Tonsils of Tinseltown: Sword Swallower Day

Open wide: Ripley's readies for a simultaneous sword swallow.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014  |  Updated 5:50 AM PDT
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Tonsils of Tinseltown: Sword Swallower Day

World Sword Swallower's Day

A simultaneous sword swallow in honor of World Sword Swallower's Day? It's happening at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Hollywood on Saturday, Feb. 22.

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Social scientists often peg January and February as two of the ho-hum-iest months of the year, but many of us can back that up. Perhaps we're still paying off those holiday purchases and trips, or the shorter days and chillier temps have us meowing.

Which is why it is imperative that things like the Rose Parade and Valentine's Day and World Sword Swallower's Day show up in the winter. Surely you've heard of the last event? Where people with a knack for opening wide before a notably lengthy blade gather to impress, astound, and perhaps make the occasional viewer recoil?

It's hard not to, but, of course, most viewers aren't trained in this ancient art. Which means that the wide-of-crowds'll be out in full, "how'd-they-do-that?" force at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Hollywood when a brigade of professional swallowers of swords gather for for World Sword Swallower's Day.

Date is Saturday, Feb. 22. Memorize the "22" in that, because at 2:22:14 p.m. is when the simultaneous swallow goes down. Way, way down.

2:22.14, of course, is the date. Catchy.

While being absolutely respectful of the practioners of this not-easy art, might we pause here to give a hearty "oof" or a wincing "urgh"? How many performances inspire such dramatic reactions from a crowd? Not many in these days of aloof, behind-the-screen enjoyment.

It's free to watch, in the lobby of Ripley's.

And lest you say life has gotten ho-hum, remember the magic of vaudeville and showmanship is still alive and impressing viewers, viewers who may, on occasion, go "oof" at the sight of a sword inside somebody.

It's a pretty oof-worthy thing in our managed and vetted age of entertainment.

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