Cirque du Today: Female Acrobats Need Not Apply

Cirque du Today6 Comments

Credit, jimhalterman.com

My 6-yr-old son, Mineological, and his daddy take great pleasure in watching ABC’s “Wipeout,” wherein people succumb to an ass-beating by way of a crazy obstacle course to win $50K. Especially entertaining, apparently, are segments in which guys take sterilizing shots to the family jewels. Anywho. The other night, Todd wasn’t home, so I was forced to watch Wipeout alone with M. The unspoken rule is that I am expected to laugh like a rabid hyena and generally enjoy myself, like Daddy. But being the sympathetic person I am, I can’t keep myself from “ouching,” and gasping in empathetic pain when someone nearly decapitates or castrates themselves. After about an hour of viewing this masochism, I am talking aloud to the TV (like my mother does), and saying, “Oh, you poor, tired man. You can hardly walk, you’re so exhausted,” and am clucking along in this manner until M. abruptly pauses the show.

“Mommy,” he wails, “You’re not supposed to FEEL PAIN for them! You’re supposed to LAUGH at them! You’re making me sad. You’re RUINING it!”

I realized then, that the moment I had most feared as a mother of three boys, but had not yet been subjected to – scorn and potential ostracism for being so hopelessly female – was upon me. I had a choice to make, a choice that could very well become the prototype for all future attempts to connect with my sons. Either yuk it up and pretend to be something I’m not, in turn making my little boy happy, or continue being the kill-joy I am by voicing my humane concern for injured idiots. In the end, I did neither. I nestled my little boy in my lap, pressed Play, and kept my mouth shut. (It did seem to make him happy).

Cirque du Today: Female Acrobats Need Not Apply

6 Comments on “Cirque du Today: Female Acrobats Need Not Apply”

  1. Jennifer Steck

    I’ve watched Wipe-Out a few times, but like you, it looks just too painful. All these people chose to go on the show knowing what might happen and that it would be in the public domain forever. I guess I can’t feel too sorry for them.

    1. Ashley

      Hi, Jennifer – thanks for commenting! Yes, really it’s supposed to be funny but I can’t help myself from doing the “mom gasp” whenever someone hurts themselves on TV. Even when it’s not a reality show. Or when someone cries, I find myself bawling right along with them. I am more like my mother than I realize sometimes! 😉 Thank you so much for reading!

  2. Real Life Parenting

    Ooooh, I can’t watch that show either … or anything where people fall and hurt themselves. (I just got a shiver even thinking about it.) I mean, the AFV-style slips and spills are humorous … because no one nearly impales themselves on a handrail, but that’s about my limit. I cannot watch Wipeout for very long because I get too stressed!!

    1. Ashley

      Real Life Parenting (Jennifer), I’m really glad to know that I am not the only one who can’t stomach these things. I’ve always considered myself the tough girl, but that’s just a facade. How did you feel about the show Jackass with Johnny Knoxville? I thought it had funny moments but for the most part I was squeezing my eyes shut and plugging my ears when they were stapling things to their asses. :/ Thanks so much for reading and commenting, my fellow Steeler. (I have to root for the Giants now, though, it’s in my pre-nup).

    1. Ashley

      Hi, Laura Jo – yes we have that too. It’s hard! I’ve tried to play it, and it’s impossible for me. It’s a boy thing, for sure. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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