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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.


I met a fire-eater but I did not believe it. So I went to see him perform in a park. There he was with his fire sticks and a jug of fuel, working a ring of gawkers for money as he swallowed and belched out fire. I was aghast, more horrified than amazed. He caught my expression and called out, “Don’t worry, I’m a professional.” The crowd laughed. This complicated man juiced his vegetables to maximize their healthful effects, a sample of which he offered to me. I declined, preferring to eat my vegetables cooked. He suffered Crohn’s Disease, it pained him greatly; and the rest of his sad story is his to tell.

I meet that fire-eater at a Mensa* party. My late friend Larry Reyka (my best friend for about a decade) introduced me to the Columbus, Ohio group of Mensans. It was at a party at his friend Musetta’s house. As I walked into the living room where the crowd was gathered, I said, “I’m not a Mensa Member but I am glad to meet all of you”; whereupon, Larry, who was a sterling Mensa member, announced, “She could be if she wanted to be.” I have a unique kind of relatively high intelligence. For example, in my late twenties I tested on the Briggs Myers personality test as fairly balanced between introvert/extrovert, equally able to learn kinetically or by standard textbook, and expressive in many modes,. I do not have the sharp intellectual edge that I used to have, but nothing is forever.

* “Mensa, the high IQ society, provides a forum for intellectual exchange among its members. There are members in more than 100 countries around the world.” “Membership of Mensa is open to persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been properly administered and supervised.”

Caption: Fire-eater

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018

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