So guess where I got to go last Thursday night? Prison! Okay, just kidding. I got to go to the circus! The real, honest, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus! I have never been to a "real" circus in my entire life. (I verified this fact with my mom who confirmed that the only circuses I have ever been to were the off-brand flea market type that appear in a supermarket parking lot or high school football field.) So I have officially joined the Circus club! Every year the circus comes to the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa and most of the proceeds benefit Tampa General Hospital, thus, my doctor brother Chris gets free tickets through his medical connections and this year some extra tickets fell into our circus virgin hands. So me and the kids went with his family (Jacob is the ever absent soccer coach :) and it was totally fun! I'm not sure what I was expecting (maybe more rednecks, beer and camo) but the show was really entertaining. And you really got your money's worth! In fact, it was almost a little too long. We hit intermission at 9pm and by 9:45 both my kids were laying in my lap and struggling to stay conscious. But we got to see it all- a pyramid of elephants, clowns on stilts, jugglers, horses, trained tigers, frisbee tricks, highwire acts, gymnastics, acrobats, fireworks, dancers, and two super giant strong bald brothers from Uzbekistan! (which Cindy told me later "really bothered her because they were totally immodest and you could see their boobs." The Roman Gladiator attire was a little skimpy...) We even got to see a guy get lit on fire and then shot across the arena! This wasn't no flea market, this was the Big Time, Pee Wee!
And this got me thinking and Googling about the Circus and so now I present to you:
Random Thoughts and Facts about the Circus
Did you know that the first Circus in America was in Philidelphia in 1793? George Washington was in attendance. (He successfully threw a clown's hat from 60 yards away and landed it directly on to Boffo's head.)
If I were to be in the circus, I would want to be the person in charge of concessions because I would be a millionaire. Cotton Candy at the circus was $12. TWELVE DOLLARS.
New York City has an official Trapeze School.
National Clown Week is the first week in August as designated by Richard Nixon in 1971. Congress began session that same week, which obviously gave him the idea.
Human cannonballs travel between 60-70 mph when launched.
Circus of the Stars made 19 shows! That was about 18 more than necessary. And which of these stars did not appear on Circus of the Stars? a. Lauren Bacall b. Ed Asner c. Debbie Reynolds d. OJ Simpson Answer: THEY ALL DID. My faith in humanity just took another major hit... And OJ's knife throwing act was a little too good, if you catch my drift.
I was a clown for Halloween when I was about 8. We used toilet paper to stuff my hat so it would stay standing straight up. It was a pretty good costume, even had a neck ruffle!
There are only two collegiate Circus' in the country and one of them is at Florida State University. In your non-painted face, Gainesville!
Lake Placid, FL has more clowns per capita than any other state. (I guess they don't count Washington DC as a state. Because they would blow Lake Placid out of the water...)
The best book ever about the Circus is "If I Ran the Circus" by Dr. Suess. It's stupdendous! Sturoarous! (And when I play Dixie, please join in the chorus.)
When Ringling Bros. had their official clown college in Venice, FL up until 1997, it was statisically harder to gain admittance there than to Harvard Law School. So when your kid says they want to run away and join the circus, chances are actually pretty slim. No worries :)
And this has got to be the best thing I found out (courtesy of Wikipedia):
At the above mentioned Ringling Bros. clown college..."Typical classes included make-up application, costume design, acrobatics, juggling, stilt walking, pantomime and other skills. Films of classic performers like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and the Three Stooges, and the cartoon work of Wile E. Coyote and Bugs Bunny were also studied." Coincidentally, ACME Clown Supply Co. was located just across the street.
So if the circus comes to a town near you, check it out! And be sure to take out a home equity loan if you think your kids might need a snack that night :)