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Bud Grossmann’s
Words of the Week
for the Week of
July 1, 2018
Previously unpublished
political satire.

© 2018 by Bud Grossmann.
All Rights Reserved.

  Circus! (2018)
© 2018 by Bud Grossmann


Everyone loves a circus, you may have heard someone claim. This past week, on a breezy, bright, hot, but-could-have-been-hotter, Wisconsin Wednesday, David C. Fischer and his wife, along with Dave’s dad, attended an hour-long, one-ring Big Top show that began at eleven a.m. at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo. Like most good Americans, Dave typically spends almost all of a weekday morning and about half of every afternoon attempting to keep up with news reports of current events. He religiously listens to the commentary of late-night shows (in online videos), skims the headlines in the New York Times, and reads a fair amount of each week’s issue of The New Yorker.

Trump Trump Trump!
Trump Trump Trump!
Trump Trump Trump!

All the day long, David C. Fischer studies the doings and pronouncements of our president.

Fischer expected the visit to the circus to offer a restful break from his civic responsibilities of keeping himself well-informed. For just this one day, he imagined, he might relax and escape the Trump Trump Trumpeting blasts and numbing buzz of the daily news.

As it turned out, however, Fischer was quite surprised by the political nature of the Big Top show. He had naively assumed the acts would be scrupulously non-partisan, but he found they were instead filled with favorable references to our present president and his Administration.

The glorification of the executive branch of our government was not subtle in the least. Elephants, symbols of the president’s party, paraded proudly, and pigs did, too, but not a single donkey, nope, not one, was given a moment in the spotlight. High above the crowd, nearly to the peak of the great circus tent, a daring young man and, later, a daring young woman, too, went about their work without a safety net, representing, Fischer realized, an important concept of small government. Who could miss the significance?

And though you may find it hard to believe, a pair of suspectedly Russian magicians (Olga & Vladimir Smirnov, indeed!) repeatedly inflicted deceptions upon a gullible audience, many members of which seemed actually delighted to be fooled. Our friend Fischer was not fooled, nor was he delighted.

And shall we mention the clowns? Clowns, clowns, clowns! Approximately two of them. (It was only a one-ring circus, and there weren’t any little cars for numberless clowns to bloom out of.) Fischer counted two clowns and was not pleased with either of them. The wordless bumbling and stumbling of the clowns, along with the self-congratulatory pontifications of the ringmaster, were clearly meant to put the audience in mind of our president’s Cabinet and staff and to find them amusing rather than alarming.

Supposedly everyone loves a circus. And so it certainly should be. But one circus goer in Wisconsin on Wednesday went home discouraged, defeated, and despondent.

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This page was published Sun, Jul 1, 2018, 9:26PM CDT.

© 2018 by Bud Grossmann