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the circus is coming to town

By Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Well, not the circus pictured here. {little circus in Los Osos cira 2006} The real, live, big top circus is coming to the Bay Area. When Lukas told me this the other night I suddenly remembered the time I was in the center ring in front of thousands of people...

We were visiting my grandparents down in Long Beach like we did every summer as kids. Days were spent swimming in the pool, eating lots of fruit my grandma kept handy and taking afternoon bike rides to the 7-11 for Slurpees. As a fun activity one night my grandparents had gotten us tickets to go to the Ringling Brothers circus.

Us kids didn't really know what a real circus was like. We'd grown up with the Pickle Family Circus - a small group that came to our little town each summer. They did feats of tight rope walking and juggling. And while good wholesome family fun, they were nothing like the big top circus. We were in for quite a treat.

There were animals, acrobats, big flashy routines, and motorcycles spinning around cages in death defying glory. But, the highlight of the night for me was standing in the center ring with a bell in my hand.

The main clown pantomimed needing volunteers and very kids' hand shot up high in the sky. Then he made his way through the crowds picking people and directing them to the front. Wouldn't you know it? He came right to our row and then leaned over and pointed. My brother was certain the clown was pointing at him. Matt was half way out of his seat when the clown shook his finger and pointed at me instead. I hopped up and followed him down to the center ring.

And the act I got to participate in? Well, each of us audience members were given a hand bell and when pointed at rang it. Each in a different tone, the clown conducted a pretty tune by pointing his finger. But the catch that made this routine make everyone laugh was that one guy didn't have a clapper in his bell. So when he tried to ring it no sound came out. The guy gave it a few more frustrated tries before looking inside and seeing what was happening.

Then the clown took this same guy and had him jump a rope turned by two other audience members. One other person would ring a bell each time the guy should jump. After he got the hang of this the clown blindfolded the guy. Unbeknown to the blindfolded man the clown sent the jump rope away. Then at a slow steady pace the bell began to ring. And the guy with the blindfold on jumped. The bell rang faster and faster and the guy jumped faster and faster. Everyone was laughing. Then they were going so fast there was no way the guy could still possibly be jumping the rope he got wise and stopped jumping. Off came the blindfold and he saw what was up. He laughed too and we all returned to our seats.

Well, I don't know if we'll be heading to the circus this time it's in town but it was fun to remember being part of the big show.

Other little bits of my life...

1 comments

  1. what a fun memory megan!! not just anyone has been IN a circus before!

    ah, the los osos circus, circa 2006- good times!

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