I guess I was a little drunk, I was definitely over stimulated. The boardwalk carnival was an intoxicating menagerie of sound and light, of beautiful bodies still in their skimpy beach wear, smelling of sweat and suntan lotion, of sweet & salty junk food deep fried in sugar and cheese. I wandered like a leaf on the pungent breeze, my bare feet barely touching the sticky wood.
The hawkers, luring people into sideshow attractions were on fire tonight. Business was booming at the Snake Boy house, patrons screamed in anguished pleasure. The ‘Winged Pigs’, ‘Dragon Lady’ and ‘6 Jesters Conjoined’ had long, eager lines waiting. But the one which caught my eye was the only booth whose crier didn’t look like an ancient, cigar chomping, sticky pocketed circus clown with mirrored shoes. SHE was a sultry, middle aged woman with curves and lumps and hair and eyes that melted my…bones, which is probably why I didn’t read the sign on the booth properly – or even care. I just handed her my money and walked in.
There on the podium, in the center of a dark room with red satin curtains, stood a raging red COCK…..no…I mean, it was a red rooster with bright flaming plumage. The other people in the room sat on benches around the bird, enthralled. I stood for a long moment, puzzled and awkward…until the cock looked over at me and said, “Take a seat there, Sparky, I’m just getting started…” in a voice that sounded remarkably like Noam Chomsky’s.
You know…I may have misheard the writing prompt today… What?…OH!!!, “Talking to a Cop”…yeah, I don’t talk to cops.
Our new book, “Bludgeon the Clown” is all done and off to the printer. Our publisher, EEW Books uses a tiny, local printer in Bloomfield NJ, a mile from our old studios. There are plenty of excellent printers up here in the frosty north, but none better than Tom DeStefano and his team at Budget Print (332 Broad Street). It’s a family owned, very professional, highest quality, friendly business whose integrity is rare nowadays. If they were located in Reykjavik or Kathmandu or Djibouti… we would still travel there for their services. -John