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Allen Family Circus

July 16, 2010

George: Well, Gracie, any news from home?

Gracie: Yes. I got a letter from my little niece, Jean.

George: What did she say?

Gracie: She didn’t say anything. She didn’t phone. It was a letter, and she wrote it.

George: I mean what did she write?

Gracie: It’s Spring again, and my family is putting on a backyard circus, just like we did when I was a kid.

George: Every Spring you kids used to put on your own circus?

Gracie: Yes. Of course, admission was free, but that was only for the people who could afford it.

George: Well, that’s because we’re living in a democracy.

Gracie: Oh yes, isn’t it nice…. Anyway, my Cousin Barney was the sword swallower, and what a performance he put on. The kids would cheer when he put a sword four feet long down his throat.

George: Could Barney really swallow a sword?

Gracie: Oh, George, don’t be silly, it was a trick. You know the scabbard that the sword fits into?

George: Yeah.

Gracie: Well, before the show he would stick that down his throat.

George: I see.

Gracie: Then when he’d slip the sword into it…

George joining Gracie: …everybody thought he was swallowing it.

Gracie: Yeah.

George: It’s a shame to fool the public like that.

Gracie: But the admission was free.

George: Oh, I forgot.

Gracie: And Uncle Otis was the strong man. He’d come out in a leopard skin and put big nails in his mouth and twist them between his teeth until they’d bend.

George: That’s quite a trick.

Gracie: Yes, but he looked pretty ridiculous walking around with all those bent teeth.

George: Well, they’d come in handy if he happened to get a crooked ear of corn.

Gracie: Oh, you live and learn…. And Aunt Gertrude was the snake charmer.

George: Aunt Gertrude? The one who’s so near-sighted?

Gracie: Yes. She had a little snake and she was supposed to put it in a basket and then blow on a flute until the snake stuck its head up. And what do you suppose happened one Saturday afternoon?

George: She put the flute in the basket and blew on the snake.

Gracie: Wasn’t that awful!

George: That must have upset her.

Gracie: Oh, George, it wasn’t a real snake. It was just a few worms tied together.

George: Well, that’s better. Who else was in the side show?

Gracie: One of the big hits was Uncle Harvey and Aunt Clara.

George: What was there act?

Gracie: Half man…half woman.

George: But didn’t you have two halves left over?

Gracie: Oh no, they both got into one costume.

George: Now I get the picture.

Gracie: George, it wasn’t a picture, they did it in person.

George: What was your part in the circus?

Gracie: I was the lion tamer.

George: You were the lion tamer?

Gracie: Of course I just used our house cat. For two weeks before the circus I taught her all kinds of tricks…to sit on a pedestal, to roll over, to play dead.

George: Sounds like a pretty smart cat.

Gracie: Yes, but when she got in front of the sudience she forgot all her tricks and just had kittens.

George: That must have caused a sensation.

Gracie: It was…but what good was it? The silly cat wouldn’t do it again for the second performance.

George: Say good night, Gracie.

Gracie: Good night.

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