The History of the Greatest Show on Earth

9 Mar

First in our series on Water for Elephants. Bookmark us and come back each week!

By: Ozzie20

With the upcoming movie adaptation of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants nearing toward its release date, we thought it would be a good idea to give a history of circuses. In this article, we will be looking back at its ancient beginnings, the modern-day foundation in Europe and the foundation of the American Circuses. In doing so, we are giving an insight into the world of circuses to have a better understanding of Water for Elephants.

The origins of circuses can be traced back thousands of years. In ancient China, acrobats and jugglers were popular. In ancient Egypt exotic animals were captured and brought back for the pharaoh. However, it was the Romans who brought these elements together to form a show to entertain audiences between battles and races at the amphitheatres. As their popularity grew, fixed circuses sprung up, the first being “Circus Maximus.” However after the fall of Ancient Roman Empire, the circuses  succumbed too. The acts became wandering showmen who travelled across Europe.[1]

The modern-day circus was born in the 1700’s in Europe. A British man named Philip Astley opened up a riding school in London 1768. By day he taught riding and at night he performed his riding skill that he had learnt during his time in the army in an amphitheatre. In 1770, he hired musicians and performers to entertain the audience between his riding tricks. A former employee of Philip Astley was the first to use the word “circus” in the title of his production.[2] Charles Hughes opened up a competing show in 1782 calling it “The Royal Circus and Equestrian Philharmonic Academy” in hopes to be associated with the legendary “Circus Maximus.”  At the same time, Philip Astley set up and amphitheatre in Paris. During his lifetime, Astley founded nineteen permanent circuses.

In 1793 the first circus arrived in America. John Bill Ricketts, a former student of Charles Hughes, travelled to Philadelphia from England and opened up a riding school. On April 3rd, 1793, his first circus performance took place.  His circus was a success and was even visited by George Washington on 22nd April of the same year. On July 22nd his show came to an end and he started to travel. For the next six years he travelled up and down the east coast of America. His rival, the Swedish Philip Lailson started the tradition (in 1797) of parading through the main streets of Boston, Philadelphia and New York daily to advertise his show. By the end of the eighteenth century, Ricketts and Lailson had provided the groundwork for American circuses.[3]

In the 1800’s, new circus companies were formed and in 1814 they began to move west following the migration routes and used rivers to help transport their circuses further. Although these areas were run under a strict moral code, the general public found the circuses entertaining and the popularity grew. Up until 1825, circuses still performed in permanent amphitheatres. Joshuah Prudy Brown started to hold his performances under a large portable tent. It allowed his circus more freedom travelling where ever he wanted to go. This meant more performances and access to smaller towns. The canvas tent had become popular with many circuses. This meant more employees were needed to put up and dismantle the tents and wagons needed to transport them.[4] It was often slow and expensive to use wagons and boats but the railroads increased across the country and a more affordable and quicker transportation method arised. By the 1870’s many circuses used trains as their main transportation.[5]

1872 to 1905 was considered Golden Age of circuses.[6] Circuses grew rapidly, more equipment, animals and people could be transported by rail. Tents grew larger; three rings were now common under the big top.  More exotic animals were brought in and more spectacular performances took place. Sideshows sprung up featuring human oddities. By the 1920’s the circuses had reached their high point. The Great Depression hit and audience numbers dwindled.  Which brings the setting and us to the 1930’s for Water for Elephants.[7]

Sara Gruen captured the time period perfectly. At this time circuses were folding and other productions would rush to buy that circus out. The competition to show the most unique human oddities and exotic animal is immense. In Gruen’s novel, Uncle Al often rushes off to the dying circuses to try to secure the best performers and animals to try to bring in more audiences. He buys more horses to increase the intensity and difficulty of their act, more exotic animals to display. He gets there too late for the prized human oddity he was after but he still struck lucky. The most prized animal any circus could have was an elephant. Audiences loved to see elephants and the bigger the better. In buying Rosie, audiences did increase but started to decline again. Just having an elephant wasn’t enough now. The competition was very fierce. They had to perform too. When they finally discover how to communicate to Rosie, they frantically put together a performance with Marlena. When Rosie and Marlena finally debut their act it is a massive hit. The more unique the acts were the bigger draw would be. To see an elephant, a great wild beast, copy and perform tricks that humans did would have made the audience go wild. Marlena and Rosie did this to perfection!

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.

 

Join us to discuss on Thursday March 10th, 7pm E/ 12 UTC

 

 

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181 Responses to “The History of the Greatest Show on Earth”

  1. 4string March 9, 2011 at 8:51 AM #

    Awesome article! You certainly did a lot of research. 🙂 I’m going to write one also.

    • ozzie20 March 9, 2011 at 2:29 PM #

      Yes, I heard what it might be about. I can’t wait!

  2. Littlebells March 9, 2011 at 12:19 PM #

    That was awesome Ozzie!!! And I agree with 4String, you certainly did a lot of research. It is pretty amazing how the circus came about. I didn’t realize how old it was. 🙂

  3. ozzie20 March 9, 2011 at 2:28 PM #

    Thank you! I’d like to thank Open Book too for the help she gave me. A couple of the links were her suggestion and she help me keep focused. I would of rambled on for a long time without it! Also, I’d like to thank her for her encouragement and support. She’s a super star! 🙂

    • Littlebells March 9, 2011 at 6:25 PM #

      *applause for Open Book* 🙂

  4. Parisienne March 9, 2011 at 6:11 PM #

    Ozzie,

    Awesome article!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved it. 🙂

  5. kneon65 March 9, 2011 at 8:57 PM #

    Ozzie great job. Great lead article for the series coming. Helps explain to those that don’t know what the book/movie is about some of the background.

  6. Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 4:29 AM #

    I may not be able to participate tonight but I hope I can make it. What types of animals were used in the roman/egyptian circuses? When Philip Astley opened his riding school and performed the things he learned. I assumed he used only horses. Am I correct? What breed of horse did he use?

    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

      Great Q Paris!!

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

      As both the Romans and the Egyptians had large empires they could export many animals from those areas. Wild cats, elephants, bears, buffelo and rhinoceroses are some of the types.

      Philip Astley had a few exotic animals like lions and elephants but they weren’t brought out regulary. I can’t find any information on which breed of horse he used.

    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:08 PM #

      Ozzie please correct me if I’m wrong. But I believe the breed of horses mostly used were Spanish Stallions.

      • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:09 PM #

        You’re probably right. I’m looking for the info but I’m not getting anything yet.

        • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:15 PM #

          Yes! Astley traveled between Spain and France often and favored Spanish Stallions. Heres more information on it.

          http://www.archive.org/stream/introducinghorse00jenk/introducinghorse00jenk_djvu.txt

          • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:22 PM #

            Wonder how they tie into the famous Lipizzaner Stallions? They are Spanish too.

            • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

              Just looked them up on google. Beautiful horses! Stallions are truly magnificent.

          • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:26 PM #

            Thank you!

  7. Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:00 PM #

    Wow! What a fun article to read Ozzie!!

  8. Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:05 PM #

    Ozzie, fabulous article and a great overview of how circuses came about.

  9. Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

    Hi ladies! Yes, great questions Paris. I’m going to go back to the article because I know I had some questions too….

  10. ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:07 PM #

    Thank you for the compliments ladies! 🙂

  11. Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:12 PM #

    Ozziee, in researching what did you find most interesting that you didn’t already know?

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:16 PM #

      Well, I did not know the origins began in Europe but looking back on it, it should of been obvious to me! It was interesting that the Roman’s ahd the first defined circus.

      • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

        The Romans were always on the up and up. They always had to be the big cheese. 🙂

        • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:20 PM #

          LOL!! Love this response!! Littlebells LOL!!

        • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:24 PM #

          Rome did it first and everyone has been playing catch up ever since!

          • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

            Yes, they did seem to like to be the biggest and best at everything!

  12. Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:13 PM #

    Call me an ignorant baffoon, but I had no idea what circus actually meant. I looked it up and found “circus maximus” (found in article) and this is what it said:

    Circus means a circle, or a building with a circular floor plan, or a theatre for various forms of entertainment.

    Maximus is the superlative form of the adjective magnus, meaning large or great – therefore “greatest”.

    just thought I would pass that along. it makes sense since the Romans brought it to life in their amphitheaters (which are round). Duh (that’s directed at me.)

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:20 PM #

      Yes, I felt a bit silly over not realising that’s what circus meant. I knew what a discus is but never thought of to apply the Roman definition to circus.

  13. Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:17 PM #

    Hey Ozzie, do you know if clowns were always a part of the circus? Honestly, I find they are really freaky or not funny at all.

    • 4string March 10, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

      Clowns do freak me out too. Does anyone really like clowns?

      • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM #

        LOL!! O.k. u ladies are in rare form!! Love it!!

        • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:24 PM #

          Dude, I always think of Tim Curry as IT. *shivers* Back on topic….

          • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:30 PM #

            Yeah!! That’s scary. How about Heth Ledger in Dark Knight!! Those mask were really scary!!

            • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

              Open Book,

              Why so serious????? LOL love that line. 🙂

      • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:25 PM #

        I think they have been from the begining. Some kind of jester I would of thought would be common. I was discussing this artilce with my Mum. She said she took me to a circus once and I screamed because I did not like the clowns and refused to go to any more. I don’t remember it happening. Must of been bad, lol!

        • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:29 PM #

          Most people I talk to HATE the clowns. I wonder why they haven’t gotten rid of them. Ok, no more talk about clowns from me. Thanks for the 411 on them, though, Ozzie. 🙂

          • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

            You’re welcome. I’m still not to keen on them.

        • kim March 10, 2011 at 7:34 PM #

          Yeah, I went to circuses a lot when I was younger, but my younger son was so afraid of clowns that the one and only time we took him to the circus was a disaster.

      • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:48 PM #

        I don’t mind clowns so much. They remind me of when I was in HHN.

        • 4string March 10, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChjHS8-SbLg hee hee hee

          • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM #

            *Shudders* I will never be able to look at Krusty the Clown again with out picturing that clown!

          • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

            that’s just a bad version of Bozo. LOL

  14. kim March 10, 2011 at 7:22 PM #

    Great article and very informative, Ozzie.

    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

      Hi Kim!!

      • kim March 10, 2011 at 7:35 PM #

        Hi OB and everyone else. I’m here for a short time, rough day today.

        • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

          Hi!!

          O.k. nice u stopped by anyway!!

        • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

          Ouch! I hope you find some time to relax and pamper yourself!

          • kim March 10, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

            Thanks all, I’m trying too.

  15. Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

    Ozzie!

    In reading your article it seems the going trend for opening a circus, is to start off with a riding school. Is that correct? If so why do u think that’s so common?

    • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:28 PM #

      Great question, OP!

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:30 PM #

      I think it was common to start of with riding schools as they needed the income to start the circus.

    • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

      would you say it’s because horses were THE animal? There were no cars or trains or airplanes. Maybe turning your run of the mill horse into an animal with exciting tricks and stunts would be like taking your honda civic and pimpin out on “pimp my ride”? (Wow that is a horrible comparison. Basically, I don’t know the answer. I’m just guessing. Ignore me. 🙂 )

      • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:35 PM #

        Lol! I now have images of pimped up horses! Good point and true. The shows at night were performances of acrobatic tricks on horses they had learned during the war. It would not have been anything the average citizen would have seen before.

        • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:37 PM #

          Most of the true skilled riders were Military/Calvary groups.

        • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM #

          I know this is great imagery!!

          I’m still laughing at Littlebelles response!!

      • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:36 PM #

        Are u a stand up comic? This is great answer!!LOL!

        I will wait for Lurker! Great try though Littlebelles!!

      • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM #

        LOL

  16. Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:30 PM #

    *raises hand* waiting for Ozzie to go first!

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

      Go for it Lurker! 🙂

      • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:33 PM #

        OK so during that time period 1700’s early 1800’s was a period of singular transportation -horses.

        Riding a horse and having ‘superior horseman-ship skills’
        was considered something to be revered.

        So watching people perform tricks and stunts with horses would have been something significant.

        To most horses were beasts of burden. A necessity.

        • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:37 PM #

          *claps hands* Yes! There were a few exotic animals but they were showed off between acts. At that point the had not been incorperated into a performance.

        • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:38 PM #

          Lurker!

          Great answer!!

          So what other breed of horses were used during the 1700-1800’s beside Spanish Stallions?

          • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM #

            Well I don’t know if this is correct, but the only thing I can think of were the Thoroughbreds and the Quarterhorses from Europe that came over to America. They didn’t really start taming the wild Mustangs until later when the west was settled.
            *I think*

            • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

              In Europe I believe, the other breed highly favored were black Arabian Stallions. I think u are correct that Thoroughbreds and Quarterhorses were used as well. Thank U!!

              How do u know so much about horses? Your knowledge is quite impressive!!

              • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

                ? I don’t know I seem to have lots of bits of trivia stashed in my brain.
                I’ve never ridden horses either.

                I mean who knows, lots of useless information just for times like these.

                • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

                  I know atleast in the UK, Shire horses would of been used to pull the wagons.

                • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:23 PM #

                  Great response Lurker!!

                  Aren’t u and Kim trivia fanatics?

        • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:39 PM #

          Wow, I was closer than I was! Nice job, Lurker. 🙂 And thank you OP. Only few people find me funny. 🙂

    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

      LOL!!

  17. 4string March 10, 2011 at 7:37 PM #

    I dunno, if this is too off topic, but how are circus animals treated now? I’ve heard a lot of bad stories in the past, but on one hand I would love to take my DD to a circus one day, but don’t want to support something that mistreats animals.

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

      Well, from what I have read, there has been alot of outside authorites to see they are treated right. Unfortuantly there a few reports of animal cruelty. I would research the circus before going to it.

    • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:41 PM #

      Great question! I’ve seen some of those BTS footage where they are mistreating elephants and other animals while “training” them. The mistreatment of animals is disgusting. They should be pampered and love for the amazing creatures that they are.

      • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

        Actually!! 4strings Philip Astley back in 1700 did not believe in beating animals to train them. He wrote books about it and his methods were used for a long time.

        • 4string March 10, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

          That’s good to know. I know my DD would get a kick out of seeing the animals, but I’d only want to give my $$ to a circus who treats their animals very well. 🙂

          • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

            take her to the cirque du soleil.

            • 4string March 10, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

              I will do that when they come back to town, but I think she’d really enjoy the animals more than the acrobats.

              • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:52 PM #

                I’d love to see a cirque du soleil show!

                • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

                  U have never seen one of their shows? Do they not come to the UK as often?

                  • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

                    There used to be one in London but it’s gone now. I only think it was supposed to be for so long and then the contract expired. So it wasn’t the lack of profit that ended it. I think we get a few touring shows but they aren’t often.

                    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:09 PM #

                      Oh!! That’s unfortunate!! Perhaps they will come there again in the near future!! The Shows are AWESOME!! This is the only reason I go to Vegas!! LOL!!

                    • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:12 PM #

                      is the show in vegas the one with water? I know they do one with water.

                    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:15 PM #

                      I’d love to go to Vegas for that reasons. They have about 7 or something. I know there are alot in Vegas!

                    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:22 PM #

                      Yes! Paris & Ozzie,

                      The show is called “O” it’s the aquatic one!!

                • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM #

                  they are awesome. I love the music. but when you go DO NOT sit in the front row.

                • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM #

                  We’ll I’ve never managed to get to one either and they come to my city a lot too.

                  • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:01 PM #

                    I think everyone should go at least once. The only show i’ve seen is La Nouba.

                    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:13 PM #

                      O.k. u must see “O” this is the aquatic show. It’s really fantastic!!

                    • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:24 PM #

                      I feel a vegas trip coming on. I did receive in the mail the other day something from the wynn resort. Must be fate. 🙂

      • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

        I agree. I think the last report was 2008. These days they are little reports. Alot of people outside of the circus, officals, authorities, aminmal rights groups even the general public, are aware of the mistreatment and aren’t afraid to take action. But I think over the years the circuses have realised that it’s these animals that help them make the money and treat them with care.

        • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

          Thank goodness!

  18. Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:39 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

      Hello!

    • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM #

      HI! *waves*

    • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

      Hi Paris!

    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

      Hi Paris!! Nice to see u!!

      • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

        Its great to see everyone too. I’m glad i could make it.

        • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:55 PM #

          Me too!!

          Do u know much about horses?

          • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:58 PM #

            no but i ride them on occasion.

            • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

              Oh! That’s fantastic to hear. I have never ridden a real one only the ones at amusement parks.LOL!!

              • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

                LOL. its a good thigh workout.

                • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

                  Oh yes! It is!

                  • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:23 PM #

                    I know. Why pay for a gym membership? Go ride a horse. 🙂

                    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:24 PM #

                      Lol! It’s more fun and you get some fresh air too!

                  • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

                    Do you get to ride alot, Ozzie?

              • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

                I spent many summers in Wyoming. So I rode alot of horses.

                • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:24 PM #

                  Oh!! That sounds fun!!

                  • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:26 PM #

                    if you ever get the chance to ride one, you should.

                • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

                  So you did the Horse Whisperer thing?
                  Oh wait, wasn’t that Montana?

                  • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

                    no that’s arizona, i think.

                  • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

                    I’ve seen that on t.v. i have no idea how that guy knows what you’re feeling.

  19. ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:41 PM #

    Yes! I got the “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.” alert!

    • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM #

      NO not fast enough!!!!!

      • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

        LOL!

  20. Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:45 PM #

    I’ve only been to one circus my entire life but i enjoyed it.

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

      I think I’d enjoy one now unless a clown got in my face. He get a swift kick in a very sensitive area!

      • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

        LOL!! Clowns are getting a bad rep tonight!! LOL!!

    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 7:53 PM #

      Well!! Growing up in CA I went to the Circus and Fairs every Summer!! Also, the zoo, Sea world etc…I thought I wanted to be e a vet growing up.

    • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

      I only went to one because my father is allergic to animals. We had seats way up in the balcony thinking he would be ok. He had to stand in the hall the ENTIRE time because the dander was so bad.

      • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:19 PM #

        Oh! That’s horrible, your poor dad!! How about the zoo? Would that be bad on him as well?

  21. kim March 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM #

    Well great discussion everyone I need to finish something then heading to bed. Talk to everyone soon.

    Again great job Ozzie.

    • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:02 PM #

      good night kim.

      • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:04 PM #

        Thank you and thank you for coming! Night.

    • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

      Night Kim!

    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

      Night! Kim Thanks for joining us!!

  22. Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

    Anyone know if there are other big circuses still in existence other than Ringling Brother’s in the states? In other countries?

    • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:07 PM #

      There was I saw during The Apprentice one year something like Big Apple circus? I don’t think I got the name right and I don’t know their size.

      • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:13 PM #

        You are correct. There is a Big Apple circus. In the UK we have the Great British Cirus. Not sure about any others but I assume there are a few in many countries.

        • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

          Thanks girls. With the way entertainment/technology has become so advanced, do you think circuses will become extinct? My daughter loves animals and I think she would love to go to one. The last one I went to was in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was great!

          • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

            I hope not. They are fun but i love the ones without animals even more. I think that’s where the “modern day circus” is headed, IMO. No need to hurt animals just because one can.

          • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

            That is a good question. Certainly animatronics could be used but would it have the same atmosphere? I don’t know. I think as long as the animals are well kepted and not tortured it would be fine.

            • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

              Well go to the Animal Kingdom @ Disney World in Florida. They have a great animal park.
              Just hope you don’t sit near people like I did who were asking if the ‘tigers were real’

              You can only imagine my inner dialogue
              “jump right on out of the bus and see if he wants a snack’

              • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM #

                No way! I’ve been there and the exact same thing happened to me except they were behind some glass. I was like ” I’ll throw you over the wall and then we’ll see!”

                • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:31 PM #

                  People become “too disneyfied” with all the animatronics at that park.

                  Scary!

                  And I was doing my best not to laugh while I was getting kicked to keep quiet.

                  LOL

                  • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

                    I would have busted. I’ve actually laughed in people’s faces not meaning to. i used to get in so much trouble.

                    • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:42 PM #

                      Paris what is it – the ride there the park on the bus? I forgot.
                      But you know what i’m talking about. Those buses that have no glass that look like they are from a 3rd world country? They take you thru the ‘zoo’.

                    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:44 PM #

                      I know what your speaking of but I can’t remember the name either!

              • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:32 PM #

                I’ve been there many times. Yes the tigers are real. or people ask what time the 3 o clock parade is.

              • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:32 PM #

                Lurker!!

                Love the inner dialogue!! This is funny!!

                How about people who like to stare at camels up close? They are always in for a nice wet one. LOL!!

                • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:40 PM #

                  Up the road from my parents there use to be a Llama farm, been around those guys – they spit.

                  Never been around a camel.

                  We had a 300 acre farm of cattle next to us for many years and they the sold and it’s a housing development.

              • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

                hhahahahaha! ROFL! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Knowing my husband he would actually say something like that!!!

              • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:40 PM #

                Are you talking about the African Safari ride? I’ve forgotten the name.

                • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:44 PM #

                  ? I went in 1999 when they were pretty new.

                  • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

                    LOL! I went in 1999 too! I went in October though.

                • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:47 PM #

                  Ok i went to look. It’s the Safari ride.
                  Looks like they changed the vehicles!
                  But still, i mean, how do you not laugh at people?

                  • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

                    LOL trust me its hard no to.

            • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:35 PM #

              a friend of mine that used to work jungle cruise used to tell me about the kids that would scream because they thought the animals were real.

    • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

      the only thing i know of are the spanish stallions lurker mentioned above. i don’t know if they would be counted as a circus though.

  23. Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

    Has everyone read S.Gruen novel here?

    *spoiler alert*

    What’s the name of Marlena’s horse in the book?

    • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:31 PM #

      oh god….i have to go look it up. the horse that gets shot?

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:31 PM #

      Oh I just finished it last night and I’ve forgot already! Star was in there somewhere.

    • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

      Yes! – Read the book

      Silver star???

      • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

        i think so.

        • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:38 PM #

          Yes that sounds right!

      • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

        Lurker & Ozzie win!!

        On pg.59 the name of the horse is Silver Star.

        • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:53 PM #

          I have the large print edition so I could share – but I have to admit it was an easier to read on vacation last year!

    • Littlebells March 10, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

      Ah! My bff in Texas has my book!!!!

  24. Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

    What was Rosie’s favorite food & drink?

    • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

      Lemonade and watermelon?

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

      Whiskey and watermelons? It could be the lemonade that she kept stealing too!

      • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:47 PM #

        Lurker do u have an answer?

        • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

          Gin

        • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

          Nothing on the food comes back.
          No recall!

          • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

            Can I phone-a-friend?

            LOL

            • Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:54 PM #

              LOL.

            • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:56 PM #

              I will give u a hint. it’s on pg.214

              • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 9:00 PM #

                cabbages?

                • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 9:03 PM #

                  Mints & Lemonade is more what I was thinking!!

                  • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 9:04 PM #

                    LOL, I was thinking about mints but I thought it was Tai’s not Rosie’s!

                  • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 9:06 PM #

                    Your page references don’t work for me, I’m having to improvise with a large print book!

                    Plus it was over a year ago I read this.

                  • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 9:07 PM #

                    Gin and Ginger Ale on Page 290
                    Alex.

  25. Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:54 PM #

    what is the other name elephants are called by August?

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:57 PM #

      Pachyderms? Or is it a nick name you are talking about?

    • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 9:01 PM #

      bull?

  26. Parisienne March 10, 2011 at 8:55 PM #

    Ladies, I have to go! Its been fun. 🙂

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 8:55 PM #

      Night Paris! Thank you for joining in.

    • Open Book March 10, 2011 at 8:57 PM #

      goodnight paris!!

      we have five more minutes to answer the last Q!

    • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 9:02 PM #

      Night! glad you made it!

  27. Open Book March 10, 2011 at 9:05 PM #

    Ok. the final answer is Bull. August called Rosie a bull. pg. 214

    Everyone thanks for joining us!!

    Ozzie u did a great job!!

    • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 9:08 PM #

      Thank you and a big thank you for coming to the discussion!

    • Lurker March 10, 2011 at 9:08 PM #

      Night everyone!

      • ozzie20 March 10, 2011 at 9:09 PM #

        Night Lurker!

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