Circus: (n) a traveling company of acrobats, trained animals, and clowns that gives performances, typically in a large tent
I’m about to break one of my own cardinal rules when it comes to writing.
I don’t mention too many “pop culture” references from the past because they’re irrelevant to the majority of the people who read my blogs.
. But when I saw the word “circus,” my mind went to only one place.
When I was a kid I was portly. (Now, this is a “grandma word” used to describe a fat boy.)
I fell in love with a TV show called “Circus Boy.” I can’t tell you much about it but there was a little kid just my age, with blond hair just like mine, blue eyes–the same–and he was part of a circus. He walked around wearing an adorable hat which might cause the worst cynic to beam a smile.
I loved that show.
So one day when shopping with my parents, I noticed they were selling a replica of Circus Boy’s hat. Oh, my God–I begged. I pleaded with my parents to get the it for me. It must have been very reasonable because they didn’t quibble.
I never took it off. My greatest joy was that when people saw me in the hat, they often commented, “He looks kinda like Circus Boy.”
It was almost like I was a leper and Jesus had just touched me.
One day I was in the grocery store with my mom and dad and a man and woman came up and the lady said, “Is this your son?”
My mother nodded with pride. Then the lady said it. “You know, he really looks like ‘Circus Boy.'”
I was about to explode with a huge smile and share with her that “Circus Boy” was my favorite show on TV when the man piped in, “Yeah, kind of. Except he’s fat.”
The earth stood still.
I couldn’t breathe.
I couldn’t look in any direction without seeing human beings who needed to be far away from me at that moment.
I turned on my heel and ran out of the store, wedging myself against the back of a Coke machine in a corner, crying.
You see, the guy wasn’t mean. Just matter-of-fact.
It was such “matter-of-fact” that even I knew it was true.
To this day, “circus” brings up “Circus Boy,” which stirs a memory of my fondness for the show, circulating images of the hat I wore, pretending–but deep in my heart, knowing I couldn’t be him.
I was too … portly.