old west


They say a strong constitution can withstand even the most trying of situations.  What happens when the trial befalls those with, shall we say, less stoic fiber?  The Sides of the Surreal demonstrates just three such examples today.

Newlyweds find their way to an abandoned mansion to escape a tumultuous downpour.  Will they fall to pieces during A BRIEF REPRIEVE FROM THE STORM.  During the old west, a minor has to face off against murderous claim jumpers threatening to steal THE YELLOW VEIN.  This talking toy is all the rage for the upcoming holiday season.  But what happens when CRYBABY LEWIS decides to listen?

Now, collect yourself.  It’s not all that bad, is it?  Pull yourself together.  Go home and relax, but remember the Circus of the Unknown awaits.


A father told his young son that he could be anything he wanted in life – the sky was the limit.  The boy replied that he wanted to be an astronaut.  The father scolded the child, stating that he told him specifically that the SKY was the limit.  Today, Charlie takes us past those limits.

We are visited by aliens this week, folks, in a trio of tales that are truly out of this world!  First, what happens when extraterrestrials help a snake oil salesman?  Find out in PANACEA.  Then, the cattle (and ranchers) better beware of THE LITTLE GREY CATTLE RUSTLERS.  The last invasion helped us in BRIDGING THE TECHNOLOGY GAP.  So, why then, are the aliens so cross with humanity?

Science fiction is but another flavor of the bizarre in the Circus of the Unknown.  Charlie Barker will have more such tales in the future.  On Thursday, however, we get a little more down to earth.  Or, more appropriately, a little more unearthed.  Join us then, won’t you?


Giddyup, partner.  This week, Charlie Barker sends us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear.  To the times when the lawless frontier ran amok.  Back to the days when the west was truly wild.

The first tale in the trio is called A MITE PECKISH.  It’s about a lonely, dusty dried up old town where the local watering hole is just the only place to congregate.  It also draws in someone who just may not be there for the company or the drinks.  In FEVER DREAMS, a young boy has a strange connection to a girl in frontier America.  One that may not be so healthy.  Thirdly, it’s a true story about an old west bandit who became more of a legend after he died than while he was alive.  It is part of the “States of Fear” sub-series and takes place in Oklahoma.  It is entitled WANTED DEAD, NOT ALIVE.

On Thursday, we will return to the 21st century (for the most part) as we examine some famous myths and legends.  All three will be part of the “States of Fear” and feature totally true tales of local lore.  Join Char in the Circus of the Unknown.


It’s that familiar time of year where sports are in the air.  The chant of the crowd and the shadows of rodents predict the weather are prudent.  Charlie Barker is a fan.

In GROUNDHOG DAVE, a horrifying amalgamation of groundhog hides serves to protect a small western town.  Next, the perfect football tailgate treat is sought after.  No, the usual buffalo wings and cocktail weenies won’t do.  This time, we need SOMETHING EXOTIC.  Up third is a unique SPECTATOR SPORT, as we examine cultures long gone and gruesome practices best left forgotten.

The whistle is blown; the flag has been thrown.  The rules have been broken.  Now you atone.