This story is another of the fractured nursery rhymes. It’s about 30 times longer than the original nursery rhyme, which probably means I’ve really thought too long about it.
Like many people in the world of entertainment, Jack B. Nimble has had to change his act to keep people coming.
He just never imagined the changes would be so significant.
“People just aren’t impressed by one guy jumping over a candle stick any more. It’s too tame. I made the candlestick 15 feet high, but, it usually blew out when I did it. There’s no drama in a guy jumping 15 feet over a stick. Then I tried a bunch of candles, spread on the ground over three feet, and jumped over that, but, the novelty of that wore out pretty fast. Now, I’m going to try jumping over bonfires, and see where that takes me.”
Nimble, his face lined with the stress of trying to eck out a living in the world of daredevils, feels the pressure of an increasingly demanding audience. When he started, his dioristic routine was top of its class. Now, that routine is, at best, seen as “quaint,” and at worst, “stupidly boring.”
“Audiences are jaded. Anyone can jump over a candlestick. Now they want to see death defying thrills and, if you can manage it, a really spectacular accident. It keeps me up at nights trying to plan these things, and I worry more about having a crowd appreciate the stunt than I worry about the injuries. I got kids to feed.”
I’ve always thought that “jumping over a candlestick” was a ridiculous stunt. Why do you have to be all that nimble or quick to jump over a candlestick? Is this some weird medieval thing that has some other meaning that I don’t know because I’m literate or born 500 years too late for this to make sense? Anyone know?
dioristic / DIE – or – IS – tic / Distinguishing; distinctive; defining