Clownin' around

Last night was the circus. Amy have gone every year since we met each other, 8 years ago. It's always a blast, and last night was no exception. We always get seats in the first, second, or third rows, so we have a great view. The cost isn't too bad, although they really anally rape you once you get in the arena. Bag of cotton candy? $10. Plastic light-up sword? $19. Hot dog, nachos, soda and bottled water? $29.00. Holy shit! I normally don't notice prices on things, and even I was surprised at the mark-up. I guess they have to make up for waning audiences somehow.

The only obnoxious thing was the product placement. The clowns did an act in the beginning that was basically a commercial for Campfire Marshmallows. I don't mind product placement in the arena or programs, but actually getting the audience to do a round-robin battle of yelling "Campfire" and then "Marshmallows" was pretty fucking ridiculous.

This year, there were a few new things that were notable. One act was a troupe of Asian women who varied in age from 4 to 60 doing amazing balancing stunts. The young girl they kept putting on top of the pyramids couldn't have been older than 6, which made it that much more impressive. Here's a picture of them doing a crazy stunt, where they laid on their chests, arced their backs and feet behind them, and then the next row basically balanced their heads on the previous girls' pelvis and did the same thing. I'm rarely impressed but this was cool.

Another thing that was different was the focus on Bello Nock, the clown. He's the one with the hair that stands about a foot and a half tall. They had more of him throughout the show than they usually do. They even had a segment where everyone had Bello wigs on, even the elephants.

I was particularly interested to see that Bello did many of the same tricks as many of the other performers. There was one act with these vertical poles that went up about thirty feet in the air. They were unsupported on top, so they dipped and moved very easily, especially with people on top. Bello climbed up one and a female performer climbed up the other, and they did some impressive acrobatics up there. He also did some trapeze work and a few other non-clown things that gave me a lot of respect for him.

And of course, there was the typical circus fare. Elephants, tigers (although these tigers seemed particularly feisty this year), horses, dogs, high wire acts, and a finale with a dual human cannonball act that was awesome.

All in all, a great time was had by all. Now we can't wait until next year!

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