There were a variety of shows at the Washington County Fair last weekend. My wife and I wanted to be sure to get there in time for the chimp show. What could be more fun?
Almost anything. It was a sad little company: a couple I'd guess were in their 60s, three chimps in their 30s and 40s according to their mistress, and this eight year old. Their tricks were mostly dull. The show was humorless. The older chimps seemed to be phoning it in. Their costumes were campy, even embarrassing. The woman controlled the animals with a chain and metal collar around their necks. Obviously, she wouldn't want the animals running out into the audience but it made them look like slaves.
The juvenile, pictured above, looks like he is suffering from agonizing depression. The image is striking but I think the posture was just part of the act. If you look carefully you can see that he is holding sunglasses.
Things picked up a bit when they brought out a pony. One of the chimps hopped on its back as the pony ran in a fast circle. That was the highlight of the show. Still, it's no wonder this troupe works county fairs.