to set the scene:
christmas eve, the slipper room, new york.
an evening of burlesque, somewhat sparsely attended.
our host for the evening is an italian "3rd generation acrobat", quite the worse for wear due to alcohol or any number of illicit substances consumed when he disappeared downstairs earlier in the evening with a man dressed as elvis.
the acrobat decides to balance head first, on top of a basket ball, on top of a bar stool; which incredibly, considering his inebriation, he succeeds in doing. he teeters worryingly.
a voice behind me:
"if he dies, we're leaving"