News Flash!!!  We interrupt this regularly scheduled parenting / food / lifestyle post to bring you an important announcement.  Crazy people have taken over the cafeteria and have decided to serve us what they want instead of what we expect.  Women who look like the lunch lady’s second cousin with a beard have taken to singing and dancing on top of the tables.  Midgets have gone running through the halls.  Men with big red manes and hairy chests lifted up the lunch tables like they were tooth picks and tossed them around.  As a result, we sent in our intrepid reporters to cover the scene.  But they were too frightened when they heard roars, not unlike lions.  Unfortunately, we had to let those reporters go because we could not convince them that the noise they heard was just the children screaming inside.

 

Fortunately, after promising a lot of money and several promotions to one of the boys in the mail room, we convinced him to interview some of the participants behind the chaos going on inside the cafeteria.  But given this boy’s trepidation at spiders, we did not expect him to come away with much.  He was unable to get the bearded woman and the strong men for comment.  Thankfully, he was able to interview some guy in a large black hat, not to be confused with the man in the bowler hat from Meet The Robinsons.

The following is a direct transcription from his recorded interview, with a few minor embellishments to protect the guilty.  Read on at your own risk.

The Greatest Showman

Mail Boy:

So are you the man responsible behind the madness in the cafeteria?

Barnum:

I don’t know that you would call it that.  I think you might call it, inspired insanity.

Mail Boy:

What do you call yourself, sir?

Barnum:

I’m a showman my boy.  Tailor by trade.  But magic is my life.

Mail Boy:

I mean, by what name do you call yourself, sir?

Barnum:

For now you can call me Mr. Barnum, if you please.  My wife calls me Phineas.  But no one else calls me by that name.  To my friends I go by P.T.

Mail Boy:

So what does the P.T. stand for?

Barnum:

Pure transcendence, my boy.  And that is what you will be having if you enter into any of our shows.  It’s a life without boundaries.  Pure unadulterated freedom.  Life as it was meant to be lived.  You get the general picture.

Mail Boy:

Sure.  Yeah.  Something like that.  So anyway . . . What made you decide to get into the line of purveyor of filth, as many from the Temperance Union seem to imply?

Barnum:

Would one call what I do filth?  I think not.  Filth is far too descriptive a word.  It implies something ugly.  I just take the discarded things of the world and make something beautiful of them.  It’s like a reclamation project.  And I am the conductor.  What we do is . . .  How should I put this?  Show Business.  And there’s no business like it.

Mail Boy:

Some people have ascribed to you the saying: “A sucker is born every minute.”  What do you have to say to those people?

Barnum:

Certainly there are people out there who can be fooled into doing what you want from them.  But I’m not about the fooling.  Not in the real sense of the word anyway.  I want to get people in the doors.  I would be lying if I said making money were not an object in all of this.  But once there, I don’t sell them the trick.  What I offer to them is life eternal.  Life as it was meant to be lived.  We come to the world broken, bruised, and scarred.  All of us.  Being able to love one another despite our imperfections makes the world a better place don’t you think?

Mail Boy:

I think I might have to get back to that eternal life comment later.  But for now, I have to ask, did you bring lions and tigers into the cafeteria?

Barnum:

I don’t know.  What do you think?  Would I be crazy enough to bring lions and tigers into a cafeteria?  Or would I have the guts to do such a thing?  Would that make me brave?  I don’t know.  I would leave it up to you to decide.

Mail Boy:

I think people might call that insane.  I think most people would call it that.

Barnum:

But most people they call insane turn out to be Geniuses.  They killed Socrates, Jesus, and imprisoned Galileo.  What right do we have to judge what form genius takes?

Mail Boy:

Fair point.  Where did you find all the people for your show?

Barnum:

I found them all over the world, from the dark Jungles of the Amazon River, to a small tribe found up at the source of the Nile River, which no one had seen before.  What some people found to be backwards, I found to be amazing.  People are afraid of what they don’t know so they speak from ignorance.  I say come see, and know these people for yourself.  You will truly be amazed at what you find.

Mail Boy:

Some people think you are exploiting these poor people for profit.  What do you have to say to them?

Barnum:

What I have to say to them is unfit to print on this or any other newspaper.  Some choice four letter words might be used.  Honestly, the people who join my troupe are part of my family.  I wouldn’t hurt them like I wouldn’t stand here now trying to cut off my right arm.  In fact, I’d rather cut off my right arm instead of hurting any of the members of my troupe.  Wait one second.  Jerry!  Jerry! Where are you?

Jerry:

Yes, boss.

Barnum:

Do you have the saw from our clown act?

Jerry:

You mean the one we used in the clown act?

Barnum:

Yes.

Jerry:

We are still cleaning off the clown’s blood from the set.

(Silence)

Jerry:

Boss?

(Silence)

Mail Boy:

Mr. Barnum, you do not need to cut off your arm for my account.

Barnum:

Jerry, bring me the saw.

Mail Boy:

No, Jerry, don’t bring him the saw.

Jerry:

Yes, boss.

Mail Boy:

Mr. Barnum, you do not need to cut off your right hand right here.

Barnum:

I’ve always wanted a hook for a hand.  When we were venturing up the Nile River we saw hundreds of crocodiles.  And I was telling my wife how cool it would be to have a hook for a hand.  Makes me feel adventurous.  I guess something like a pirate.

Mail Boy:

But Mr. Barnum, you aren’t serious about cutting off your hand.  Are you?

(Silence)

Mail Boy:

Mr. Barnum?!?

Jerry:

Here’s the blade you were asking for boss.

Mail Boy:

(Loud screaming)

(End of Tape)

We know this horrific bit of interview was hard to listen to.  But in case you were wondering, the screaming was just our Mail Boy running away from the scene.  We were told that Barnum was out there at his nightly extravaganza with hook in hand, but we cannot say this for sure.  This was a second hand account from our barber.  But he is one of the most reliable people we know.  Part two of the interview (and yes there will be a part two), will transpire next week.  We had to double the boy’s salary, so we hope it’s worth it.

My Take

In the meantime, The Greatest Showman comes out December 20th.  As you can see, I am excited about the release of this film.  I have always loved musicals, especially movie musicals.  And when I realized this movie was a Musical, it made me take note.  And then to add a high powered Musical cast with Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya and I knew I had to see this film.  Currently, I am listening to the three released songs from the Soundtrack, and am loving it.  The entire album will be released December 8th.  I have more things to say about this, but I will get back to this soon and express more about why I’m so excited.


Continue The Conversation

So, have you heard about The Greatest Showman?  Do you like musicals? If you do what is your favorite musical?  If not, what’s your favorite Hugh Jackman movie?  What kinds of movies do you have to go see and would go to a midnight showing just to watch?

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If you liked this post, please like this post at the end, and follow me here at the Guide. Email Subscribers will get access to the Dad Rules.  These are the top ten rules that every Dad should know about and follow.  Thank you for checking out the blog today.  I hope to see you again soon.

Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life