When I was a boy of eight or nine my father took me to the waterfront. There were performers there with trained cats, and others who danced or mimed, but it was the juggler who garnered all of the attention my youth could afford. He wasn't a very good juggler but he kept promising to light himself on fire "in only a few minutes." People would crowd around him and slowly disperse after the second or third passing of the hat. The juggler never ignited. Once I understood that he never would, my father smiled and took me home.
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