‘Roll up, roll up, Mr Smudge proudly presents the greatest show on earth, the most spectacular spectacle in the world, the most breathtaking performance on the planet – Mr Smudge’s Miraculous Marvel Show. Featuring The Flying Fellinis Two, The Amazing Zorro, The Somewhat Disappointing Zero, The Mighty Strongo along with his miniature elephant Tara, and (as the poster erroneously declared in a phrophetic printer’s error) Many Other Superbo Stuff!’
And so to the CIRCUS…TaDAAAA!!!
Smudge’s Miraculous Marvel Show – so much more than a simple circus. More a religious experience, a spiritual journey, a sensory epiphany; ‘Miracles performed daily’, twice daily in fact, a matinee and an evening performance for all the crowds to see. My how they 'ooohed', were awed with their 'ahhhs', my goodness how they gasped, 'gasssppp'… and the Ju-Ju Jesus Peanut was the star of the show, top of the bill, headlining headliner.
Soon the show was all the Ju-Ju knew, understood, could even remember. Month after month, week after week, day after day, it was his all, his only, his life. He couldn’t remember a time before the show, a moment preceding the performance, a glimpse of what had come in front of the entertainment. It was all theatre, and the Ju-Ju was the crowd-drawing, applause-creating, money-making, centrepiece that made the circus so seriously successful. Smudge smiled – The Ju-Ju was truly his.
There is only theatre. Life is theatre. Death is theatre. Theatre is theatre. It is all theatre. The circus; a large arena for the exhibition of games, feats of horsemanship etc; a travelling show of acrobats, clowns etc; a company of people travelling round giving displays etc: had been redefined. It was now a life changing, soul uplifting, ecstasy inducing experience of euphoric effect edging on the ecumenical.
Day in, day out, the Ju-Ju performed his miracles inside the big top. The singing sausages floated and sang, dead ducks quacked and flew, floundering fishes grew legs and walked, bread was made to toast and jam, the fallen were raised, the risen were made to float on high, the crowds did all at once spontaneously combust to resurrect in mass baptism as the Soaking (ah, the Soaking) vanquished the fire - and a small pea was made to soup for all, whilst a small girl rode a lion.
Smudge had never been happier. The Ju-Ju never more miserable.
Each night the Ju-Ju Jesus cried himself to sleep in the circus’s lowly stable tent surrounded by the circus beasts. His voodoo hoodoo heart, the cause of his interment, bled for his captors as he prayed for their forgiveness.
“Forgive them. They know not what thy do-be-do-be-do.” He sang.
The stable was his home, a reminder of where he had risen from. His cultivated G.M. stock found peace at last and he rested surrounded by the aardvarks, beetles, chi-wah-wahs, dromedaries, elephants, fishes, giraffes, hens, iguanas, jaguars, kangaroos, lice, mongooses, newts, ocelots, ptarmigans, quail, rattlesnakes, sausages, tortoises, ukaris, vicunas, xerus, yaks, and zebras. They were his friends, his allies, his compatriots; an alphabetically ordered cornucopia of the animal kingdom, a rich arrangement of beautiful beasts, a sensibly categorised list of ordinary organisms - and He was their saviour. Amen.
The circus people, a mix of freaks, convicts, charlatans and misfits, paid him little attention. Some of them where there through choice, some through circumstance, still others (as was the Ju-Ju) because Smudge had a hold, a grip, a closed, furled fist in their future fates… and one such of these was the Mighty Whirling Dervish.
“See him Spin! Watch him Whirl! He spins, he whirls, oh, how he spins!”
All praise the pious Peanut! Amen.
But wait…What says, utters, speaks, the Dervish?
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