Yesterday the Piccadilly Circus was playing in Massachusetts. One day, three shows.
I had passes. Free passes for children 13 and under, and one pass for an adult.
Free circus. Sweet.
Handsome's mother wanted to come see the show and watch Handsome having fun, so we'd have to buy one ticket. No worries - regular tickets were listed at $30.
Two adults, two children (Handsome brought a friend), all getting to see the circus for $30. Still pretty damn sweet.
So we drove the to Tsongas Arena, Handsome and his best friend MM in the backseat all happy to be going to the circus. We'd fed them before we left, so we didn't have to worry about buying $18 hot dogs once we were there, so I was all happy about going to see the circus, 4 for $30.
$10 for Event Parking.
Okay... 4 people for $40. Still pretty sweet.
At the door we found that not only was Wife's ticket $34 rather than the expected $30, I had to pay a $6 'entry fee' to use my 'pass'. Luckily, the boys were still free.
We got inside, and immediately ran into the souvenir/toy booths outside the Event Floor. Both boys wanted these light-up swords they were selling the looked a lot like light sabers. $12 each, for $24.
When we finally got inside the Event Floor proper, there was a kind of pre-show kiddie world thing going on down on the floor. Pony rides, a slide, an elephant ride and face-painting. Handsome wanted his face painted like a tiger. MM just wanted to watch, so Handsome got a $12 paint job.
The show started, and though it was no Ringling Bros, it was a pretty decent little one-ring circus. Motorcycle riders in the Cage of Death. A good clown with a bad car. A magician turning a woman into a tiger. A good old-fashioned whip and lariat act. More clowns, and they were pretty good!
After about an hour of acts, they had an intermission. Kiddie Land opened up again, but this time there was an added bonus - you could go down there and get your picture taken with certain performers! Wit-woo! Handsome announced that he just had to have a picture with the motorcycle guys from the first act.
I sighed. We went back down to the floor. I checked with MM, but he didn't want anything, he just wanted to hang out with Handsome. I love this kid. Handsome got his picture sitting on one of the motorcycles inside the Cage of Death and walked out all smiles. For just $10.
MM finally came up with something he wanted. Cotton candy. We could see kids walking around with the stuff, but we weren't sure where to buy it. When we got back to our seats, Handsome happened to spot a booth selling cotton candy, but it was way on the other side of the arena, and informed me that he too wished to have some of the wispy spun-sugar treat. I left them in their seats and hustled over to the booth, trying to be back to my seat before the intermission ended.
By the time I got there I'd decided that I wanted some too, so I quickly asked for three bags. There was no price sign of any kind that I could see, so i had to wait for the girl running the booth to tell me what I owed her. When she said "Eighteen dollars, please," I found myself repeating her words as if I hadn't heard them and was asking for clarification. Oh, I'd heard her alright, but her words had driven all thought from my head, and all I could do was repeat the last words I'd heard as I scrambled to come up with some of my own.
"Yeah, they're six dollars apiece," she said, actually looking a little embarrassed at the admission. I grumbled, sounding a lot like an angry Fred Flintstone, but I forked over the cash and hustled back around the arena to my seat, arriving just as the intermission ended.
The next hour of acts passed uneventfully, at least monetarily. We watched the rest of the show and hustled the boys out to the car before anyone could buy anything else, including me. We dropped MM off, then dropped Wife off at her house and Handsome came home with me, getting to bed sometime after 11:00 and passing out swiftly thereafter.
And that's how going to the circus for free cost me $114.
And actually, as I write this, I'm finally getting around to eating my cotton candy. I'd almost forgotten it, but then I saw it over here by my desk and snatched it right up. For six bucks I'm not going to miss a shred of this blue crap.
And you know what? It's not bad.
Talk to you later!