Lee Pitts: A Bunch Of Clowns

Step right up to witness the greatest show on earth. We are working the cows at the Pitts’ place and believe me, it’s a real three ring circus.

Circus day is different than any other and you can feel the excitement in the air. There are clowns everywhere decked out in gaily colored cowboy hats, baggy pants, red noses, ropes and canes. Actually they are the town’s people, the bearded lady, the tattooed man and other assorted freaks of nature who have come from far and wide to help preg check the cows. Of course, I am the ringmaster in charge of making sure the performance lives up to its billing.

In ring number one the trick rider is attempting to get the cows into the arena. As he rides around the ring the daring rider suddenly slides under his horse and is riding between the horse’s thundering legs. Actually someone loosened the cinch on his saddle and didn’t tighten it up before the trick rider got back on board. The neighbor kids especially enjoyed the antics of the clown on the horse from their ringside seats and after the trick rider regained consciousness he accused the little buggers of being the ones who loosened the cinch in the first place.

In ring number two the wild animal tamer is attempting to get the wild animals in the lead-up chute with nothing more than a paddle with rocks in it. It is truly a death defying act as several of the cows attempt to put the head of the wild animal tamer in their mouth. As he cracks his whip one of the wild cows charges, and the wild animal tamer then transforms himself into a “The Great Human Rubber Man,” sliding between the narrow gap separating the boards of the corral.

In the third ring is the cattle working chute where the worlds’ tallest dwarf who 5’ 2’ is attempting to work the headgate while the strongest man in the world is filling syringes. As the ringmaster (me) paces up and down the chute making sure everything is being done correctly he notices that the injectable wormer is being dipped on the backs of the wild cows instead of in their mouths. Oh well, you know the type of low-lifes that a circus attracts. It is very hard to get good help that will come to the Pitts’ place more than once to work cattle. Believe me, no one ever wants to run away and join this circus and spend the rest of their lives working for peanuts.

Just then the fat lady steps right on top of the ringmaster’s foot causing me to scream in pain.

“Oh, did I step on your foot?” the fat lady asks.

“It must have been you. I don’t see any elephants,” I reply.

The real show-stopper occurs when the world’s tallest dwarf accidentally lets a cow through the headgate and the wild cow chases my contortionist wife across all three rings of the circus. Just in the nick of time she jumps to the top rail and performs a high wire act, tip-toeing high above the beast without a net. The neighbor kids once again roar their appreciation for the greatest show on earth.

After the final beast is tamed it is time to feed the performers before they pack their bags and leave. I serve my best chili beans and the fire eaters douse the flames with barrels of expensive foreign beer. Then darkness signals the end of another successful circus day. All the clowns in this traveling menagerie gather up their belongings, load up their tired steeds and head on down the road in search of their next free meal and the greatest show on earth.

Don’t laugh, this show will no doubt be coming to your town some day soon.