For some reason, I have been thinking about clowns. I was sitting with a secretarial group this week, when one asked a question of all of us: Tell us something about yourself we never knew.
In the answers, one of us is a stock car racer on weekends. One was a police decoy for busting drug dealers. And one is a professional clown but she only performs for her grandchildren. (Keep in mind, these are very professional legal secretaries and paralegals.)
I've always wanted to be a clown. Inside I'm a clown. Outside I am a shy, quiet, legal secretary that dresses conservative and doesn't wear makeup (uh, maybe I should). Inside I'm also a race car driver with a bent towards demolition derbies.
When my boys were little, their aunt made them clown costumes, one-size-fits-all, which meant they were clowns from the time they were 3 and 4 until they were 13 and 14 and finally mutinied on the clown issue.
When I was 40, a coworker, Salina, thought it would be wonderful if a group of us came as clowns for Halloween at our office. (At that time, it was a manufacturing firm which made high speed printers.) She garnered two other "clowns" besides herself (yours truly and our marketing director) and supplied the costumes, the hair, and the nose. I traveled across town giggling the whole way to work, thinking how silly I looked and boy, I'd better not get in an accident. I made sure my underwear was brand-new looking just in case. (It would be the only semblance of dignity on my entire body.) I had visions of Mary Tyler Moore laughing helplessly and eternally as if I were Chuckles the Clown, crushed by an elephant because I was dressed as Peter Peanut. O dear.
I made it to work in one piece.
Then I heard all kinds of racket from the parking lot, banging on cars, snaky sounds, and spasms of giggles – and here comes the second clown, our dignified marketing director, ON ROLLER-SKATES. She hadn't skated since she was ten – so she was kind of like Bambi trying to move on ice. She spent the whole day on her skates – forever giggling.
And finally Salina arrived. She was sorry she was late because as she was getting in her car a county sheriff went slowly by and then backed up and rolled down his window. He looked at her very carefully and said in a very straight monotone voice, "We've been looking for a clown like you." And then threw his head back and barrel laughed all the way down the road – she could still hear him after two blocks.
We made it through the day, faithfully wearing our noses, and surviving all the stares and laughter at our expense, finally arriving at our homes in time to pass out candy to all the little clowns out there. (Oh, yeah, they were really awestruck!)
Since I've got the clown thing under my belt, I'm looking for a car. There's a demolition derby calling my name.