After Wally and I got through the chit-chat about what’s been happening with families and mutual friends, he picked up where we left off about the “right man,” as in “there’s nothing more dangerous than a right man.” Turns out we both went online looking for who said that and neither of us could find it.
We did find some good quotes, among them Cher’s observation that while a woman waits for the right man to come along there’s nothing wrong with having a wonderful time with all the wrong ones. “That’s funny,” I said. “Irreverence is funny.”
And Wally answered. “That’s the heart of it, isn’t it? Maybe it’s a person who is never irreverent who’s dangerous.”
“When has the world been in trouble,” I asked, “if not when pious, self-righteous souls have wielded the power? Do we think the Inquisitors in Spain and Portugal got together for a good laugh now and then?”
“I ran across the Puritan’s Joke Book the other day,” Wally offered, “the one published in Salem in 1692?” I waited, knowing the punch line was coming. “All the pages were blank.” He sat there a second and then he said, “Circus Galaxus.” I almost choked up.
Wally has read just about all of my stories and I was flattered that he made the connection. The Hero of the story, Alec Gonzales, is a trickster archetype. The theme of Circus Galaxus is whether irreverence and levity can exist in the presence of awesome responsibility, whether a clown can be forced to exercise the power of life and death and still keep his fun-loving soul?
We talked some more but I will get into that in the next post.