I was very displeased to hear that a snooty Oxford college has banned The Circus of Horrors from its May Ball. Although I never appeared at such minor events in my own career, I resent this disdainful treatment of my fellow circus performers. Furthermore, I coached a few members of this company when they were struggling apprentices, it being my hairy paw that put them on the path to success. Those who insult the gorilla’s protégés insult the gorilla too.
So what in the Circus of Horrors has upset the weak stomachs of the college authorities? One of the artistes, known as Captain Dan, is a dwarf who pulls household appliances with his private parts. Let me say at once that he is not one of those that I tutored. I never taught trainees to do anything with their todgers other than keep them in their pants. Dwarves being dwarves, however, they often took the expression of their creative impulses into their own hands.
It’s worth pointing out that there is nothing particularly shocking about a dwarf’s genitals. They are no smaller, on average, than those of a normal-sized man. Yet this very quality makes them appear unnaturally large on their undersized bodies. Women are often caught out by this optical illusion and unduly flustered as a result.
There was one very bad episode of gnome exposure in the circus I worked in. During a pay dispute with the management, the dwarves decided that withdrawing labour would be a less effective form of industrial action than flashing at female performers shortly before they appeared in the ring. They were right. The acrobat team had a particularly bad time of it, struggling to maintain their composure while executing their gymnastic feats. Those who think that performing artists should not be affected by such things should try it themselves before talking. Forming a human pyramid is no easy task with the image of a dwarf’s dangly bits burned into your mind. The management soon acceded to their pay demand.
None of the above justifies barring Captain Dan from the Oxford ball. Although some female students might find his act disturbing, they will not be required to perform acrobatics shortly afterwards. If the sight becomes too much for them, they can scream and bury their faces as they might when watching a horror film. I doubt many of them would get a good view of the taut appendage in any case. A dwarf with a vacuum cleaner attached to his knob is only fully exposed when the eye line is perpendicular to the direction of motion.
The Circus of Horrors should treat this snub with the defiance it deserves. I shall advise them to hold their own unofficial ball on the croquet lawn of a nearby stately home. This will upstage the staid college balls, bereft of penile-towing dwarves and other abominable freaks. As we say in the safari business, the squeamishness of the few should not preclude the titillation of the many.
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