“There’s a sucker born every minute.”
– P.T. Barnum (maybe)
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus recently announced that its final performance ever will be in May of this year, ending a 146-year run as “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
In related news, Donald Trump prepares to take the Oath of Office to become the 45th President of the United States.
One circus leaves, another arrives.
Going to the circus when I was a kid was an exciting, fun day. It was great to watch the lions and tigers, the elephants and show horses, the high wire and trapeze artists, and of course, all the funny clowns. (Clowns back then were funny, not scary.)
Also, there were all these great smells at the circus. Popcorn. Cotton candy. Hot roasted peanuts. Animal droppings. Okay, that last one wasn’t so great, but it was certainly unmistakable.
And the sounds. The fearsome roar of the lions and tigers, along with the tamer’s cracking whip. The cadence of the ringmaster, grandly announcing each successive act about to perform in this ring or that. The musicians that accompanied the performers’ acts to the always breathtaking climax, complete with tension-building drumroll. The oohs, aahs, gasps, shrieks, laughter and cheers from the crowd.
And every trip to the circus ended the same way for me: I begged Mom to buy me a balloon, she made me promise to hang on to it and not let go, I made the promise, she bought the balloon, handed it to me, and I immediately let it go, making Mom angry.
Don’t know why.
Now, it’s going away, for good.
Now, the Big Top (or, if you prefer, the Big Orange Top) will pitch its tent in Washington, D.C.
I can already smell the animal droppings.
As Bette Davis once famously said, “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night!”
Now, listen, I genuinely would like to see this man succeed as our President. Really. Even though I can’t stand him, I still hope, as I do with all Presidents, that he will lead us all to a bright and shining future.
But, I’m telling you, so far, I’ve seen nothing – absolutely nothing – from this guy to suggest even a remote possibility of that ever happening.
To this point, he’s just a scary clown to me.