Monday, July 20, 2009

Clown Showdown

So I'm back. I'm sure you'd like some long diatribe about re-entering society, the joys and pains. Too bad.

In my home town there is a middle aged Hispanic guy named Jose. Ok, in reality there's probably 250, I'll be more specific. This particular Jose genuinely enjoys taking jobs involving standing on corners advertising goods and services. Mattress guy? Jose's all over that. Statue of Liberty tax guy? Jose can't get the crown on fast enough. He brings stuffed animals with him and puts on shows. He stands at one of the busiest intersections in town waving and running up to cars with kids to give a 15 second puppet show. Just now I saw him on the sidewalk in front of the coffee shop giving a very soulful performance on harmonica just for fun. Often he dresses as a clown. Actually, more often than not he dresses as a clown. A rather shabby clown, but a clown. He likes to perform anywhere they'll let him, schools, nursing homes, etc. He'd like to get paid, but will do it for free just for the sake of entertainment. Is Jose mentally ill? I really couldn't say. He's terribly nice. Perhaps he is what we should be evolving to. (I may have just suggested we evolve to be street performing clowns)

But that's not what I want to talk about.

Last week I was sitting in the same coffee shop and a shabby clown walked by. With balloons. But it was not Jose. I repeat, not Jose. What does that mean? It means, that in this tiny town of mostly retirees, sprinkled with jaded youths and Mexican immigrants, we have two men that enjoy dressing as clowns.

This impostor clown (I have to be loyal to Jose) walks at a very quick speed down the street menacingly shaking a balloon. I get the impression that he recognizes the competition. If he can give away more balloon animals than Jose can give harmonica/puppet show performances, he wins.

I can't possibly tell you how unnerving it is to come home after so long to find a potential clown showdown.

I have yet to see them interact. I believe I witnessed one give the other the cold shoulder. I'll keep you updated. This could have grave world importance.

1 comment:

Michael Arrowood said...

Jose once came by a Civil War encampment in Hendersonville and chatted with those of in uniform... his parting comment was something like "you've got a really great act here!" I love that. It always made me smile to see him standing on the corner, before my daily commuted took me in a different direction.