Never mind the reviewer’s cracks about the acrobats, trapeze artists and clowns, but when you say that tigers and elephants are boring, I am offended, but begin to get the measure of the man. His name is Barnes and he was unmoved by the nine tigers “. . . on trapezoidal platforms, snarling and swatting at the trainer’s stick before rolling over on their backs or putting paws the size of snowshoes onto a pylon.”
What more can you ask of these magnificent cats? I cry out from memory stored up year after year as a child in Madison Square Garden thrilling to just the sight of these great cats (must’ve been their grandparents and great-great-grandparents, of course). Adding insult to injury, he blackened the name of elephants everywhere, labeling them “. . . big, sad lumberers as placid as a pond and about as interesting to watch.” Oh, yeah? I’d like to see him walk a mile in their shoes from the railroad cars through downtown in the dark, holding the tail of the fellow in front! Actually, there is a poem that nicely sums up this ghastly incident:
Breathes there the man,
With soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said
“Look, Daddy, the Tigers!!!
Mommy, the elephants!!!”
Barnes further noted, “. . . one of the tigers defecated in the middle of his act.” Mr. Barnes' regular beat is reviewing restaurants. This, I suspect, is revealing of where he is coming from.
Once in Las Vegas, I saw Siegfried and Roy perform on stage with their white tigers (not, however, the night his tiger dragged Roy off the stage by his head). So I feel constrained to offer a word of caution to Mr. Barnes: Watch Your Mouth. The Big Cats have acute hearing.