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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1993454-Directing-Debacle
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Adult · #1993454
Continued from "Eccentric Employment," the trio has trouble following directions
It was a day before their debut performance, and Penny was sore. The trio had spent the last several days trying and failing new introductory skits; the repeated bungling had taken it's toll on poor Penny. It wasn't fair, she seemed to take the brunt of the slapstick abuse even though George screwed up just as often as she. Hopefully this rehearsal goes well, otherwise their opening show was going to be a disaster! Fortunately, the skit was a simple one. Not even she and George should be able to screw it up!

The premise of the skit was pretty basic: at the end of the show, Tara would approach Frosty and introduce herself and the new troupe as Frosty's replacements. To celebrate his retirement, the trio had baked him a goodbye gift in the form of a towering theatrical clown cake that was destined to find his face through the combined clumsiness of Penny and George. He would then chase the terrified and bumbling trio around the ring and out the back, where he would turn to face the crowd and give them a bow for the last time, hanging up his over-sized shoes for good. Penny had a good feeling about this skit. It was her favourite so far by a long shot; it left her totally clean and kept her dignity intact!

As Penny approached the employee entrance to the circus, she noticed a couple of familiar looking clowns hanging around anxiously. 'Trixi' and 'George' had already been completely clownified. Trixi had applied a thick coat of white completely covering all of her exposed skin, with pencil-thin black eyebrows and a generous dabbing of rouge high on her cheekbones. Her bottom lip was painted a bright pink that perfectly matched her tiny glued-on clown nose, which just covered the very tip of her own nose. To top it off, her hair had been tucked into a bright pink wig that stood almost straight up and waved about ridiculously as she turned her head. George was looking somewhat less elegant. He had white painted circles around his eyes and a thin white outline framing his slightly-exaggerated red clown smile, centered by a gigantic bulbous clown nose. A floppy bakers hat kept sliding down his face, covering his eyes and only being stopped by his ridiculous nose. Both clowns were dressed in baggy bakers outfits instead of their usual clown regalia.

"You're late!" cried Trixi.

"Am not!" replied Penny, double-checking her phone. "See? Two minutes early!"

"But Frosty finished his other rehearsals early, so we've been waiting for you!" explained Trixi, grabbing Penny's arm and dragging her over to the makeup chair. Penny had always applied her own makeup (usually trying her best to copy Trixi's designs!), but Trixi assured her that she could do it much faster. She turned into a whirlwind of paint and powder, quickly transforming Penny into a more fitting fool. She finished her assembly by deftly slapping a round clown nose on her face and stuffing her new bakers hat onto her head, temporarily blinding her.

"All done! Just let me help you into your uniform. Be careful moving around in it, I don't think it'll fit very well... " said Trixi, who continued her rapid transformation of Penny into Pixi. As Trixi was helping her into an extremely baggy pair of pants, Pixi caught a glimpse of her makeup in the mirror. She was practically unrecognizable! Her previous designs had been demure whiteface looks with minimized features, her current face looked totally ridiculous in comparison. Her thick, black eyebrows were drawn high on her forehead and extremely arched, giving her a perpetually exaggerated look of surprise, with an accompanying layer of white makeup covering the space above and below her eyes. A huge red smile was widely painted from cheek to cheek framed by another thick layer of white. She was one happy looking baker!

When she was finished admiring Trixi's handiwork, she looked down at her clearly-too-big uniform. You could fit three of her in these clothes! The pants barely hung to her frame with the aid of suspenders; she'd have to be quite careful! It made sense that her outfit would be the most haphazard, seeing that she was the last to arrive. Most of the clown outfits in the wardrobe were made for men, so she was getting used to wearing ill-fitting attire. This costume in particular just happened to be the worst fitting of the bunch.

Just as Pixi was wondering how she was going to manage not tripping all over the long and loose trouser bottoms, Trixi presented her with the biggest pair of shoes she'd ever laid eyes on. "These bad boys will keep you from walking on your pants! Pretty stylish, hmm?" grinned Trixi. A resigned Pixi grabbed them and put them on. The shoes were heavy and ungainly, she'd have to pay extra attention to her footing.

*******

Over in the ring, Frosty had introduced himself to Pixi (having already met Trixi and George previously), and was busy talking about his past years performing in the circus to a very animated and excited Trixi. This left Pixi and George to assemble the prop cake. The 'cake' to be used in the official performance was going to be quite ornate and a good deal thicker than the foamy slosh they were making this one out of; aesthetics were less important than making sure they accomplished a good splat, at least for practice purposes!

The two bakery buffoons were in the process of mixing their shaving soap with water to get their slosh to the consistency necessary for a pie-gag when Pixi's eye was caught by another performer who had just finished her routine and was stretching off to the side. She was a trapeze artist, and Pixi was feeling slightly jealous of her grace and poise, not to mention the way that her backside filled out the stretchy yoga pants that she was wearing. George noticed Pixi's momentary distraction and followed her gaze to the sightly display. Temporarily hypnotized by the tantalizing bum, George accidentally slopped a large dollop of cream over the side of his bucket directly on the end of Pixi's overlarge shoe. Neither clown noticed, and they soon went back to filling the cake base with the gooey slosh.

Trixi indicated to her lackeys that it was time to try their little skit, and started into her spiel about Frosty. Pixi and George started walking their mess of a 'cake' over towards the other two clowns, but they encountered some difficulties. The height difference between the two of them forced Pixi to carry the cake higher than she felt comfortable, which in turn blocked her vision of her shoes. Since she was so worried about tripping over the ends of her shoes, she decided to compensate by walking in a duck-footed fashion (much to the amusement of Trixi!). Unfortunately, this resulted in George's foot stepping directly on her cream-slickened toe, which caused George's foot to rocket out behind him, slamming his face straight into the creamy mixture. Pixi let out a giggle at George's misfortune, but that was quickly muffled when George attempted to stand up, putting more weight on his cream-coated shoe and having it shoot out in front of him. The rapid redistribution of weight caused him to throw his arms up, smashing the sloppy mess into both his and Pixi's face and knocking them to the floor.

"I'm preeeeeeetty sure that's not how we planned it." said Frosty, scratching his chin.

"No, it wasn't! I think it might have been a little optimistic to think the cake would make it all the way across the ring. Those two are incredibly clumsy!" explained Trixi.

Before Frosty could reply, they were treated to another display of buffoonery. Pixi had managed to climb back to her feet despite the slippery floor, but her rather precariously worn costume had been too jostled by the earlier cake impact. This caused her baggy pants to fall to her feet as she took a step, tripping her and sending her sprawling face first back to the floor. Seeing Pixi's prone and pathetic pose, Frosty was struck with inspiration. He discretely told a delighted Trixi of his change in plans for his farewell skit and said farewell to his fellow clowns.

"...But we never practiced the gag properly! What if things go as badly during the real performance?" asked Pixi, who was trying to keep her pants up with one hand while wiping down her face with the other.

"Don't worry about him, he's an old pro! You just focus on being more careful with your footing!" chastised Trixi, with an amused grin. Oh, how she loved tricking her dumb duo into heaps of mess! As she was leaving the circus, she reminded them to be on time for the performance tomorrow, and to stay relaxed. They were going to be a hit!

*******

It was the night of the performance, and the circus was completely packed. The trio were all made-up and dressed in their previous attire. Nerves aside, they were all ready to make their debut... except that Frosty had gone missing! He had ducked into the back after his second last skit, and no one had seen him since! As they watched the act that preceded theirs, Pixi and George were starting to get nervous. What would they do without their target for the evening?! Trixi seemed completely calm however, urging her coworkers to relax and that everything would be fine. This had a placating effect on George, but Pixi found it slightly suspicious.

Trixi asked Pixi to take one last look around for Frosty. When she was sure that she was out of earshot, she turned to George and said, "Gee, I hope everything goes well tonight! I think Pixi was kidding about that revenge she mentioned earlier!"

"Revenge?" asked George, a puzzled look on his face.

"Oh, she must have been joking! She mentioned earlier about getting you back for all the indignities you caused her during rehearsals, but I think you're probably safe!" replied Trixi. She barely kept a straight face at George's concerned reaction. This was going perfectly!

Pixi returned from her search without finding Frosty, and started to panic a little bit when she heard Lynn announcing the circus's new clown troupe. "Oh no! What do we do!?" she said.

"He's probably out there milling about the crowd. Just start the gag normally, I'll improvise while looking for him. If we can't find him I'll take his place!" offered Trixi. This relaxed Pixi, and even took her mind off her earlier suspicions of Trixi's attitude.

The trio walked through the curtain and were temporarily blinded by the bright stage lights, causing Pixi and George to stumble slightly in their ungainly footwear. The stage cake that was being carried between them wobbled slightly, but was in no danger of falling. The confectionery concoction was truly a marvel of circus engineering: it stood half as tall as Pixi and the foam was incredibly thick, so as to maintain it's 'cake' shape. It was also much lighter than it looked, it only needed two people to lift it because it was so big! Frosty had remarked earlier that he'd look like a snowman at the end of this gag!

Trixi ran forward making a big production about looking for the soon-to-be-retiree right as another spotlight clicked on to reveal Frosty himself, pie in hand. He made a shushing motion to the crowd and slowly crept up behind the distracted pair of clowns carrying his cake. He carefully positioned himself at the edge of Pixi's blind spot and skillfully launched the pie past her shoulder, directly into the side of George's face.

Pixi couldn't contain her giggling behind her hand at George's creamy circumstances which caused George to retaliate, since he assumed that Pixi had thrown the pie. He hoisted the huge cake out of her hands and depositing it on top of her head with a mighty squelch. Pixi's entire upper half was engulfed, leaving her teetering around ungainly in her big clown shoes, all the while George was cracking up over her predicament. It served her right, creaming him unsuspectingly like that! Sure, he had accidentally messed her up tonnes before hand, but those were always accidents!

He was enjoying himself so much that he was taken completely by surprise by the shove from behind that vaulted him toward the cake. He collided with such force that he tumbled over top of the cake, dragging the still submerged Pixi down on top of him. There they laid like a clown-and-cake sandwich, both thoroughly plastered by their own slapstick instrument. They attempted to struggle to their feet and regain a shred of their dignity, but were both summarily planted straight back down in the muck by Trixi as she walked straight over them on her way to congratulate Frosty with a hearty handshake on a great final gag.

Frosty, however, had one more planned. As soon as they clasped hands, Trixi received a literal shock of her own in the form of Frosty's joybuzzer. She was so startled that she leapt backwards slightly, aided by a generous shove from Frosty, and she ended up landing rump-first in between her forgotten colleagues. She made an exaggeratedly worried look and tugged at her collar just before an angry George and Pixi each slapped a heaping handful of slosh into her face, knocking her back into the cakey mess.

That's when the lights cut out to indicate the end of the skit. The trio quickly found their way to their feet to the sound of the audience's applause and ran to the backstage, leaving the mess to the cleaning crew.

To be continued...
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