The Bulgies

August 17, 2013

Lillian Daniel

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

In between his first and second year of college, my father could not face the idea of a long summer back at home. So he got a job with the travelling circus. As one does.

But life on the road was not all it was cracked up to be. Far from being a performer, or even one of the entertainers who convince you that you really can toss a plastic ring around a bottle neck, my nineteen year old father was in charge of the lowest ride on the totem pole, the Bulgies.

The Bulgies was a little kid ride, a chance to sit in a seat on the back of a whale and experience that round and round, up and down, spinning experience for the very first time.

It was that "inaugural" aspect of the ride that made this the least desirable job in the carnival. Frantic four year olds screamed out in terror and motion sickness to their alarmed parents who hadn't expected the ride to lurch from side to side so alarmingly. But what did they expect when they put their child on the back of a whale?

"Well, that's show biz," he dryly explained of his summer with the circus. That combination of hurky jerky motion and carnival food meant that my dad spent most of his time mopping out the Bulgies.  "If it weren't for the glamour of it, I don't think I could have stood it."

Prayer

Allow us to see the glamour and sparkle in everyday life, Lord. Fan the fires of enthusiasm so that we can light up the world. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel, author of When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough, has a chapter in the upcoming anthology, What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Follow her on twitter @lillianfdaniel.
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