My Life: The Flying Circus

Dreams of running away and joining the circus are best left to childhood. That or Spring Break when everyone is home. Don’t worry, I’m not running away. I remember too well that clown college is all fun and games right up until you put a dyslexic clown trying to juggle silk scarves next to a flame thrower.

Who knew yak hair wigs are so darn flammable?

I live in busted stick Oklahoma with a husband, two boys, two dogs, two white dumpies, a Holland Lop, some kind of dragon and a tank of fish. I don’t need Ringling Brothers or Monty Python for that matter; My life IS a flying circus.

Growing up in a single parent home I have lived in over 25 different cities, attended nine different schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and had my own share of comedic mishaps including dropping out of clown school and being dumped for a shot at dating Brooke Shields. Granted the only funny part about that last bit is he never got past her mother. I think that is hilarious.

You were dumped? Who’d he dump you for? (wait for answer) Yeah, well I got dumped for Brooke Shields, top that!

Personal misery stories makes people laugh and apparently pays well.

My mother was pretty selective on what she allowed me to watch as a child so I’m fairly certain that I received my first introduction to Monty Python’s Flying Circus while living in Varnamo Sweden. It was during that formative year in Sweden that I learned about the wonders of Spam, dead parrots, silly walks, and lumberjacks in women’s clothing.  Now please understand that I am in no way shape or form making fun of cross dressers, it’s just that at 15, well, this was new to me and I thought it was all hilarious right up until…..

I met one.

Åre, Sweden has got to be one of the best places to ski. The mountains are wonderful and so are the Northern Lights —  which are best seen in baby doll jammies and ski boots in case you are wondering.  Rotary must have thought so too (about the locale, not my attire) because that is where they chose to send our motley crew of highschool students for a week of snow and fun.

Being experienced youth leaders, our guides understood the rule of thumb that girls are red and boys are blue. In order to not make purple as my son would say, the boys had the main resort while we gals were stuck half a mile or so down the road in a smaller cabin with multiple rooms. Staying in the cabin were also a visiting family and the staff of the hotel. For some reason, they believed this set up would keep us out of trouble. Silly youth leaders. Teens love the color purple and where there is a will, there is most certainly a way. And if my Mom is reading this — we always stayed in our own cabins Mom, no worries.

I learned many lessons that week — mostly about the laws of gravitational physics. What goes up (via a ski lift) will come down at a rapidly alarming rate, ricocheting off every fir-tree on the path. Somewhere in this world exists a photograph of two crisscrossed skis and me buried in a snow mound. I also learned if you are going to pick a fight with an image in the dark recesses of a basement, you might not want to be wearing baby doll jammies and ski boots. Or maybe you do, I’m not sure. I guess it just depends on who you are.

Which is how I met my poor lumberjack in women’s clothes.  I don’t think he started out that way. I believe he came over for a party hosted by the hotel maids in the basement of our cabin, whiskey was involved and I believe he was the first to fall asleep. That’s where I come in.

Which just goes to show: I don’t care how old you are, never be the first to fall asleep at a party.

A group of us had gone outside to see the northern lights. And when we came back in, we could hear them all down there. Not wanting to get in trouble again for being “loud all night” like we did for the last three nights, I went to the stairs and started yelling at whomever to be quiet.  They must have woken him up and sent him up to deal with me.

I could see a figure emerging from the shadows of the basement and by the time I realized I was chewing out a 6’10’ lumberjack with blue eyeshadow and other assorted accessories, my girlfriends had all scattered to their rooms, locking me in the hall.


I’m not sure what amused this poor man the most, the fact that I was wearing baby doll jammies and ski boots or the fact that this little 5’4″ fly of a female was poking him in the chest and chewing him out for being so darn loud. Either way, he didn’t like being poked in the chest and apparently thought if he picked me up and kissed me, I’d stop.

I was mid-air when I kicked him and he let go with a velocity that sent me flying backwards. No worries, the wall behind us stopped my trajectory. I screamed, he looked in the mirror and screamed and while he was distracted I ran upstairs to safety.

My arrival to the second floor sent the boys (who weren’t really there) flying out the windows like lemmings off a cliff. No one wanted to be caught in our cabin, especially not with a crazy lumberjack on the loose. And no one would send help because doing so would mean admitting they were there. Only Duffy remained. He either wasn’t fast enough to jump out the window, or he was full of more testosterone than common sense. Either way, Duffy went down stairs to chase away my boogie man so that I could get back into my room.

Mr Lumberjack wasn’t as amused by Duffy as he had been me and well, Duffy wound up with a black eye before he left for the main cabin.

We all stayed locked in our various rooms while the lumberjack vacuumed the halls that night.

This story does  have a happy ending. The maids didn’t throw any more parties. We all got a free breakfast, courtesy of the resort, and Duffy? Well, he went down in my book as one of the sweetest heros I’d ever met. Too bad I can’t remember his real name.

So dear readers, now that you know that I am a clown school failure, was dumped for Brooke Shields, and once picked a fight with drunken lumberjack in drag, what silly thing about you have you never told someone? Why don’t you share it with us.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved.

Deana is presently staying home with her family for Spring break, watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus, enjoying tales of college told by her oldest and throwing in a few of her own stories now that they are old enough to enjoy them.

9 thoughts on “My Life: The Flying Circus

    • Girl… I went almost 30 years w/out telling people those stories. Come on, it’s not a contest. Did you ever do anything goofy as a kid? I used to have so much fun and then we forget how. Think, there has to be something silly.


  1. Oh Deana, I laughed so hard while reading this. I just learned some very fresh and new stuff about you and I love it. No wonder you are a comedian – you have such great stuff from your own life!


    • Thank you Lisa! — I never did tell my mom about the lumberjack. And when I told Jeff about it this week he about died laughing. “now I know where Dillon gets it from.”


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