Circus

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.

 

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Bandana

Bandana: (n) a large handkerchief, typically having a colorful pattern, worn tied around the head or neck.Dictionary B

Knowing your limitations is important…and annoying.

Importantly annoying. To a certain degree, that summarizes adult life.

When I was a much younger man, I became quite enamored with the hippie philosophy–but more or less the attire rather than the ideals.

Now, let me make it clear that I am a chubby fellow. (Chubby is the generous word I use today for “fat.”)

But I did love the flowered shirts and the bandanas which were often worn on the head, to look cool and maybe have some practical purpose which certainly escaped my perception.

So since they did not make these flowered shirts in my size, I had a girlfriend make one for me. Unfortunately, the material I chose was literally covered with flowers, and she made it a little too big and irregular around the collar, so it kind of draped me at the chest.

But I slid on a bandana and proudly donned my new shirt and went out into society to establish my uniqueness. Much to my chagrin, the first four people who saw me referred to me as “ma’am.”

You see, when you’re chubby and wear a blousy flowered shirt, it does appear to be a blouse. Add a bandana and you look a little like you’re heading off into the field to pick lettuce.

So I was greatly offended, but rather than abandoning my clothing choice, I decided to grow a mustache to enhance my masculine image. Unfortunately, most people just thought the circus had come to town and they had caught the Bearded Lady on “Shave Day.”

It was embarrassing.

It made me defensive.

So my life as a hippie was very brief, and eventually I found it safer to reject the bandana in favor of a baseball cap.

To my delight, almost immediatelyI was once again viewed as a dude.

 

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Apostle

dictionary with letter A

Apostle: (n.) 1. each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ. 2. an enthusiastic supporter of an idea or cause.

Titles are what non-talented people cling to in order to avoid being evaluated on the quality of their work.

You can tell exactly how useless these assigned names are by how popular they are in our present-day society, which seems to be stuck in the muck of ego, unable to maneuver in any direction.

I, too, am often asked to produce my running list of titles. These are supposed to be words that inform the hearer that I am worthy of being listened to and that I have jumped through enough hoops to be part of the circus.

I’ve even had people correct me when I’ve addressed them by their first name, to inform me that their title must be included–otherwise they have a sense of what we might call “nomenclature nakedness.”

So instead of granting people dignity and appreciation for their deeds, we bequeath them with titles.

And this is why the original apostles nearly suffocated the message of Jesus of Nazareth–because they spent most of their time sitting around discussing who was greater and who Jesus liked better. In the process they began to kiss up to the very same individuals who originally had crucified their Master.

Fortunately for us, they stopped being apostles and turned back into rag-tag fanatics.

Because I will tell you of a certainty, King George III was not impressed that Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea of electricity or had constructed a stove. He considered him a rebel and a rapscallion and was prepared to hang him.

And the American history books can be grateful that Mr. Franklin did not take offense, but agreed to don the role of rebel so that we might be free.

Titles frighten me. They assume that their mere inclusion should produce respect.

What should give us our respect is whether we follow through on what we say is truly important.

 

 

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Animalism

dictionary with letter A

Animalism: (n.) behavior that is characteristic or appropriate to animals, particularly in being physical or instinctive.

I think it is possible to appreciate members of the animal kingdom while still being candid about their limited capabilities, and often vicious tendencies.

People who do not respect the teeth of the lion often get swallowed up in their error.

But what bothers me the most about the animal kingdom is how we, as human beings, who have been granted great heart, spirit, intellect and physical abilities, have deteriorated these gifts to the more base representations.

So our emotions are animalistic.

For instance, our movies and art fail to portray the sensitivity available to us as human beings, but rather, expand on the aggressive, selfish and dark aspects of hapless iniquity.

And I am certainly fed up with a spiritual animalism which turns the life of Jesus of Nazareth into a human sacrifice, complete with the members of the cult cannibalizing over his remains in some symbol of religious consecration.

As it pertains to intellectual animalism, I am bewildered why we think the accumulation of knowledge with no application of wisdom does any good for us in our progress as a species. I, for one, have grown weary of people who are smart but unwise. I am tired of hearing debates, serving up facts without allowing for the smorgasbord of human heart.

And let me be the first one to say that I am appalled at the physical animalism which has taken human sexuality into the realm of unashamed pornography. There is nothing more awkward, comical and tender than human beings having sexual relationships with each other. To turn it into a circus act or some sort of abusive domination of power, where one person is subjugated, is a glorification of the mating season, with beleaguered females being raped by their male counterparts simply because nature demands the encounter.

I am willing to be part of an animal kingdom which I respect and caretake. But I am not willing to take the beauty of my heart, soul, mind and strength … and allow them to be defined by the rules of the jungle.

 

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