Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The First Time

Bear with me, and the image above will become a little more clear. Before that clarification we have to take a little side trip, and I hope I do not lose you, or myself along the way. The side trip begins with an apology, an apology for the badness of yesterday's post. I have the idea that writing, like a lot of things, can be an "in form" type of activity. Much like a striker who just has to kick the ball forward and it goes in the goal, form can be outstanding, or in the alternative, form can be fleeting. Sometimes no matter how close you are to goal, and no matter how many glorious chances you get, you just can not put the biscuit in the basket. I feel that my form for yesterday was "off." I can only hope that the saying "form is fleeting, class is permanent" applies to writing as well (whilst also hoping that I have class). Either way I am sorry, and will try to do better in the future (isn't that what we all say?).

The above image of clowns is there for a couple of reason(s), one it is a direct challenge to a blogging friend of mine (and you know who you are), and two, clowns are important to this post (other than the clown writing it, that is). For that to happen, we have to take a trip into the murky depths of my past. When I was a child, and yes I was a child once, my small town did not have much in its favour. It was, and remains a dull, drab, place, where the sidewalks are rolled up at about 8 p.m. So you can imagine the excitement when, in my 13th year, the circus came to town. It wasn't much of a circus, the elephant (yes one elephant) looked about 100 years old, and the big top was crumbling a bit, but for my town, it was the end all of entertainment. We had not seen this much excitement since the Civil War. It was THE place to be, and after doing my chores (otherwise known as being slave labour for my parents), and receiving my pittance of an allowance, I raced to see the sights, hear the sounds, and mostly importantly eat the exotic food of the circus (hey, I did say I was reared in a backwater, funnel cake was exotic I tell you). There I was wandering around taking it all in, the slightly overweight strongman, the ancient elephant, the lion tamer who looked just a little too tame, and there was no lion which I thought was odd, but what the hell did I know? I was 13.

Well, as children are wont to do, I wandered off from the wolf that raised me, and got my goofy ass lost. Too much sugar had ruined my sense of direction, and I found myself wandering the back alleys between the big top, and the bearded lady (is that really supposed to be a lady?). That is when it all went pear shaped, throw in a bearded lady, and shit goes bad quick. I noticed a knot of people gathered together, and thought "hey, I will go ask those adults the way home." They were dressed a little funny, so I did not just rush up and start to bawl, but hung back a bit so I could sort out if they were the "not to take candy from" type of strangers. Of course, they were clowns, and they were having a VERY animated conversation about something. Being the inquisitive type, I decided to take a listen to see what a group of such gaudily dressed gentlemen could be talking about. This was, in the terms of the day, a shit idea. I got a good listen, and even at 13, I knew that this was not something clowns should be discussing. My town was tiny, and we did not have a lot going on, but we had a bank. That bank was one of about 3 in the county, and our "police force" consisted of about three people, one of which could not work on the weekends because he was a bootlegger on Saturday, and a preacher on Sunday. I soon found out that the group of clowns (literally in this case) were talking about the bank, and were discussing what appeared to be making an "unscheduled withdrawal from the bank. I was too young to do much banking (my allowance was about 5 bucks a week, the piggy bank I possessed had more than enough room for any left over allowance). Now these were clowns, and they seemed to be drinking (there was a bottle in the typical paper bag that they were passing around), and maybe they were talking out of their collective ass, I did not know, and more importantly I was in no real mood to burst into their little chat and find out. I figured, since they were not locals, that they had no account at our little bank, and even I was clever enough to understand that they were planning a heist. This was when I decided that the wolf that raised me probably really needed to see me urgently about something, anything, and I tried to sneak away. Well, as you can guess me sneaking is not something that goes well. Even at 13, the force of my personality (my words) was too much to allow for me to do anything but steal the show when I appeared (and I also usually stole some candy too). One small trip over a tent rope, and one heavy fall later, I found myself the center of the clowns (unwanted) attention. Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, they were less than pleased. A couple of them were the "evil" clown type, and figured that one lost child would make a lovely addition to the circus as a dwarf (they even had some suggestions as to how to keep me from getting taller).

Unlike the men and women I blog about on a daily basis, I am no hero. I am not one today, and I sure as fuck was not one at the tender age of 13. The only reason I made it to the age of 14 and beyond is due to one of the group (I assume the leader) took pity upon me, and kept me from being a perpetual sideshow. He must have been moved by the, quite real, tears I was shedding(yes, I can actually cry, or at least used to be able to). He dissuaded the others from their evil plan, and told me that "today was my lucky day." While he was arguing for me to be allowed to continue my growth spurt, I was able to determine that is what clowns do. There is some "head clown" somewhere in the world, I did not figure out where, that controls all clowns, be they the circus type, or the type that goes to little Annie's fourth birthday party (how much silver comes up missing after having a group of 10-15 wild children around that is put down to being lost?). It seems that they are worse than the mob, better organized, and entirely unsuspected of being evil (this was before Pennywise raised some suspicion about clowns, and terrorized an entire generation of children). They had the perfect plan, and perfect get away, they went from Podunk town to Podunk town, robbing banks, and moving on to the next town in the line. So, there I was in my 13th year, and had stumbled upon the great clown conspiracy. Only because the "head" clown took pity on a crying, fat kid, am I here to tell this tale today. However, all was not going to be forgiven, a vow of silence was extracted, and a threat (which I took to be quite real) to come back an turn me into that dwarf was made. I gave the vow willingly, and took the threat seriously. I am now breaking that 27 year silence, and plan to never go to the circus again, or have a clown over for a party. Here's hoping I have covered my tracks enough to keep me from being tracked down, and killed by vengeful clowns. I was allowed to return to the more trafficked area of the circus, but not before the "evil" clown faction made sure I would not forget them, they beat me up, not took badly, and were good enough to make my "I fell down" story easy to believe, but they whipped my ass. Thus, this was the first time I was beaten up by clowns, it was not to be the last.

So there it is my challenge to at least one of my fellow bloggers (probably two actually), but my legion of readers are welcome to write some experience, good or bad, they have had with clowns.

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