Just when Britain thought it had gotten over the effects of the last lion-tamers strike, another one is "lion"-ed up for the 13th of March.
The Union of Lion Tamers is staging a walkout for higher pay and improved working conditions. "We're not just striking for pride," roared union boss Lionel Richie. "We want better claw grooming services for our cats. We want mashed gnu at least twice a week and then there's also the lion hairdressing - that's the main thing."
Ringmaster Geoff Hat said he was helpless to prevent the strike. "If we go against them, we'll be thrown to the lions. Literally. We tried to have a whip-round to help but they've turned the tables on us - usually they just turn the chairs on us."
In comparison, the clowns at Hat's circus are barely scraping by. "We're so poor that we can't even afford to put the wheels back on the car," said star clown Boris Arseworthy. "It's beyond a joke."
Fellow clown Bozo agreed. "Every time we try to start a union, we get nervous about who should be the boss. The shoe just doesn't fit."
He continued, "We need to get back to the days of the militant clowns of the 1970s. People always have a very negative view of that period but really the reason why we're in this mess now is because we're too tame."