SEND IN THE CLOWNS
“Back in the day I toured with a travelling circus.
I had no real talent for any of the traditional circus skills, but I could dance a little and looked good in a leotard. So, there I was, six nights a week and twice on Saturdays, in me sparkly tights and pink tutu, dancing round with the clown ……who was,in reality, a pock-marked, warty, balding old man with wandering hands. I’m not even kidding ….. he must have been about 90.
This really was a crummy circus, I mean really ! To call it second rate would be praising it far beyond its worth. All the performers were right old has -beens, well past their sell-by dates. I was the youngest there….the bloomin’ baby !
We had no decent costumes or equipment because the owner was a right old skinflint. I had to sit after each performance, mending the rips in me tights and stuff, because the mean old bugger wouldn’t cough up for new ones .
The elephant handler was usually lying drunk nearby after drinkin’ almost a whole bottle of whisky. There he’d be …..on a bale of straw….snoring and grunting like the pig he was.
The old clown used to sneak away from his caravan and try to get off with me, while his missus was preparing dinner for the whole company. While he was trying to get ‘is ‘and up me skirt, she’d be mashing potatoes to top the shepherds pie we had every blooming night. She hated me ! I’d often see her at the grubby window, waiting for the bread to rise, or cutting slices of cake, and she’d scowl at me with ‘ate in ‘er eyes.
The old clown often told me that she was a terrible nag and would often reprove him for the slightest thing,
” She spites me whenever she can “, he whined.
I wasn’t surprised………… he really was ‘orrible and I don’t think he ever washed.
The worst part of my act was when I had to pirouette round him and pretend to fall over into his arms. He was supposed to catch me and then drop me and all the kids would laugh and giggle at my misfortune.
Well , this particular night I was prancing about, trying to delay the moment when I had to get close to him when he just keels over……… I mean flat on the floor. Dead as a bloomin’ dead thing ! …….. Heart attack !
After the funeral the circus owner said not to worry, he would ask his nephew to come over from the next town .He could fill in for the old clown ,till a replacement was found.
So, sure enough, this car turns up, roaring down the lane past the fields of farm workers. I remember the car …… dead sporty with a spoiler on its boot and I remember thinking to myself,
‘He’s gonna be a bit flash for a clown ‘
Well out he gets, gives me a wink and dashes into the bosses caravan. He must ‘ve been 30ish , quite dishy too.
So, there we are doing our act slap bang in the middle of the ring while Glenda goes round and round on that horse of hers , blooming old nag it was. Well I get to the part where I have to fall into the clowns arms, so I do a quick twirl and pretend to slip and ….well he up and kisses me full on the lips !
I mean, a REAL kiss, tongues an’ all ……. and he didn’t stop there !
Fair took my breath away ‘e did …………
Well all the Mums and Dads start covering their kids faces because they ain’t never seen such things, at least not in a family show. Old Glenda fell off ‘er horse in shock and the lion tamer had to drag us out of the ring.
Yeah, me an’ the clown left that crummy circus the next morning ……………. I wonder where he is now…….
Ok love, didn’t know you was in an ‘urry ……….a double whopper cheese burger twice ,was it . Do you want fries with that ?”