Really. Don't Go In There Pt. II
by Dan Greene
So to recap, last week I described my idiotic, fried chicken driven behaviour; how I would dress in stupid costumes in the hope of scoring a free snack pack or some such bullshit. You'd think I'd grow out of that, but apparently not.
One day when I was about, oh, 21 I suppose, I was smoking hash with my girlfriend. We got all high and shit. It was great. I think we watched The Price Is Right. Bob kicks ass. Anyway.
Later that morning I dropped her off at her house and made my way home. As I was driving along, I noticed a sign in the window of a party supply store: Clown position available, apply within. I applied the fuck within immediately. I mean, c'mon.
I walked up to the counter and said hi to the lady. “Can I help you?” she asked.
“Yes dear, I understand you are looking for a clown.”
I got the job, man, just like that. Seven bucks a gig (just over minimum wage at the time), with access to a clown costume anytime I wanted. Anytime I wanted. Jackpot! They also had a minivan that I could drive, with a rack of orange lights on top and a siren sounding doohickey, and a fucking megaphone with the microphone inside so that I could say whatever the hell I wanted from a moving vehicle, and people would just kinda think that the clown in the minivan wasn’t very funny.
So I had to wear makeup and shit, funny hat, red nose, all that stuff. I had a goatee or something on my face, but they didn’t make me shave it. Have you ever seen a clown with any kind of facial hair at all? I know some kids that have and I’m not so sure they liked it. In fact I know they didn’t. Neither did their parents. They didn’t like my brother showing up at their house smelling like yesterday's rum either, but that's another stupid story.
For a while I traveled with Barney, as his sidekick. Barney and his friend the clown with the goatee and the red eyes. Barney was a 14 year old girl who had been forced into the job by her aunt (that’s why she got the Barney position, her connections) and resented every damn minute of it. I hated working with her because she was a whiny little skanky rich kid who spilled chips and diet soda in the van, but she hated her job so much more. Eventually the pressure of it all got to her and she just quit the whole business one day, just told her aunt to fuck off and went home. I thought I smelled opportunity, but it came looking for me before I could even formulate a plan.
The boss called a couple of days after her niece disappeared and asked if I could do Barney, and maybe I knew someone who could do the sidekick thing? I told her that I could usually get a second person to help out as long as I had a few day’s notice, and they bit the hook. They said sure thing. Take our business vehicle, act like an idiot in your costume with your friends and do what you feel is best. I could have wrecked that minivan altogether, but all I did with it was act like a goof and hot-box it every night with my friends. My girlfriend did the sidekick thing most of the time, and she was the best sidekick imaginable. I can’t even begin to explain her versatility as a goof in a costume. She’s my everything.
The whole Barney setup was pretty cheap, but they didn’t even get the Barney suit washed before they put me into it. They finally did clean it about a month later, but I still dealt with the last kid’s sweat until then. Fucking gross, man. I found out, eventually, that they would also rent the same suit to people when I wasn’t using it. That was pretty much the last straw before I quit, but I was already pissed off because I’d been beaten up the previous weekend. By a bunch of kids who hated Barney.
There are a lot of Barney haters out there, but none can match the vitriolic rage of an older brother who’s had to put up with a younger sibling’s screaming demands for repeated viewing of a Barney videotape. They have to be nice about sharing the TV so they go somewhere else, but you know that being driven away from the television is just about the worst thing you can do to any kid who has been born within the last 50 years. Kids who don’t like Barney, well, apparently they fucking hate Barney. They want his head for what he’s done. And part of me can identify. I mean, if anything had forced me to give up that cartoon about Rubik, The Amazing Cube when I was a kid, I would have stirred up some shit you wouldn’t believe until I got my way and got to see that fucking cube. It’s like any pop phenomenon, you either love him or hate him. Nobody thinks Britney Spears (bad example these days, but you know what I mean) is just okay.
So I lied. This is the second of three parts, not the second of two. Yeah, like you're going to lose sleep over it.
Next week, obviously, I get my ass kicked by a bunch of kids.