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Thursday, 01 March 2018

The Show Must Go On: Working on the Australian Circus Circuit - Page 3

Written by Sal Bolton
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Maybe it is backwards, but not to fault any lack of drama or unpredictability in this big sunburnt island tucked away 'Down Under' from the rest of the world.


'How about seein' to those animals Sal?, they'll be escaping the shed if they don't get some brekkie soon' requested John, raising his eyebrows as he jiggled his black baseball cap up and down on his head.


As I was about to get up out of my chair, he reached down and plucked a little yellow flower out of the ground. Holding it delicately between his thumb and his middle finger, he leant over and dropped it on the top of my head.

'Too easy, Princess' giving me a wink and a warm crooked smile.


John was as cool an Aussie you could get, cool as the beer McCaffey got from the esky. My kind of boss to work for. He never raised his voice ever and spoke with such calmness and stillness. He also trusted me, which is always a major compliment especially being an 'outsider' to this exclusive showman world. Apparently it takes a long time to be accepted by 'showman folk', and being fresh blood to it all and a 'pommie' one at that, made me feel extremely lucky to be welcomed and accepted; even if momentarily to work for the animal zoo - the most popular exhibit in the show.


I nodded to John and then turning away, clenched my mouth like a closed fist, hiding my irritation reaction to him saying 'too easy'. I don't know, it's just something that annoyingly grinds on me, it's like someone running their nails down a blackboard. Just one of those things.


I leapt out of my chair and headed to the back of the big top when I saw out of the corner of my eye John spontaneously sit down in my empty chair and cry out suddenly as it tipped back, propelling his bulky body backwards with his bare feet pointing sky high on the chairs frail frame. I let out a cackle of laughter and McCaffey stumbled out of his caravan to scold John who was trying to tip himself out of the chair onto the grass.


'Quite a father and son' I thought as I shook my head, still sniggering with laughter walking back through the flap into the back of the big top.


The rich smell of the tents canvas smothered my senses hard and then 'thwack' - a searing pain hit my toe as I stubbed it on the miniature bicycle used in the circus show lying behind the stage curtain. Cursing, I jumped through the curtain and onto the stage, the thudding of my footsteps echoing in the silence along with the painful throbbing of my toe.


(Page 3 of 5)
Last modified on Thursday, 01 March 2018

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