My Parents Are Clowns: Research And Development BeginsPosted: April 13, 2012
Part three of a series that started here
My parents didn’t become clowns and rest on their laurels.
They were active and spent a lot of hours doing charity visits. Time went by and they kept gluing on their noses, hopping in the (normal sized) car and driving off to clown gigs. There was no sign of them slowing down on the clown thing.
In fact, there were signs that the clown thing was picking up speed.
The House Becomes ClownLab
A lot of experimental clown work went on in the house.
When I came in to the house, I might find everything normal. Or I might walk in and find them at the kitchen table, experimenting with changes to their clown faces. I eventually got used to that happening.
I didn’t really get used to walking in, seeing what was going on and saying things like “Mom, Dad, this is Carolyn. Carolyn, meet my parents Baloney and Salami.” But like a lot of things, it was a bigger problem for me than it was for Baloney, Salami or anyone who filled the Carolyn role.
Prop research and development was constant. My dad experimented with a cowboy clown character and he built a horse to go along with it. Yes, a horse, that he could wear and look like he was riding it down the street.
People who came to our house were liable to be greeted with “for my next trick I’ll need a volunteer”. Ropes were cut and restored. They pulled thirty foot paper streamers from people’s noses. Occasionally, someone’s underwear would be yanked right out from under their clothes.
A friend stopped by the house to see me one evening while I was at work. He hung out with my folks for a while, then headed over to meet me at work. He laughed and told me all about witnessing the début of the latest prop – a giant mallet they’d constructed for my mother to bonk my dad’s head with.
Having parents who wore red and orange wigs was odd. But deep down, I came to think it was pretty cool.
Things Were Not As Bad As I Anticipated
A visit to our house was a treat. So was living there. My parents always welcomed my buddies, who loved them in return. There is a certain appeal to going into a place where a big mallet bonking could happen at any time. Despite and because of the odd things that went on, it was a wonderful place to come of age.
But then came the day that I came home and found a pile of plastic pipe. They were up to something. I just didn’t have any idea what that something could be. I thought about it, but I got nowhere. I could not figure out where clowns and PVC pipe intersected.
I soon learned their terrible secret. My parents were building the ultimate clown device. They had the materials and the plans to build the atomic bomb of clowning, and I was not in a position to institute economic sanctions to stop them.