Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Circus Fever


One touch of circus makes the whole town kin.

For years clever writers have been trying to isolate the circus germ. Interpret the symptoms of acute circusitis and explain why the wife who hears the notes of the far-off calliope leaves her dishes in the sink, takes a flying leap into the Ford and dashes downtown to see the parade, the same old procession she has watched year after year for two or three decades. She doesn't see anything new; she knows before she starts that she won't see anything new. She knows the sights and smells will be exactly the same. Yet she listens and leaps and goes home with the guilty knowledge that she will either compel her husband to take her and the children to the show or she will use the hoard in the teapot on the top shelf.

There seems to be something in the makeup of the average American requiring a certain amount of dust, smells, crowds, bad band music and general dishevelment every year. If the wonders within the tent are old enough and done with enough of the traditional flourish this average person tramps home with the news that it was the best circus ever seen.

—The Lincoln Star, Lincoln, NE, Aug. 3, 1923, p. 6. Originally from South Bend (Indiana) Tribune.

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