January 11, 2007

the circus is in town!

On my walk home from class I heard a megaphone making announcements. At first I thought it was coming from the soccer pitch near the school, but it was coming from further away. When I turned down good ol' Faubourg Lacapelle I could see three tall, yellow Renault semi-trucks (semis here don't look so industrial, polluting and Optimus Prime-like, they're more rounded and European...and I don't see them as often as I did back home) slowly coming my way, down the one way street.

As I walked toward Rue de la Banque I could see people looking out windows, stopped on the street and frantically trying to get into their cars before they'd be stuck behind the slow-moving trucks. It was a fair spectacle. The trucks' horns were honking multi-tones and the drivers were yelling, "Come see the Frankie Mueller [or whoever] Circus, right HERE, in Montauban on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Attention! Attention! You don't want to miss this!"

I stopped and watched them go by, expecting and not believing the animals in the cages on the trucks. The first truck had three cages. In one were two lions with a female playing with a male. There was another, lone, lion. And a tiger lying down. The second truck had a small sign above the windshield that said something like, "Hippopotamus of the street". I thought that had something to do with the size of the truck, but no, there was a hippo inside. Its face was buried in a pile of hay. The third truck had another two lions in it.

While the trucks were driving by and the neighborhood was being treated to loud, annoying horn honks, loud speakers demanding us to come and caged animals I felt really bad for the lions, tigers and hippo, oh my. Having to stay in the cage and being subjected to the noise and people must be awful. And it just reaffirmed my hatred for circuses.

But, it all had an air of small-town, old America when the circus would come to town with a parade of all the freaks and animals coming right down main street. If there were (human) freaks in the show I got today I wouldn't feel as bad.