Myrtle Corbin, “The Four-Legged Girl from Texas”

“Myrtle Corbin entered the freak show circuit at the age of 13 and was billed as the ‘Four-Legged Girl from Texas.’ Born with two separate pelvises situated side by side, Corbin’s four individual legs made her a very popular ‘oddity:’ she had the ability to move her two inner legs, but they were too weak to sustain her weight or be used for walking.

“Corbin’s fame in the circus directly led to several phony four-legged acts popping up in other freak shows worldwide.

“After her successful circus career, Myrtle married James Clinton Bicknell at the age of 19 and went on to birth four daughters and a son. Corbin died six days short of her 60th birthday, in 1928.”

Read more about the The Sad Stories Of The Ringling Brothers’ “Freak Show” Acts on All That’s Interesting.

The life of a trauma cleaner

The part of this video that really stood out for me was the term “body juices.” But, more than that, not only were the stories of this trauma cleaner’s clients interesting, her personal life stories were intriguing.

Note: descriptions of sexual violence.

She’s dead as earth

King Lear Weeping over the Dead Body of Cordelia ,1786-8, James Barry (1741-1806)
Tate Gallery UK

Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:
Had I your tongues and eyes, I’d use them so
That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone for ever!
I know when one is dead, and when one lives;
She’s dead as earth.

King Lear, Act V, scene iii

Death Revue

If you’re stuck at home during COVID-19 quarantine or if you’re working and need a break to help you put life into perspective, I recommend the list of movies and documentaries about death provided by the Order of the Good Death. The selection is great and made up of quality films.

My personal favourite was The Bridge, a documentary about the Golden Gate bridge as a popular landmark for suicides. My initial attraction to the movie was that I am in love with San Francisco and my main goal in life right now is to find a way to relocate there from Canada. I never realized that other people would go there for the express purpose of taking their own lives. To me, what made the documentary strong was that it never exploited people’s suffering or idealized suicide. In fact, it became about stories of resilience and helping people overcome suicide ideation. I warn you that the movie is graphic, showing people taking their lives as they jump off the bridge. But, that very stark look at suicide is what makes the movie so strong.