Shitty Hat

I got a text from the boss that said I was needed for a birthday party last minute and she would pay me a $25 more for the trouble. I said ok. I finish my 3rd vodka soda.

On the day of the party I arrive at a house that has a “beware of dog” sign. I’m a dog momma, I love dogs, and I usually don’t judge a dog by his warming sign. But this warning sign had teeth marks in it. Christ.

I knock and knock and knock. No one. I knock some more. No one. Then I hear the music turn up. Loud old school rap. I think, this 3 year old must be an old soul! I follow the bass and arrive in a back yard. Everybody turns and stares.

The mom runs over and grabs my arm.
Mom: “what are you doing back here? You’re supposed to be a surprise!”
Me: “oh, sorry! I didn’t know!”
Mom: “ughgg! Whatever. Where are you doing your show?”
Me: “this happens a lot, I don’t do a show really, just entertain with face paint, and balloons and stuff.”
Mom…”like a show? That’s a fuckin’ show!”
Me: “I guess it is.”
Mom: “that’s why I said show, shit. Ok, set up your show in the front yard, but watch for dog shit and don’t be too loud, the dogs will get upset.”

She runs off to the backyard. I turn around and realized there was a woman sitting on the porch the whole time smoking.

Me: “hello.”
Her: “wha kinda show you doin’?”
Me : “a really amazing one. I use live animals in the magic show, then I do an illusion where I make myself disappear in a puff of smoke. It’s all mirrors though, so don’t be worried.”
Her: “oh shit, animals? The dogs don’t like that.”
She looks down and starts smoking again and never again looked up.

I set down my dirty parachute, take out my filthy face paint, lay out my broken balloon blower, and wait.

I feel a vibration. I don’t know of it’s from the ground or from my intuition warning me danger is near, like how you can sense a rattle snake is near you by the hairs on your arms sticking up when you’re on a hike or puking on a mountain when you go camping.(I mean…not that I would know! I don’t camp.)

I turn around and I see roughly 250 people pour out from the backyard(huge, HUGE exaggeration, it was like 50, but felt insane). It was like in Fantasia, the Disney movie, when the broom breaks and turns into many other brooms. There were a shitload of brooms coming at me.

My mouth drops open to say something, and at that moment a man with a neck tattoo of a vagina or flower or vagina looking flower run over and says:
Man: “I’m the guy who hired you. I’m grandpa.”
Me: “ok.”
Man: “when Rudy* comes out you say “I’m a good friend of your grandpa and he wanted me to surprise you”, and he’ll know what that means.”
Me: “what does that mean?”

Then the kids came out followed by the dogs. Dogsssssssss. 15 maybe? Not big, but small and filthy. They knew it too. They felt bad about how dirty they are and it was evident in their terrible personalities. They felt like, “look, I’m a dog, I never get pet or washed and I’ve grown to love the taste of my own dick, so I’m owning it! Growl! Snap! Shit! Piss! Rinse! Repeat!”

Rudy, who I was told was 4, looked like he’d already gotten into the cake. I’m not making a chubby reference, although he was a large kid(where’s Michelle Obama when you need her?!) it was the fact that he was literally covered in his cake. He was shirtless, and his entire face, torso, one knee and socks had cake on them. He even had a bit on his back. His back?!

He walked up to me chewing. The grandfather says “go!”, and I say “hi Rudy! Are you the birthday boy?”

Rudy doesn’t answer. He continues to chew. I see him eye one of the less filthy dogs, and I think “fuck, he’s going to eat that dog!”
“So Rudy, I’m an old friend of your grandpas! He wanted me to surprise you! Surprise!”

Chew, chew, chew. Holy shit, it’s his teeth marks on that sign!

“Ok, so can the kids come on down here and we can start?”
Kid 1. : “my mom says I can’t walk on the grass barefoot because of all the dog shit.”
Kid 1 mom : “Joseph, don’t say shit! Goddamit!”
A bunch of men laugh really hard and high five the kid. He smiles and says “dog shit!, dog shit!!”, again, but the well of recognition has already dried out for these dudes.

I begin my “show”. It’s not going well. Rudy never said a word, only chewed the whole time. Face painting. One of the little boys asked for a rainbow. The men snickered and called him a fag boy. The other kids join in, then the moms. He says, ok, give me a gun. They all cheer. I say I don’t know how to do that, how about a rainbow with dark colors? He smiles. Then grandpa walks up with a beer in his hand and asks if I only paint faces. They guys laugh. I get the joke, but one of them drives it home with, “can you paint my dick to look smaller?!” His wife, “no Eddie, then she’ll erase it!” I laugh. They stare at me.

The party ends. I say goodbye. I hear a grumble of “that was the show?! I thought she used animals? What the fuck? Hey, did you hear me ask her to paint my dick?, etc”.

I gather my stuff in my dirty bin. Everyone returned to the backyard. Then a woman runs out and says, “thank you so much, he really enjoyed it. We appreciate you coming out!” I thank you so much, feel so much better, and think, aw, it wasn’t that bad.

I walk to my car, then from across the street I hear a young voice yell, “clown! You gota shitty hat!” Giggles. Running footsteps.

I drive away wearing that shitty hat all the way home.

*not his real name. Not because I’m trying to protect his identity, but because I can’t remember his name.IMG_5610-0.JPG

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Another Day in Clown Town

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I found that once I said yes to the clown thing the flood gates were opened. And by flood, I mean a fucking flood! A monsoon! A Hurricane Sandy, shitstorm of red noses, balloon pants and shame you can hold in your hand.

I got a text that asked if I was “avail to do a clown P(P means party. I didn’t know we were starting to abbreviate, but I’m a smart gal, so I figured out the P thing pretty quickly) in the 90035?”

I said yes, because A. I don’t know LA very well and I’m not a googler at heart, B. I am brrrroooookkkkkeee! And C. The broke thing. I need to mention it twice. It’s real.

I call the mom the day before to check in on the party. She has little to know knowledge of who I am. Or what I’m talking about. And perhaps who her kid is. I confirm address. I hang up and die a little on the inside.

I show up the day of the party and get dressed quickly in the car. I can’t bare the thought of driving in a clown outfit.

The party is at a park. There are 7 other parties, all of them with dj’s. Most of them with kegs. None of them with an ashamed clown.

I paste a smile on my beclowned face and search out the mom. She wasn’t there, as she was getting more(!!) beer. The grandmother lead me to a dry patch of grass in the sun. I ask if we can move to the shade. She says no, that’s where the face painter is setting up. “Ok!!!” I say with glee!!

I pull out my dirty parachute. I call for the kids.
“Hi guys! Do you wanna play a game?”
Kids-“no.”.
Me: “no?”
Kids “no.”
Me-“ok, what would you like to do?”
Birthday kid: “my dad said I could have my presents. Did you bring me one?”
Me: “no, but I have lots of fun stuff in this bin!”
Kids: “aaaahhhhhhhhhh bin!!!! Let’s tear it open and pull everything everywhere and steal her stuff and watch her age!!!! Yeahhh! Let’s kill her happiness!!!”
(That was implied, not actually said. It really just sounded like screams.)
Me: “no, wait, hey, why would you, no! Don’t!! Wait!! Stop!! Where’s your mom? Where’s the beer? Stop!!! STOP!!!”
Kids: silent. They had left with most of my stuff and thrown it all over the park.
Me: “ok! Yeah. This is great.”

I stay about 30 mins after the party gathering my things. A few items, a jump rope, my bubbles, balloon blower, and my car keys, had ended up by another party. It said Happy 6th Birthday Nayla! on the banner, but the only kid I saw was a 13 year old kid who was smoking. I go to gathers stuff. The smoking kid yells: “hey clown! Clown! Do a trick!”
Me: “oh, I’m not a magician, I’m a clown. I make kids laugh sometimes.”
SK: “do magic!”
Me: “I…am going home. No”
SK: “shitty ass clown.”

As I leave the park the mom was returning. She had no beer. She sees me and says “clown”. I don’t make eye contact.

I drive home in my clown face. I didn’t even notice the stares.

Elsa Doesn’t Give A Fuck

I booked an Elsa party at a swanky hotel on manhattan beach. Face painting and balloons, nbd.

I hadn’t looked at the costume until I parked and opened my trunk.

The owner would wrap the costumes in dirty garbage bags tied with balloons with a paper plate with our names written on them in crayon.

I take out the dress, which was 8 sizes too big, no exaggeration, and a wig so ratty and misshapen I thought it had just recently passed away. I took a moment to mourn for the wigs family, then violently wrestled it onto my head. It didn’t quite fit and kept falling back, making it look like I had an extra head on my head that I was trying to keep a secret.

I walk into the gig. A restaurant and bar filled with nothing but adults. I’m confused.

I go to the managers office and ask if I’m in the right place. He looks up, then up a little more at my second heads hair, then down at my blue, sparkly whales sleeping bag I’m wearing that I’ve tied together in the back like back fat.
“Uh, yup.”

“Okay, it’s just I usually do kids birthday parties, Will there be any kids here at any point? I brought face paint.”

“I don’t know. Sometimes people bring their kids to the restaurant for dinner…”

There was a long pause and he trailed off like there was more to the story. I sat and listened for the thought to continue. When it didn’t after several uncomfortable moments, I said:

“Sweet.”

He nodded without blinking, then went back to his computer. I stood there for another couple moments, hoping there was a blip in the matrix and I would get back on track and get some insight to what I was supposed to be doing, but nope. He never looked back up at me again. Legend states that if you stand really quietly in that hallway of that fancy hotel even to this day, and turn your eye slightly to the corner of the room, you can still hear that hotel manager ignoring me.

I walked into the restaurant with my baggy, homeless scented dress trailing a good 16 yards behind me, tripping every couple of feet. I scanned the room desperately for kids. None.

Suddenly a human man dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comes up to me and yells “Hi Princess Elsa!!”

I jump because what the fuck?!!

“Hi, Donatello?”

“Yeah! So what have you been up to at the castle since everything thawed?” He asked.

I take a second to scan our immediate vicinity. There aren’t any kids around us to create an illusion for, let alone any other human people.

“Uh, fine. So, do you do these gigs often or what? It’s so weird there aren’t any kids here, right?!”

“Princess Elsa, would you like to sing a song with me?”

“What?”

“A song! Like, Would You Like To Build A Snowman? or Let it Snow? Wouldn’t that be so fun Princess?”

Am I getting Punk’d? Did they reboot that shitty show? Is Ashton here? Is his name REALLY Ashton?

“Ha, yeah. Uh, hey dude, there’s no one around, so we can just chill for a bit, you know?” I chuckle, praying to Jesus Christ that he’ll stop being so fucking weird.

He replies “Oh, Princess, something is wrong! You’re not being yourself! Did a wizard put an evil spell on you?”

“No! Are you being serious?! There’s no one here! You’re wearing a giant turtle face! You can stop it until a kid shows up!” I laugh a little, trying to not come off as a huge snatch.

The turtle takes a second. He’s gotten it. Thank God. I feel a twinge of guilt. I scolded a dude in a TURTLE COSTUME! I’m a monster. I smile sheepishly, getting ready to spout my apology. Then:

“Princess! What’s gotten into you?! It’s as if you don’t have a care in the world for anyone else’s feelings! That cold must have frozen your heart!”

I stare at him. I try to find the white of his bulbous, felt covered eyes. I can see the person in that huge head. Brown eyes. They blink a lot while looking back into mine. I hold his gaze.

“Donatello, that’s exactly right. The cold has frozen my heart. I guess you could say that Elsa officially doesn’t give a fuck.”.

Donatello gasps.

I wait.

Still, no kids.

I turn and walk away from the mutant turtle freak. And I realize it’s true.

Elsa doesn’t give a fuck.

 

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Down to Clown

AssistanceClownThis was taken at my first clown party. You see, I was told when I was hired that I would usually be playing “princess’s or fairy’s, very rarely clowns”. To which I replied, “Oh, good, I hate clowns.”

I was emailed by the owner of the company that there was a party again in a park(why all these parks?!) in Whittier, CA. I’m pretty new to LA, and pretty broke, so I said yes. I didn’t ask what the ¬†character was because, you know, they rarely do clowns. But alas, I was a clown. The clowniest clown there ever was to clown. But I was broke, so for lack of a better phrase, I was indeed “down to clown”.

I drove for about an hour in traffic and arrived at “the park”, which was really some swings next to power lines next to a dumpster next to where I was “assigned” to do the “show”.

Me: show? What kind of show?

Mom: the owner told us you do a show. Do you not do a show? She told us you do a show. You’re not going to do a show?

Me: It’s not really a show as much as I do balloon animals and face paint and do some magic a little and have a box of stuff.

Mom: (sucks her teeth and rolls her eyes)

Me: I can do a show though! Sure!!!

Mom: Good. Ok. Kids! This clown is going to do a show!

Kids: Yay!

I walked to my dirt patch and laid down the parachute.

Me: Ok! Who likes magic?

Kids: YAYAYAY!!

Me: Okay, here we go.

At this point all the parent with their open bottles of liquor and 2 huge dogs gather around to watch the “show”.

Me: I have a coloring book…(I won’t explain joke, but punchline is…)

Kids: We can see your hand. Your hand is on the page and that’s what’s covering it up.

Dad of all the kids?: Shit, this is some bullshit. What kind of a show is this?

Me: I don’t do a show, it’s more like, I entertain and paint faces and do balloons.

Kids: Balloons!!!

Me: Okay, great! Birthday girl first. What would you like?

BG: I want an Elsa.

Me: Oh, I can’t really do an Elsa, how about a dog?

BG: I want ELSA!

Dad: She wants Elsa.

Mom: Your boss said you do balloons.

Me: I do, but mostly…dogs…and giraffes.

Dad: This is bullshit. This clown is bullshit.

Fin

I drove away and took this pic. It’s become my theme of this job.

Howdy!

photo 1 (1)My first gig. I was a cowgirl. The kid was 1, and didn’t give a flying pig shit about cow anything. My shirt was a men’s xxl and the chaps were help up with balloons.

There were about 70 people there at this one party, and not to mention the fact that the party was in a public park, so lots of parties were there to watch what rock bottom looks like on a 34 year old woman.

I walk up and say “Howdy!” The whole party stops talking and turns around. No talking, no nothing. Just staring at me with my big ass shirt and my ballooned on chaps and a western flop sweat coming down my face. One dude with a neck tattoo and sunglasses backwards said loudly, “holy shit, really?” Then his friends started laughing.

I get directed to the kids. The birthday boy shit his diaper right away so he disappeared and I had to make small talk with the other kids.

Me-Hello.

Kid-What’s your name?

Me-Uhhhh, Amy.

Kid 2-What kind of cowboy name is that?

Kid 2’s dad-Hahaha! Good one baby.

Me—uhhhhhh, yeah! Who wants to play duck, duck, goose?

kid 1-What? That’s for babies!

Me-How old are you?

Kid 1-I’m 4 and he’s 5 and he’s 3(pointing to the other kids).

Me-Oh and…

Kids(all yelling and pointing) I’m 3, I’m 5, I’m 12(what the fuck are you doing here weirdo! Go to 7th grade, shit!) I’m 534235323436131!

Me-Cool! So many numbers! Okay, well do you wanna play musical chairs?

Dad of 1-There ain’t any chairs, shit. HAHAHAHA!

Me-Yeah, I…know…okay, um, (starting to dig through dirty box of stuff) jump rope? Parachute? Crayons? BUBBLES?

All kids-Bubbles!

Me-Bubbles? Bubbles!

Kids fucking love bubbles! They go apeshit for bubbles! Oh, you want bubbles? I got your goddamn bubbles!

I left the party with a $10 tip. I felt okay until I got to my car and realized what I looked like. I took that pic, went home and drank a lot of cheap vodka until I felt pretty again.

 

And this was only the first one!

 

Stay tuned, it gets much, much worse.