As Director of Animal Issues, I thought the following pitch might be relevant...

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and neighbors, gather round, gather down front, right here, right now. Let me tell you a little about the strange attraction we have inside this tent, alive, for you to see, in just a minute. But before we can let you in, the management has requested that we warn you about what you're going to see, educate you about one of the strangest, oddest, most unusual creatures to walk the face of this green earth.

Unlike today, California wasn't always the land of superhighways, supermodels, and super-WalMarts. in fact, in the not too distant past, there was a ranch, kind of set off in the middle of nowhere, and the owners of that ranch were circus people. They'd found a place they could live in peace, when they weren't traveling around, providing quality diversions for children of all ages.

One evening, just after sunset, with the light dimming in the deep blue sky, the owner of that ranch was surprised to see a somewhat dusty figure walking down the road to his barn. It was a man who'd apparently been well-to-do, and had fallen into the ways of poverty. He wore a threadbare suit, and carried an old doctor's bag in his hand, from
which proceeded many strange noises. He said his name was Frederico Arbuthnot, and he used to be a scientist, an experimental psychologist from Paraguay. Mr. Arbuthnot told his story, an odd one. He'd been hired by a government agency, that didn't officially exist, to create an experimental machine, right in the heart of Hollywood.

This machine operated by manipulating the brainwaves of large numbers of people, and the secret government agency wanted to try it on the movers and shakers of the movie business. So they pointed the thing toward Tinseltown, and turned on the switch.

Little did they know that an out of work actress had placed her newborn baby under a bush, right next to that machine. And when the machine started whirring and whistling, the baby was right near the exhaust pipe, in position to receive all the aftereffects of the experiment.

As I mentioned, the machine whirred and whistled, for its purpose was to collect all the intelligence of all the inhabitants of Tinseltown.  Alas, there was none, and as the machine worked harder and harder, the power grid for all of southern California was blown. The machine sputtered and died. To no avail, Mr. Arbuthnot wasn't able to get it
going again. But instead of the whining of his machine, he discovered a whining baby. Mr. Arbuthnot picked up the baby, and walked away from his machine, leaving it in its hidden corner, behind the Magic Castle, whose inhabitants thought it was a garbage compacter.

In the months that followed, several things became obvious to Mr. Arbuthnot. One, was that the level of intelligence in Hollywood hadn't gotten any lower, a sad harbinger of the future. Another, was that the ego levels of it inhabitants had fallen by about 50%, a temporary maladjustment, but significant nonetheless.

He wondered what had happened to the 50% of all those egos, and found out fast. That baby, remember that

 

baby? It was a beautiful baby, but terrible to be around. It whined, it cried, it demanded, and it spit at everybody, when it didn't get what it wanted. Apparently, the egos of all those beautiful people had become concentrated in this one vile creature. So Mr. Arbuthnot decided to give the baby away, to the best people he could find, with the knowledge to deal with such a small beast. And the only place he could think of, where it could possibly have a useful life, was as a display in the circus.

Mr. Arbuthnot handed the bag to the circus owner, and walked away, never to be seen again.

Inside the bag was the baby, and the old circus owner did the best he could, to train the beast. As it grew, he was grateful it had opposable thumbs, because it liked to dance to organ music, and gladly received nickels from the hands of well-wishing spectators, though it claimed they were silver dollars. It wore a little hat, but its head outgrew it, though the body did not. It's personality resembled that of a capuchin monkey, capricious, occasionally spiteful. When the hat no longer fit, the creature lost its cuteness factor, and graduated to a different kind of performance.

For a while, it was featured in the main circus performance. It learned to juggle, and could manipulate three objects, while claiming there were seven. It would put anything down its throat, so it's juggling props disappeared, and it just couldn't stay there any longer. Its head kept getting bigger, and soon it would tip over, forehead on the
ground, its little arms and legs waggling in the air.

Look at the pictorial banners off to the sides, ladies and gentlemen. You'll see a giant question mark. Because what's inside this tent, defies all description, a twisted creature with the World's Largest Ego.

Look, look through the doorway, ladies and gentlemen. you see a semi-trailer parked there. On the other side are some windows, consisting of one-inch-thick plate glass. Inside those windows are bars of steel, 3/4 of an inch thick, two and a half inches apart. Those bars are welded in place for your protection, to keep IT in. All the doors are locked, to keep IT in. Those windows are there for your protection, to prevent this miserable thing from throwing excretia in your general direction. A small speaker will enable you to hear the actual words IT uses, in its occasionally intelligible rants.

And ladies and gentlemen, friends and neighbors, we make no apology in asking that you contribute just a bit, to see this attraction. The secret government agency denies its existence. Mr. Frederico Arbuthnot has disappeared. The old circus man has passed on, leaving us with IT.  We can't let it out in public. Zoos won't take it, saying it's human.
Hospitals won't care for it, saying it's an animal. Even PETA doesn't know which flier to put in on.

We buy IT clothes. It rips them off, saying they're not good enough. We try to feed IT food. It throws the tray on the floor, screeching that it deserves better. We arrange for kind-hearted people to care for IT.  It gnashes its teeth, bites the ones who've actually grown to like it.

And so today, and today only, we'll invite you into this tent, for a mere 2 cents... But we won't ask you to contribute now. Come inside, see IT. Hear IT. Decide for yourselves if this show is worth it. And if you've been entertained, after IT has cussed you out, just give it your 2 cents back, place it in that bucket, right by the exit sign. Step up, right now! Alive, on the inside!

 

Harley Newman

 


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