Greatest Show on Earth

After our success seeing The Wiggles this summer, when I received an email from Ticketmaster about The Ringling Brothers’ Barnum & Bailey Circus, I immediately emailed Jerry, picked a showtime, and bought tickets. The day they went on sale.

Did I want to buy the Circus Celebrity tickets, which were maybe $10 to $15 more? Wellllll…. One never knows how responsive Helen is going to be when you go to these things — will she freeze up and refuse to participate? Will she get into it? It’s a crapshoot. So rather than risk her shutting down, I bought the second-best tickets, so that we’d have great seats but wouldn’t get pulled out to be part of the show.

We were on the main side of the Arena (they seemed to perform towards one side more than the other), on the edge of the center ring, in the third row (folding chairs that were on risers on the floor). Clowns came by and were so close we could have reached out to shake their hands. Spectacular seats.

We got there early, so that we’d be able to see some of the preshow, where the audience can go down onto the floor and see the rings up close and meet the clowns. I don’t do so well in crowds, so I stayed with our coats and camera in the seats, and Jerry carried Helen down to the floor. She got to see Asia the elephant painting a masterpiece, and she watched an acrobat do a balancing act.

We kept asking her if she wanted to go to the bathroom before the show started, and she did NOT.

It was a fantastic show. Helen’s eyes got as big as saucers and she was completely enthralled for the entire 2+ hours that we were there. At intermission, we asked her again if she needed to go to the bathroom. NO. NO. NO! Allllllrightythen. She was afraid that she’d miss something.

We bought her some cotton candy and got her very high on sugar, which was evident after the show when she hopped all the way back to the car. Not a short distance. And she hopped it. All the way.

“What was your favorite part of the circus, Helen?”
[silence from the back seat as she tries to decide]
“Did you like the tigers, Helen?”
“YES! And the elephants!”
“Did you like the trapeze?”
“Did you like the clowns?”
“Did you like the horses? and the zebras?”
“And the camels? and the doggies?”
“And the silly clown on the trampoline?”
“YES! I liked ALL of it. Didn’t you?”

When we came home we were met by the babysitter who had arrived to take my Mom’s place (Mom had been watching Alice, but had to leave), and Helen bounced in and told Jennie all about the circus, and Jerry and I headed back out to his company Christmas party. Jennie said that she was finally able to get Helen to go to sleep around 9, about an hour and a half after Helen’s usual bedtime.

Tomorrow should be fun, as she reviews all the high points of the circus with anyone who will listen, and even those who won’t.