Important Information Every Circus Cognoscenti Should Know

1. When & where the 1st legally sanctioned same sex marriage took place.
2. The shocking details of "Tyrone The Terrible’s" own personal Space Odyssey
3. Insider Trading Tips from a Born Again Sicilian on how to build your own Donkey Empire.
4. How to go AWOL & Rob A Bank without getting caught.
Other Unexplained Phenomenon

Festus was aptly named. Or at least confused circus people who watched Gunsmoke thought he was. He walked with an incurable limp -- a hip that just wouldn’t stay put. A handicap that came and went but ultimately didn’t prevent him from getting his own star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame. In the meantime however, his destiny was to limp with periodic spasms of pain. Unfortunately he, like millions of other Americans, didn’t have health care insurance -- so hip replacement surgery was out of the question. Despite the moral imperative involved it seems that only by winning the lottery or achieving the kind of Circus Stardom Brittany Spears has attained under her Booty Big Top for shaking her musical twat & singing sexually provocative lyrics, would he be able to afford the state of the art surgery necessary to put him back together again to the perfect little ass he once was.

Like Humpty Dumpty Who Had A Great Fall, All The Kings Men and All The Kings Horses Couldn’t Put Festus Back Together Again. In his case however, it wasn’t a wall he fell off. It was a mine explosion that blew him to hell & back. As one of the last of the coal hauling donkeys ever recorded in the annals of Appalachian history, how he got from a 36 inch high mine shaft in West Virginia to Mama Corliani’s Frontier Circus, Wild West Show & Mystic Midway was one of those accidents of fate that could only be described as sheer serendipity. Of course Festus, being a Born Again Christian attributed his good fortune to the fringe benefits of being “SAVED”. It was not generally known that he was a direct descendant of the little Sicilian Donkey that carried Christ on his back on that 1st Palm Sunday when the crowds wanted Jesus to become King. A few days later they wanted him dead, so Festus wisely kept his religious convictions to himself, despite the emblazoned cross on his back which of course was a dead give away. Keeping mum about his beliefs soon became nearly impossible.

In the meantime he did his best to keep the faith despite any evidences of a spontaneous miraculous healing. He also continued to hope that like The Keyboard Cat & Christian The Lion he might become a U-Tube Sensation & Major Internet Cewebrity & subsequently launch his own “Eat Pray Love” Story on Book TV, Amazon.com or Oprah’s Book Club. From there the skies the limit. What with endorsements, talk show appearances, speaking tours et al. he would soon be a household name known for championing the cause of The Oppressed Appalachians victimized by the plundering Massey Energy Corporation responsible for blowing off the tops of mountains & leaving toxic sludge & a polluted aquifer in their wake. He might even be invited to Preach on Spirituality on Oprah’s Soul Series Radio Network along with Marianne Williamson. But, best of all, once having achieved celebrity status & removed from the D list of Democracy’s Nobody’s -- he would finally meet with Oprah’s Best friend Gail on whom he’s had a crush forever. Her ongoing fruitless quest for “The Right Man’ being well publicized -- he might stand a chance. As a diminutive little miniature donkey he was well aware he fell somewhat short of being a man -- but he was certainly enough of a horses ass to come close.

Obviously Festus had given a great deal of thought to what it takes to climb the ladder of success, achieve The American Dream & create your own Dumbed Down Democratic Donkey Empire. But until he fulfilled his future destiny -- lacking any relevance & solvency in the here & now, he would just have to await a miracle from God or the equally miraculous possibility that our own mustachioed 21st century Adolph might convince the sign carrying lunatic fringe, Republican Party of No & Red, White, & Blue Christian Taliban that Health Care Reform does not equate with an Obama death panel. Until then -- like the wolves Sarah Palin once shot from her helicopter -- he was just going to have to grin & bear it -- and like the rest of the Jack Asses, try to make an indelible impression at Town Hall Meetings. Hopefully without the necessity of biting off anymore fingers.

His best friend in the strange Al Fresco World Of Entertainment that had adopted him was a pure white miniature stallion who not only hated show business but generally despised the 3 Black Percherons with whom he shared the spotlight. Together they performed a center Ring Drama called “The Big & Little Act.”

Festus the miniature Sicilian Donkey, unlike his equally diminutive albeit disgruntled best buddy, was obsessed with Show Business & like Lucy Ricardo, he was always trying to get into the act. It didn’t matter which act or whether or not it was under The Big Top or on The Midway. Wherever other people or other animals congregated was where he wanted to be. His former life as a mine donkey included so much isolation -- he was determined never to be alone again. An expansive & unlimited social life was a priority for Festus. His best friends Sonny however, was of a different philosophical persuasion. He was an avowed misanthrope. He absolutely abhorred people and had an ongoing animus for the 3 black Percherons with whom he performed. As for his despised co-stars Diamond, Big Star, & Barney -- being totally without ego -- they weren’t so much concerned with their stellar careers as distinguished Circus Horses as they were with maintaining Equus Family Values. Horses are extremely family oriented & totally dedicated to maintaining togetherness unlike some human families inclined to disrupt their happy home lives for the most superficial of reasons. Like for instance the temptations of some horny broad who comes along and tells them how “HOT” they are or the unexpected possibility of finding a voracious Argentinean Soul Mate instead of a hungry bear on The Appalachian Trail.

The Equus Caballos community has the kind of familial sticktoativeness that keeps them faithful to whatever horse family they are a part of -- traditional or otherwise. Nevertheless a blight had come into their lives which threatened to disrupt their idyllic home life. A blight that came in the shape of a little smidgen of an S.O.B called Sonny.

Despite the fact that as Percherons -- one of the largest of all horse breeds -- they individually outweighed the perverse little punk by thousands of pounds each -- they had a deep & abiding fear of the spoiled & sadistic little brat who with malice of forethought came into the center ring bucking & kicking when it was his time to share the spotlight with the huge Black Percherons. It was all they could do to keep from breaking ranks when the miniature marauder ran under their bellies with murder on his mind, ears laid flat, tiny nostrils flared, tail twitching a mile a minute & lips peeled back with such demonic intent you could see his perfectly formed pearly whites poised to take a chunk out of whatever was left of The Family Jewels. Needless to say, Sonny played dirty. As “geldings” (horse speak for eunuchs) they had already endured the unkindest cut of all. They certainly didn’t need a daily reminder of how much more they stood to lose. No matter how hard the audience laughed at their predicament -- there’s nothing funny about having a bad tempered little critter with a Napoleonic Complex run under your belly while you’re desperately trying to maintain your equilibrium. With two massive front hooves each precariously balanced on a relatively small ring curb by comparison with untold tons of horse flesh straining to keep from tipping the boat so to speak while trying to project a professional demeanor as befits their status as seasoned Show Biz Pro’s -- it takes a really sick sense of humor to laugh at something that’s supposed to be “a trick” -- but which, thanks to a horny little hell boy has turned into a sadistic terrorist plot. With the eminent threat to whatever’s left of their manhood -- there’s no accounting for the lack of consciousness of exploitive hominids and the loss of proper brain function of little Albino Dickheads possessed of too much testosterone. Both are badly in need of extensive Monty Roberts’s sensitivity training & horse whispering techniques.

Festus -- a veritable saint -- (because it took a saint to befriend the likes of Sonny) was ever the peace maker and did his best to intervene -- telling Sonny that he would trade places with him in a New York minute if only he could be part of a center ring act. Festus was always encouraging bi-partisanship and trying to get everyone to sing Kumbaya. Sonny who didn’t know when he had it good, like a lot of other small minded headliners who are totally wrapped up in themselves, unappreciative of their good fortune and proceed on a senseless path of self destruction only to create misery and misfortune for others. Unlike the socially aware Madonna who was booed in Bucharest for taking a stand against the ongoing discrimination against Gypsies. Sonny however was as obtuse as he was self absorbed -- social awareness being the last on his list of concerns. Like Brittany, his head was forever planted where the sun don’t shine.

Anyway, what could Festus possibly know? He had no Blue Blooded Show Business Heritage or Star Studded Lineage like Sonny. All Festus could ever do was dream about getting discovered and hope that The Oprah Effect would somehow affect him.

Like Oprah herself, Festus was without any spectacular abilities to sing or dance and beyond some emoting talents that fell for short of the demands of The Actors Studio; he lacked any certifiable skills beyond a goody two shoes mentality and unique ability to stuff his face. An ability which earned him the distinction of being the only animal on the circus required to wear a caution sign that read “fifty dollar fine for feeding me.” A precautionary measure intended to prevent him from getting the colic or being foundered. Serious horse related illnesses homo erectus is not prone to. They just become lard asses. Too bad Oprah’s distinguished panel of Doctors & exercise gurus never offered Oprah a similarly effective means of cutting back on calories.
Such was Sonny’s highly inflated sense of entitlement that he thought that he could not only demean Festus and the most powerful woman in the world, but bite the hand that fed him as well -- doing his very best to ruin the highly valued and time honored traditional “Big & Little Act”.

So it was that Sonny, whose social awareness was zilch, remained totally unappreciative of his "Star Turn” under the Big Top and the deference with which he was treated because of his auspicious Sawdust & Spangled Blood Lines. It just made him all the more arrogant and indifferent to the misery he created for others. Especially The Big Blacks whose only desire was for a happy and undisturbed home life free of the angst and stress brought about by the threat of sabotage to whatever was left of their privates. An Al Qaeda like move one would expect from a diminutive demon possessed circus terrorist. It so messed with their minds and up ended their world that Diamond, Big Star, and Barney determined to run away from the circus and join up with the Amish.

At least they did until they saw a television documentary about Amish Life that indicated that after a lifetime of service it was not uncommon for the Amish to sell their horses to slaughter houses. Boy --- that’s appreciation for you. Talk about moral schizophrenia. After a lifetime of hard work -- that’s your send off. No wonder Johnny Cash wore black. Diamond, Star and Barney were shocked to discover that right here in America there were fundamentalist religious groups as dangerous as Islamic Extremists. At least to horses they are. There’s something to be said for Buddhism and their beliefs in the value of all life. NAM NEOHO MOO GOO GI PAN.

After that, they determined to stay put no matter how badly Circuses were demonized by the establishment. Better the Devil you know than the one you don’t. Nobody ever said Circus Life was a walk in the park but Circus Folks Ain’t So Evil.

Whenever the Circus water wagon arrived on the lot with a fresh load of H20 --- The animals always got to drink first and as much as they wanted before anyone else on the lot got any. And even then the Circus Performers were only allotted 2 buckets each daily. One with which to bathe after the matinee and the other for bathing after the night show. Unlike the 140 gallons of aqua pura establishment Gajo’s guzzle daily what with wasteful extraneous activities such as watering the lawn, washing the car & water boarding --- Circus people have a more Spartan approach to conserving the planets resources. With all life being dependant on fresh water & only 3% of the world’s water being fresh, how can one waste such a precious natural resource? More valuable than oil or gold!

As for the Godly Amish pecuniary plan for end of life stimulus packages provided by their soon to be dead faithful plow horses and carriage equines -- this accepted cultural practice was corroborated by Jake and Jabo -- two under cover pigs & whistle blowers in the witness protection program. Having escaped a Schmuckfield Ham Corporate Production Unit (animal factory farm) they found safe haven under assumed names with their friend Buddy "The Plummer", whose favorite thing to do besides hunting barefoot in the alligator and snake infested Myakka State Park (where Sasquatch Skunk Apes abound and an invisible empire of Cracker Cow Catchers hide out) -- was to get roaring drunk and pick bar fights with the Amish. An animus as mysterious as Sonny’s animus for his co-stars.

In the meantime, the terrorized triage of Black Percherons were grateful that they at least were spared the end of life Obama death panel. Until they came to some successful conflict resolution with Sonny ( perhaps with the help of Dr. Phil) -- they would just have to “cowboy up” and suck in their privates or what was left of them and continue to believe “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.” While Festus prayed for them -- they continue to chant...Nam Meyoho Moo Goo Gi Pan.

With the passage of time, everyone on the Circus lot became enamored with "Festus The Peacemaker" who made lots of converts with his sincere practice of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

However Festus’ apparent Sainthood had its limits. A Dr. Jeckle & Mr. Hyde transition that took place whenever the farrier showed up for the periodic hoof trimming required of all equus related animals. At this point Festus, who regarded any farrier as public enemy #1 forgot all 10 commandments and more often than not gifted the poor guy with “the mark of the beast” delivered by a swift kick to his most vulnerable part. The Lil Saint must have learned a thing or two from Sonny. Which is what happens when you hang around with the wrong element. Even Festus was not immune to bad influences. Oh well -- nobody’s perfect. Even on the Circus. A fact well understood by most of us who are “with it” and are possessed of similar Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde proclivities. Proclivities that most often surfaced during Mama Corliani’s midnight poker games where violent shootouts were likely to occur whenever some cheating Goomba tried to claim a Big Pot.

Unlike “Tyrone The Terrible” Festus didn’t smoke, drink, or gamble (however, our Lil Silician Applause Junkie wasn't above starring with the Clydesdales in a Budweiser Beer commercial, just to get his face on television). But apart from his farrier phobia and showbiz obsession, he was the model of deportment. A fact not lost on the Circus community who elected to honor him with the auspicious title of being designated mascot and good will ambassador of Mama Corliani’s Frontier Circus, Wild West Show & Mystic Midway. He even gained the confidence of “Diablo”, the frightening Black Friesian whose duty it was to transport the massive Matriarch & Queen of the Circus on her daily rounds of micromanaging every aspect of her hybrid Sergio Leone type Al Fresco Entertainment Enterprise. With her psychic powers, spaghetti umbilical and bush whacking abilities -- no one was likely to get the jump on this Mafiosi granny and rough riding she-devil who threw her weight around like she was Gods personal representative on earth, sole arbiter of right and wrong and guardian of your destiny and mine. A diehard feminazi if ever there was one!

When the Republican Fringe Element talk about someone pulling the plug on Grandma -- its obvious they hadn’t yet met with Mama Corliani who had a failsafe method of dealing with potential assassins. Her very own “pay it forward” vendetta style doctrine of pre-emption which was most often preceded by the delivery of a newspaper wrapped can of King Oscar Sardines, in pure extra virgin olive oil. Nothing but the best for the sworn enemies of Mama Corliani. After which with great pomp & circumstance as aided and abetted by her own Borgia Style Blackwater Bunch, she would hoist them on their own petard.

Even the worst of the worst, and midget macho marauder “Sonny the Wienie Slicer”, “Tyrone The Terrible,” and “Alice The Serial Killer,” altered their behavior for the better on those spooky moonlit nights when the mammoth magical dark shadow of “El Diablo” & “The Queen Mother of All Godfathers” came between them and their ultimate profligate destiny.


Festus and Sonny are currently retired from their Show Biz careers and live together in the safe haven of The Miracle Ranch Animal Sanctuary where they are enjoying their Golden Years -- albeit Festus genuinely misses the excitement & camaraderie of being “On The Road.” He’s working on a new book about fighting the doldrums of depression once all your dreams have come true & your money runs out. It’s called “OLD AGE STINKS” and he’s hopeful it will be a best seller and he’ll get back on Oprah’s Book Club. Unfortunately when Festus made the big time, he, like a lot of other well heeled individuals invested his millions with Madoff and of course we all know what a Fraudulent Fiasco that turned out to be. He learned the hard way that getting your pockets picked is a whole lot worse than getting your hooves trimmed. Festus however--still gets the occasional opportunity to shine in the spotlight as an Obama supporter & has appeared with Ted Kennedy (The Lion Of The Senate) on a number of fund raisers. Festus once made headlines with the following controversial statements:

“The Red, White, & Blue Christian Taliban and Radical Christian Right rail & protest against Government controlled universal healthcare, meanwhile reserving the right for themselves to legislate everyone else’s morality.”

Festus also ruffled some feathers when he said:

“The current Pope could have at least responded to Ted Kennedy’s letter personally as opposed to letting an aide respond for him. But what else could you expect from a Pope who wears PRADA?”

As for Barney, Diamond, & Big Star -- they had the wisdom not to mix religion & politics and pretty much kept their opinions on both to themselves. They did however continue in their Buddhist Philosophy of valuing all other life forms and never ceased their practice of chanting Nam Neoho Moo Goo Gi Pan even though in the strictest sense of the word they were never able to get their pronunciation up to par. Nor did all their efforts to make peace with Sonny ever evolve into any kind of “Live & Let Live relationship. It was China and Tibet all over again, with muscle diplomacy tipping the scales of injustice in favor of tyrants.

Star, Barney & Diamond finally had to put their own personal welfare over all other concerns & ran away to join another circus where according to dressing room gossip they get along just fine with their new partner. A Sweetie pie that looks up to these Mighty Percherons as her Big Brothers.

On behalf of all the animals at The Miracle Ranch, Festus appeals to you to contribute to the Tip Jar because “Not even a sparrow falls to the ground that Our Father in Heaven Does Not See” just as He will see & bless those who care enough to contribute to the welfare of the animals He loves. Jesus is neither a Republican or Democrat. He's Just The Man Upstairs Who Cares.