Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Source of Her Antipathy Toward Clowns

It was the kind of incident that could only happen once, at least if you live in a small town. The kind of small town that occasionally, once every year or so, gets little run-of-the-mill carnivals.

I don't want to get into it, but all I'm going to say is that she is still well known today, back home, as 'the girl who hated clowns'. More than that I cannot indulge. It just ... it got very ugly. There was a whole incident.

She is a big girl now, though, living in a real city with real living people all over, who run amuck. Of course, there are still clowns everywhere, but only little insignificant ones. Ones who will give you a red nose that goes 'parp', or maybe some clowney shoes. And a necktie that squirts a little water. Or little cross-signs tattoed onto the eyelids, so that when they are closed, it looks like they are cross-eyed, geddit? Outcold. They're everywhere, these little clowns, but she is now a grown-up and has learned how to deal with all of them.

She is even friendly with a lot of these little clowns. Being a grown-up, serious person with a real job, and self-supporting income, she finds that she can organize her schedule such that time can be divided between work and play, and have a little more put on the side toward altruism (for clowns). In the big city she is known as 'the girl who loves clowns' -- a sentiment that persists in a mature environment without any sarcasm, condescension or malice.

Fatefully it turns out that I, the narrator, am in fact a real clown. Sure, I didn't come floating in like some flotsam off some backwater village, and I was not raised by any of the those feral people who walk on all fours -- in fact, not a whole lot is actually known about me -- which precisely befits the outfit of an actual, real clown. I have the 'mystery' aura of the clown in me.

So there I am sitting at Starbucks and enjoying my latest iced venti latte (ever seen a clown squirt coffee from his necktie?), and this so-called 'lover of clowns' enters the establishment claiming to be nothing lesser than a total lover of all clowns.

"I'm buying shots for all the little clowns," she declares.

I'm affronted. Being a real, big clown, I'm not getting free shots of coffee from this individual. In fact I am pretty damn sure that somewhere in the beginning of the Constitution of The United Clowns, it is stated that the big clown is supposed to get all the shots first.

So I approach this 'madame' and, elbowing myself into front of the queue, ask her "What is the source of your antipathy toward clowns?"

At first she doesn't notice what a big clown I am -- she just shrugs me off like a little one. Then, like a real horror show, she turns. I see the little hairs slowly rise to attention on her little arms, and she is even wearing one of those fake moustaches that women magically manifest when they are caught in the act. She recognizes there is no escape.

"It is the make-up," she then weeps, stuffing her face into my chest, "the-the real clowns wear so much make-up that you know somewhere inside there, underneath, there is this suffering soul that just wants to be free, but knows, ultimately that it never will be."

My heart literally turns into butter at this (well, my clown heart), and I welcome her sobbing story into my arms. She sobs and sobs, using my blouse (yes, there are blouses for men, especially clowns) as a tissue. "There there, my dear," I evoke in the endearing sound waves of a father, "I gotcha, I gotcha. Don't you worry one little bit." Meanwhile, I notice all the little clowns looking at me, totally jealous of all the affection I am awarding her. Then I realize ...

"Wait, you're that little girl who hates clowns!"


"I remember standing there, in front of you and your mother. I pulled all my tricks. Everything I had ever learned till that point."

"It wasn't us!"

"I told you every last joke I knew. I tried to make everything fun, but you ... there was no consoling you. You're the biggest sob story in the omniverse. You went and had a whole goddamned incident. They called the goddamn cops on me -- the-they called me a Fake!"

There was a sniff and she pulled away from me and went to the cashier. "I am buying shots," she said, "for all the little clowns."

No comments:

Post a Comment