Saturday, February 24, 2007

All Fezzed up and nowhere to go

Thursday night Poppa, Titus, Levi and I went to the Shriner's circus-the 62nd Annual Shriner's Circus. It was my second circus ever to attend, the first has a very vague memory wrinkle in my mind. I only remember the frustration of trying to watch three rings of activity at the same time and wondering why the powers that be would do such a thing.
This was a four ring circus. The audience comprised the largest ring as well as the most entertainment for me. Then there were the three rings of performers which we paid to watch. We were in the second row, on the floor in clear view of ALL the action. I was in absolute "gawk-overload." I told Mildred that I could blog about this night for the rest of the year and still not have exhausted myself on material. What a spectacle.
I really can't wrap my brain around Shriner's. I totally admire and appreciate their contributions toward the betterment of underprivileged children and happily support them. However, I find it amazing that these business men, leaders of the community, pillars of society would parade around in public wearing felt covered chicken buckets on their heads with tassels hanging down. These fez's as they are called symbolize the Shriner's loose connection with the Arabian culture. Couldn't they wear a pin, or something other than these buckets on their heads. Almost every Shriner present was at least 60 years old. As these fellas dinked around they would toss those tassels on their bucket hats like Cher when she was with Sonny.
The entire time the Circus was going on people were walking around, scrambling around in a constant state of movement. Shriner's every where all fezzed up and nowhere to go! The time came for the circus performers to make feutal attempts and distracting me from the bliss of gawking at all of the people in the "big ring."
"Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! Welcome the Shrine...uh-Welcome to the 62nd Annual Shrine Circus. Are you ready to begin the circus?" "I said, are you ready to begin the circus!" It was at that point that the Shriner Color guard came parading out followed by the Divan, the officers of the Shrine people. Each of these walking sofa's were dressed in their bucket, blue pants, and a light blue bowling shirt. That is when it hit me a revelation to rival Newton's theory, Einstein's theory, Kepler or Drake I had discovered a theory.
It seems that at a certain point in a man's life (I'm theorizing around 50) he subconsciously decides whether he will have his pants above or below his gut. I saw many examples of each lined up in a row. Those who wore their pants below the gut looked oddly wobbly and unsafe. Just as a dreidel spins precariously on it's tiny tip. The "bg" men also had to allocate more shirt coverage and have immense faith in the power of a cinched belt. "Bg's" also walk as if they are trying to shake something off the cuff of their polyester jean slacks. The above the gut group have a certain median of comfort and no matter how the circumference of their torso changes they always maintain the median comfort spot. This means that the pants rise, and rise, and rise. These folks walk in a somewhat reclined gait with significant arm swingage. I did see some men who have shucked convention and just wear one piece polyester jumpers replete with some sort of emblem on their chest pocket that adds some sort of , "It's ok that I am wearing a onsie at 90 because I have this sophisticated emblem on my chest and a pretty felt bucket on my head." I believe that you are required to wear either velcro fastening black shoes or just your basic slip on shoes. These appear to be an ensemble of shirt and pants with matching belt--but don't let that faux brass buckle fool you.
I must move on--so much to cover. I can only highlight three of the performers--My top fav's. First:Vincent Von Duke. This fella at some point in his life must have been muscular. He was tall, wearing a salmon colored genie costume. His hair was a seriously receding mullet that had been bleached far too many times. Von Duke was the Lion master. Those poor lions looked so bored. I know the only thing that kept them from devouring him was their conviction that they could never get the fowl taste of peroxide out of their mouths--no matter how much licking they did. Every tired trick produced this show-stopping wave of Von Duke's hand. I just knew that at any moment the show would begin to be exciting. Second: Circus girls. All of the girls who performed in this circus must have shopped at the Pole Dancing/Porn Thrift store. Clear Acrylic stilettos and black leather boots adorned scantily clad women who all wore phony tails that were ratted messes. The dog troop was really cute, they did the exact same stunts as the lions without Von Duke around. I got the biggest kick out of the Amazing Asante. His amazement was for balancing "things" but what was more amazing is that he was the chief stage hand coordinator. It was quite humorous to me to see this world famous, deaf defying acrobat stage handing. There was this guy who did BMX bike tricks, accompanied by his pole dance sans pole. The dynamic duo returned to stun the crowd with a roller skating demonstration. Riveting.
There was this family behind me who had obviously been counting down the days for this event. They came in so excited. Seven of the most interesting people I have ever seen. They got settled then bought everything on the menu that came with chili. They were loud talkers and loud laughers which annoy me. What was so funny to me is that they were spell bound the entire time. As if they had never seen anything so fantastic before in their life and woudl be forever changed by this experience. After the chili-fest they moved on the menu items covered in fair cheese (I really haven't figured out what canned nacho fair cheese flavored goo really is). After that funnel cakes and dippin dots. I can't imagine how horrified their digestive tracks must have felt.
The pony ride Titus went on was really funny. The ponies never stop moving, you have to find the pony you want to ride and almost run to keep up with them and toss your child on this moving horse. The horse attendant kept saying, "just put him on one and keep up." These suckers were moving at an alarming clip for this fat boy. I think we averaged two full rotations before we had to yank our children off the continuously moving ponies. Thank God they didn't do that with the elephants!
Every time I turned around I found myself breaking a twenty. Everything cost at least $5. Akdar commemorative light stick: $8; Stiff leash with poorly sewn dog, $10; Cotton Candy, $5; Elephant ride, $8; Pony ride, $8. I felt as though I was in Disney world where a Disney buck is a $20 bill.
Yes, the 62nd annual Shrine Circus, coming to a city near you didn't disappoint. I've always heard that there is no show like the circus and as long as there are those amazed by the performances provided by near and should be retiring circus professionals willing to pay then the "show" will be very worth it. Oh how I love to watch people they are the best acts around.


Tracy said...

that is too funny - first the chicken buckets; cher (did the shriners lick their lips too?) , the pole-less pole dancers, the revolving ponies - it really was a 4 ring circus -including the chili-eating audience. we dont get the shriner circus but we do get the big apple circus - i may have to rethink going - it sounds wonderful!