Tag Archives: circus

1660. Bozo the Professor

(Thanks to Nitin for providing the opening to the story).

All poor Kierkegaard talked about was despair inherent in men because of sin. It’s the bloody nihilists who deconstructed him, out of their need to be free of God and moral restraints, never realising that man is not free. I said, man is not free! Not free! Damn it! screamed the disgraced professor now working in a circus. What a change from being the Professor of Philosophy at Harvard to becoming Bozo the Clown.

Believe me, continued Bozo standing on his head, I didn’t get this job simply because I have Native American blood. Is it not better to light a candle than to curse the darkness and view the world through tinted glasses? There is light at the end of every tunnel and every cloud has a silver lining. Time may silver your golden hair but people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. After all, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and one leg over the fence is better than a poke in the eye. Surely it’s better to shake a leg than to see a man about a dog. I promise you that this little pig went to market and this little pig stayed home, and the little pig that went to market is now a fat cow and the pig that stayed at home is a couch potato. Beware! Beware of sharks feathering their own nests like wolves in sheep’s clothing shedding crocodile tears.

Bozo began to juggle with a bunch of bananas. I smell a rat when people open a can of worms and say they’re living hand to mouth like a dog’s breakfast. Never, I say! Never on a Sunday! That’s right! That’s right – be a pack of sheep flogging a dead horse.

By now, Bozo was squirting everyone with water through a plastic flower on his lapel. Why not offer an olive branch to the starving millions instead of pussy-footing around like a cat on hot bricks? There’s something fishy about a chicken without a head.

We are not free! Not free! screamed the disgraced professor. Not free from Neitzche’s Nihilism and Derrida and the Deconstructionists.

It wasn’t long before Bozo lost his circus job as well.

1538: Lancelot Grope’s calling

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Nitin at Fighting the Dying Light. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

When he looked at the clown in his greens and reds, his raging coulrophilia kicked in. Lancelot Grope couldn’t help it. He was only too pleased that he himself was wearing baggy clown’s trousers.

Lancelot’s coulrophilia had made his teenage years almost unbearable. The trouble had been that his mother had been obsessed with a relatively muscular trapeze artist named Standish Nikolayevich, and Lancelot was dragged from one circus performance to another. It was okay for his sister to admit that she was obsessed with circus horses (and for his mother to be obsessed with Standish Nikolayevich) but to admit to coulrophilia was another thing altogether. Things came to a head when Cocoa Craven Hook, one of Lancelot’s favourite clowns, took Lancelot out the back.

Cocoa Craven Hook was wearing his greens and reds and looked amazing.

“Judging from looking at your trousers,” said Cocoa, “you seem to be pretty enthusiastic about clowning. Can I show you a thing or two? Let me pull a surprise out of my pocket.”

Suddenly a bunch of flowers appeared from nowhere. One of the flowers squirted water in Lancelot’s face. Lancelot laughed.

“I’ll show you how it’s done,” said Cocoa kindly. “First let me put these flowers in your pocket.”

Lancelot was hooked. He’d never experienced anything quite so exciting. There was no going back. He would be a coulrophiliac for life. Coulrophilia would be his life’s calling. He would use it to cure those who suffered from coulrophobia. And indeed he did.

Today, especially in Hollywood, there’s many a former coulrophobiac who is now a practising coulrophiliac. They’re in the News, and some of them even made it to the circus.