Elijah Bates

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…or at least all dudes over 21…welcome to a good show…a great show…the GREATEST show on the earth outside of your local stadium! THIS is Cirque du Tailgate!

It comes but 16 times a year (for the most part), exploding into the parking lot wherever your favorite team plays, hoisting tents, setting up shop and getting its three rings ready for an extravaganza that won’t be seen again for quite some time (a week).

Now, for a show of this magnitude to work, it really requires the grandest of figures to guide us all through such a one-of-a-kind attraction. And who better do so than the most vibrant of all Cirque du Tailgate performers—the Grillmaster!

Introducing act after act, the Grillmaster grabs our hands as we parade along through a menu of the unknown, showcasing all kinds of ultra exotic kabobs, steaming links of meats galore and sauce-slathered chicken parts aplenty. Exciting the taste buds of both young and old, this apron-clad magician makes the chugging of ice-cold pilsner more possible than ever before, even in blizzard-like conditions! At the end of the day, you’ll agree that NO ONE works harder to please the Cirque du Tailgate crowd.

However, the Grillmaster is just the beginning! There are tons of other familiar faces to enjoy in this show of shows, so surely keep your eyes peeled for a whole slew of unforgettable performances.

You’ll see the contortionist; aka, the cute and limber sorority throwback that may not know a thing about football, yet still happily accepted the invite of that frattooed loser from the yoga class she bought on Groupon anyway.

Then, be on the lookout for the manic-minded unicyclist, who wobbles back and forth between brown-out and black-out, slurring his words while repeatedly explaining to you how he spent the holidays alone again last year.

And don’t forget about the tightrope walker! You won’t want to miss the tipsy faces he makes while practicing the sobriety tests he knows he’ll be performing for an entirely separate crowd later in the day.

Ready for more? Then step right up and take a peak at the animals! Oh, the animals!

From miniature little monstrosities crudely crammed into homemade mascot costumes to the burliest of grizzly bears moseying around with oddly shape letters painted onto their thickest tufts of chest hair, each of these beasts can be quite frightening, to say the least!

They move from tent to tent, ring to ring, overpowering conversations in the crowd and devouring the contents of every cooler in sight. Check them out before their hibernation ritual begins, as it won’t be long before they fall into a good, old-fashioned food coma.

And what kind of circus would be complete without a couple of clowns?

They come in all shapes and sizes, but none so memorable as the Randy Marsh-esque juggler, who tosses back multiple bottles of booze again and again. Later in his performance, watch as he tries to escape from a pair of real police handcuffs, repeating his mantra of “This is ‘Merica!” to get the support of the audience. Laugh away as he and several other sad-faced clowns get crammed into a police-striped clown car and dumped into the dunk tank, er, drunk tank.

All in all, there’s not a show on Earth like Cirque du Tailgate. Got a few favorite sights and sounds of your own from the pre-grame big top? Then by gum, let’s continue this social conversation in the comment section below!

Elijah Bates leads the creative department at CitizenGlobal, a social media company in Venice Beach. When he’s not working, or contributing Best Of and Mancave articles to CBS, you’ll find him surfing the California coast & evading stingrays like trips to the dentist.

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