the clown joke

November 27, 2017
Austin Putman told me a version of this PG13 joke back at Tufts when we were both in sQ. I thought it in a half-remembered day the other day, and tracked down a version here:

Johnny AND THE CLOWN

Johnny is poor and has been all his life. He doesn't mind it much, except for the fact that every year when the circus comes to town, he never gets to see it. The years pass and every year he watches the circus come and go with a tear in his eye. Then one year as the circus is leaving, he snaps. "Fuck it," he says." I'm going to get myself a job so I can see the circus."

The next day he applies for a job at a supermarket stacking shelves. He gets this job and works his heart out. He works every night stacking shelves, earning money. He spends very little, and saves heaps. He is the best worker the supermarket has ever seen. A year passes, and the circus comes to town.

As soon as the gates to the circus open, Johnny races up, first in line to buy a ticket. the excitement overwhelms him. He walks around the circus. He sees the animals, the freak show, buys a hot dog, plays on the clowns. And then he sees it, what he's been waiting for all these years...The Big Top.

Johnny races into the tent and takes a seat. Pretty soon the tent fills up and the show begins. It's a packed house and the buzz is electric. The dancing horses come out, then the elephants, then everyone's favorite, the clowns. The clowns run around and do their act making everyone laugh. When all this is finished, the head clown picks up a microphone and says "Now we'd like to pick a member of the audience to help with our show."

All the lights go out and a spotlight circles the crowd. and, as luck should have it, it lands on Johnny. Johnny is ecstatic, he nearly shits his pants with excitement. He can't believe his luck. The head clown comes up to him and says..

"Hey mister, are you the horse's head?"

"No." Johnny replies.

"Are you the horse's ear?"

"No"

"Are you the horse's tail?"

"No"

"Then you must be the horse's ASS!!!!"

And then whole tent erupts into fits of laughter all of Johnny's expense. Everyone is laughing, except for Johnny. He's as pissed as fuck. He vows then and there that next year, when the circus comes to town, he'll get his revenge on the clown.

As he's walking home, still fuming from the humiliation that the clown caused, Johnny thinks of ways that he can get back at the clown. Death, violence, poisoning....and then it hits him. Johnny will give the clown a taste of his own medicine. Next year, Johnny will blast the clown with the biggest insult ever!

The next morning Johnny flips through the phonebook looking for someone who can help him with his revenge. Then he finds an ad.

INSULT SCHOOL
Sick of being picked on? Come to our school and soon you'll be verbally attacking people with vigor!

'This is just what I need!!!" says Johnny. So he rings up the school and enrolls the next day.

So every day Johnny goes to the insult school, studying hard so he can learn the best and most harsh insult so he can get back at the clown. On top of this, he still stacks shelves at the supermarket to get the money for the circus. Day in, day out Johnny works his ass off.
Then his day arrives...

As soon as the circus opens it's gates Johnny barges to the front of the line, pushing people out of his way. No longer is he a kind, considerate man. He's a pissed off m.f. hell bent on revenge. He give the ticket seller the money, snatches the ticket and storms off.

He sees all the regular shit. The animals, the freaks, the clowns. He's so excited that he goes into the Big Top an hour before the show starts, just so he can get a good seat. The tent begins to fill up and the show starts...

The dancing horses come out, Johnny yawns. Then the elephants, Johnny tries to stay awake. And then the act Johnny has waited a year for, the clowns. The clowns run around and do their act making everyone laugh. Johnny wonders why everyone is laughing, it's the same shit they did last year. When all this is finished, the head clown picks up a microphone, exactly the same as last year, and says "Now we'd like to pick a member of the audience to help with our show."

All the lights go out and a spotlight circles the crowd. and, as luck should have it again, it lands on Johnny. Johnny is sits cool, calm and collected. The head clown comes up to him and says..

"Hey mister, are you the horse's head?"

"No." Johnny replies.

"Are you the horse's ear?"

"No"

"Are you the horse's tail?"

"No"

"Then you must be the horse's ASS!!!!"

And again the whole tent erupts with laughter. Except for Johnny. He sits there staring straight at the clown, a look of pure evil and hate on his face. The laughter quickly dies down as everyone knows something is going to happen. The crowd watched. This is Johnny's moment. He takes a deep breath, looks at the clown and says...

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"FUCK YOU, CLOWN!"

Come to think of it, it must have resurfaced because when I yelled to the Aleppo Shriner clowns "what a bunch of clowns" before yesterday's parade, in a friendly way, one yelled back "yeah, that's original."
One of my favorite iOS games has been "Desert Golfing" -
(once called the first "normcore" game) - just a simple little side view golf, always good for a little hit of physics-y fun - but then I got stuck on hole 4420, and left it alone for a few months. I was getting ready to delete the game, but the realized the hole I was stuck on was different, and easy.

There's a very recent update note that reads "No more impossible holes." and I'm not 100% sure if 4420 was impossible per se, but pretty close - a big mountain (albeit with a plateau on top) and the hole nestled on a ledge on the other side, almost impossible not to overshoot, and all of the the 2 or 3 shots I got to hit the hole bounced right out.

But now I feel funny, because I suspect that this kind of update might affect all the holes I've already done, as if my game has slipped into a parallel universe, and my history (including the 150-odd strokes I burnt on the previous version of hole 4420) is no longer quite valid...

Anyway, I still like this game.


Yesterday at Quincy's Christmas Parade I saw these black and white American flags (with a blue/red stripe to shout out to police and fire departments) for sale by those shopping-cart-based vendors who show up along side parades and fairs.

It seems a little mixed up that taking a knee during the anthem, like a player does for a hurt teammate, is disrespectful, but this kind of graphic design shenanigans is A-OK.
RIP Vine... it was such a cool and egalitarian form.

What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men? Excellent piece by Claire Dederer on when monsters are artists and vice versa. Touches on the relationship between thought and feeling and judgement which has been so much on my mind of late.