Pulp Fiction Thursday: Wall Of Death

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It’s time for another excursion into the world of the sideshow. It may not be fictional but it’s pulpy as hell . I’ve long been fascinated with carnies, sideshows, and the odd array of rides and acts they put on. The wall of death is one of the weirder sideshow phenomena. Here’s a brief description of the WOD via ye olde Wikipedia:

The Wall of Death, motordrome, silodrome or Well of Death (aka “Maut ka Kuaa“, India) is a carnival sideshow featuring a silo- or barrel-shaped wooden cylinder, ranging from 20 to 36 feet (6.1 to 11.0 m) in diameter, inside of which motorcyclists, or the drivers of miniature automobiles, travel along the vertical wall and perform stunts, held in place by centripetal force.

I’ve never owned a motorcycle but I understand the attraction, especially of vintage Harleys and Indians. I’m too clumsy to be a biker but I can enjoy this poster, which is a slightly more sinister variation on the one at the top of the post:

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I can also enjoy Richard Thompson’s great song Wall of Death wherein RT invites us along for a death defying ride and asks the eternal question: “I may be strong but what’s the good of ringing a bell?” Beats the hell outta me, but I love the song and this video featuring images of the literal WOD:

One thought on “Pulp Fiction Thursday: Wall Of Death

  1. Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey now has multiple motorcyclists racing around inside a Sphere of Death. It’s actually pretty cool.

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