Fact or faked – bloody bodies

It’s coming to the end of Red Cross Week so I thought it would tie in nicely with a short blog on some of the more interesting jobs I attended proving First Aid cover for the British Red Cross.

Nearly every weekend we were at some fete or other with one of my favourites being a private fete/carnival for employees of a large company. Mostly this sort of job involved wandering around a field armed with a radio and first aid kit linked to a tent ‘base’.  Usually we also had an ambulance as an upgraded work base and not a lot would happen apart from a day out watching side shows and the like.

An illusionist was doing a show and Marvin, or whatever he was called, performed ‘impossible’ weight lifting activities. We significantly chose this show as he would also be doing a routine involving sword swallowing, juggling with fire, fire breathing and an assortment of illusions. It was looking good for at least a few fainters or screaming children in the audience who might need a bit of care and attention.

The act was going down well, people loved it. His fire breathing was quite impressive as he spat out some kind of lighter fuel to ignite the torches and ‘breathe’ fire… the usual thing.  The sword swallowing equally went well and not so much as a slit throat or a fainter.  Next came his chop my hand off illusion as he plunged sharp knives into and across his arms with blood dripping everywhere. Still nobody fainted. He bowed and went back stage, people clapped and started to disperse. However, being ever observant we notices his exit was somewhat speedy from the stage and the excitement started to creep in…. recalling his last illusion we pondered over whether the ‘faked’ could actually be ‘fact’.

Myself in Red Cross UniformSure enough, we went back stage and found the poor guy covered in this lighter fuel stuff that had sprayed everywhere with a rather bloody arm.  Had to get him into the ambulance and patch up one very embarrassed entertainer and clean off this flammable liquid so he didn’t cause a problem next to our oxygen cylinders.  He was rather a mess but it made our day rather fun 😉


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