Ten reasons why circuses are better dates than movies

I arrived in Montpelier Tuesday morning.   After weeks on the road, it is great to be back in Vermont. From the lot, I can see the golden dome of the State House.

In the evening I found myself with some free time and downtown Montpelier, easily in walking distance, had everything I wanted: a bank, Rite Aid, Laundromat, and a movie theater. Eager for a taste of what the world is like outside of a traveling circus, some co-workers and I walked into town and saw that Batman movie that everyone’s been talking about lately. While I’m not going to write a review, I will say I enjoyed it immensely. It got me thinking about movies vs. circus as a place to take a date. While I am admittedly biased source, I vote for circus. Smirkus, in particular.

Here are ten reasons why:

Reason 1: Chances are, you’re date’s done it before. Seriously, the “Dinner And A Movie” is the Wonderbread of dates; bland and everyday. Take the initiative and make it something memorable. Consider the following:

“Remember that time we saw Circus Smirkus on their 25th anniversary tour and we wore clown noses?” Good.

Or this:

“Remember that time we saw Jurassic Park?” Not so much…

Reason 2: Cheaper popcorn. It doesn’t take an economist to know that the prices of snacks at the cinema are as inflated as the Greek economy. Here at Smirkus, prices are much more reasonable. Besides, you can’t get cotton candy at the movies.

Reason 3: You get to throw around some cool slang. Historically, circus people have been prone to using a lot of insider jargon, and some of it is still alive and in use at Smirkus. Brush up on your circus slang on-line and you can impress your date by tossing around terms like “king pole,” “pie car,” “jump” and “first of May.”

Reason 4: Bleacher seats mean no armrests. No armrests make it easier to hold hands.

Reason 5: You will leave in a good mood. Circus is meant to be uplifting. If your date says he/she “hated” it, don’t bother asking him/her out again. Simple as that.

Reason 6: No need to feel embarrassed about “cheap” seats. Let’s face it; nobody wants to be considered “cheap” when it comes to going out. At Smirkus, bleacher seating means one price for everywhere under the Big Top and that means you can worry about other things, like breath mints, or if your shoes are tied.

Reason 7: Audience participation. Just to make the occasion more special, one of you might get selected to take part in, for example, jousting. Just don’t take yourself too seriously.

Reason 8: Autographs. Unless you’re a Hollywood A-lister who goes to film premiers on a regular basis, I’m sorry but you’re not going to get to schmooze with Michael Caine or Anne Hathaway after the credits. But you can get all the autographs you please from all 29 Smirkus cast members directly following the show, plus photos.

Reason 9: We do our own stunts. The people in the movies have CG graphics, stunt doubles and lots of pyrotechnics at their disposal. Our budget may not include such luxuries, but we’ll be sure to amaze with single point trapeze, trampoline, wire, and fabrics.

Reason 10: Rob Mermin will let you propose in the ring. I suppose this is in extreme circumstances, but should you need a precedent, consider 1996 when a young man approached Smirkus founder Rob Mermin, wondering if he could propose to his girlfriend during the show. The unsuspecting girlfriend was “selected” as a volunteer during a clown act that required audience participation, while the man was taken backstage and outfitted with a red clown nose. Two clowns unsuccessfully attempted to woo the volunteer until the real boyfriend appeared, knelt on one knee, took out the ring, and asked The Question. Troupers threw confetti, audience members hugged and kissed one another and the applause was deafening.

She said “yes,” by the way.

Evan Johnson, Communications Intern

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