Matt Bonner's Sandwich Hunter: February 16: Santa Monica Pg. 2
Page 2: Broadway Deli: Santa Monica, CA
The weirdness culminated as we approached a real live "freak show". I wanted to chicken out but my wife talked me into paying the $5 cover to see it. We walked in and observed the make shift museum while we waited for it to start. They had numerous two headed turtles, snakes, as well as taxidermy and skeletons of other weird and deformed animals. They also had an extensive photo collection of all the famous old school "side show oddities" from the past. It was very interesting.
The show started as a man and his female assistant took the stage. The man proceeded to hammer a giant nail up his nose. He then performed some crazy stunts on his assistant. Apparently, she had been struck by lightning twice and as a result could withstand huge amounts of electric current. They proved this by having her sit in a homemade electric chair. He hit the switch and demonstrated the high voltage by touching her with a long fluorescent light bulb, which immediately lit up. He then took a torch and when she touched it, it lit up from the electricity. She also lit it with her tongue and put the torch out by swallowing it. She followed this with some cringing acts of contortion.
The man took over at this point and performed numerous feats of pain tolerance. For example, he laid down on a bed of nails and let me come up on stage and stand on top of him. He also let me and other audience members use an industrial strength staple gun to staple dollar bills to his chest and torso. I wish I had more money on me because you could staple a $10 bill to his forehead and a $20 bill to his tongue. That would have been impressive. Overall it was very entertaining and well worth the $5 price of admission.
As I watched the show, I couldn't help but wonder how someone gets into that line of work. How do you learn to hammer a giant nail up your nose? How do you learn how to dislocate your shoulders and squeeze into a tiny box? How do you decide that it's worth the money to let people staple dollar bills to your skin? There isn't much of a learning curve. One trip to the emergency room with a bloody nail stuck up my nose would do it for me.
Oh yeah, the sandwich hunt… I went to The Broadway Deli. We went north on Ocean Avenue and walked past The Hotel California, past the Santa Monica Pier, took a right and reached our destination at the base of the famed 3rd Street Promenade. We met up with my friend from New Hampshire, Brian (BK). BK, like many people, transplanted himself to the Los Angeles area for better weather, lifestyle, and opportunity.