I have a good friend who’s been a circus sideshow performer for years. He does the traditional stuff—sword swallowing, bed of nails, fire breathing, etc.—and a bunch of new "extreme" types of stunts. He was in town this weekend for a tiny show at the California Institute of Abnormal Arts (sounds much more interesting than it is!) in N. Hollywood, and being the good friend that I am, I dragged a group of friends up to see it. Yes, we know about the weight distribution factors on the bed of nails, etc., but it’s still fun!
The funniest part, though, was definitely a newer part of his repertoire. After licking red-hot pokers (haha!), he took a red-hot rectangular sheet of metal, placed it between two bricks, and bent it with his bare foot. When he was done, he yelled into the mic, "Center for Inquiry—West, I want my million dollars."
I think I was the only person in the audience who’d even heard of CFI, so I was alone in my snickers. Anyway, it was fun, and I love to see the lengths people will go to for money—ahem, I mean, art.