Wednesday, January 27, 2010

new discoveries

Moments like this are supposed to happen only at the movies.

I went searching for the mystical circus on Tuesday afternoon.  One of the message boards I read gave very precise directions.  "On the highway into Barra.  Next to the chicken man."

That is how we give directions around here.  No numbers.  No street names.  With a number and a street name, the best you can do is get lost -- without the aggravation of looking for the blue sign with the bull on it.

It turns out I have been around here long enough that I recognized the spot where I was supposed to find the circus -- even though it seemed rather cramped for a tent, animals, and patrons.  And it was.

The first notes of the overture to The Magic Flute had barely sounded when the circus tent appeared.  Mozart and Barbum.  A natural pair.  Both show men par excellence.

Nothing was happening around the tent.  There were a few ponies, a horse, a dog, a kangaroo, and a coatimundi.  But none of the reported big cats.  Or zebras.

The animals up front were well-fed and in the shade.  And apparently content.  With the exception of the coatimundi.  He was obviously bored.  Chewing his right paw -- like some frustrated teenager who cannot figure out what else to do with his nervous hand.

I finally saw a young woman wandering aimlessly -- perhaps, looking for a parasol and a high wire.  She told me that there will only be four performances in Barra: at 6:30 and 8:30 on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then the tent will be struck and the show will be on the road.

I think that was our conversation.  For all I know, I agreed to marry her and live in Paris.  And that would be fine, as well.  She could bring along the coatimundi and we could pretend to be Scott and Zelda -- she wrapped in a coatimundi, he chewing the paw. 

She also told me that tickets sell for $100 (Mx) for a box seat and for $70 and $50 for less desirable seats.  For much less than the price of a movie ticket in Salem, I can pretend to be the King of Spain in his box seat and see acrobats and animals -- live.  Up close.  Personal.  I don't need no stinkin' CGI Avatar.

I had planned on attending the circus on Tuesday evening.  But I did not want to miss my Bible study group that fell right between both performances.  My box seat will await me on Wednesday.

On the way home, I stopped by to listen to the crowd.  The sound system is great.  And the crowd was obviously involved with the performance.  More importantly, I saw both the tiger and the leopard that are part of the circus -- both being chauffered about as if they were feline Rockefellers.

So, I still have at least one day of discovery ahead of me.

But I cannot let my one big discovery of Tuesday pass by unnoticed.  In November, I noted the complete lack of women surfers and skimboarders on our beaches:
gidgets wanted.  Locals told me women surfers show up -- now and then.

And they were correct.  I spotted my first today.

Persistence pays off.


Felipe said...

Marry her and live in Paris. I like that. I recommend it.

Mexican circuses can be a crap shoot. After two, I gave up. But I recommend it, and definitely get the best seat.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

Wow, expensive circus. We get several really big ones each year and full admission is more in the order of $20. Sometimes up to $40.


Anonymous said...

I believe my last attendance at a live circus performance was in Walla Walla in 1956 -- Clyde Beatty's Circus; Clyde was a famous lion trainer.

We thought Clyde was The Man. One could buy a plastic white pith helmet like the one he wore for his act, and a lion whip. For several weeks after the circus left town, neighborhood cats were subjected to the rigorous discipline of Beatty lion-training.

If I recall correctly, we young trainers managed to teach every cat in the neighborhood to run like hell at the sight of the white plastic pith helmet.

Our mothers, on the other hand, persistently told us we were going to put out an eye snapping the whips.

No eyes went out. But a number of wooden chairs were worse for wear.


Steve Cotton said...

Felipe -- This will be my first Mexican circus. Friends tell me it is quite good. And when the best is offered, I take it.

Larry -- I thought the circus might be trolling for expatriates with those prices. But both performances yesterday were filled with Mexican nationals -- and that appeared to be the case from the license plates on the cars parked up and down one lane of the highway. I have noticed that the prices for many items are higher here than in Mazatlan -- and with less choice. (An economist would note the connection between those two facts.)

ANM -- Circuses seem to hold a wellspring of memories for our generation. I wonder what will have the same effect on current generations? Video games? CGI films? Whatever it will be, I doubt that the "report of a pistol" will figure in any of their tales.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed you are featuring far more women in your posts lately. Are you after the page 3 girl set?


Steve Cotton said...

Julian -- I doubt I have enough class to emulate The Sun.