082389 Shrine Circus, Moncton, NB

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Somehow, some way I got roped into attending the Shrine Circus on August 23rd, 1989 even after my disappointing attempt to recapture the magical circus memories of my youth when I attended their show just a year (and a day) before.

I must have known it would be no better than it was before; nothing had changed, including the location of their faded big top in the crumbling parking lot of the Champlain Mall in Dieppe.

Once again I took my high school girlfriend, though her kid brother must have known better than to join us this time as it was just we two.  Most likely I had scored a free pair of tickets somewhere; I am certainly a sucker for free stuff – even if it’s free stuff I have no use or interest in – so that’s the most likely scenario by far.

One way or the other I enjoyed the circus this time around the same as I did the last time, which wasn’t much.  Sad animals, scary clowns and sketchy stagehands just aren’t my thing and nothing in my mind sets this tour apart from the last so it must have been just more of the same.

Though I was still several years from having my heart completely stolen by the new magic of Cirque du Soleil, after this show I knew with certainty that I was done with this sort of circus forever.  I don’t know if I had changed or if the circus experience had changed, but either way we were no longer compatible.

Dear Barnum, Bailey, and all of your fez-topped friends,

It’s over.  Don’t call me.

Thanks for (some of) the memories,


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