A Journal of my adventures in the world I inhabit while I'm asleep.
I'm a clown. It's a lousy job, but it's the only thing I can find right now, and the pay's not too bad. I charge $50 to show up for an hour a kid's parties. The younger kids are mostly afraid of me. The older ones like to harass me, point out to their friends how I do the stupid hat tricks and the disappearing handkerchief thing. The parents always look at me like they feel sorry for me because I don't have a real job. Like I said, it sucks. But I make $50 and hour, and when they pay in cash I don't bother declaring it for income tax.
I'm on my way to a job downtown. It's an unusual one, some hotshot businesswoman wants me to play a joke on her husband: show up at his office and sing happy birthday to him in front of his coworkers, then I can leave. She's agreed to pay the fifty, and it will probably only take me ten minutes at most. It should be easy money, but I got a bad feeling about this.
I'm driving to the job in my dented vintage 70's VW bug. It's bright yellow with flower stickers on it, and has "Beepo the Clown" painted on the doors, along with my phone number. It's kinda humiliating driving around in a car painted up like that, but it gets me jobs. Its raining out and I'm running late. The windows on my car are fogged up, I have to keep wiping them with a kleenex so I can see where I'm going. I'm not paying attention when the light changes, and the guy behind me beeps the horn on his SUV to get me moving. "Fuck you, asshole." I mutter under my breath as I step on the gas. I'm in such a shitty mood today, I better get it together and put on my happy face, don't want to disappoint my customers.
I park in front of the hi-rise office building in a 30 minute zone. This should be a piece of cake. I put on my rubber nose and grab my trademark little bicycle horn (Beep-O, get it?), and walk up to the front of the building. The doorman looks at me with disdain. "I've been hired by Lydia Thompson, for her husband's birthday." He turns his nose up and doesn't say anything, just opens the door. I beep my little horn at him as I walk past and say "Have a nice day!" just to irritate him.
The secretary calls Lydia for me, and she steps out of her office. She looks kinda like a mean Sigourney Weaver, like the woman she played in "Working Girl".
"My husband Jim is in a board meeting in the penthouse suite. Here's the elevator key. Just burst in on them, and tell them all Lydia sent you to wish little Jimmie a happy birthday, then sing happy birthday to him," she says.
"I don't think he'll like this, Mrs. Thompson. Your husband told me he didn't want any calls or disturbances this afternoon. You know he never allows anyone into the board meetings uninvited," The secretary says.
"Nonsense, Angie! Some of the board members are in on this; they'll get a big laugh. And Jim is a good sport; he can take a joke. I want you to go up with mister Beepo here, I insist! You'll have fun, and I can't send him up unescorted." Lydia has an evil look on her face as she says this, like she's playing a mean joke.
"OK Mrs. Thompson, if you say so." Angie replies nervously.
I ride up the elevator with the secretary, it takes a while to get to the top floor. We arrive at the penthouse and Angie turns the key in the lock to open the door. I burst in to surprise them, beeping my horn: " Hi! I'm Beepo the clown! Lydia sent me to wish little Jimmie a happy bbb…"
I freeze in mid-sentence as the scene in front of me registers. The stereo is playing loud music and most of the men in the room are naked. Some are engaged in gay sex. It seems Mr. Thompson's "board meetings" are not strictly business. Angie screams out "Oh my God!" in shock, and runs back into the elevator. I follow. "She must have known about this! And she sent me with you! She must know I slept with Jimmie!" Angie says.
I try to console her on the ride down, but she's sobbing uncontrollably. The door opens on the bottom floor. Angie pushes past Lydia and runs for the exit, crying all the way. She's obviously not going to work here any longer. "Leaving so soon?" Lydia says in jest, but Angie's already gone. "Here's a little extra for you, for doing such a good job," Lydia says, handing me a small roll of twenties. "Thanks," I mutter, and walk out the door into the rain.
I look around for Angie, maybe I can ask her out for a drink or something, but she's long gone. I count the money on the way to my car. A hundred bucks. That's a hell of a tip, but this is one party I wish I was never called for. Like I said, being a clown sucks.