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Parasites that pull their own weight
February 26, 2009 9:33 PM   Subscribe

Itching to start a new career? You might want to think about opening your own Flea Circus.

The first recorded flea circus is from 1751 near Durham Yard, in the Strand. John C. Ruhl(pdf, third column) displayed the first flea circus in America in the late 1800s. In 1901, William Heckler opened a flea circus in Florida, ultimately settling into Hubert's Museum, a Dime Museum off of Times Square. The circus closed down in 1957, but you can start your own. The hard part is getting ahold of Pulex irritans, or human flea. Dog fleas have a short life and not much stamina. Training starts with teaching the fleas not to jump, by means of a closed shallow jar. The fleas will learn not to jump higher than two-thirds the height of the jar.After this, a collar made of extremely thin wire is fitted. Then, seeing what traits particular fleas possess (strength, kicking, dancing) determine the role each flea will play. You can buy a plans for the stage, or, if live fleas make your skin crawl, past performers are for sale.
posted by Bernt Pancreas (15 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I will now perform a personal inventory:

[✓] Cats
[✓] Cardboard
[✓] Exacto knife
[✓] Ambition



HOLY SHIT I'M GOING TO BE RICH!!!!PLO;OP0
posted by mudpuppie at 9:36 PM on February 26, 2009


Those last few stray characters were literally typed by my kittens as I was hitting post.

Dude, I am so set.

posted by mudpuppie at 9:37 PM on February 26, 2009


PLO;OP0

Post Lacks Organization; Overall Points 0?
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:55 PM on February 26, 2009


Just kidding of course, this is really nifty.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:55 PM on February 26, 2009


I always thought the flea circus thing was a magic trick using magnets. The world is weirder than I thought.
posted by crataegus at 10:20 PM on February 26, 2009


I think the worst part is feeding time.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:54 PM on February 26, 2009


WOW! This is incredible. No wonder these monsters ate me up when I was in Mississippi! Urgh.
posted by couchpotatorevolution at 11:57 PM on February 26, 2009


Spring. Nice. Spring twice.
Opps, less than Vole.
posted by Mblue at 3:22 AM on February 27, 2009


It ain't worth it.
posted by fleacircus at 4:42 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The Flea Circus" - Tex Avery
posted by Rhaomi at 6:25 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ha ha, I get it.
posted by swift at 7:58 AM on February 27, 2009


On a side note, some sub species of pulex can ONLY survive on human blood, and their legs are adapted to gripping woven clothing! So, knowing the time of their appearance may tell us when people began wearing clothing!

nice
posted by sidr at 8:46 AM on February 27, 2009


"No, Fifi! No!" That Tex Avery cartoon is full of awesome. I don't watch enough (old) cartoons, anymore.
posted by steef at 9:05 AM on February 27, 2009


I thought a flea circus was about an impressario who described the invisible goings-on so vividly that the audience was drawn in even though there were no fleas. I do believe that this variant also existed, as a vaudville act.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:47 AM on February 27, 2009


On a side note, some sub species of pulex can ONLY survive on human blood, and their legs are adapted to gripping woven clothing! So, knowing the time of their appearance may tell us when people began wearing clothing!

On a note even further to the side, I've heard there is a nemotode that can only survive in beer dampened felted coasters. True story.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:50 AM on February 27, 2009


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