three-ring circus


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three-ring circus

A situation of complete confusion, as in It was a three-ring circus, with the baby crying, the dog barking, both telephones ringing, and someone at the front door . This term alludes to a circus where three rings or arenas are featuring performances simultaneously. Perhaps invented by show business impresario P.T. Barnum, the term was extended to other confused situations by about 1900.
See also: circus
References in periodicals archive ?
Other memorable events held at the park included the 1888 Yorkshire Show, Barnum and Bailey's three-ring circus in 1898 and Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress Rough Riders in 1904.
The event, launched in 1986, has stood the test of time, and today's action features the usual three-ring circus of an England versus Rest of the World match, a Best Pairs tournament and the British Open Championship.
You have to wonder if this is a confessional tradition or a three-ring circus.
The three-ring circus is made up of around 180 performers and 80 animals.
Five rings symbolize the Olympics, but hosting them has largely been a three-ring circus.
The suits against MetLife represented one of the more outrageous reaches by the plaintiffs bar in the three-ring circus that is asbestos litigation today," said Robert Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute.
As a mother of two other children who had experienced this Roman Catholic rite of passage just five and eight years, respectively, before, I was astonished and appalled at how First Communions, for Emily's generation, had suddenly become a commercial three-ring circus.
Culinary Classic IV, at the Salinas Community Center, is a virtual three-ring circus of good eating.
On the program's welcome page, Peter Pike referred to his eponymous Expo as "a three-ring circus.
Over the past few years I'd become friendly with some former circus performers, too, and through sharing their memories had begun to share their concern that the traditional three-ring circus, with its trained animals and skilled circus families passing down their acts from generation to generation, was fading into the past.
Yet Hyde, as usual, insisted that he was only being fair: "This has not been a partisan exercise," he declared in his fluent baritone at the press conference, "it has been conducted discreetly without a three-ring circus atmosphere.
The monthly meetings of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee have become a three-ring circus for the "teenage scribblers" of the City and a damaging sideshow for people working in the real economy.
It's almost like a three-ring circus to observe these interactions.