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Quinten November 1st 2000 – March 22nd 2016

Today is one of the saddest days I’ve lived. You see my dog Quinten passed away today. It wasn’t tragic. He lived a long sixteen and a half years. It wasn’t even unexpected. His health has been declining over the past year. It was sudden but peaceful.

Quinten was a very small puppy when I received him, small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. I remember my girlfriend at the time decided we need a dog. I told her we didn’t, because if she ever broke up with me i would be stuck with him. I lost the argument and wound up with the best damn dog I’ve ever owned.
He grew quickly, becoming a young pup with lanky legs,
able to bound over the backs of couches with ease. I remember his first friend was a potbelly pig named Princess that my roommate Ray was pig-sitting at the time. He would sit in front of her cage for hours sniffing and barking little high pitched yips and listening to her grind her teeth.

As he got a little older I moved into a place with a fenced in yard where I would have parties and cookouts. He was the life of the party, playing tug-o-war with guests and hanging out in the blow-up pools I would buy frequently. He would pop them with his nails. I remember a time before he was clipped when someone let him out the back door and he bounded over the fence. I searched the neighborhood for hours half drunk and in a panic. When I could no longer stay awake, grabbing a lawn chair and a heavy blanket, I set up post in the front yard. I didn’t want him to come home to a locked front door. I awoke at daybreak with Quinten laying at my feet on top of the comforter.

There was the time Dana and I took him for a walk through the neighborhood. Passing a group of teenagers, we noticed a younger child not much older than four trailing behind. He was of course entranced by the puppy and stopped for a quick pet. Quinten took this opportunity to take a quick lick of his novelty sized lollipop.

I remember when I first started seeing gray hairs in his black fur. They would start rushing in around his muzzle and the folds of his neck. he had extra skin from his sharpei heritage. Although he was just as much black lab as sharpei, he couldn’t deny the curl of his tail and the black spots on his tongue.

When my son Sam was born Quinten was not sure what to make of him. It seemed like the dynamics of the pack had shifted. With time it seems that they both had come to accept and love each other. Sam often hugging his dog and telling him goodnight just like the rest of the family.

Even after these stories, they are not what I will miss most. It’s the quiet times at night feeling him curled up beside me in bed. Petting his head and scratching him behind the ears while I watch a movie. The barking and manic tail wagging when walking in from a long day at work. These are the moments I will hold dear and reflect on.
I love you Quinten… and always will.

Best Friends Forever!

Written by Christopher Scarborough

 

A Night of Tiki Culture March 20th


The Curioso Podcast celebrates their second annual live show with an homage to island and Tiki culture. This themed evening hosted by Christopher Scarborough and Joe Taylor, boasts a cavalcade of fantastic performances. Gaze upon the lovely visage of Lady Rockwell as she transports you to a luau with her burlesque stylings. Louisa Hall brings her aggressive joyfulness through the strings of her ukulele. See the hula hooping gyrations of the lovely Liz Christmas. Become transfixed by stunt entertainer and anatomical wonder Dangerous D in his first East Coast performance since appearing in AMC’s Freakshow and America’s Got Talent.

Buy your tickets here:

$12 Adv/ $15 DOS Backstage / Doors at 9:00

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Sponsored by:

Freestate Guitars

Deville Ink

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037-How I fell back in love with shaving? -a narrative

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Beards are “in” right now. Mustaches are all over stickers, duct tape, lollipops, the front of cars and most importantly upper lips. Ive seen beard enthusiast facebook groups, facial hair grooming supplies and of course there are the reality shows. Today I want to cross the grain and talk about the antithesis to those macho magnificent man manes, specifically shaving.

You see my father never taught me to shave. I remember being in my early teen years in front of the bathroom mirror with a fresh bic razor procured from the linen closet. Firing half that barbasol can into my hand produced a huge tangible white cloud. The sweet musky smell filled my nostrils as I gently lathed my upper lip. The menthol was tingling on my neck as I slopped the excess shaving creme, giving myself the appearance of a certain red capped, white bearded saint I stopped believing in only a few years earlier. The blade slid across my cheeks for the first time leaving the cold wintery chill of exposed skin. Of course the burning of million tiny cuts filled with aftershave was a definite contrast.

By the time I was sixteen my widows peak had become an eroded beach. By eighteen I decided to shave my head. When some people say they shave their head they use clippers and take the hair very short. This is not my definition. I took a razor to my head. The first time you completely shave down to nothing is akin to doing a polar bear plunge with your scalp. I have always kept an abundance of sideburns on my cheeks as long as I have been able to grow them. I feel a kinship with General Burnsides in this regard. The best aspect of mutten chops is the gratification of having a beard combined with the pleasure of shaving. I know what your thinking. Pleasure of shaving? You must be crazy! Well you must not be learned in the way of straight razor shaving.

I received a straight razor as a gift from my wife. It came with all the trappings of a 18th century man’s bathroom, barber strop, shave cup and soap puck. The problem is that honing a straight razor takes patience, time and skill. All three of which I have none of.

Not to say I don’t know how to sharpen a knife. I was a boyscout and I did have my tote and chip. I’m fairly sure I only had one corner taken off. Sharpning a pen knife and sharpning a three inch razorblade are two slighty different things.

Luckily I found a compromise and it’s called a shavette. This razor is similar to a straight razor but it has a removable blade like those double sided butterfly razors your grandpa used to use. So when it gets dull you just swap it out. All of the majesty of shaving like Sweeny Todd with out all that stropping.

Although I was never formally introduced to shaving by my father he did teach me how to shine my own shoes. I’ve always said a man should know how to shine his shoes or boots. When you finish and look down and see them gleaming in black you can hold you head high knowing you’ve make yourself proud. Shaving with a straight razor be it an heirloom or a shavete gives you the same feeling.

So men and bearded ladies go out and get yourselves a straight razor you’ll thank me for it.

 

World Sword Swallowers Day 2014

This past Saturday the winter seemed to give way to spring. It was a short reprieve but the skies could not have been clear on a better date. It happened to be on my new favorite holiday.

I began trying to sword swallow in 2007 at the Coney Island sideshow school. It was the last year that Todd Robbins taught the class. Little did I know I was in the company of others who would become performers in their own right. Mike Vitka I know was working for the World of Wonders as well as stumbling in to him in Salem Massachusetts on my honeymoon. He was running a museum show my wife and I visited. Tony Gangi wound up writing an amazing book Carny Sideshows: Weird wonders of the Midway, describing the trials of learning his skills. It was amazing meeting and furthering my knowledge of sideshow with these great people. The thing is, I already knew some of the basics, blockhead and quite a few strongman stunts. The real aim was swallowing swords. With the least amount of damage to my body as possible. It would take longer than I thought.

Last year was my first experience swallowing for the crowds in front of Ripleys. If your keeping count it took me about six years to learn the art. I became a member of the SSAI (Sword Swallowers Association International)that day. I feel as though I was inducted into a group of people unlike any other. Almost a secret society of amazing people stupid enough to shove sharp pointy things down their throats for applause.

This years Sword Swallowing Day I again spent the day at Baltimore Ripley’s. Baltimore being my home town and all. James Taylor of Shocked and Amazed was there to offer his insight to the weird and wonderful. Nora the general manager as always was pleasure to work with. I had the opportunity to perform with Tyler Fire and Thrill Kill Jill from the Lucky Daredevil Thrillshow. They are a sword swallowing sideshow duo that is due to have more members soon. Right now Jill is pregnant with their third child and is still dropping blades. Yes she is the first pregnant sword swallower. I took the stage for a half hour strongman demonstration. Ripping decks of cards in half and rolling up frying pans and the ilk.

Of course when 2:22 came it was time to perform the big swallow. This is the moment when sword swallowers around the word drop their blades all at once. The curious get a chance to see something live that they would have only seen on YouTube. Trust me it’s much more impressive live.

written by Christopher Scarborough

World Sword Swallower’s Day 2014 results!
•Hollywood 11 SwSws swallowed 25 swords totaling 511 inches or 42 feet of steel – including the World’s Tallest Sword Swallower!
•New York Times Square 13 SwSws swallowed 22 swords for a total of 437 inches – including 5 female sword swallowers!
•Atlantic City 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword for …a total of 19 inches… while sandwiched between TWO BEDS of NAILS!
•Baltimore 3 SwSws swallowed 3 swords for a total of 63 inches… and one of them was PREGNANT!
•Myrtle Beach 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword for a total of 16 inches
•Gatlinburg 3 SwSws swallowed 11 swords for a total of 253 inches
•St. Augustine 5 SwSws swallowed 15 swords for a total of 327 inches – including the World’s Youngest Female Sword Swallower at 15 – and they traveled the MOST MILES – 7693 miles – from Vermont, Indiana, Georgia, and all the way from Bavaria GERMANY!
•Key West 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 25 inches – This was the most SOUTHERNMOST sword swallow of the day!
•Branson 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 24 inches
•Dallas Grand Prairie 3 SwSws swallowed 6 swords at 134 inches – Including one sword swallower balancing on a high unicycle!
•San Francisco 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 16 inches
•Arizona Science Museum Ripley’s Exhibit 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 22 inches – to an audience of about 400!
•Genting Hills Malaysia 1 SwSw swallowed 1 sword at 18 inches – the most EASTERLY location from the US!
Last Year’s Record – World Sword Swallower’s Day 2013:
44 Sword Swallowers swallowed 76 swords totalling 1517 inches or 126 feet of steel at 18 Ripley’s museums
Total for World Sword Swallower’s Day 2014:
45 Sword Swallowers swallowed 89 swords totalling 1865 inches or 155 feet of steel at 13 Ripley’s & 1 Science Museum