Afros, the magician, and the juggler

The ship was full of pleasant diversions

I’m not sure why I sound like an ad for Carnival written in Japan
and we actually did enjoy some of them. We attended several shows. The first show was a great 70s review show. I know that sounds pretty terrible (and I’m not going to lie. A couple of the songs were, actually) but it was actually pretty great. I spent the entire time admiring this one singer’s enormous afro and wishing for one of my own. I’ve always kind of wanted one. I could wear awesome scarves on it and I would look perpetually cool. I think.

The next show we saw was…wait for it…a magician.

I know.

I’m always kind of anxious attending shows like that. I’m terrified that the ‘magician’ will pull me out of the audience to help me with one of his tricks.
Illusions, Michael.

And I don’t want to help. I am a completely non-participating spectator. I clap and occasionally cheer, but I will not shout out answers to trivia questions, or even simple questions such as, “So where are you from?” I don’t want to participate. It’s not my job. I’m the audience. Aud = listen. That’s what I do.

So I was hesitant to go. But when I got there, I quickly realized it was not that kind of magician.

Have you seen Arrested Development? Please say yes. The visual will be about 900 times better if you have. If you haven’t, it’s still pretty funny.


This is not the ship magician. This is Gob Bluth. Or Will Arnett.

The stage filled with dramatic smoke. And continued to fill with smoke for about two minutes. Then it was filled with people in weird costumes with wigs and hats.

At first, I thought, “How many magicians are there in this show?” They just kept coming out, dancing around and doing vaguely magic-y things. Waving scarves in the air, bending backwards and walking on all fours, and pretending to be dolls. Then my brain said, “Oh. None of those things are magic.
They’re just creepy,” and the real magician finally came out.

This was Gob. Gob with hair.

He was extravagantly dramatic. He moved his body in a snake-y way, weaving in and out of the fake dancing magicians and actually doing magic. I know it’s illusions, but it was magic-ier than what the other fake magicians were doing.

Awesome songs were sung live, reminiscent of “Final Countdown” without actually being Final Countdown. Halfway through there was a terrific laser show. Except that, when push comes to shove, it was really just lights programmed by a computer to point in various directions. But when taken collectively, it was very lasery.

The magician’s best trick (I think) was when he pretended to cut a lady into parts. He stuffed a tiny lady into a box with three sections: head, torso, and legs. the Legs.

“It’s the Legs, hunny!” I jabbed him in the side. “You know? Like Gob? The Legs?”

“Yes, hunny” he said. “The Legs.”

He did some magic-y stuff and spun her ‘head’ around. After he spun it around twice, (he eventually did it about eight times) it became pretty clear that the hair in the back of her head, which spun around to the front, wasn’t actually attached to her head. I leaned over to my hunny, in case his brain didn’t catch this very subtle distinction. “It’s a wig in the box, hunny,” I whispered cleverly. But in the back of my brain, I heard Gob’s voice say, “Sure, but where’d the wig come from.”

I chuckled. Out loud. And my hunny patted my head, because he knows that I’m nuts.

At the end of the show, the magician did some tricks – illusions, Michael, – and then the lights went down for a second. And this is the moment I realized that I am a small-town girl at heart, and not to be left alone in the big city.

The lights came back up and a voice shouted, “AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!” I confusedly stared at the stage, wondering what was going on and why was the audience shouting so loudly? Then the magician ziplined toward the stage from the back of the theater, where he had been when he shouted Aargh. I had not even realized that the magician wasn’t on the stage. I couldn’t find him. Everyone else was looking toward where the Aargh came from (except that it came from the speakers, because he was wearing a headset) and I was still blankly staring at the stage. It’s a good thing I have my hunny around to tell me what’s going on, because something is missing from the way my brain works.

The third show was saw was a juggler. I’ve already forgotten his name. He was very very funny and juggled a little but told a lot of funny stories and jokes. One of the best parts was when he made fun of the magician. The lights went out and he disappeared from the stage. He shouted, “AAARRGGH!” and when the lights came on again, he was standing in the back of the theater. The audience laughed and cheered as he raced toward the stage, mocking the magician’s zipline.

It was at this point that I realized the juggler was no longer on the stage and must be somewhere else in the theater. As everyone else was moving their eyes, following the juggler from the back of the theater to the front, I was moving my eyes from the stage to the juggler, now almost already back on the stage. I didn’t even get the magician reference until Fernie delightedly shouted, as is his way when he laughs, “Haha! He made fun of the magician!”


I am worried about early onset Alzheimer’s. 


See the confused look on my face? 
Anyway, the most awesome feat was when the juggler (I googled the words “Carnival Magic Juggler” but nothing came up, so I’m sorry but I don’t have a name for you) got on a bedazzled seven foot high unicycle and juggled these flaming knife-torches while zipping around the stage and wearing a helmet with a lit firecracker on top. I giggled convulsively. It was the firecracker that did me in. It kept shooting off like a sparkler and it was just so deliciously silly.

I spent the rest of the evening ruminating on my slow response time. Oh, well, I thought. Fill up my souvenir glass with the tasty ‘drink of the day’ and let’s all get over it.

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