In the early 1900's, P.T. Barnum, the owner of the Barnum & Bailey circus, offered $10,000 in cash to any person who could thoroughly dupe, or sucker, him.
Barnum was always looking for interesting new acts or novel creatures to exhibit, and one day he received a letter from a fellow in Maine who claimed to possess a cherry-colored cat and asked if Barnum were interested in such a thing for his circus. Barnum contacted the man and said yes, if the cat were truly cherry-colored, he'd gladly put it on display.
Well, a few days later a crate marked "live animal" arrived for him. When Barnum opened it, he found a somewhat frightened but otherwise perfectly ordinary-looking black housecat inside, along with a note which read: Maine cherries are black.
The Birthday Party
A lady is giving a party for her grandson, and went all out: A caterer, band, and even a hired clown. The clown brings a couple of his unemployed friends with him (in clown costume too). Feeling sorry for them, the lady tells them they can get a slice of cake if they chop some firewood out back. Gratefully, the clown's friends head to the back of the house.
The guests arrive and all is going well, the children have a wonderful time. Except for one thing... the clown doesn't show up! The lady finds him passed out drunk at the back of the house, where he was drinking laughing at his friends chopping wood. The woman is very disappointed and tries (unsuccessfully) to entertain the kids herself.
She looks out the window and sees one of the other clowns doing cartwheels across the lawn. She watches in awe as he swings from tree branches, does midair flips, and leaps high in the air.
She calls the other guy over and says, "What is your friend doing that's so marvelous? I have never seen anything like it! Do you think your friend would want to repeat this performance for the kids at the party? I'd pay him 50 bucks!"
"Well," he responds. "I don't know, let me ask him. Hey Jimbo!! For $50 would you chop off another toe?"
The Human Cannonball
A husband and wife had a human cannonball act in the circus.
One day the wife ran off with the lion tamer. The husband was extremely dejected. The strong man asked him what he was going to do.
The husband answered, "This is a disaster. I don't know where I'm going to find another woman of her caliber."
The Unpleasant Task
A man is hired by the circus to perform a necessary but rather unpleasant task.
He is asked to walk behind the elephants in the center ring, shoveling aside their droppings as they walk about. After a rather difficult evening at work, he goes to the circus cafeteria, sits with other workers, and begins complaining about his work.
"It s just terrible work, walking behind those huge beasts and first dodging, then shoveling aside the dung they produce. My arms are tired, my shoes and pants are a mess, and I'll have to shower before I return home, because of the stink".
His friends at work agree: "Why don't you just quit this miserable job and find something more rewarding to do. You have to have some skills and talents that you can put to use somewhere else".
He looks at them, stunned: "You know, you're probably right, but I just can't give up the glamour of show business!"
A circus owner walked into a bar to see everyone crowded around a table watching a little show. On the table was a pot turned upside down and a cute little duck tap dancing on top of it. The circus owner was impressed! He decided to buy the duck right then and there from its owner. After some wheeling and dealing, they settled on $10,000 as a price for the duck and the pot.
Three days later... the circus owner ran back to the bar furiously mad. "Your duck is a ripoff! I put him on the pot before a whole audience, and he didnt dance a single step!"
"So?", asked the duck's original owner. "Did you remember to light the candle under the pot?"