Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson

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Circus people, like any other cadre of co-workers, occasionally gather to swap yarns, which are sometimes embellished and elaborated in the re-telling, particularly if there are adult beverages being passed around.  Long-time impresario Paul Binder of the Big Apple Circus committed some of his tales to print in Never Quote the Weather to a Sea Lion And Other Uncommon Tales, which I'll commend to you tonight in Book Review No. 14.  (Half a year, half a year, half a year onward, and we'll see about the fifty ...)

By all means read the stories, there's that no s***, this really happened flavor that makes a good jackpot.  Three brief takeaways to the aspiring circus owner.  First, even well-trained animals will respect their instincts.  Second, the one-ring circus has to put its best performance forward at each change of acts, there's no distracting the spectators with a lot of action to conceal a pedestrian part of the show.  Third, without a good transportation department, even the most well-prepared of itinerant circus will come to grief.

And yes, I enjoyed the yarn about the troubles the circus had moving an antique wagon on a flatbed trailer.  You put a thing with wheels on another thing with wheels and connect it to a third thing with wheels.  Indeed.  That also describes a circus train.  But read the book to understand why the yarn is worth retelling.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)

Tags: business, entertainment, non-fiction, play, recommended book

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