Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
I like to dress up like a clown and drive around in a van and scare the fuck out of people.
Anyway, the first time I did it was a real pain in the ass. I approached the business way too specifically: I got the whole outfit with the big shoes and an Elizabethan collar. I only realized that I couldn’t operate the brake pedal while wearing the big shoes after I drove up on some guy’s lawn. He came out of his house – an old guy – screaming and hollering and spoiling for a fight. It was a real hassle for me to get out of the van in my get-up, so I rolled down the window and we had a beef. Right there – through the open window on the driver’s side – throwing punches at each other.
He gave a detailed description of me to the police, but the cops had no chance of finding me as long as I wasn’t walking around wearing the tri-color frightwig and a big red nose. I think the guy was drunk, too. Fuck him.
That mess died down by the end of the summer, so I decided to try it again.
Instead of sporting the whole Bonzo The BooBoo outfit or whatever the fuck it was, I elected to wear jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt. I redesigned my clown make-up; that way, if the cops found me, I wouldn’t match the description of the harlequin who mutilated that old fuck’s lawn. They’d have no choice but to let me go.
That trip went great. I borrowed my brother’s van. He was on the low end of a manic depressive episode and could barely get out of bed. I loaded up his CD player with lots of Creedence Clearwater Revival and ABBA. Real lively stuff, so he wouldn’t try to hang himself while I was out.
The stereo system in the van was better than the one in the house – my brother worked at Circuit City for years. I rolled down the windows and played Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs records. This hum and strum protest stuff. LOUD. Then I tore ass through town, honking the horn and screaming at people on the sidewalk. In my clown makeup.
It was fantastic.
I bugged my eyes out and pulled up to cars at traffic lights. They thought I was on my way to a birthday party, but somehow I didn’t have any balloons in the car. I started yelling at them and pounding the horn with my fist. They had absolutely no fucking idea what to do. I laughed so hard I cried, which messed up the clown makeup even worse.
The next day, the cops showed at my brother’s house and told him to knock it off. I guess somebody got a look at the van’s plates. My brother, needless to say, didn’t know what the police were talking about – clown in a van barrel-assing through the parking lot at the high school – and he got all freaked out. We had to call his social worker at home. She came over and, against all odds, actually made the situation worse. To this day, my brother probably half-thinks that he dressed up as Bozo and terrorized the town in some kind of fugue state.
They took away his license after that.