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A Day At the Circus

Last weekend we took the boys to the circus for the first time. In retrospect, we probably should’ve waited another year.

We started off well enough, with Jason laughing hysterically at every inane thing the clowns did, and the elephants were, predictably, a big hit. But about 40 minutes in, both he and Scott were ready to go. That’s probably partly due to the fact that they’re not very sedentary kids; the longest they stay still is usually 25 minutes for a viewing of “Curious George.” It could also be because so much of the circus seems like filler; for every minute of high-wire thrills or tiger taming, there’s at least 3 minutes of poodles jumping through hoops (yawn) or truly lame clown routines like “Dancing With The Clowns” (Who is this aimed at? Do small children even watch “Dancing With The Stars”?).

I grew up in the age of Gunther Gebel-Williams, where the emphasis was on spectacle and exotic animals. The new star of the show is “Bello,” a daredevil clown who looks like the love child of Eraserhead and Max Headroom. The show’s a lot more high-tech now, and for my money pretty dull. But then maybe Mom and Dad felt the same way when they took me.

Souvenirs were also an eye-opener. Thirty bucks for a small stuffed elephant. Among the more curious items were plastic tiger heads with flip-top skulls that served as Sno-Cone holders. I don’t know what they were going for there, but it reminded me of the desert served up in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”…chilled monkey brains. Yum. Basically it’s a way to charge a mint for shaved ice. What happens to the tiger head when the treat is gone? Are you supposed to use it at home? “No bowl, Mommy, I want to eat my ice cream out of the tiger’s skull!”

Anyway, despite the fact that they squirmed through a lot of it and we left early, the boys are convinced they had a wonderful time. And that’s what counts.

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