The Watergate Game

 

In 1973 I was a carnie, working a joint on the Murphy Brothers Carnival circuit, doing State Fairs and County Fairs across the Midwest and the South. I built ball-toss  game we called "The Watergate Game, which consisted of several 4-foot tall painted plywood faces of Nixon, Kissinger, Spiro Agnew and Martha Mitchell, with huge gaping mouths. The object of the game was to toss a softball through the mouths and win a stuffed animal. It was a big hit- we made the local TV news practically everywhere we went. All manner of folks from rural and small-town America were able to exercise their righteous outrage, and let off steam, and nobody got hurt. A few hundred dead presidents in my pockets at the end of every night didn't hurt, either.

 


I don't have any pictures of the Watergate Game, but I did find my sketchbook from that time, and Above are samples of the original simple sketches I used to build the heads.

Somewhere on the most deserted stretch of freeway in Indiana, or somewhere, I experienced a very long, slow stretch or road with no rides for a day and a half. I walked. Dead center in the middle of nowhere, USA, on a stretch of Interstate, miles from the nearest ramp or sign of habitation, someone had wrapped a gigantic ball of discarded quarter-inch tape around the top of a fence-post, (the tape no doubt coming from some discarded 8-track chucked out of a car window at high speed).


Below the massive wad of tape, someone had posted a large piece of cardboard on which he or she had scrawled the words 18-MINUTE GAP.

 

Ali Bob


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