web analytics

Satan’s Circus is back in town!

Okay, okay…it’s really Santus Circus. Still, it’s awfully Bradbury.

Went tonight. Loved it.

This funky little troupe tours all over Southeast England in Summer. Has done for more years than we’ve been here. We go when it reaches Rye, which is always late August. It pretty much heralds the end of Summer for us.

As the circus hardware has gotten scruffier, the acts have gotten better. It’s the opening up of Eastern Europe and the Far East, I think — they have powerful circus traditions and lots of people looking for work.

This year, the stars were a troupe of acrobats from China, and man did they earn their billing. They did, like, six different performances in between the other acts.

Adorable little monkeys. I really, really wanted to take them home as pets, but Uncle B said they eat too much.

Poor Uncle B. He’s having a shit time of it lately. This morning, he woke to find his laptop computer had fallen six inches off the foot-stool and his brand new hard drive seized up tighter’n a tick. Stone dead. That’s his second new one this month; the first was faulty. (Yeah. You remember how much fun it is to reload your operating system from scratch).

Don’t get me started about the exhaust system falling off the car.

In conclusion — SQUEEEE:

Have a good weekend, everyone! Hey, our friend Monotone the Elderish has started a blog. Go pester him for a while.


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 27, 2010, 10:49 pm



Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: August 27, 2010, 10:51 pm

Circuses! Saw Ringling Brothers, etc. etc. a few years ago and it was my first real, regular circus. It was fun, but a little strange because they were set up in an auditorium instead of doing their own tents & whatnot.

For acrobatics and stuff like that you can’t beat the Cirque Du Soleil shows. Except Zumanity, that one sucked but all the rest I’ve seen are amazing.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 27, 2010, 11:24 pm

I’ve seen Ringling Brothers and didn’t much care for it. There’s something about the scruffiness and unslickness (and smallness) of this circus that makes it more fun.

The evil clowns are the ringmaster’s two grandsons. They are staggeringly unfunny, but not all that evil.

Comment from Pavel
Time: August 28, 2010, 1:52 am

Sounds just lovely, stoaty.

I have never seen a regular circus, though I am old enough to remember seeing (as a tiny child) a circus parade coming through town: Cages with lions and tigers and bears, pulled by horses; a line of elephants joined trunk to tail.

I saw the Cirque du Soleil a few years back. From start to finish, it was “How the hell do you make your body do that without experiencing chronic, excruciating pain for the rest of your life? Actually, how do you do that period? I had no idea a human body could bend that way.”

There was a midget lady tied to gigantic helium balloons. She floated and dipped over the crowd. When she dipped, she pushed back off from the upraised hands of audience members.

I am proud to report that I was one of the audience-hand-off-of-pushees.

Comment from Deborah
Time: August 28, 2010, 2:00 am

I want to like the circus, but even as a child, a trip to the circus would leave me ineffably sad. Not sure why.

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: August 28, 2010, 2:38 am

I used to love the circus when I was a kid. Not so much for the clowns — I have never been afraid of clowns, but they’ve never really interested me; I am “meh” about clowns — but for the animals. I have only the vaguest memory of the last circus I went to, though. However, once when I was at work — I worked in an office on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami with a posh walled in neighborhood on one side and the railroad tracks beyond which was a crack neighborhood on the other side – and the circus train came by. Our office faced the railroad tracks, so we got to look down at all the train cars with the animals as they rolled past. The lions and tigers looked ineffably bored.

When I moved to Orlando I eventually got to see Cirque Du Soleil once, as a treat from my employer. I couldn’t have afforded it on my own. It was amazing, but I never had the urge to scrape up money to go back. Heck, I never did go to Disney World. (Hadn’t been since I moved out of Miami. Somehow living near it took all the urgency out of a trip to the Magic Kingdom… or the realization that even for a resident it was still too expensive.) Anyway, now I’m in Virginia, still learning to drive up and down hills.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 28, 2010, 10:43 am

It’s strange, I hated the circus as a child, too. In fact, somewhere in that vast storeroom of grumpiness that I call my brain, I still do . I find clowns about as funny as toothache and the whole cheesiness of the experience makes my toes curl with referred embarrassment.

I think what appeals is that this particular little circus is trying so very hard to peck out an existence from the far from fertile fields of British circus going. The circus isn’t a big deal here as it is on le Continong where, for some unfathomable reason, it’s regarded as an artform.

I just like triers, I suppose.

And creepy. I like creepy, too. Bradbury certainly hit a rich seam with that.

And it’s not hard. if you screw your eyes up tight, to see it through the eyes of a 19th Century farm worker or housemaid, bewildered by how this magical world sprang, mushroom-like, out of a field almost overnight and awestruck by these impossibly glamorous and talented people doing all these impossibly glamorous and talented things – and doing them from town to town across the land while, if you are really lucky, you might get to see the big city once in your life. Or maybe twice.

Romance! That’s the word I was looking for.

It’s not so romantic now, when you can watch a man land on the moon from the comfort of your own living room. But imagine what it must have been like when the only elephant you had ever seen, or would ever see, was a drawing in a school book!

That’s a thrill that must have lasted a lifetime.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 28, 2010, 12:06 pm

I think I may have been taken to the circus as a very young child, but I have no specific memory of it, just a sense that part of my response to circus scenes in books is a memory. I like the idea of a circus, as a kind of cultural artifact, but the thought of going to one in a theater or arena (which seems to be where all American circuses take place these days) leaves me cold. I guess I might go to an actual tent show–at least once, to know what it was like.

Sorry about the run of bad luck, Uncle B. Can’t last forever, though. Right?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 28, 2010, 6:35 pm

I’ll take your word on that, Can’t Hark 😉

Comment from Frit
Time: August 29, 2010, 4:55 am

I went to a circus once as a bratling, (I am now a full grown brat,) and I have only vague memories of huge tents and amazing animal acts.

The only thing I’ve seen since was the Lipizzaner Stallions, and that was awesome. Third row seat, close enough to read the attitude and personality of each horse as he did his thing. Quite amusing to notice that their oldest stallion was not only enjoying himself, but was also a bit of a scamp, pulling off each trick flawlessly while at the same time projecting an attitude of impish delight. Of course, sticking his tongue out while prancing, and dropping his penis out of his sheath during the anthem might have given me some clue to his attitude. *laughs* (Having trained a horse or two in my day, I have some talent for reading equine body language, and this horse was playing tricks on the humans, rather than trying “avoidance” behaviors.)

Glad you enjoyed the show, and may Murphy lose your address and forget your names!

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: August 29, 2010, 6:53 pm

The only thing I distinctly remember from the only time I ever went to the circus was seeing Emmett Kelly’s “Smash the Peanut with a Sledgehammer” routine.

I couldn’t see the humor in it, but I was only eight — what’d I know?

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: August 29, 2010, 8:38 pm

is that really supposed to be a clown? Looks more like its meant to scare small children…

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: August 29, 2010, 10:10 pm

or eat them.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 29, 2010, 11:21 pm

MTE: if you mean the mask in the center of the picture of the Chinese acrobats. . .looks to me like a dragon mask. Or possibly a lion. But defnitely not a clown. In fact, I don’t think that the Asian countries have clowns, as such. . .but I could be wrong.

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: August 30, 2010, 12:57 am

hmm. well somebody somewhere said SOMETHING about a clown.(pretty sure it was scubafreak) and i think your right hark, it looked like a clown to me earlier but i think that was just because of sleep deprivation. yup definetly a dragon mask thing.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 30, 2010, 11:12 am

It certainly is a lion – and a fine beast, too! Chinese lions are a feature of their festivals.

One year (quite by chance, as it happened) Her Stoatiness and I found ourselves in Chinatown on Chinese New Year and watched the lion dance down the street performing cai ching where he leaps up to grab the bunches of vegetables that are hung outside each restaurant.

It’s about ensuring good luck, apparently.

Whassat? And how do you think standing between two complete strangers, shaking hands with them and bawling Auld Lang Syne with tears streaming down your face seems to a Chinaman?

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: August 30, 2010, 1:39 pm

I don’t think that the Asian countries have clowns, as such…

Although there are a few that have them as leaders.

In that respect, they’re exactly like we are…

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 30, 2010, 1:51 pm

Hard to argue with that!

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: August 30, 2010, 2:19 pm

yep, but i’ll bet their ratios are better.

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny