Malcom Garey: The Frog Jumper
I read an article about Malcolm Garey, the Frog Jumper, and thought that I had to make a post about him (being a flea circus guy myself, I feel a strange kin to others who take on the strange and mysterious arts.
Malcolm Garey is a 63 year old showman who started his frog-jumping business in 1982. He is based in Florida, and tours primarily to state fairs and festivals across the United States. Garey travels with about two dozen male bullfrogs along with his mascot “Peewee” a five pound bufo marinas toad from Surinam. Each frog has a life expectancy of about 6 years. (in the wild they would last around 2)
At each festival, Garey chooses contestants from the crowd, ages 2 to 80 to be frog jockeys. The frog jockey places the frog on the launching pad, and then doesn’t touch him again until the frog has jumped three times. The frog that jumps the farthest wins. Sometimes the frogs need a little (or a lot) of convincing to jump. “We cheat a lot,” says Garey.
The current world record for frog jumping is 21 feet, 5 and ¾ inches, set in 1986 by “Rosie the Ribbiter,” entered by Lee Guidici of Santa Clara, Calif. Garey doubts that any of his current frogs are capable of jumping that distance.
But hey, you never know.
Malcolm Garey doesn’t seem to have a website. You can read the article I read at the Detroit Free Press.
Thanks also to Jackofalldays.com for their article about Garey that filled in some of the holes.