“The Living Unicorn”.. when Ringling Bros. lied to me.

This post was originally a thread in the eclectik discussion forums. After reading, head over there to continue the discussion!!

The year was 1985. I was *age withheld* and at the time really into the circus. Just a couple of years prior Pops took us to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus at the Felt Forum (yes, the same place where Eddie said “motherfucker, dick, pussy, snot and shit” in “RAW”, that Felt Forum). I was enchanted by the whole atmosphere… popcorn, peanuts, clowns jumping in and out of tiny cars, sword swallowers, fire breathers, contortionists, men putting their heads in lions, tigers standing on their hind legs, huge elephants…. I was in awe. My favorites were the flying trapeze artists (no Grayson) and anyone who could juggle while riding a unicycle. Oh ,and the motorcycle stuntmen who could ride on tightropes and within giant metal spheres. The one thing the circus had more than most were animals…


The problem with animals and why I stopped visiting the zoo after a certain age is they stink! Poop… everywhere!! The circus is no different– just like the zoo, only that foul stench of elephant pie is kept trapped underneath the tent overarching the venue. So it had to be something really special for me to want to go back… Enter Lancelot.

Lancelot was billed as “The Living Unicorn”… a rarity in creation as unicorns are supposed to be single-horned horse-like creatures who were the stuff of fantasy, only found in fairy tales and elaborate drawings. For a circus to come out and say they actually HAVE A UNICORN in their possession? Oh, I’ve GOTTA see this!! And so the begging began…


Months and months of pleading with mom finally pays off and we get to check out the next R B & B & B C show at Madison Square Garden. Mind you, these tickets were not cheap, and having a single mother who worked nights, I realize what she had to go through just to make sure my brother and I could see this. So we go and the whole time I’m amped up, charged waiting for the unicorn to roll out. No clowns, no trapeze, nothing else had my attention, as my eyes stayed fixed on the sides of the tents to see when they’d bring Lancelot in so I can get a glimpse for myself. Finally, about 3/4th into the show, the ringmaster comes out and gives us the much-needed fanfare about Lancelot. MAKE WITH THE UNICORN ALREADY!!

They bring it out finally and lo and behold…


The “unicorn” was clearly a goat with one horn. Needless to say I was pissed off, disappointed, dejected and dismayed. How the hell could they call that thing a “unicorn”? It didn’t resemble anything of the sort that I’d seen and read of in various cartoons and fantasy books, but there it was, smacking me dead in the face with the shameful reality of being had, took, run amuck and led astray. Ringling Bros. bamboozled our asses and there was no refund policy in effect.

Of course, later on the media got wind of it and it trickled out to the general public (see this article: http://news.google.c…pg=2977,1065381), and I learned what the terms “surgically enhanced” and “genetically manipulated” meant, but by then it was too late for me. I had already said fuck Ringling Bros and fuck the circus for years and years (until Universoul Circus sometime in the late 90s, I think). But yeah, Ringling Bros.

Oh yeah, and now they’re hyping this…


…nah, Black Ringmaster, I ain’t fallin for the banana in the tailpipe again. fuck you and your circus!!

This post was originally a thread in the eclectik discussion forums. Head over there to continue the discussion!!

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