image The Clown, or Beware of Women Bearing Axes
Gary R. Hoffman

When I was just sixteen years old, my mother warned me not to run away to join the circus. But I knew more than she did at the time, so I left. It was a good run for a few years, though. Then the stupid guy, Dudley Boubus, who owned the circus ran away. Only difference between me and Dudley was he ran away with the bearded lady, who wore a fake beard, and the payroll for the week. I only got out of the house with .93 cents and two strawberry lollipops.

So here I am now, still walking on my stilts, but not in the circus, although this gig is close. Now I only get hired for things like bratty kid’s birthday parties. At a party last week, one of the little “darlin’s” set my right stilt on fire. I finally got it put out by walking through their swimming pool. But part of the one stilt had burned. I was now walking on stilts where one was six inches shorter than the other one. Few things are uglier than a tilted stilter.

I also do get hired for special events, like this demonstration. All they want me for now is to attract attention. No one cares how skillful a stilter I am. And I’m sure I do attract attention in this orange outfit. I had to get a new one since the right leg on my old one was charred pretty well. I bought the new pants from a really tall escapee from the county work farm. The “girlie” looking pastel umbrella was one of the few things left in the bearded lady’s tent, besides two of her fake beards. I took the umbrella for my week’s pay. Got a raise on that deal!

I also took the two beards. I sold them to an undercover cop. I see him up ahead of me right now.

I got my bow tie by buying a size 44 -AAAA black bra and cutting off the straps. Used those to make the straps for the bag I carry.

And then, with all this get-up on, this guy next to me has the nerve to carry a sign saying “Make Love, Not War!” With this outfit on, don’t you know I’m a “chick magnet.” I’ll just bet every woman out here today wants to jump in the sack with me.

Unless, of course, the chick is a lumber-jackette. Then she probably wants to just cut me down to size.

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