My Parents Are Clowns: Always Check The Back SeatPosted: April 11, 2012
The second in a series of posts about growing up with clown parents. The series starts here.
So my normal adolescence was shaken to its foundation by finding out that the people who I admired (and still admire) most were going to make a change in their lives. They were going to become clowns.
Decades later, I understand as much about my parents’ conversion to clowning as I did the first night I watched them head off to clown school. When they came home that night, discussing the types of clowns and considering their clown names, I understood that they were not joking. They were not joking, and I had a problem.
Like A Band-Aid
It seemed the best approach was to just go to my friends and tell them directly. I’d just do it quickly, like pulling off a band-aid. Over the course of the next week or so, I let people know. I told the tale of the strangeness in my house in the school cafeteria, at track practice and at my job at Ziggy’s Pizza.
The reaction surprised me. People didn’t run away. They listened with empathy. They said “I’m so sorry”, but I knew from the looks on their faces that what that meant was “I’ve never been more glad to not be you than I am at this moment”.
Over the course of several weeks, my parents went off to clown school twice a week. They put a lot of work into it. They took their studies very seriously, if such a thing can happen given the topic. And when the school ended, they invited my brother and me to graduation.
Pomp And Uhhhhh…..Ummmmmm….Oh, I Don’t Know
Yes, clowns graduate. Clown graduations are kind of nice. The speeches are much shorter. And I was there for my parents big strange day, with my brother and my friends. These new clowns looked after me and attended school events for years. I wasn’t going to miss the chance to do the same for them.
At one point, the instructor clown called my folks’ names. They got up and did a little skit. I wish I remembered what the skit was about, but all I can say is that it was very clowney. They worked hard and looked happy. That fact made it a fun thing to see.
It was fun, but strange. We all have our reactions to clowns. Some like them, some don’t. I can tell you that whatever your reactions to clowns are, seeing clowns that use the same voice and speech patterns as the people who say things like “did you mail your college application?” is a little confusing.
Fun, but strange and confusing only scratches the surface of the sensations of growing up with clown parents.
Advice For Young Men Who Might Be Similarly Situated
I kept moving through the last years of high school and the first of college. At the same time, my parents continued growing as clowns.
They put a lot of effort into what they were doing. When my dad was off on the weekend, they were always at hospital or some charity function. I’d wake up late on a Saturday morning and find them dressing. Off they’d go in the car, big clown hair poofy and pressing the ceiling.
Yes, they drove where they were going as clowns. They didn’t have a tiny car, it was an Oldsmobile. For the safety conscious among us, let me assure you that clowns in my family did not drive with their big shoes on. My parents kept theirs in the back seat.
Some day, a young man will find himself in a similar position to the one my brother and I were in. He will search the net and find this series. If you are that young man, I’ve one piece of advice for you:
When you borrow your parents car for dates, always, always check the back seat of the car for clown shoes.
- My Parents Are Clowns – The Beginning. (blurtblog.net)