Archive for June, 2010

Send in the Clowns


I love articles like this one which came from our local Cedar Rapids newspaper a few years ago.  A friend of mine keeps this article in her drawer to bring out and look at whenever she needs a great laugh; she recently brought it to my attention.  I, of course, felt the need to share it with you.  It is a cautionary tale about for whom you should open your door.

First of all, the title of the article makes the reader nearly afraid for their very life since wayward clowns potentially are roaming in killer packs around the city of Marion, Iowa.

Imagine the fear of going to your door and opening it up only to see three mean looking clowns in black and white face paint.  Of course he closed the door, but one of the menacing clowns, “kicked it in”.  Did the clown kick the door in with his size 16, red clown shoes?  The article doesn’t mention it, but one would think that that should be the case.

I don’t know about you, but I had a Bozo the Clown punching bag when I was a kid.  People are supposed to hit clowns, clowns do not hit people unless they have one of those extremely huge balloon mallets; they can also whallop other clowns in the noggin.  That is just what normal clowns do!

Clowns should be nice; they should pile twelve deep into a crazy clown car, speed off zig zagging down the street, and then flop out of the car one after another.  They should make funny little balloon animals for small children; they definitely should not beat people up.

I’m reading into this article, but can you imagine the man sitting in his living room, perhaps tossing back several adult beverages while watching Dog the Bounty Hunter when there is a knock on the door.  He goes to the door and peeks out the window to see who may have dropped by.  Oh hello!  It’s pack of killer clowns!! And here let me digress a little.  We say a Pride of Lions, a Pack of Wolves, and a Pod of Whales.  What grouping do clowns travel in?  I’ve decided that like crows clowns must travel in a Murder.  Nothing else makes sense in this article unless you say, “a Murder of Clowns”.

Anyway, why did the man open the door to begin with?  I mean, if several clowns come to your door, and they are not dressed in anything but clown make-up, including one clown with a black tear rolling down white face paint, a pair a jeans and a wife beater t-shirt that says, “People like you are the reason people like me KILL PEOPLE”, why in the heck would you ever open the door for them?

What’s more, these weren’t clowns dressed in red, yellow and blue face paint with a large, red rubber nose waiting to be honked; they are described as only having white face paint with black rings around their eyes and mouths.  For God’s sake, these weren’t clowns!  They were Mimes!  Was anything said by the “clowns”?  The article didn’t say, so this is another way to be sure that they were Mimes instead of clowns.  Mimes would make frowny or angry faces but they would say nothing; a clown might say, in a squeaky, chirpy voice,  “Okay, boys and girls, and now we are going to show Mr. Smith why he is dead meat!”

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention to you that the article quotes the man as saying he recognized one of them because they had, “a common gal in their past.”  Is that really what they mean?  I’d like to clarify that a little bit. When I was in school and learning about English we were told to be precise in what one writes.  Did they mean, ‘a gal whom they both knew’, or did they really mean, “a common gal”, which perhaps means a woman of questionable morals who lives in a single-wide down by the river?  This woman would be someone rough and vulgar whom both men ‘knew’  – in the Biblical sense.  I’m just curious. The wording in the article should have been a little more clear because a discerning reader like me would be very curious on that point.

The article finishes by saying that, “he suffered minor injuries but refused treatment.”  Well, of course he did!  Who wants to admit that they got their ass kicked by a Murder of Roving Mimes?  Who wants to acknowledge that a common gal may have been the reason that you are unsafe in your own living room or that the Mime Squad has put a hit out on you?

I’ve never seen an update on this story.  All I can say is that you can bet I look out my door before I open it.  Marion, Iowa is a rough place.

A Newer Model


I love my husband, Mike, I really do.  I love him so completely yet I can’t think of anyone who makes me as crazy as he does.  Maybe it comes from being in close proximity to him all the time, or maybe it’s because I get to wash his dirty laundry every week, I don’t know.  You really get to know someone when you are in charge of his underwear.

My dear Mike has this ability to make an appliance/piece of technology die before it’s actually dead.  What I mean to say is that if the lawn mower, for example, isn’t cutting as well as it once did, he will start by telling me, “You know the mower?  It’s not working as well as it once did.”  The next thing he will say is, “There seems to be an unusual noise coming from the mower.  We may want to think about what our options should be if we need to get a new one.”  This will lead into, “I don’t think the grass is being cut as it should.  The grass is really being shredded instead of being cut and I smell some sort of oily smell coming from the engine.  We really need to think about what we should do.”

The next thing that happens is that I find out that he has been reading Consumer Reports magazine about the newest in lawn mowers; this will convince him that his current mower is substandard.  Before I know it, he will tell me that the mower is on its last legs and we need to replace it immediately because what is going to happen is that it will die, the grass will be fraying and un-cut for a couple of weeks, someone will turn us into the city and there will be a fine to pay, and we will be ostracized by our neighbors.  Eeee gads!  Therefore, we NEED a new mower.  Now!!!

Recently, we had this same issue about our mailbox.  The mailbox was a standard size box that you can buy at any home repair store; there were spots of rust where it had seen better days.  The post that it was mounted on was painted white and it was starting to peel.  Additionally, because we live on a street that is well traveled, yet near an escape route for hooligan teens, several of our neighbor’s mailboxes have been bashed in.  Ours had escaped that fate.  Mike was worried that ours was next in line to be wacked.  Why we would buy a new mailbox for their target practice, I don’t know.  I just ask the questions around here.

Mike loves to surf the Internet and recently he came across mailboxes.   God help us. There are jillions of styles of mailboxes and frankly, he was intrigued.  He plotted for hours about the best new mailbox for us and the verbage of how they sold these mailboxes hooked Mike.  For example, “Our award winning designs can be found gracing some of the country’s finer residences…constructed from the highest quality materials…beautifully crafted with attention to detail…”   Who wouldn’t want that?  Heck, you could put up a finely crafted mailbox near a shack by the river and it would make the whole joint look classier.

Anyway, after Mike chose the one that he liked best, he started off the process with me by denigrating our current mailbox.  The vilification went something like this:  “Our mail is damp because the box leaks.”  Or, “The mail is slightly rusty.” Or this one was my favorite: “The paint on the mailbox pole is peeling and the post is listing in such a way that the mail is danger of being dumped into the road.”  Oh my sweet Lord, tell me it isn’t so!   It seemed as if the United States Postal Service was about ready to slam a raid our property.  Stand back, it could be dangerous!

Anyway, you can guess that he sweet-talked me into a new mailbox.  There are certain things that you should fight about in a marriage; a husband who only wants the house to look spiffier should not be crossed.

One day I went outside to get the mail and very nearly killed myself as I tripped over two enormous boxes outside my door.  I didn’t see the delivery, but I am certain that it took two mailmen to haul it out of the truck; our normal mailman is pretty wimpy and I’m sure that he wouldn’t want to herniate himself.

There was one long box that I assumed was for the pole; it was approximately 8 ft long.   How the heck tall was the post going to be, would I need a ladder to score my mail?  The second box was so huge that I could not lift it by myself.  What could it be?   Was it the, ‘heavy-duty galvanized steel body, in addition to a solid die cast brass frame that would ensure long-lasting beauty?? Because this all was Mike’s baby I let him unwrap his packages when he returned home that night.

The mailbox was so enormous that one of our daughters began to moan and wail that we couldn’t have that mailbox in front of our house; her friends might see it and she would just die if they saw how big it was.  It is, in fact, quite large.  How large, you ask?  Well, I can’t say exactly but when I stuck my entire head in it and I could easily go in to the depth of my shoulder blades, I was not worried that the church newspaper or my People magazine would have trouble fitting inside.  My neighbor’s dog might actually be able to use it as a doghouse.  But it is just beautiful and sets the standard that we are one of the street’s finer residences.  I wonder if the neighbors have any idea how much we have ameliorated the neighborhood?

Anyway, if it’s good enough for Mike, then it’s good enough for me.  I’m just worried about what he thinks he needs to replace next.  After 23 years of marriage, something is fixin’ to break down soon and it might be me.  I’m a little worn around the edges, I make unusual noises, and my engine doesn’t seem to go quite as fast as it once did.  I hope he doesn’t start looking on the Internet for a newer model.