My Parents Are Clowns: Do Your Friends Have Names?

The last part of a series that started here.

A bowl of pork and beans. Photo taken in the p...

A bowl of pork and beans. You'll understand why later. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So my clown parents moved out of state. I lived on in the house I grew up in until they sold it. I stayed in college, they stayed clowns.

In fact, when they got to their new city, they joined a local organization of clowns.

Yes, Clowns Organize

There are clown organizations. They have meetings, by-laws, officers and elections. My parents’ group even had a coup and deposed its leaders. I called it the coo coo coup.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Parents Are Clowns: The Atomic Bomb Of Clowning

Part of a series that starts here.

I never did get them to tell me just what they were doing with all that PVC pipe until it was too late.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ultimate clown weapon of mass destruction stood on a metal base. It was about three feet of pipe. Three more feet of pipe slid snugly over that pipe but moved freely up and down it. That top pipe had handles and a cap on the end, with a valve protruding from the top of the cap.

Late one night, I came home and found this thing standing in the living room.  I had no idea what it was, and it wasn’t saying. The only two people who could explain it were asleep. I went to bed and waited for sleep, pretty sure that I was not a fan of whatever that pipe thing was.

In the morning, we played the “what do you think it is?” game. The only thing I was certain of was that it would not explode. My dad was still a Federal Agent; building a bomb was not the sort of thing he would do. Read the rest of this entry »

My Parents Are Clowns: Research And Development Begins

Part three of a series that started here

My parents didn’t become clowns and rest on their laurels.

PVC Pressure Pipe Русский: Напорная ПВХ труба

Clowns and PVC pipe. Nothing good can come from this. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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. Read the rest of this entry »

My Parents Are Clowns: Always Check The Back Seat

Always check the back seat. (image via

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.

Read the rest of this entry »