondering whether it was worth a buck to see the Basha transformation.

Suddenly there was a loud explosion in the tent and about thirty people ran screaming and laughing out of the conveniently-opened  side flap.  “Go in, go, hurry!” they said, “It’s unbelievable!” We could hardly wait to push our sweaty dollars into the ticket taker’s hands.  The tickets only had two words printed on them, “No Refunds.”

Once inside the hot, pitch black tent with another thirty “customers”, a dim red light started to glow on the small stage. It highlighted a woman who was either highly agitated and pulling out her hair – or giving herself a shampoo. You could barely see a thing so, of course, the crowd pushed closer and closer to get a dollar’s worth of thrill.

The woman quietly moaned as jungle music started to play. Then, BANG! – a loud explosion! – a lot of screams, a bright spotlight in our eyes – and then this goofy, growling guy in a cheap gorilla suit ran right into the crowd!  Everyone started running through the open tent flap, laughing and screaming as we went and telling the people outside “Oh, yes! you HAVE to see this!”

I never had so much fun for a dollar in my life!

"Really? Shazam!" Gomer


3 Responses to ““GIRL TO GORILLA!””

  1. Bill says:

    That’s a great story.

    Back in the 70s I used to tell people they just had to see this wonderful motion picture that was making the rounds. It starred James Mason, Susan George, and Perry King.

    The name of the movie was “Mandingo”. It was the cinematic equivalent of that guy in the gorilla suit. Check it out.

  2. paolo. says:

    Wasn’t Ken Norton in “Mandingo?”

  3. Bill says:

    Yes, Ken played “the Mandingo”. He was surprisingly effective. Ken was a fine boxer but is now suffering from dementia brought on by the many blows to the head.

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