Thursday, March 3, 2011

Even The Circus Doesn't Let the Clowns Run the Show

That is my favorite thing to say at work when all hell breaks loose. Of course, few people laugh because I work with a lot of clowns.
But, that's not the point of this post. I'm going to talk about the circus! I'm very intrigued by the whole history and concept of the circus, although I loathe the animal cruelty issues that come along with it (check out PETA's website for info on the mistreatment of annimals in the circus: .)

OK, I had to get the animal disclaimer out of the way. And that's the last time I will bum you out in this post (awareness hurts sometimes, doesn't it), Now, let's talk about the circus:

  • The circus has it's origins in Ancient Rome with the Circus Maximus, which featured chariot races, equestrian shows, staged battles, displays featuring trained animals, jugglers and acrobats. Also, it was the only public venue in which women and men could sit together. Was this the first version of couples therapy?

  • Barnum did NOT say "There's A Sucker Born Every Minute." (He actually said, "The American people like to be humbugged.") Adam Forepaugh, a bitter competitor, invented these words and credited Barnum with them in an effort to shame him in the eyes of the world. Grrr. I posted this misquote in an earlier post of mine. I'll have to fire my fact checker...

  • The word "circus" comes from the Latin meaning ring or circle.  It referred to the circuit made by horses and chariots as they raced.

  • Early circuses were the only zoos where people could see strange and unusual animals. It was termed an educational experience for the people. But, now we HAVE zoos, so you don't need to go to a circus to see exploited animals. (ok, I had to get one more in).

  • Did you know that the leotard was named after famed trapeze artist Jules Leotard? I know that sounds like a fact I'd make up, but I swear, I didn't. However, I do want an item of clothes named after me. Like a pair of shoes or something. "Oooh! Look at this new pair of Darlings I picked up." Or "Excuse me, can I see those peep toe Darlings in a size 9?"

  • When PT Barnum's shows were at full capacity, he had a hard time getting people to leave the tent. So, he put up a sign that said "This Way to the Egress" in big flashy letters. Thinking they were going to see some sort of mythilogical animal, people would follow the sign only to end up at the exit. Yeah, "egress" means exit. Wonder why we don't use the word "egress" more often?  Probably because Egress Through the Gift Shop would be a crappy name for a movie...
And on that note, here's a necklace to wear when making a grand entrance or egress:


  1. hahaha this way to the egress.. i love the everything about this post, the title, the info and the necklace is awesome :) my ex was horrified of clowns.. even smiley cute ones. I should send this to him ;) lol happy thursday!

  2. Thanks! I'm a little afraid of clowns myself...which made making the necklace a little bit tricky:) Happy Thursday back at ya'!