Tondeleo: One of Doc's customers gave him a ticket to the Cirque Du Soleil show at the National Harbor in Washington, DC. They gave him the ticket and some money for snacks, in exchange for sitting with their teenaged son, Tommy. Tommy's father was too busy with work to be able to take his son, and he thought that Doc might enjoy a night out on the town.
Doc called me at my hotel in Flint, Michigan where I have been since Wednesday evening, enjoying the freezing winds of a Michigan winter. When I saw Doc's number on my mobile, I grabbed my recorder, because I knew it just might be a worthwhile conversation, since I had only been away from DC and Doc and Marilyn for two days. Doc was all excited about the programme, and immediately began giving a full review of the Cirque Du Soleil show that he saw, which is called, "Kooza."
Doc: Hey Tondy! I went to the Circus Olay last night! Roy bought me a ticket if I'd go up there and sit with his boy and watch that thing. I din't wanna go at first, because I aint never seen a Mexican circus afore and din't want to.
Tondeleo: Uh... Doc, Cirque Du Soleil isn't a Mexican circus. It's from Montreal, Quebec. French Canadian, actually, Doc...
Doc: No, it's Mexican. That's where the Olay part comes from, from bull fighting. That's what they say when they stab the bull. Olay. It's a circus what Mexicans come up with and it was pretty good, no REAL good. The Olay means that they stabbed the bull of coming to America and everything is going to work ok for them and for America.
Aint' had no bulls in it and aint had no elephants, lions or tigers or monkeys, but it was good even though all it had was Mexicans, except for some Chinese girls what I'll tell you about later.
The show is called Kazoo, but they ain't played no kazoos in it.[Actually it is called "Kooza."] They had a full band with drums and horns and guitars and two girl singers. A Mexican girl and a black girl.
The Circus Olay is really a story acted out by these Mexicans. It's about how hard it is for Mexicans when they come here alone and need a job and everyone else is rich they think, and how they slowly become Americans. It's like a hidden story, Tommy said. [the customer's son].
It had a some clowns and cops chasing them at the beginning, like real Mexicans go through when they come to America. And the cops didn't catch 'em, Tondy. Just like they don't catch them here most of the time.
It starts with a little Mexican in Mexican clothes coming to America. He doesn't know anything about where he is but tries to fly a kite, meaning he is reaching for the stars. He has a gold. Then a man appears and has evil powers and tries to change the little Mexican. I think he is like a drug dealer getting him to do drugs if he can or to sell them. He was like pimping that Mexican and getting him to do bad things, I think. Every time that little Mexican would get comfortable, something bad would happen.
There are more and more people coming on the stage and putting the new little Mexican through all kinds of trials and tests and he don't know who to trust.
There was two men what I think was supposed to be like folks from the government by the way they acted. They kept messing things up and could not get along with each other. They keep showing up from time to time.
Then some skeletons came out. People dressed like skeletons. They was showing how much death there is in coming to America to have a new life, because you could die getting here, or die by someone killing you, or maybe drugs or gangs. Rats came out too. Not real ones. But the rats like if you is living in the city. Then they ran down a manhole cover, like the kind of life you have if you are poor in the city, even though America is rich. You are not rich and rats are part of your life for a while but not forever.
They was Chinese folks in it too, Tondy because Mexicans ain't the only immigrants. One of them kept being given more and more chairs to sit on like they was hoping he would fall, but he did it safely. They stacked a whole pile of chairs and he kept climbing higher and higher. Like if you do more and more you will climb higher and higher, but you got to pay attention.
Then the Chinese girls came out. They might of been Philippines girls. These gals could bend over backwards until their heads hit they's backside and then they kept bending backwards till they could look at you from between their legs. I aint sure how they done it, but you aint allowed to go up close and look at them. You will get throwed out.
They will bend over backwards to get a good job and do it, if that is what it takes. They walked backwards on their hands and a man danced on their stomach on one of them. The Man will take a vantage of a Chinese girl or from the Philippines. But they beat him at it! Just like in real life.I would like to give one of them a job. I could not afford all three though.
Sometimes they brought in people from the audience and showed how even Americans get taken in if you don't know what the Man is up to. A girl was made to disappear and a man came up and got his pockets picked right there in front of everyone and nobody went to help him, not even me. I wanted to, but I didn't, so I am no better than the rest.
The Police kept chasing him, but they would mess up every time.
They was some guys on a high wire. It was to show how the Mexicans would take dangerous jobs but work together to keep each other safe. They were not only up in the air on a tight wire, they had to jump rope. They even rode a bike on the high wire, because those people will do anything just to have a job. That is like the dangerous jobs they take with no benefits or protection.
Another guy was like a dishwasher and every other kind of job that makes you do too much at one time. His woman would keep laying more and more things on him. He was trying to juggle to please her. She is in the best of Mexican clothes, but is like a American woman who would do the same thing. He did it all. He would juggle more and more things and never drop any of them. He did all he could to do to please his woman here in a strange country.
They had this thing like two wheels with two guys dressed like devils on it. It kept going round and round and they would jump on the inside of the wheels and then on the outside. They was like the Democrats and Republicans. Both of them was the devil and they didn't even like each other and what they did was scary, and made you not believe your eyes at what they could do. It was like the election, I think. You did not really like them but you did not want them to get killed or fall. One of them was no better than the other.
Them two guys really was like the Democrats and Republicans. Like they was out there putting on the show for the race, and sending out a lot of fear and doing things you know you couldn't do. But then, when the race was over you ain't really see them anymore, they was at work behind the scenes. That's because America aint about Democrats and Republicans.
The bad guy from the beginning kept showing up and every time there was thunder and lightning, and it shows that bad guys and con men are every where in this country, no matter who you are, there is someone trying to get you to do drugs or make a dollar off wrecking your life.
In the end, the new Mexican figured out how to make friends in America and all the people there found friends and love and even got along ok with the Man. At the end all of them came out together which is what America is all about. It brought a tear rolling down my eye.
Then we went home. Glad we are natural born Americans, Tondy, I tell you what.
Note: On my way back through Washington, DC on my way home for Christmas, I am going to try to get Doc to do a video review of the Circue Du Soleil programme, "Kooza," and put it here on the blog and on YouTube. I think people will enjoy his excitement and interpretations.