I have this vague recollection of going into a tent, sitting on some rather uncomfortable benches, and watching the usual circus type entertainments. They had performing animals (it was back in the 70's when they could still bring a wild animal into an enclosed space with young children), tumblers, a ringmaster, clowns ... the whole kit and kaboodle.
I don't really remember much of it, I was far too young, but there is one part of the whole show I remember with almost startling clarity.
I remember watching them, utterly convinced they were going to plummet to their deaths. They didn't, of course, but from that point on I have to say it was my least favourite part of the circus ... something that I was vividly reminded of recently when I went to see a circus themed stage show with my friend Bob.
So many bloody acrobats swinging around like they were trying to break their necks! With each one I was equal parts impressed and horrified. But it wasn't until the last one that I almost lost it.
He was young, just a kid really, and he settled himself on the bar of the trapeze and just started twisting around and around, contorting until he was all tied up in the ropes and barely a foot from the ceiling, at least twenty metres up. Then he looked down at us, smiled, and let go.
And I just about had a heart attack.
He was fine of course, he just tumbled around and around and then turned his feet out at the last minute to stop from falling to the ground. Got quite the round of applause in fact. I, however, was only barely able to restrain myself from giving him a good shaking! I was sure he was going to end up a smushed little spot on the ground!
So here's my message to you, Mr Acrobat. I was incredibly impressed by your skill and dedication to your craft. But if you ever scare me like that again, you little shit, not even Bob's hand on my arm will stop me from rushing onto that stage and giving you a good slap!
Bloody trapeze artists...