Tally, the Clown From Hell!
By Mike Stevens
Oh, the blinding light! Tally the Clown blinked rapidly; hangovers were a bitch! Even though he was hurting badly, he had never once thought that maybe he should quit drinking. That his life sucked was somebody's fault, but not his own. He got unsteadily to his feet after climbing out of bed, and took two steps toward the coffee pot he needed to crank up so badly, but found himself plummeting towards the red shag carpet of his apartment. His head recoiled upon impact with the floor; sending nausea-inducing waves of pain through his head.
"Son of a bitch!" he screamed, as he tried in vain to regain his feet. Heknewhe should have taken his floppy, oversized clown shoes off before going to bed, but he must have passed out before he could. He remembered coming home from performing at Wacky Ranger Frank's Family Circus, the very circus he'd just been fired from, for using 'inappropriate language in front of the little f*****g kids, and flopping down to watch a rerun of 'I Love Lucy' on T.V., too angry and bitter about being s**t-canned to change clothes. Now, as he rolled around on the floor, trying to stand up, and with his head pounding war drums in his brain, Tally, whose real name was Bart Hoover, thought, I must make one pathetic sight; "Kids, have a good laugh at the drunken clown; he's such a loser, he can't even stand up!" Good lord! Now he was a drunken, loser clown without employment. How the mighty had fallen! He finally made it to his feet, after cleverly thinking he might have an easier time if he removed the floppy shoes. Now, Tally stood weaving, and clutching a cup of coffee like a non-swimmer clinging to a life preserver. What he needed was a plan.
"Hello, and welcome to Big Jim's House of Guns," he said, for the first time of what would be many, hopefully. Bart had finally landed this loser job, as a gun salesman, and for minimum wage, no less; but at least it was a job!
"Tell me, what's the range of this gun?" asked a sallow-faced man wearing a 'Life of the Party!' tee shirt.
Wow, what a party that ought to be!thought Bart. "Well sir, this particular model, The Waste-Oid 500, will drop an intruder at, at, oh, I'm not sure, but a lot, anyway."
"A lot of what? Feet, yards, what?"
Bart Hoover stared at the guy, and after an uncomfortable few seconds, replied, "Morons like you have no business owning, borrowing, or even touching a gun; a tool that they don't even know is a weapon, let alone how to use one. Why don't you go back to your pup tent and light up another doobie, there, Stone Lifer!"
Immediately, the guy started shouting, "Idemandto see your manager! I'venever been treated so rudely, in my life!"
Bart was immediately filled with regret. He shouldn't have said that. Now he'd lose this job, and as lowly as it was, it was still a job. Now what was he going to do? With dread, he walked haltingly to Roscoe Calisto's office door (he'd asked Roscoe Calisto who Big Jim was, to which Calisto had replied, "How the hell should I know? It sound's better than 'Roscoe's House of Guns!") office door. He gingerly knocked, and Roscoe's voice came charging through the door like a loose bull in a china shop,
"Oh, for Christ's sake, now what?"
Bart cringed, and, ignoring this was the first time he'd interrupted, said rather weakly,"Sorry to bother you, Mr. Calisto; there's a customer out here demanding to see you." Now he'd be getting the sack.
"Son of a bitch; now what did you do?"
Oh s**t; Mr. Calisto wasn't in a very good mood; in fact, he was in a s****y one. "It seems this customer isn't very happy." That was the understatement of the year!
"Oh, all right. Wait in my office; there's something I need to talk to you about," he said, passing by Bart, on his way out to the sales floor. Bart wanted to hear what was said, but maybe it'd be better not to; countdown to unemployment!
"I understand you wanted to see me?" said Calisto
"Yes, your salesman was very rude to me, and I demand you do something about it!"
Calisto asked, "How exactly was he rude?"
"Oh, he called me a moron, and said I had no business owning a gun, said I should have another doobie, and called me 'Stone Lifer!"
"Well, that is unacceptable!"
"I know; he should be fired!"
"No, not the fact he was rude to you; what he called you; Stone Lifer? What kind of insulting nickname is that? Stupid cow-brained mother f****r, nowthere'san insulting nickname!"
"Well, I'm leaving to take my business elsewhere!"
"See ya; don't let the door hit you in the a** on the way out!"
And with that, the red-in-the-face customer stormed to the front door, and disappeared along the crowded sidewalk.
Bart Hoover heard the doorknob rattle, and knew his boss, or ex-boss by now, had returned. He rose, and started to say,
"I'm sorry, Mr. Calisto, it was wrong, and I apologize--"
"You're damn right it was wrong; you call 'Stone Lifer' a insulting nickname? The guy was a knob, and I would have expected one of my employees to come up with something better;muchbetter!"
Bart just stared; he must have heard incorrectly. "What?"
"Well, I don't have enough energy to repeat what I said, but I would like to ask you a question."
"Okay," said a by now, totally-confused Bart Hoover.
"I have heard that you used to be a clown? How would you like to stop being a gun salesman, and stand out in the parking lot, dressed as your clown guy..."
"Tally the Clown."
"Dressed as Tally the Clown, and try to steer customers here?"
And so, Tally the Clown once again tried to make people laugh;especiallythose potential customers with kids.Kids and guns;he thought,now THERE'S a perfect match!