Aunt Carol could not believe what she was looking at. It completely shocked her. She had to tell herself that something was wrong with this.
“THREE BUCKS FOR A LOUSY DRINK? Are they for real with THESE PRICES?” She said this to and her sister Linda as they approached the concessions stand in the shaded mezzanine area.
“I know. it’s ridiculous. But, I have to drink SOMETHING.” Linda said as she continued to fan herself with a map of Funworld. “I’ll get online and get us both a drink, just go keep an eye on the kids.” Aunt Carol turned and headed towards the opening that looked out unto the arena below. She spotted Alex and Dawn who were sitting on the end of a bleacher about 10 rows up from the main arena floor. There was some laughter coming from the audience below as two circus clowns were walking up into Dawn and Alex’s section.
“Oh crap! I hope Linda gets back soon,” Carol thought as one of the clowns approached Alex “she’s going to miss this!”
Cousin Dawn sat there not being able to see a thing in front of her. Her eyesight was now blurry despite having passed an eye exam with flying colors three months earlier. She didn’t need glasses at all. Yet, right now her eyesight was terrible. The reason behind this was that she was now wearing Alex’s prescription glasses. A few minutes earlier, the first clown had reached out to Alex’s head, took off his glasses and placed them on Dawn’s head directly over her sunglasses. She sat there and giggled(as did Alex) feeling silly with two pairs of glasses on.
Then the clown took off Alex’s NY Yankees cap and placed that on Dawn’s head as well. Laughs from the crowd started to get a little louder. The second clown then walked up the steps past Alex and then stood directly behind him. Like Dawn, Alex’s vision was also blurry. He felt something grab both of his lower arms. They were the gloved hands of the second clown. Alex’s arms were then jerked straight up in the air. His shirt was then quickly pulled off over his head by the first clown. He pulled the shirt off so fast, Alex’s right ear started ringing. Alex wasn’t sure how to act. He definitely wasn’t laughing, like everyone else that sat around him. Dawn just sat there still wearing two pairs of glasses almost afraid to move. The second clown stepped back down unto the steps and stood next to his partner. They both just stood there a moment as if contemplating what their next move should be. Alex wasn’t sure what to expect next. Then in one synchronized swift movement, both clowns reached down and grabbed both of Alex’s legs. He was then lifted straight up in the air and was dangled upside down. Alex’s shoulders hit the bleacher seat and his cocked back. Laughter broke out from around the whole arena now as other sections started to notice all the activity. He then felt his feet being pulled on as both clowns struggled in taking off his sneakers and his socks. Laughter erupted from the entire audience. The clowns then dropped Alex down with a thud. He now sat there with no shirt, nothing on his feet and practically blind. The clowns then turned around and proceeded to walk away down the steps, carrying all of Alex’s clothes. One of them turned back around and gesturing with his finger for Alex to follow them. With only his denim shorts left on to wear, Alex began to follow the clowns down the steps.
Linda and Carol were polishing off the last of their expensive drinks. They had gotten into some random family gossip and their attention had been slightly distracted from the action going on. Then they heard the laughter coming up from the crowd. Linda looked down at the spot where her son was sitting only to see a pair of small legs now sticking straight up in the air between two clowns. Two clowns who apparently had just done something to her son to the amusement of hundreds.
“Lyn, is that Alex?” Carol frantically asked Linda. She looked over at Linda who was standing there frozen in disbelief. She was horrified. Before Linda could act, she saw Alex stand up and follow the clowns down the steps.
Alex was attempting to walk behind the clowns who now looked like to him as two big blobs of bouncing color. The cement steps were hot on his bare feet. A wooden stable door was at the bottom of the steps. The clowns slammed the door on Alex as he tried to walk through it, hitting him in the legs. The audience laughed some more. Both clowns got up on the stage and beckoned Alex to join them. He climbed up a small ladder and stood on the stage in front of hundreds with just his pants on. Yet, he felt like he had nothing on at all.
The two clowns then split up and stood on opposing sides of Alex. His clothes were piled into a heap by the edge of the stage. The clowns then began to play various practical jokes on him. One of them handed Alex a telephone receiver implying he had a call. A warm stream of water came out of the phone instead, spraying him directly in the face. They then handed Alex a real five dollar bill only to have it quickly snap back away from his grasp on an elastic band. The audience seemed to laugh even harder at Alex being the victim of these gags. Lastly, one of the clowns reached into a barrel and took out a big inflatable sword. Alex thought that maybe, just maybe this was some type of prize for him and this whole thing would be over.
“Is that…is that for me?” Alex whispered pathetically to the clown.
“WHAT? No kid. It’s not for you, go get dressed” the clown snapped at him. He then turned his back on Alex and put away the sword.
Alex walked over to his clothes and began to get dressed. As he was doing this, the clowns were behind him making silly faces and gestures. Alex desperately wanted to get off that stage. He was moving as fast as could. He got his shirt on, put on one of his socks and stopped. He was missing something.
Just then, the arena audience suddenly screamed with a huge burst of laughter. It was so loud, Alex felt like the stage was shaking. He turned around to see what had just happened.
The first clown was now skipping around the stage. He had one of his arms raised high in the air for the world to see. On his hand, was Alex’s other sock. The clown had stuck one of his fingers through the hole and was wiggling it at the crowd. Not only was the entire arena laughing at the clown dancing around, they were now made totally aware of the fact that Alex had a big hole in one of his socks.
Linda hugged and kissed Alex multiple times after the show making sure he was alright. He had gone back to his seat next to Dawn and stayed for the rest of the show. The audience applauded him as left the stage fully dressed and no prize.
“I’m alright, Mom.” Alex forced out unconvincingly. “Can we maybe do one or two more rides,then head home?”
Linda nodded towards him and the four of them began to walk back through Funworld. The park had lost its appeal. Even though he was fully dressed, Alex felt like everyone he passed saw him as naked. He just felt awful. If they didn’t see him as naked, then they DEFINITELY knew he had a hole in his sock. At least, that’s how he felt inside.
Dawn and Alex did a few more rides, played some games and then decided they wanted to go home. Alex’s mood had gotten a little bit better, but He was still stinging from the events at the circus.
“Did you guys have a good time?” Aunt Carol shouted out from behind them.
They both shouted back “YES!”. Dawn’s reply had just a bit more realism and mirth in it than Alex’s.
Alex walked slowly with his head down. Dawn went up alongside him and put her arm around him.
“You know cuz, one day you and I are going to find those clowns again. We’ll be bigger and stronger. Then we’ll teach them a lesson, they’ll never forget. Deal?” She smiled at him. Dawn’s smiles were always contagious to him and they always lightened up everyone around them.
Alex smiled a small back at her in acknowledgement. He could never stay in a real bad mood around Dawn and especially Aunt Carol for long.
“Alex, I know it’s been a long day for you” Linda said to her son as they approached the exit.
Alex was exhausted and still kinda down. He also knew this tone from his Mom. She wanted him to do something when they got home. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was going to be a chore of some type.
“But, when we get home you have a job to do.” She calmly ordered.
“Here it comes. A bath? Start my summer reading assignment?” Alex thought dismally.
“As soon as you walk in our house.. she paused. “Your going to throw those socks in the garbage.”
Aunt Carol burst out laughing. Dawn joined her. Alex looked back at his Mom who was smiling.
Alex started laughing. Of all the stuff he had done today, throwing out his socks was going to be his most favorite thing to do.
The four of them walked out of Funworld laughing. Alex’s bare toe still rubbing up inside the top of his sneaker as the first summer trip came to a close.
This story takes place years before Stephen King’s “IT” and other examples of creepy clowns in the media. The really scary aspect of this story is in the fact that it actually happened. Of course, something like could never happen in today’s world. If somehow it did, “Alex” would probably be a viral YouTube sensation and possibly quite rich from his lawsuit against the circus.
I want to thank the real people that were there on that eventful day. Vicki, Barbara and Dawn. I love the name Dawn too much, I just couldn’t change it.
For the record, “Alex” did attend a couple more circus performances in his lifetime. He just made sure to sit himself way up in the stands out of reach of anybody. He also ironically never developed a deep dislike of clowns, the same type that a large number of people seem to have towards them. Finally, he also never, NEVER went out in public again with a hole in any type of sock he was wearing. The idea of something like that again being revealed out in a public place would turn out to be truly his greatest fear.
For My Aunt, My Cousin and of course, My Mom.