The circus is coming to town. Are we supposed to like the circus these days?

I can’t keep up with what’s politically correct, or considered humane.

I know what’s NOT humane. Clowns.

I remember the  first clown I ever met. My grandparents took me backstage at a Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey Circus in Houston, in about 1972 or 1973. This clown was a big mutha. He towered over my grandfather. Musta been 6-2, 6-3. He was wearing the big red shoes and the goofy fro. The grandparents thought I would like to what goes on behind the curtain, I suppose, but I took a death grip onto my grandfather’s leg and didn’t let go.  The clown was a freak. And he was trying to coerce me. Maybe he just wanted to give me a balloon. But why was he wearing makeup? I remember thinking about that — why would someone want to disguise himself so thoroughly? What was he hiding? And why were they slap-happy all the time? Why were they soooo intent on making me laugh?

Then there was that episode of Fantasy Island. Remember? A little girl had a toy clown that became real and did horrible things. The show added special effects to make it scarier.  The clown was a homicidal maniacs who preyed on little kids. It’s as if clowns are their own species, something twisted and foreign. Like the Jacksons.

Anyway. Clowns are weird. Except rodeo clowns. Those guys kick ass.

Back to the circus … are they to be boycotted because of the way they treat animals? And midgets? Or do they provide a comfortable, secure life for tigers and lions and elephants? Do they give them fulfilling work and engage them in play? Or do they confine them and humiliate them with whips and chains.

Are the people who rage against the circus the same people who rage against zoos? Because I can’t get on board that protest train. Some zoos, sure, they’re horrible. The National Zoo isn’t very nice. But a lot of places now are protecting endangered animals and they’re living on acres and acres of habitat.

Ah. I did a little research. I’m totally opposed to the circus.

Do you know how much it costs? For three tickets in decent seats, plus the ticket handling fee (but if it’s paperless, who’s handling what?) and parking: $100.

That’s not peanuts … they’re probably another $10.

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