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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Family · #805881
Write a story with the following:
A hedgehog, a surly teenager, a circus clown and a blind date. All four items must be contained within your story or poem.

Life Is A Circus

“I’m telling you George, that’s exactly how it happened.”

“Yeah, if you say so.” George leaned back in his chair and looked at Pete. He had known him for almost thirty years and had never known him to lie. Oh, maybe an occasional white lie, like calling in sick for work when he was really going golfing, but nothing like this. This was what the professionals would call a “Whopper”. There are contests held around the country for prevarications such as this. The competitors took months, sometimes years, working on getting their “lie” just right. They carefully chose their words and practiced their delivery in front of mirrors, all in the name of being able to claim the title of being “The Best Liar in Such-n-Such County, or state, or the country. But this was no competition. This was just Pete, the local cop, trying to explain to George, the local reporter for the Elk County Bugle, the details of what had happened this fine summer day.

George had worked for the Bugle ever since he got of college. It wasn’t a big newspaper as newspapers go and the news was pretty limited to farm reports and the like. The big excitement last year was when one of the elk that Elk County is famous for walked through downtown Weedville, dragging Mrs. Barlow’s clothesline with all her unmentionables. Seems it had gotten its antlers tangled in the clothesline while it was trying to invade her victory garden. That was the big news. So something like this was just not even imaginable for Elk County.

George put down his steno pad and looked at Pete. “Tell me again Pete, from the beginning.”

“Well, you know how the Branigan kid, Jimmy, from down Benezette has been sweet on Mary Smoyer for these last couple of years? Yesterday she finally decided she would go out with him but only if he could find someone to go out with her cousin Marge, who was visiting from the big city.

“New York?”

“No, not that big, Altoona, I think it was. Jimmy wasn’t going to miss his opportunity to take Mary out on a date so he called around and finally convinced Spike Moronski from down at St. Mary’s to take out Marge. Originally they were going to go to the movies at DuBois but then Spike got the bright idea about heading over to Emporium to see the circus that was in town. So they picked the girls up and headed to Emporium.

On the way they stopped to grab something to eat at May’s Diner and that’s what first got Spike going. You know how surly he can be. Well, so can May. Poor Marge, not used to our ways up here ordered a cheeseburger with mayonnaise on it and Marge just stared at her.

“You want what on it?”

“You deaf or somethin’?” Spike fired back at her. “She said she wants mayonnaise on her burger.” He looked at Marge and winked. Turning back to May he added. “You do have mayonnaise in this greasy spoon, don’t you?”

Marge tried to calm Spike as they got in the car. “I wasn’t really hungry anyway. We’ll get something to eat at the circus.” Spike kept looking back at May who was standing in the doorway of the restaurant with a rolling pin in her hand. He wasn’t happy. In fact he wasn’t happy all the way to Emporium and the circus.

As circuses go it wasn’t much to speak of. The local Kiwanis club had convinced the circus owner to come to town and set up. It consisted of one big tent and an animal display in a trailer behind that. They had one tiger, that had lost most of its teeth, and the ringmaster served double duty as the ticket taker. “Not even a bearded lady,” muttered Spike as they found their seats. Jimmy was busy cozying up to Mary and neither one was much interested in the show. Spike kept trying to gain some ground with Marge but wasn’t having much luck. Finally he said,” Lets go get something to eat.”

Leaving their seats they made their way behind the tent to the concession area. There were a few tents with carnival type games and the animal display. Beyond that was a small trailer selling food. Above the animal display was a big sign that said, “Worlds Largest Hedgehog” Unable to resist they paid their money and went in. The hedgehog turned out to be just that, a large pig, about the size of a Yorkshire, sculpted from a Boxwood hedge. A sign below it said it was an example of "Topiary."

Now Spike was really angry. He demanded his money back. Jimmy tried to calm him down. “Come on, Spike. It was only a dollar. Lets go get something to eat. At that point Spike slipped in some roadapples and hit the ground. Jumping up, he spun around and spying the food concessionaire who was dressed as a circus clown he accused him of pushing him.

“I didn’t push you.” Responded the clown. “You slipped in the manure. Relax buddy, and get something to eat. Here have a hot dog on me. You want mayonnaise on that?…….

© Copyright 2004 Rasputin (joeumholtz at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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