Allen Family CircusJuly 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?
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.
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.