Monday, September 22, 2008

The Greatest Ripoff Show On Earth

On Saturday morning, we left the circus that is this house, and took the boys to the real circus. The Barnum and Bailey's one.

Two of them fell asleep DURING the show.

The lone holdout: He fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Kids. The most unpredictable of creatures.

If you haven't been to the circus lately, or aren't in one, here are a few circus-y thoughts:

1. Wanna get your tots to sleep? Take 'em to the circus. The amount of simultaneous stimulation is far too much for them to keep up with, so they give up and snooze.

2. Pulling into the parking lot, the little old lady parking attendant said to Jason, "You look like you need some coffee." Later, we thought of all manner of things we could have said to her - were we not church-going, God-fearing people, of course. Because that is just not the thing you say to a father bringing his brood of hyperactive babes into the circus.

3. The noise. The noise. Oh, the noise, Noise, NOISE, NOISE. (Thank you, Mr. Grinch.) The band in the corner has every noise making device known to man. And uses them.

4. If you are afraid of heights - like I am - this place is a heart attack in the making. The trapeze artists - they have nets (and wear semi-scandalous hot pants). The tight-wire walkers - they have padding underneath. But, the pole duelers - the ones that climb up (two) gazillion foot poles that sway from side to side and do all manner of swinging and hanging upside down - AND THEN TRADE POLES IN MID-AIR - they DO NOT have any padding or nets below them. I almost passed out.

5. A bag of cotton candy is $12. Grand larceny, people.

6. And, if the price of cotton candy isn't bad enough, red-nose-wearing vendors walk around selling light up toys that jiggle and spin and make - umm - more noise. These toys - that would surely die a predicable death on the way home in the car were $20-$30 each. And, you can't walk anywhere without passing booths filled with them. I SO became my parents: "That is a ripoff. You can have ice cream when we get home." Oh, cringe. I have become my parents' voice of reason that plagued me as a child.

7. Max kept yelling, "YOOK! Ewephants." over and over. Holey cuteness.

8. They play this politically correct video mid-show that promotes their multi-million dollar elephant preservation and breeding grounds. And, all the animal activists sat down and put away their paintball guns.

9. Tigers are the most beautiful creatures. From a distance. Ain't no way I'd ever get near one.

10. Clowns are scary. And, weird.

We are now two days out from seeing the circus - and the boys can't stop talking about it. SO, even though they fell asleep and were denied a spinning, light-up, gouge-the-heck-out-of-a parent's-wallet toy, they absolutely loved it.

Especially the "ewephants".

Have you ever been to the circus? What is/was your favorite part?


  1. We went a few years ago, I felt just like you. EVERYTHING was overpriced, adn we had to keep saying, "No." Not to mention the outfits! There was a woman who climbed a rope, and held on with her legs, twirling high above the audience. Yea. Let's just say I'm glad the rope was between her legs because there sure wasn't much fabric anywhere near there. We vowed to NEVER go again.

  2. Yes, we own one of the $20 light toys, but I only took one of my children. Don't think the 9 month old would have enjoyed it. I agreed to this because I was not going to buy a $12 watered-down snow cone! The two year old had fun but it was all a little overwhelming for her. I thought the whole "theme" of the show that came here was so cheesy with a clown with hair like Kramer kept singing "You're Beautiful" to the girl twisting around the ribbons. All in all she enjoyed it, I am just glad we bought the cheap seats!

  3. Yep, we've been. My favorite part was leaving. Just kidding. Sort of. I actually liked the dogs and this weird trained cat show, strangely. The motorcycles in the cages -- yucky stink!! And too loud.

    Miss you!

  4. Seriously, who hasn't fallen into the trap of taking their kids to the circus? Nina was 3. I agree with Tara. The best part was leaving! Our son Nick will never see a circus unless a willing Aunt/Uncle or Grandparents take him. I won't be me. We do plenty of other less costly things. Less noisy back to the
    50's car show where they hold burnout races! Oh and my mom is a clown. Seriously. With the 3M clown club. LOL

  5. We went Thursday night - and loved it! I about died when Bello came sliding down the pole upside down!!
    I did let Shaelyn buy a tiger purse for $19 but at least it won't die quickly like the lights -right?

  6. Oh my goodness, you crack me up! We were just talking about the circus this weekend bc I could have gotten free tickets from work (should have posted that I had some, I coulda hooked you up at least on that end of the price gouging).

    Thanks to your post, which I will summerize to my very Dutch husband as TOO EXPENSIVE!! Thanks for saving us from the nightmare.

    Although I think I would pay any price to hear the "ewephants" thing! Too cute!

  7. We took the kids to a small circus last year. Not Barnum and Bailey. It was called Cole Brothers. They meet in an actual tent. You sit in folding chairs and bleachers. Prices were reasonable (I must confess we were given free tickets from someone at my husband's work so they were REALLY reasonable for us)!

    Before you give up on the circus all together, can I just recommend you give the "not as big top" a try?

    Of course with the name Life At The Circus, you know I HAD to go. But really, we loved it and would go again in an instant.

  8. Not a fan. Really. For some reason they creep me out.

  9. We went yesterday. But we left Becca at home, having been warned by a friend who went to Saturday's show that she was probably too little to get anything out of it and that we probably wouldn't enjoy it if we did take her. Abby and Hannah stayed awake, although Hannah asked to go home a couple of times - pretty much whenever anything freaked her out. Like the tigers. And the sway poles. She LOVED the horses and the dogs though, and all of the dancers. Abby liked everything in general - especially collecting the confetti pieces from around the arena.

    It was fun - but I don't think I'd pay to go again. Well, at least until Becca's old enough. :)

  10. Have honestly never been to a circus and have no desire. Call me one of those weirdos, but I will not support them d/t the stories you hear about how they treat the animals. Especially the "ewephants". All I can picture in my head is an elephant chained and being beaten, and a tear is streaming down it's face. Sorry to be so grimm, but I won't ever go to a circus for that reason!

  11. It's been a while since I've been to one, but I do remember that everything was overpriced too. Clowns were weird than and still are. I love the tigers and elephants.

  12. Aw man, we would have gone with you and the kids in a heartbeat.

    We took our girls a few times. The last time was awful. I little girl ran down the steps, tripped and hit her head on a brick wall before the show started. My girls were a mess and couldn't even think about the show. Bummer!

    I loved the circus as a kid and still rememeber the elephants and how much the whole place seemed to stink. Very fun!

  13. Stephen King ruined clowns for me, so I have never been to the circus as an adult. Seriously, I think they are creepy and give me nightmares to this day. And no, I did not read the book but snuck downstairs at a young age (I think I was around 8 or 9) and watched the TV version of "It" with my older brother. Scarred for life. SO. I am hoping to exit the girls' young childhood without having to go to the circus. I figure if they want to go when they are older, they can go with a friend's family. (Wanna take them to the circus in about 5 years? I promise to send them both with about $50 bucks for a drink. LOL.)

    That's hilarious that the boys fell asleep (Max and Lincoln, I'm assuming?). You think you'll take them again next year?

  14. My favorite part was all those dogs - going down a slide, riding a scooter...and the black one wearing skin-tight red pants (hehehe) :)


  15. haha, sounds like fun; I remember going when we were little; I loved it; never got a light thing; still want one. :) we've been to the small traveling local ones here; they're lots of fun; cheap, not too many people; made for families w/little kids.

  16. I just giggled like a fool while reading that whole thing. I have not been to the circus in approximately 2 decades, so I don't remember my favorite part, although I do have a vague rememberance of enjoying the cotton candy and the sparklies on the trapeze artists "semi-scandalous hot pants" (although I think then they were just regular old leotards).
    And like Jenni, I am terrified of clowns, so I'm not really looking forward to attempting the circus anytime soon.
    Random thought: Remember those glowy necklaces they used to sell (and maybe still do) and when they'd start to lose the glow you'd put them in the freezer--like that was going to do anything but be a non-glowy surprise in 6 months when you found it in there while looking for popsicles?

  17. Wowsers. This is a lot of info!

    Here are my thoughts:
    1. You are very, very brave. Very.

    2. You are also crazy. But that comes with being brave.

    3. Oh my land... $12 for cotton candy?

    4. I can't tell if you're promoting circus visits or not. I think you're saying it's fun but WARNING, WARNING!

    5. Dan hates clowns, too.

    6. You are brave.

  18. I like the $20 glow-in-the-dark plastic-y necklace thingies that stop working as soon as you go home.

  19. I was never all that much a fan of the circus... all me the grinch... but it was always too much noise, too many lights, and too much to take in all at once... and dang $12 for cotton candy... I promise if you stop by chuck e cheese you wont spend more the 2 dollars... ;)

  20. i think we took the kids to the circus just once, but it wasn't even this big, mainstream one. you're right... everything is over priced and a little overwhelming. but if the boys are talking that much about it, it will end up being a valuable memory for them.

  21. I took Morgan when she was 3. We were there about 10 minutes and she wanted to leave when they started walking on the tight rope. Freaked her out. It was very expensive - they gouge you on the treats and souveniers which they have coming up and down the aisles at rapid speed. YIKES!

    We did take in a little traveling circus in our little town later that same year which was a more reasonable affair. They come in the morning and you can bring the kids and watch them set up the tent etc..

    The other two kids have yet to visit a circus and it may be a while. Lance doesn't like crowds so I would probably have to do it on my own. The kids will definitely need to be older