True story:Â A few years back, there was an impending family reunion and my mom said to me, “Hmm, do you remember that branch of my family that never attends these reunions?Â Everybody always gossips about them because they aren’t there.Â Well, I found out why.”Â I waited for her to go on.Â Finally she sighed and said, “It’s because they’re always on the road.Â They all joined a traveling carnival and they’re on the road all spring and summer, into the fall.”Â I wasÂ still boggling over this when she added, “Apparently they winter in Orlando.Â I guess that’s nice.”Â I regained some resemblance of composure and said, “Mom!Â We have carnies in our family!”Â A slightly pained expression crossed her face.Â I could only manage to say, “But that’s awesome!”Â She sighed again, more heavily.Â I’m still trying to figure out how I can catch the traveling show some summer.Â (Small town carnivals are an experience like no other–remind me to tell you about Rat Roulette.)Â But I’m not supposed to talk about it.Â Hey, my dad had a great-great-great-uncle or some such who was hanged as a horse thief.Â I guess there’s a skeleton in every family closet.
When Saeya Nyanda was first showing me her new Knife Thrower Suit, my first response was,Â “Ooh, it’s veryÂ ’CarnivÃ le‘!”Â She laughed and said, “Oh, I get a lot of inspiration from that series!Â Such great costumes.”Â We commiserated for a few moments and virtually held each other.Â Alas, our much-loved, late and lamented “CarnivÃ le”…we hardly knew ye.Â C’mon HBO, you’re going to wrap up “Deadwood”–why not “CarnivÃ le”?Â End of rant.
The Knife Thrower Suit comes with jacket,Â dress pants, and a shirt-layer item that gives the jacket its shape.Â The black fabric of the suit has a subtle, dull sheen–it’s not shiny, but you can see the light spreading across it more than reflecting back from it.Â The simple design is unadorned with the exception of contrasting buttons, dark satin lapels, and a loose bowtie.Â The shirt and bowtie are included on the jacket layer and cannot be worn separately.Â Permissions on all clothing items are Mod / Copy / No Transfer.
A set of prim throwing knives complete the look to perfection and add a touch of mystery…or menace, as the case may be.Â In an “even yet still more” bit of coolness, the right-hand knife isÂ scripted for animated throwing!Â Just go into mouselook, move the cursor to where you want the knife to strike and click–a knife will fly and hit with a satisfying THWAK.Â No need to worry if you want to throw again, as the original knife remains safely in your hand.Â You do need to have build rights where you are, so the temp-on-rez prim knife can be created, and when I played with this (um, at some length), it seemed that I got better results when throwing at prim objects, not at the ground.Â I might just need more practice.Â Hey, now all I need is a babetastic assistant to serve as my target on the Wheel of Death.Â Any volunteers?Â Call me.
The Knife Thrower Suit is available for L$350 at Kyoot Army (Vakkert Gal 190, 223, 21).Â Hours and hours of hot knife-throwing action!Â
Okay, back to Rat Roulette.Â (I guess I did kind of promise.)Â Â My mother’s parents retired in a little town in Missouri, only ever knownÂ for its mineral springs, and that a long time ago.Â A traveling carnival came through town every summer, and one year I happened to be visiting when it arrived.Â Of the many bizarre and surreal games on the midway, the one I remember most vividly is Rat Roulette.Â Imagine a great, handmade roulette-style wheel, divided into sections like slices of pie.Â Each long, narrowÂ wedge of the pie is assigned a number and painted a different color, and each is bored through with a hole near the outer edge.Â The game begins with customers laying down their tokens to show what color or number(s) they expect to “win.”Â (No actual money changes hands at the table, although the tokens are bought with cash and can be redeemed again for cash.Â It’s just like Monte Carlo.)Â When enough tokens are out to make the game interesting, the wheel is given a mighty spin.
Now things get really interesting.Â The game boss reaches under the counter and from a row of wire cages you haven’t noticed until now he pulls out a rat.Â The rat may be large or small, white or grey or brown, mottled or solidly colored, but it’s definitely a rat, with a long pink tail.Â Â The rat is placed dead center on the turning wheel, where he spins with it for a moment.Â Then the yelling starts.Â Â Everyone calls out to the rat, exhorting him (her?Â I’m not sure how to tell) with shouts of colors, numbers, and “Odd!” or “Even!”Â And–you guessed it–the rat begins to move, I suspect seeking out some fragrant food item concealed under the wheel, some bit of smelly cheese or crusty bread as reward for the performance, and eventually ducks down one of the holes in the wheel.Â The game is over.Â Tokens are collected, redistributed, and pocketed.Â Wisdom is exchanged among the patrons:Â “That white one, Molly, she doesn’t like bright colors.Â I shouldn’t have bet on yellow.”Â “The big brown one, he doesn’t really know numbers–he just goes where the wheel is tipping.”Â Some stay for the next round, counting and rubbing their tokens between their fingers; others move on to another game, maybe Balloon Darts or Shoot the Bottle.Â Everyone seems to agree that the rats enjoy the game, too.
Like I said–just like Monte Carlo.