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Bring On De Clowns Travis Sentell

“T

wo squoozes of that there butter if you don’t mind, ma’am,” I sez real casual-like to the lady crammed behind the counter. The

expected happy sounds infiltrate my bulbous ears and the expected circus-viewing community waddles in to find their seats in this amply spaced tent. I receives my airpopped goods, and I push my face right in there, right so’s the grease gives my pimply pocks a what-for. Nice and fattenin—the booyah good stuff. I gets my X-tra large Coke from the broad—I think her name’s Lorraine—but hell if she can recognize me, what with my clever-type disguise and all. I’m dressed up, you see, as myself; and ain’t nobody here gonna recognize me, not in a cagillion billion years. I start shovelin the grease pockets into my cheeks and head to my designated seating area, peeping a glance at my official Gummi Bears™ limited-edition wristwatch. The happy bouncin twiddly-fucker designates to me that the show, as they say, is about to begin. And the show, as they say, must go on. Which, as they say, makes me real freakin excited. I suppose I should enlighten youse as to the exact source of said excitement, as it is not your usual Big Top titillation. See, youse is

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Sentell currently witnessing my last day on the job. Literally speaking, of course. I’m on the premises, but my card is not currently punched. Hopefully, that little faux pas has gone unnoticed by my esteemed peers in the clowning profession. Those diddly-twinks don’t notice when I am there, so I figures, deductively speaking, that they won’t notice when I ain’t there either—long as I give em somethin warm and juicy to hold onto. Which I have done in spades, may I say. This ain’t gonna end well. My assigned seat in the happiest place on Earth is naturally amidst the most gravitationally-hampered family our good Lord had the dry wit to create. By this, I mean their fleshy protuberances are drastically encumbering my potential forward progress to the piece of wooden bench I have temporarily purchased. Not being in the mood for this type of disruption, and certainly not wantin to miss any of the upcoming three-ring bonanza, I yank my keys out of my Duck Head™ pants pocket and shove them with some degree of force in the vicinity of Poppa Porky’s left side. As you may guess by the girth which I have heretofore attributed to these characters, I cannot be assured exactly where my makeshift shiv pierces, but if his reaction is any reliable indication, it appears to have been quite a sensitive area. In the resultin melee (for which the fat, fat family should zealously thank me, seein as they probably dropped a jillion calories and extended their nominal life spans by a good hour or so) I manage to sneak in, unnoticed-like to my pre-arranged viewing point. There is a flutterin in the back curtain, which, from my years of experience, I know is signifyin that the show, as they say, is rarin up ta commence. Some quick mental agility on the part of my twisty grey matter calculates that I got roughly thirteen and half minutes before the clowns come on to indulge whimsically in their carefree antics. Or try to at least. The ringmaster makes his way out to the middle of circle two. Harry is

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Volume 7 a dickhead. And youse can be assured I don’t use that term wit no degree of lightness. He is an out and out Dick. Head. Dressed in a purple suit, no less. In seven years of loyal service alongside this head of a dick, I can’t remember a single occasion on which he found it amenable to his social standing to converse with the clowns. Harry also shaves his chest and smells like baby wipes. The lion-tamers come out and do their whip-cracking bit with the anaesthetized lions, whose yawning looks remarkably like roaring from my particular vantage point. I’d always been skeptical as to the realism of that particular illusion, but I do find myself convinced, even knowing the drug-induced actuality of the situation. The circus, it brings the drama before it brings the funny. Clowns come last. If my memory serves me in an appropriate-type capacity, my clownfriends have gotten their pep-talk and are doing their final make-up touch-ups. Most of the clowns come to work with their “faces” already on, so’s no one really knows what anyone else looks like. I always chose to paint the smile extra-big—just to make sure no one could see that I would’ve preferred it if they’d all kicked the proverbial bucket and headed straight for the bright ‘n shiny. You can make whatever face youse wants to under those glops of oil-based goo, and no one can tell shit from a baby under there. After that, I conjecture that the blowing up of the costumes will proceed to commence. This rumination may ruin more of your blind glee, my happy-type readers, so I studiously advise youse to close your eyes if you do not want to hear what follows. Clowns are not fat. Not in the least. The clown car gimmick works on this popularly conceived illusion. Since, as youse may have noticed, the majority of individuals in our selected viewing demographic contain enough lard to amply nourish the

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Sentell third world, our brainy-fainy, smarty-farty marketing team of researchers deduced that they would only want to engage in jovial laughter with obese persons like themselves. This curious assumption led to one of the circus staples - the “clown car” - where the corn-fed audience is wowed as clown after clown steps out of a seemingly miniscule car. “How did all those fat clowns get into that tiny car?” asks the audience in wonderment. “Where did they all go?” they query. “How does this miracle occur?” they ponder portulently. Because the clowns aren’t fat. In fact, every single one of them is bulimic. Trials of the job, I think with gusto as I chomp down on my fatty grease. My purging days, as they say, are over. The lions get dragged off and the elephants parade on, led by Dimitri, our token Greek immigrant. Dimitri only has one arm, but he can hold a whip well enough when he’s not doused on Quaaludes™. He’s a victim of what the public press would call a “drastic nicotine addiction,” and is perpetually to be seen with a roll-up hangin out of his withered Greek mouth. He whips the elephants around a little, stands on their trunks a little, and occasionally vomits. It’s a laugh riot. If Dimitri’s on, the blowing-up is definitely happenin backstage. See, the way the clown illusion works is that each clown is expected to blow himself up, creating a fake-type body composed of compressed air and large plastic bags painted to look like clothing. That way, in the clown car, our bulimic bodies are packed to maximum density; but when we step out, and the clothing billows out suggestively, the illusion is completed that we are indeed as grossly rotund as our viewing community. And they titter like fuckheads and clap their fat meaty paws together. Everyone goes home a winner, and the clowns go back to binge and purge. Get it? Good? The trapeze artists begin their “aerial ballet” as they so humbly chose to name it. None of this is as hard as youse might think, and the drop rate for these particular balletics is somewhere in the 30-40 percent range.

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Volume 7 Jimmy’s an ex-methadone addict from New York, and Wanda’s a hooker they picked up in Trenton cause the first air ballerina got pregnant and had to leave the Big Top lifestyle. Don’t look at me. Anyways, Wanda gets tossed about and Jimmy catches her, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. This is just to get the fatties heads up so’s they don’t see the ground acrobats sneak in and they’re all surprised when they look down and see the rings teeming with tiny Asian girls. “Wow!” they cry. “How’d the rings get filled with so many tiny Asian girls?” they exclaim. “I was watchin the whole time and I didn’t see the tiny Asian girls come in!” they ejaculate. And the mystery continues in the Big Top. I have a difficult time containing my energetic excitement, as it is gettin close to car-loadin time. I will admit to those of youse currently still engaged in this prolonged discourse, that I have a titter of the nervoustype butterflies doin their own aerial ballet. This is where the profundity of this particular plan works or doesn’t. The only way to appropriately load a clown car is for the bottom three clowns to get in—these are the big boys—Rocco, Beattie and Shmooze—all weighin in at over 110 pounds. Then, the next three are thrown on top of them by Jo-Jo, who is the driver of this august automotive transport. The last three climb in on top, Jo-Jo closes the door with a resounding-type “slam,” goes around to the driver’s side, gets in, and shuts his door. Ten clowns. One car. No problem. If youse are currently inferring from this description that this may not be the most genteel of operations on the ergonomic structure of said clowns, youse would be correct. It stinks like Doris. The clowns, amongst themselves, always draw straws to see which lucky fucky-fuck gets the coveted middle position, where the weight and stench of eight other bulimic and generally unhygenic clowns smothers all of youse’s available orifices. For the last nineteen yippee-do car rides, I have managed to attain this lofty position, and am bankin that I achieved that position on this particular day as well. Previously, I had proposed a much more democratic method of

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Sentell achieving an equitable selection process—a rotation, wherein every clown would take the middle position once, proceeding in a linear manner. In support of this loose socialistic clowning concept, I refused to draw the ratty straws, hoping to induce the other harbingers of happiness to follow in my size 18 footsteps. Instead, they casually informed me each day that “Smacky had drawn for me” and that I “drew the short straw.” Again. And again. Dippy fucks. None of this is going to end well. Not at all. Wanda hits the net with an audible whoosh after missin the hand grab by a good bus length. She den proceeds to empty the contents of her stomach onto the cement below. The medics rush Wanda off, and the tiny Asian girls begin to twirl their teensy ribbony batons whilst engaging in maneuvers of the gymnastic variety. Assumin there’s been no order shifts, the clowns is up next. My palms are drippin buckets. In order to set up the perpetration of my hopefully heinous crime, I spent the past two days’ pre-show immobile, in costume, right next to the car. Didn’t let nary a freakin word escape my oil-painted lips. Sure enough, both days, Smacky drew my short straw and the group proceeded to happily inform me of said outcome. My fake smile did all the work in terms of my supposed acquiescence. Then Jo-Jo picked up my limp form and tossed me into the car, where I lay flaccid against the smell of BRUT, pickle relish, WD-40, and vomit. It was only when the car door opened that I jumped out and danced around like a dingleberry, entertainin our chubby demographic. So no one noticed. My fake face and fake body left me entirely hidden from these tweeners. This gave me the confidence to go ahead and exact my plan, which I had been meticulously planning for four solid weeks. Two of the Tiny Asian Girls™ flip-flop into each other and begin to shout foreign obscenities while pulling at each other’s short black hair.

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Volume 7 My stomach’s doin its own type a flip-flops, and I’m havin difficulty concentrating on the Big Top show. Hurry up. The first thing I needed was a life-size replica of yours truly. Luckily, havin a more than serious eatin disorder, and bein slightly below the roller coaster suggested five foot three (a strong suggestion for those of youse considering entering into the clowning profession—it aids you greatly if you are not of the “tall” persuasion), I found it easy to find a blow-up sex doll with roughly my dimensions. Her “real human hair”, “life-like juicy vaginal opening,” and “actual silicone breast implants” persuaded me to try the goods, as they say, with my future body double, but I left disappointed after the real human hair proceeded to fall out in large clumps. As to the pulchritudiness of that holiest of holes however, I will say that it was a sight better than a heated cantaloupe. More collisions, and it’s turnin into a real battlefield of tiny Asian girls out there. It’s gonna get a lot worse. My main concern was the weight, cause even dim-dopey Jo-Jo could more likely than not tell the difference between ninety-three pounds, eight ounces and three pounds, two ounces (two pounds a that, incidentally, comin from dose beautiful mountains of silicone). So I needed to find a way to weight my beautiful body double down— like ninety pounds worth. Not having any tools of the handy-dandy persuasion lyin about, I proceeded to my usual thinkin place to engage in some serious-type thought and I drop some big juicy ones. Unlike the normalcy of my string bean stools. And as they plooped themselves down into the blue-tinged waters, I got my idea. Ouch. Black hair is covering the ring now, and seventeen of the tiny Asian girls are goin at it. One little girl in the corner is still doin her somersaults and flingin her batons. Real trooper—that’s the Big Top Spirit™.

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Sentell So for twenty-nine days in a row, I saved all my fecal-type expeditions and funneled them gently into my aforementioned lover with the clumps of real human hair missing from her plastic head. Even the not-so-solid bowels I figured had weight, so in they went. Youse may infer correctly that my sleeping quarters began to obtain that Not-So-Fresh Feeling, but it was my assumption, which I hope to be correct, that my clown peers would not notice the noxious inhalations amidst the cacaphony of their own olfactory exudings. Harry the Dick Head is clearin out the tiny Asian girls now. He took a mean kick to the nards by one of em. Flexible little girl, with teeth like white razors. It’s almost time. The last ingredient was the necessary poisonous-type gas with which to fill my plastic bag costume. This in all serious actuality is less difficult than youse might think. A simple word search under “yahoo.com” will elicit a number of feasible options of obtainable noxious gases. Your local grocery dealers will have the appropriate tools to make your own round of hydrogen cyanide if you so choose, but I will allow youse the personal pleasure of that research. So the clothing was filled up, my shit-weighted lover hiding inside, and all that remained was to bust the hinges of the only two potential exits from the conceived gas chamber. This was more to prevent any sort of quick egress than it was to prevent entry, and I proceeded to bust them up good (being more than reasonably handy wit your standard hammertype appliances). The arena is basically cleared now, except for that one dopey Asian girl still somersaulting on her own, apparently unaware that she’s missed the large-scale revolt of her tiny Asian peers. Maybe she’s blind or deaf or somethin. In any case, the Big Top’s equivalent of Ms. Annie Sullivan rockets onto the scene and leads the girl off. Bring on the clowns.

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Volume 7 Here’s approximately what I expect to happen at this juncture. Rocco, Beattie and Shmooze will climb in the open door. Jo-Jo will toss everyone into the automotive death trap, including my stand in—right in the middle, as I do not doubt that I have unluckily drawn the short straw yet again. He’ll slam the door, run around to the driver’s side, and slam his own door, trapping all dose dozers inside the hopefully death-inducing metal walls. The compression of the bulimic bodies should be enough to force all the hydrogen cyanide that I have carefully inserted into my plastic clothing out into the confines of the car, where it will be studiously ingested by all members of my graduating clown class, sans me. The car will roll to a stop in the middle of the ring, and dum de dummmmmmmmm…No clowns will jump out!— that is, seein as their respective life-forces will have been drained from them. No meaty hand claps, no laughing, no one goes away a winner. So as the brassy fanfare begins, youse can understand my intense concentration on this particular scene. I hunch forward, looking intent-like at the far curtain. If my tweedled clown peers have determined that anything is amiss, then the car will not make its usual funny-type entrance onto the playing field. But ahoy! There’s the front bumper, and the car begins to creep onto the sawdust covered arena. At this point, if the plan is indeed progressing on track, each member of the car should be squooshing against four weeks of my shit while inhaling gratuitous amounts of hydrogen cyanide. The car keeps creepin along. Slowly… And then it shoots forward! Believe me when I convey this information to youse faithful readers, but I’ll be goosed with a fuck-stick if I don’t see that miniature-type car rocket across the ring! My nervousness takes over now, and I’m standin on my feet, oblivious to the phlegmy barks of laughter coming from my corpulent surroundings. The automotive death trap tips crazily, but doesn’t veer from its basic directional path. The crowd begins its general snarfs of laughter, unaware that anything has gone wrong. The car weaves and speeds up, and

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Sentell weaves—and CRASHES into the backstage area where they keep the lioncontainment devices. These kings of the jungle, now freed from their bars and intimidated by the rumbling and smoking shit-filled combustion device, ROAR, and leap toward the crowd, stopping only to gnaw on the ankles of Martha, our elderly matriarch of the elephant clan here at the Big Top. She responds with a beautiful, trumpeting howl of pain, which brings the crowd to their fat feet, and the Asian girls back to the ring, squinting to see what all the clamor is about. Two of them slip in Wanda’s puddled vomit, and a third gets taken down by a drugged lion. Martha screams that creepy elephant scream again, and topples over, crushing two more tiny Asians. The crowds, in veritable hysterics, clap their meat-buttons together in joy at the crippled elephant and the wrecked clown car and bleeding Asian girls and the vomit and the blood. Dick Head Harry runs across the ring and tugs on the doors of the tattered heap of shit-filled metal. They don’t open. Dimitri ambles over, lit cigarette still in hand, approaching the combustible gas-laden car. It smokes and sputters, and a smile creeps up my leg, and across my chest, working its way to my mouth where it proceeds to sit upon my real face. Some things, as they say, go better than expected. Harry screams and the Asian girls chatter like locusts and Wanda pokes her puke-stained mouth out from behind the curtain. A wave ripples through the crowd as one of the fatties catches on to the reality of the aforementioned situation and starts a-hollerin. I work my way out, weaving through the redwood legs of my fat friends before that smoking car decides to erupt its contents onto the circus floor. I hear growling. I hear screaming. I hear crunching and clattering and snarling. I hear laughter. I carefully wipe the large grin from my own mug to conceal my clowntype identity, and stroll out of the striped tent before the realization dawns on the crowd that some things clowns do just aren’t funny. Not funny at all.

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Bring on da Clowns by Travis Sentell