Join the show!
The posters were up for weeks. “Family Circus Coming!” I decided the family needed to go. So Jim and I stood in line with our girls and entered the Big Top.
The usual parade of elephants, clowns, horses, acrobats, and fire breathers took a turn around the tent. We loved the noise and music, the peanuts and popcorn. But after drinking my second slushie, I had to find the porta potty.
Finished, I used the hand sanitizer, stepped out and was grabbed by a bearded lady.
“Quick! Come with me!”
“What? No! I have to get back.” I continued walking to the Big Top.
She attached a handcuff to my wrist and dragged me to a tent.
“You can’t do this! Let me go.” I struggled but the handcuff held.
“Shut up. You’ll see your family soon.” She drew me into the tent, handcuffed me to a tent pole. “Stay here. They’ll be here to get you in five.” The bearded lady walked out.
I turned around and saw unicycles, hoops, chairs, and costumes, and a clown asleep in a corner, I couldn’t imagine what Jim must be thinking. “Help!” I yelled and hoped to wake that clown. Or maybe someone walking by would duck in and help.
In a few moments a clown entered. “Hello there. So you’re the one Imogene found. Not perfect, but you’ll do.”
“Do what? I need to get back to my family. Unlock me. Let me go.”
“Well, here’s the deal. The momma clown is dead. We have to replace her ASAP. Imogene saw you and thought you’d fit the costume, so you’re the new momma clown. Welcome.”
“Dead? Are you sure?”
“Dead sure.” He chuckled. “Sorry, yes I’m sure. She’s over there.” He gestured to the corner to that clown slumped in a chair. She seemed to be asleep.
“Don’t you think you should call someone, get her out of here?” I was handcuffed to a tent pole just a little too close to that corner.
“Oh we have. They’re on the way. It’ll take some time. We’re in the boonies here. So let me undress her and give you her costume. Then we’ll go into the Big Top.”
“What? I’m going to wear a dead woman’s costume? That’s gruesome and just a bit too weird.”
“Sorry to offend your sensibilities. But the show must go on.” Clown proceeded to disrobe the deceased momma. She was left in her underwear. “Here you go, put this on. I’ll put your clothes on her.” He held up the costume.
“At least you can turn around.” I put on momma clown’s costume while the clown redressed the dead woman in my clothes.
He unlocked the handcuff as we walked to the Big Top. “Just follow my lead. Play along.”
It was easier than I thought. No one seemed to recognize me. After the skit, all the clowns exited the tent. I was told I could keep the costume. Glad to oblige since the dead woman still had my clothes.
My family found me outside after the show.
“Mom, why are you in the clown costume?” Jim and the girls stood with their souvenirs. I already had mine.
“Well, let me tell you, it’s quite a story…….”