Sunday, March 30, 2008

In Which I Go to the Circus

So the Spouse comes home the other night. As he enters the elevator, another guy joins him. Russian Dude is carrying two six packs of beer. The Spouse, in a friendly, jovial mood, looks at the beers and says, in Russian, "Cool. I'm coming to your place."

Russian Dude with Beers, not getting the joke, says solemnly, "You can't." And exits at Floor 4.

In a complete change of topic, we went to the circus today. On a whim. Happened to be coming back from the Chaotic and Crazy Big Market Where They Sell Everything. We bought a new latch for the bathroom door (since the original one came apart, rendering Door Latching and Subsequent Toilet Privacy impossible) and a meat grinder. Oh, the possibilities!

Recently, I had noticed a table in our metro stop with a little woman selling circus tickets. I pointed this out to the Spouse on our way to the market. On the way back, she was still there, so we stopped and discovered, to our delight, that we could buy excellent seats for a show that was starting in 40 minutes!

The Spouse ran home and dropped off the meat grinder, while the girls and I indulged in an emergency lunch of Crap Dogs.

Let me tell you. The circus was FAN-TASTIC! I was a little worried that it would involve excessive animal opression. But there were only four animal acts: one involving snakes (how oppressed can boa constrictors be?), one with giant poodles (pul-eaz!), one with acrobats on galloping draft horses (a staple), and the lion tamer. None of the animals looked sad or drugged or otherwise overly unhappy.

There was a live orchestra. And non-scary clowns. Reasonable audience participation, no Russian required. Great ice cream at intermission. A pooping CAMEL in the lobby!

And the human acts. Oh. My. The human acts were remarkable.

First, I can now tell you with confidence where to find all of Moscow's attractive men.

They're performing in the circus.

The closing act involved what Baboo tells me is really called a Russian Swing. There were BIG guys who provided the ballast and the swing propulsion. And there were more normal-looking guys who got thrown into the air by the swings, and who landed after doing heart-stopping flips and turns.

One such fellow, in a silver lamé jumpsuit, landed in front of our section, struck a jaunty pose, and winked. At me. I swear he winked just at me. But the Spouse claims he got winked at too. Whatever. It was a great bit of theater and a total crowd pleaser.

Go! I recommend it highly!

After the circus, the Spouse took the children home while I ran to the grocery store because we were out of wine (yes, it does happen . . . even to us). When I came back into building, I saw another guy waiting for the elevator.

The door opens, and Guy, reeking of beer, says something to me in Russian. I am clueless.

"Seventh floor?" I say in Russian.

Da! This seems to please him.

We enter the elevator together. He pushes the button for Floor 5. I push the button for Floor 7. He waxes eloquently about Sunday afternoons, family, and the simple pleasures in life.

I think.

I notice he is carrying two grocery bags, and one is filled with beer bottles. Ah! A fellow bon vivant?

I pull out my bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and show it to him.

Oh! But now we are kindred spirits. He rambles on a bit longer about the emphemeral nature of life, man's inhumanity to man, I dunno what all. But he's cheerful, and we seem to have some sort of connection here.

The doors open at the 5th floor and he exits.

"Do svidaniya!" he says, weaving ever so slightly. "Have a good evening!"

Same to you.