Monday, August 23, 2010

Lions! Tigers! Thunderstorms! Circus fun!

My mom bought the kids and I tickets to the Merriweather and Culpepper circus. While I am not a circus fan, I knew the kids would have a good time. It rivaled Christmas, they were so excited. We opted for the 5:00 showing and showed up just after 4:00 to enjoy the "Fun for All Ages!" midway. As we approached the field, the tent loomed into view and I realized why they push "pre-sale" tickets. If you were to see it before buying tickets, you wouldn't buy any.



The tent was a wreck; filthy and ratty, filled with holes and more patches than original material. And the midway? Non-existent. Then it started to rain and a thunderstorm warning was issued. They canceled the 5:00 showing and re-scheduled it for 7:30.

We took sad kids back to my mom's house, 20 minutes away. The rain let up and we headed back to the tent of doom. Walking to the tent, you could suddenly hear the roars of the big cats and Sam started  crying. Delaney stopped walking, screamed that she was going back to the car and started crying. So, I ended up carrying two crying kids into the tent. Inside, the poor tent's condition was even more apparent and the bleachers were covered with water from the leaks. Nick immediately starting begging for a cheap, plastic light stick. Or an expensive blowup animal. Or...or... I bought him cotton candy so he'd stop talking. The show started and they had a lion and 2 tigers that kept spraying everything, a juggler, unicycles, a clown, a girl on a trapeze (Delaney said, in awe "She's wonderful!"), a girl with hula hoops, ponies, peanuts...circus stuff. We had conveniently chosen seats directly behind a support pole and a lot of neck contortion was required. A little girl in back of me kept hitting me in the head with her blow up snake. Accidentally, I'm sure.

Sometimes, I wish I was little again. To be able to overlook the tawdry and crass and see the magic beyond the ratty tent. I failed miserably. At least Delaney and Sam enjoyed themselves. Nick is still mad at me because I wouldn't buy a light stick...

26 comments:

Susan Fobes said...

I don't like circuses either (even though I went to a few as a child)- I'm just not convinced that they treat the animals right. I do know what you mean about the "magic" gone once you reach adulthood. Sometimes I wish I could have just a little bit of that starry eyed vision my kids have.

cfoxes33 said...

We took the kids for Son's 4th bday. We were up high and it was fine, but it was too long for the kids.

BigSis said...

HAHAHA, the tent of doom. There are just so many things that can be worng with a circus. At least you survived.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Yikes! That sounds like the circus of nightmares. And it's funny because I actually took my kids to the circus a few years ago and while we were spared the rainstorm and getting smacked in the head with a plastic snake, I was also surprised by how lame and filthy it all was. I definitely didn't remember that part from my childhood. It sure is amazing how being young can let you enjoy the most simple things and to overlook all the apparent defects. I wish I still had that ability sometimes.

Brian Miller said...

cool. my boys love the circus and hte only one that comes to our ton is a rat trap...but they love it and i try so hard to see it through their eyes...and yeah we break hearts over light sticks too...smiles.

Sharlene T. said...

[cue music] tra la la... 'give them the old, razzle-dazzle, razzle-dazzle 'em'... it's all in perspective and lots and lots of sequins... never go backstage if you can't handle runs in stockings, sequins barely hanging on, pinned dresses, wigs that are 'eeeuuuw' inside, and, well, you get the idea... but that performance out front was wow!, wasn't it? Leave it there... the kids had a ball and saw something real and exciting (to them)... circus life is tough, especially on the folks in the show... but somebody has definitely fallen down on repairs and maintenance... sorry you had to experience that... come visit when you can...

Twitter: SolarChief

That one girl said...

"I bought him candy so he'd stop talking." LOL!!!!

Poor thing, that does sound kind of like a nightmare.

Ed said...

I always make it a point, when I go to the circus, to wait for a remotely quiet moment in which I can stand up and scream, "It's like a Goddamn circus up in here!"

Probably explains the lifetime circus ban, now that I think about it.

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mudmama said...

Hey there! We never know how these things will go until we try! I am not sure how well they treat the animals either--such a shame, it was such magic when we were kids!

panamamama said...

The tent is pretty neat though. Ours is in an arena and takes something out of it. Still a little sad. I started taking light sticks from the dollar store when we go to things like that and whip them out of my purse when they start begging. Works! :)

purseblogger said...

Oh man, you are a better mother than I am, LOL.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Awww.

Too funny, tho. I skipped out on a trip to the circus when I was in NY, my parents, brother (w. his MIL and my niece) all went, with my lil one, and I told my parents, first, she COULD have popcorn. And second, she didn't need a glowy stick. Return home and she's got a pretty and pink glowy thingy. Because my niece wanted one, so did she. Ah, well. Ya live once. Your kids'll get over it and only remember the hula hoop girl, the same way the only thing I can recall from a trip when younger was getting locked out of our car after the circus was over. Oops! :>

Amo said...

Kids always see the fun in everything...well, almost everything. Maybe not cleaning their rooms or sitting through a church service. I don't like the circus either because of the way I imagine they treat the animals. My husband wants to boycott it forever, although I'm sure at some point our boys will convince us to take them. I guess everybody has to see a circus once.

The Empress said...

We used to have a circus come to town, until like 8 years ago, when the majority of workers were found to be child molesters and shut down.

True story.

When did I become my Mom said...

Looks... terrible! lol

We rarely get circuses to visit. Guess the lions and tigers don't like planes.. ;-)

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Karen Peterson said...

I used to LOVE going to the circus.

Now that I'm older, the circus just makes me sad.

Plus, clowns are creepy.

Life with Kaishon said...

I so feel your pain. Sometimes I go to things like that with the kids and I am MISERABLE and then I look at their faces and all I see is joy so I suck it up : )

Love this post a ton. I always love what you have to say.

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Jennifer Haas said...

You are so right. Kids so overlook all the things that we see. Somedays I wish too that I could just live life the way they do, but if I would I would not be here to create all the adventures for them.

I also got to catch up on some of your other posts, I have not visited your site in awhile, I was on summer break along with my kids, I guess!!!

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Nezzy said...

Goin' to the circus is a great fun activity....as long as ya don't look too close. Heeehehehhe...I'm twisted that way..Type-A and all.

God bless ya and have a marvelous day sweetie!!!

Mrsblogalot said...

LOL @ Ed!!

I wish I could still see the magic also. But if it makes you feel better, I never got that light stick and I turned out fine (-:

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