Freakshow 103: The Two-Headed Baby
The show starts with Todd who is on the hunt for the most rare specimen in a sideshow, a two-headed baby. In order to find one, he must travel to see Bobby Reynolds, also known as The King of the Sideshow, the owner of a two-headed baby boy preserved in a jar. Todd claims to have the largest collection of two-headed animals in history, but this one particular object has eluded him. He sees this as a representation of a transition from an older era to a newer one. The hook is that Mr. Reynolds is known for his tough negotiations and his rigidity when it concerns selling the baby. Todd has a plan, though. He will be taking the original Lobster Boy’s son, Grady Stiles III, with them. His father might have been the most famous and well-known sideshow attraction in his day, and Grady was born with the same anomaly, hands that appear much like lobster claws. Todd’s reasoning in taking Grady with them is so that Mr. Reynolds will see that Todd is in fact true to the older traditions. Todd also believes the older era is dead, save for his show.
Grady drops by and is happy to see an old photo of when he was a child with his dad. After some conversation, they all hop into a car and are off to see Mr. Reynolds.
The rest of the troupe enjoys a day off. Morgue reveals that on his days off he doesn’t usually leave his house. When the others decide to go to a skating rink, Morgue becomes concerned, revealing that he has problems outside of the freakshow that keep him from enjoying daily activities, but he relinquishes and decides to go with them. Amazing Ali hops behind the wheel.
At a stop along the way, Grady explains his physical features with candor. The birth defect that he has is termed ectrodactyly. Grady grew up in Gibsonton, the place where the carnival folk would live in the off season. He was also baby sat by The Monkey Girl.
At the skating rink, Morgue is too nervous to skate. As the others enjoy, he says that being in these situations make him nauseous and claustrophobic, and he eventually steps out to regain his composure.
Todd and company have arrived at Mr. Reynolds with a bag full of $20,000 in cash and a steely determination to buy the two-headed baby. Grady is Mr. Reynolds surprise guest, as he knew Grady’s father, but Mr. Reynolds didn’t have any stories to relate to Grady. Reynolds and his wife describe how the carnival’s used to be in great detail. After some reminiscing, the two-headed baby is revealed. It is a gorgeous infant boy complete with two heads that floats eternally in a liquid-filled jar. But when Todd is attempting to broach the subject, Mr. Reynolds cuts him off and tells him the baby isn’t for sale. Reynolds is definitely one tough cookie, along with his wife, and just when you think they don’t care for Todd and his eclectic group, the tides begin to change. Todd attempts to win him over by assuring him his show is of the traditional vein. Todd says he can make a portion of the show dedicated to Reynolds show from long ago. A feisty Mrs. Reynolds flat out says she wants fifty percent of the profits. Todd begins to pile up the money from his bag on the table with the specimen and Mrs. Reynolds pulls out her own bag and holds it wide open. The sale is made. Mr. Reynolds passes down some sound advice to Todd’s son, Phoenix, when he tells him to make sure he always keeps the babies, that they will be his insurance for a lifetime of income. He also says to treat them as if they’re his brothers.
Todd’s dreams have come true.
Asia goes outside to counsel Morgue. By giving him the advice to try and enjoy his time, even if he doesn’t particularly like skating, she explains it’s really about the social experience instead. Once him and The Creature find the video games, all is well.
On the way home from the Reynolds home, Todd stops by to see a six-legged cow. Todd feels it an injustice that the cow is living on a plain farm and purchases it. It’s a unique addition to his unique animal collection, indeed.
Todd gives Grady the photo he showed him earlier of him, his father and his sister and tells him that they are all his family now. With the exciting additions to the show, Todd puts on a display with Grady as the star. He shook hands with the audience and explains how he lives life. He also states that he proudly calls himself The Lobster Boy. Todd waited until the very end to reveal the two-headed baby. His pride clearly shows as he explains that he will keep them as a part of his show forever.
It was quite the day for the Venice Beach Freakshow.