Clown College Valedictorian

You’ve graduated from clown college and have been named valedictorian of your class. You must give an inspirational speech to all the other bozos in the crowd and, after weeks of writing, you finally think you’ve nailed it. Show us you delivering your speech.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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138 thoughts on “Clown College Valedictorian

  1. Sl33pyB3ar

    To the clown college class of 2016, congratulations! We made it. They called us weird. They called us creepy, but we made it. They said our feet were too small for the shoes we wanted to fill, that we were wearing overalls two sizes too big, and in spite of all that we made it! It’s all because we were willing to do what others wouldn’t. We were willing to prat fall on our asses. We were willing to take that pie to the face. We were willing to dive off of a board three hundred feet in the air into pool of angry sharks and springboard into a VW Beetle with six other guys driven by a dwarf who could barely see over the dashboard through a ring of fire and eject onto a mountain of the famous elephant, Dumbo’s feces because THAT’S COMEDY! And that is what we do. Everyone please join me in raising the red nose in front of you. Put it on your face. This nose is your badge of honor. They may honk it, squeeze it, punch it, but they will never be able to clown the clown behind it. Whether you seek to brighten a child’s day or haunt the darkest corner of his subconscious, remember that. And remember to always grab the rubber chicken by the neck and seize the day. Let’s make them laugh, class of 2016!

  2. Cheyenne

    Word Count: 415

    Elias stumbled over his words in the mirror. The good thing about being a clown is that even when you mess up, it’s still supposed to be funny.

    Practice makes perfect, he reminded himself; those three words were what got him through college to begin with. Named Valedictorian, Elias was flattered. It was the only thing in life he felt he had truly accomplished, and with that, he was satisfied.

    “I, uh, I want to recognize each and every one of you that are here with me today. First and foremost, my mother, Elaine. Without you, I wouldn’t be here today. You pushed me to do anything, you didn’t care what. You just refused to see me to do nothing with my life.”

    His mom sat in the crowd, head down.
    “Although I know you didn’t expect me to enroll in Clown College. You didn’t expect to see me spending my life with make-up plastered on my face as I blow things up. BALLOONS! As I blow balloons up.”

    Shit. He hesitated.

    “I’d also like to thank all the qualified clowns who coached me so regularly. Without your proficiency, I’d certainly not be as good of a clown as I am this moment. We all wouldn’t be. Because of you guys, we learned how to form balloons, how to perfect our make-up, how to always wear a smile and appear presentable.”

    Elias glanced around the stadium once more, realizing he was surrounded by idiots. Pure idiots who couldn’t even be bothered listening; the pauses and the silence didn’t even bother them. Let’s go out on a limb here.

    “Last of all, I’d like to thank all you dumbasses sitting out here today. Without you making it so easy for me to do this, again, I wouldn’t be standing here today, basically talking to myself.”

    The crowd roared with cheers, standing ovations and whistles as he walked away. Not a single person, other than his mother, realized what was said. What a group of clowns. They didn’t even do anything and they should have taken this award. Every single one of them. He thought exiting the stadium. Maybe now he understood his mother’s disappointment and why his father stopped returning his calls.

  3. Critique

    Garret staggered across the stage with exaggerated quaking of knees, grabbed the podium like a life-line with white gloved hands, and peered out from under his Groucho Marx eyebrows at the group of people sitting in front of him. Thirty-eight adults, almost unrecognizable with their gaily painted faces and assortment of clown costumes.

    Garret plucked a cigar from behind his ear, stuck it between his teeth, reached for a paper on the podium and in doing so sprayed a dozen or so papers out across the audience. Waggling his eyebrows, chewing vigorously on the cigar, he cleared his throat.

    Scanning the roomful of colorful comedians, Garret blinked unexpected tears from his eyes. Every one of these unconventional remarkably talented bozos looking up at him had impacted him in more ways than he could begin to interpret. The past eight weeks had been life changing.

    Pulling a pair of enormous black spectacles and a folded sheet of paper out of his jacket pocket he perched the glasses on his nose, unfolded the paper and pretended to have trouble reading it. He held it upside down, far above his head, then up to his nose. He flipped upside down standing on his hands and tried reading it on the floor. Sadly shaking his head, he hopped onto his feet, tossed the sheet over his shoulder and held up his hands in defeat.

    Gratifying ripples of laughter filled the room.

    Garret set his glasses on the podium and began speaking.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, (Garret took the cigar out of his mouth and set it on the podium) I am humbled that out of an impressive class of entertainers as yourselves, you would choose me to be your valedictorian. Thank you.
    Well, this is it. Our last night together.
    When we walked through the double doors of Clowns Academy for the first time, I don’t think any of us realized what a fantastic ride we were in for.
    We leave empowered to be the best professional entertainers we can be.
    We leave enriched from the many friendships formed with each other.
    We leave here loving what we do even more and wanting to be the best at what we do.
    Three things we’ve had drilled into our brains. (Garret made a show of trying to hold up three fingers, ending up with a thumb from one hand and two fingers from the other hand).
    1. Continually refine and develop our art-form.
    2. Our primary focus is about others – to make them happy and feel good about themselves.
    3. We are artists and professional entertainers.
    It has been a privilege of getting to know each and every one of you. The skills we’ve learned will equip us well as we go on from here. The special memories of the time we’ve shared will be with us forever.
    I wish each and every one of you every success in your future.”

    Garret bowed low and his classmates stood to their feet and clapped.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        You know, it is a beautiful speech and would work with any gropup of dedicated people. I wasn’t expecting this at all and therefore it became more powerful. “Critique with finess.”

        1. Critique

          Thanks Kerry. I wasn’t sure which way to go with this prompt – not a huge fan of clowns but realize sadly, they may be a dying breed for a number of reasons.

    1. JosephFazzone

      I really enjoyed the sensitivity of this piece. Garret has a real love for his craft that makes it something beautiful, and me a little ashamed for mocking it. I love the little bits of comedy sewn into the routine, and it really adds to the love. A very beautiful and humbling take on the prompt! Really fantastic!

  4. Reaper

    JPMD

    Everyone says” clown college” to make fun of lower class education. Some of us know the pride and tradition involved in the real thing though. When PT Barnum was running around the profession of clowning was an honor, not a joke. So revered were the men who graduated from our universities that we were immortalized on velvet. These days…

    I guess that isn’t the point though. Like my father, and my father’s father before him, I attended JP Patches University. I did very well. Pie throwing, balloon animals, folding into the tiny cars, the psychology of children and mid-west families. I aced them all. Valedictorian of JPPU, it was an honor just to think about it.

    I agonized over my speech for nearly a month.

    I thought about what my people had become. The tragedy of a group that once taught, enlightened, and made happy… now a laughing stock. The kind of profession nobody wanted their son to become, or even worse for their daughter to marry. That wasn’t so bad.

    The fact that we all pretended it was nothing, that offended me.

    A little known fact is that in every class there is one sad clown. Not the psychotic killer that writers make millions on and mothers scare their children with. Those clowns occur once every three generations or so. However, the sad clown is a necessary thing.

    I had to decide before I gave my speech, light or dark, happy or sad. I could take on the mantle of sad clown. If I passed on it, then the honor would fall to the class clown, I know, the irony. If he passed, then someone else would take it up.

    Someone would wear the frown though.

    I had two speeches prepared, and even on the day of graduation I wasn’t sure which one I was going to deliver. I put on all the makeup except the bit around my mouth. I looked at my lips and I thought.

    No longer did my brothers climb out of the car, amazing the world with simple magic. No, instead we led malnourished elephants around big tops with almost nobody in them. We did not even try.

    Once we were the servants of the dream-makers. We did our jobs for no reason more than making children laugh. Every tinkling of those voices birthed one of the fae. We rejoiced in that. Now though? Now we bent balloons for children absorbed in their iPhones, children who no longer believed in magic. We did this for the price of a can of tuna. I hated what we had become.

    I hated them for accepting it.

    I hated me for accepting it.

    I donned the downward slanting makeup and I took the stage. I looked at them in shame and rage. I took my horn in my right hand and held my breath. The horn issued one sad, condemning honk, expressing my disappointment.

    My classmates felt shame and wept their face free of their smiling disguises.

  5. Dana Cariola

    “First, before I get me started. I just have to point out one thing to the genius, who thought that all clown’s wear the same size, rubbers! That’s clown talk for our….Noses. Not our hoses” The words fly out of my mouth. Nothing like the speech, I’d practiced. But, I was on a roll. So, I gave a quick wink to Penny Prescott. And, continued on with my lewd speech. I directed the crowd’s attention towards Penny Prescott, and pointed out how amazingly perfect her make-up had been applied. “It’s perfect. What a clown!..Hey Folks?…You’d never know she suffers from Halatosis, terribly!!!. Thank Goodness for the kiddies. Because this clown’s a mime!”

    The crowd ate it up. Their oversized shoes stomped the ground beneath them, like a herd of African Elephants. The pancake powder was flyin! By time I’d finished with my speech, their wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Clowns were laughing so hard. They began to cry. And, that’s why I’m Valedictorian. Hence, the word, “Dick”

  6. UnclePizza

    Well, since we’re all just clowning around this week:

    Billy asked me how Kazoo got her name, so I said “Well, you know how she loves to yammer on and on, right?”

    “Uh-huh.”

    “And you know how she likes to, uh, ‘do’ everyone, right?”

    “Well, yeah…”

    “So, when I was a kid I had this kazoo, and I’d walk around the house for hours being my own one-man-band…”

    “Yeah”, says Billy, “I remember.”

    “Well, I guess it drove my mom nuts, so one day she yanked it from my mouth and said, ‘I know you love that toy sweetie, but it’s the kind of thing that’s a lot more fun to do than it is to listen to.’”

    “Yeah?”

    “Yeah. Same with Kazoo.”

    “I don’t get…oh…yeah; you’re right!”

  7. Teserk

    (A sideways step from the challenge with much silliness. Sorry in advance.)

    “How’s your comedy writing workshop going?”

    “Last day is tomorrow. It’s been fun, so far, but this final writing exercise is really giving me a hard time. We have to come up with something in the style of Dr. Seuss and post it to the workshop Facebook page. They’re making it a competition–person who gets the most likes will be crowned Valedictorian and gets to make a speech.”

    “Valedictorian of ‘The Clown College?'”

    “Hey, I didn’t pick the workshop name, and yes, Valedictorian. Stop snickering! I think I’ve got a real shot. Tell me what you think. I call it ‘Opposite Woes.'”


    “O, Dr. Day, there’s something wrong!”
    I told him with a yelp.
    “Just tell me what it is,” he said,
    “I’ll see if I can help.”

    “Well, it all started just last week,”
    I told him with a frown.
    “I made an effort to stand up;
    Instead I sat back down.”

    “That’s not so bad,” the doctor said,
    “Just dizziness I’m sure.
    I have right here some medicine
    that will affect a cure.”

    “If dizziness was all there was
    I’ll bet that would be true.
    But there’s still more that’s going on
    I need to share with you.

    “I tried to fill my coffee cup
    and tipped some from the spout.
    Instead of filling up the mug
    I found I’d poured it out!

    “My shoes should go upon my feet –
    they end up on my head.
    I sleep upon my table and
    I breakfast on my bed.

    “I know that I’m right-handed for
    I’ve been so all my life,
    but recently I use my left,
    At least, so says my wife.

    “I’m drinking from the toilet and
    I’m peeing in the sink.
    My eyes are always open, while
    my mouth’s begun to blink!

    “And if all that is not enough
    To prove to you my plight,
    I’d swear the Cubs have won the pennant

    and that CAN’T be right!”

    “So, left is right and right is wrong.
    That’s quite a list of ills.
    I don’t think I can solve this case
    By giving you some pills.

    “Let’s see,” Doc said, “I think I know
    Some tests that we can run.
    With those results we then will see
    If something can be done.”

    And so they ran a CAT scan
    With an MRI or two.
    They tested both my ears, my mouth,
    My bed and sink and shoe.

    When all the tests were finished
    The results were analyzed.
    Then Dr. Day sat down with me
    And shared the big surprise.

    “We’ve figured out your opposites.
    Our reasoning is clear.
    Do you remember last week, the
    Procedure you had here?

    “It was a simple surgery;
    We just removed your brain.
    Once it was out we washed it
    And returned it back again.

    “But, sadly, a mistake was made,”
    said Doc Day with a frown.
    “For though your brain was clean,
    We put it back in upside down.”

    “So what do you think? Do I have a shot?”

    “I think it won’t matter that your speaking skills suck.”

    “Everyone’s a critic.”

  8. dsjarvis

    They smiled. So proud of their son–the offspring to whom they denied a formal education so he could entertain children. Except kids hate clowns.

    When father hammered the “Pulitz Family Clown School” sign to the front of our home, he should have etched the words “Sex Offender U” instead. That’s how they see us. With our creepy costumes, forced smiles, shrill laughter, and the countless movies depicting us as monsters, it’s no wonder children cried and screamed while jumping into their mothers’ arms at the sight of me.

    As other neighborhood children went off to become doctors and lawyers, my mother pinned me to the floor as my father painted my face. No amount of squirming, scratching or biting could thwart them. And they were always smiling–that sadistic, yet seemingly pleasant grin plastered to their cheeks. Pickle and Mickle had been easier, never challenging the parental figures. They gladly wore the badge of clowns–outcasts of the real world beyond the walls.

    It took a while, but I caved. Once entrenched into the art of Clownertainment, my enthusiasm exploded, making my parents proud. I became the best damn clown they’d ever seen. Pickle and Mickle complained as I gained mother and father’s favor. That’s how I became Valedictorian.

    Paint masked the contempt, the furious hurricane raging in my heart. But I smiled. It wasn’t hard to fake it. Clowns always smile.

    Dressed in blue, red, yellow, and purple garments, my face covered in paint, the large shoes covering my feet, I stood before the stoic crowd of four to give my speech. Their heads tilted back like they were sleeping.

    Blood covered their garments–a side effect from the smiles sliced into their necks with mother’s favorite butcher knife. Laughter erupted from the podium, from the lone graduate of Clown U. They never saw it coming. Hatred behind a smile can be hard to find.

    They all smiled. That’s the wonderful thing about clowns–we’re always smiling.

  9. nastimal

    Wow, what a long, hilarious journey it’s been. From the day that I first took Stephen King’s IT: A Deeper Look to the last day of class when I had just one more clown in my tiny car than Bonzo, every day of my ‘clowning around’ helps prove to me that making those fart noises in second grade wasn’t a waste of time. The question I ask myself, Bologna Mittens, is how did I end up here? How did any of us end up here? Sure, I was a professional athlete, had lots of money, a beautiful wife and kids and sure I was even happy and satisfied. But once I got my concussion, I saw the light. See it doesn’t matter how rich, successful, and happy you are, the only thing that matters is being hired by some clueless suburban mother who doesn’t know what to do for her son’s seventh birthday. Not every day is the easiest, I’ll even admit that some days I’ve had to put vodka in my seltzer water just get through it, but what keeps me going is how traumatized that seven year old is going to be when this is all over. If I’m lucky, my name may even get mentioned after a several years in therapy.
    I do want to take a little bit of time to remember some of our classmates who are unable to be here due to their hilarious deaths. Blinkerz was an amazing clown was taken from us too soon. Blinkerz had so many colored handkerchiefs stuffed in his mouth that he ended up choking to death. Gonzo always loved the clown car trick, but met his untimely demise when so many clowns were stuffed in the car that he ended up suffocating. And then there was Zonkerz. He actually died from an overdose so that wasn’t as funny but he was still a great and funny man.
    Now I want you all to do something for me, I want you all to look under your seats. What? There’s nothing there? Hah, made you look. It’s actually stapled to the back of your chairs. You’ll find a piece of paper and a pen. With that pen, I want you to write your name before you came to this school, your name from your past life. Now why did you do this? It’s invisible ink to show that you no longer go by that name. For example, my name is no longer Tom Brady, I am now known only as Bologna Mittens.
    As I leave you all, I want to just say that your options are limitless. Dream as big as your red nose!

    1. Penney

      Where are the clowns? Send in the clowns.
      Jeeze what a way to go out, haha, in memoriam to all the dead clowns then say good bye to yourself, hmmm. Interest speech, interesting clown name.

  10. Tanjailmaltija

    The only reason I have been asked to give this speech is because I made it alive out of the lions’ cage. They wouldn’t eat me, because I tasted funny. Actually, it’s the same thing the penguin thought when he was eating a clown fish… I repeat, ‘tasted funny’. Har, har.
    Funny that you aren’t all laughing at my clowning around. That was jester little joke to break the ice.
    Let me tell you a little story, just so you’ll know what motivated me to become a clown. No, it wasn’t Chuckie.
    Once upon a late wintry storm night in Boston, the circus couldn’t make it up Beacon Hill. The tractor wheels kept spinning; the horses, and the camels, and the elephants, kept sliding back. The bosses thought the clowns, with their big shoes, might have better traction. So they promised the clowns a bonus if they did the work of the beasts of burden.
    The clowns were harnessed, and, at the behest of the ring-master, synchronised their left feet, to take their first pace at the count of three.
    Nothing happened. And the Chief Clown made a rude jester, har, har.
    Then the Littlest Clown of All had an idea. He asked for a light sprinkling of gravel to be applied over the snow. They tried the one-two-three rotine again, and it worked.
    Yesss, ladies and gentlemen, sanding in the clowns worked, har har.
    And that is why you see me here.
    The moral of the story is… you gotta take the rough with the smooth.

  11. UnclePizza

    OK, here is the next “chapter” in the serial story that I started last week. If you squint you can see the prompt somewhere in the distance…

    ————————————-

    Rosie woke up again, and this time it wasn’t dark anymore. She was still alone though, and still scared. And thirsty. And hungry. And lonely. But scared most of all.

    When the man put her in the room he said that somebody would be back to let her out soon, but that maybe it could take longer. And if it took longer then she could have his lunch that he took out of his lunchbox when he put the gun in it. And if it took even longer and she had to potty then there was a pail in the corner. And if it took really longer then she could use the sleeping bag and pillow.

    Now it was really, really longer and still nobody came. She ate all the food and drank all the water when she was hungry yesterday. But then she did have to potty and she didn’t like it because she was almost six now and had never not pottied in a toilet, even though Momma said that she used to wear diapers like Lisa does but she doesn’t remember that. And it was not fun sleeping on the floor under the sleeping bag even though it was like a sleepover and she liked sleepovers. She was really glad that the man let her keep Polly and Molly, her two little dolls. They looked like clowns and they helped her be a tiny bit happy sometimes when she woke up and it was still dark.

    She thought maybe the man would come back even though he said it would be somebody else, but nobody else was coming so maybe the man would anyway. She hoped it would be somebody else because the man scared her. She heard him yelling in the hallway after he locked her in the room, but she knew there was nobody else out there with him so he was arguing with himself. He kept changing his voice, back and forth. He had a nice voice and a mean voice and he argued with his voices. The nice voice told him to leave the door unlocked and the mean voice yelled at him, said that he was in charge now and would not listen to a pussy anymore.

    So she sang all the songs she knew again, and then took Polly and Molly, and sat them on the floor in front of her like when she played school with them. She played school all morning and then it was time to pretend that they were graduating. She even gave a little speech for them.

    When she was tired again she laid down with Polly and Molly to nap. She wanted her Momma to come get her but Momma was probably still working at the bank. She knew that Momma would be mad at her for going with the man, but now she didn’t care. She just wanted Momma and would forgive her for being mad. Just come Momma, she thought, I miss you.

  12. jhowe

    “How about it people, let’s hear it again for Mr. Bobo.” The guest speaker had performed marginally, a little too slapstick, slow on the uptake. There were scattered snippets of applause, a lone horn sounded. Mr. Bobo stumbled over his large shoes as he exited the stage, the lingering scent of bourbon billowing around the podium. A sea of painted faces looked expectedly at me, the valedictorian, the head clown, the giver of hope.

    I cleared my throat and tweaked my nose. “I’ve been asked to relay some new data that just came in, a clown state of the union address of sorts.” Prominent eyebrows rose, a few chuckles radiated that bolstered my courage. No clown, no matter how disheartened, can escape the force of laughter.

    “As you know, the demand for professional clowns has been dropping steadily since, well, I don’t really know when it started dropping.” I looked offstage for a prompt. The dean examined his nails.

    “But, that’s not the point. The good news is: this year, our job placement rate is up to nineteen percent.” The crowd looked at me, some with what I’d interpret as hope in their exaggerated eyes.

    “I know, it doesn’t sound promising, but I can assure you that at least twenty five percent of those who are placed receive some form of payment for their services.” More stares, a few frowns. “That’s good news people, no more passing the hat….at least for some of us.”

    “I also wanted to announce that alumni approval ratings are up to over five percent. That’s a much better rating than we received on this very stage four years ago.” A few teeth were bared, eyes narrowed.

    “I know what you’re thinking. Believe me; I too have had those thoughts.” The dean had a look of panic on his face. “You’re thinking that we all paid good money to attend this institution with dreams and aspirations abound.” The dean turned and walked toward the side exit. A security guard in yellow bloomers stepped in front of the door, his massive arms folded across his multi-colored chest.

    “You’re thinking that this is nothing but a scam, an exercise in vanity, a fool’s destination.” Horns erupted, handkerchiefs fluttered, clowns rose to their feet, murmuring.

    “You’re thinking who are we to sit and take it, to accept our fate, to remain docile like grazing sheep.” A graduate wearing a patchwork jumpsuit jumped to the stage with a boom box on his shoulder. The maniacal sound of ‘Insane Clown Posse’ erupted as did the cheers.

    They stormed the stage. The group, me included, cornered the dean as he cowered and held up his arms in a futile stance of defense. He sank to his knees, pleading, begging. As one, we let him have it; we opened up with our squirting flowers and soaked him to the skin.

    1. thejim

      I liked this one, maybe it was just me but I could hear him speak in a monotone voice. Funny you said you did not Like this prompt but you had 2 submissions. Hmmmmm

      Your honor, the witness before you has on numerous occasions have given testimony that he did not and does not like this Clown College prompt, But yet! He has submitted not One but Two, Two mind you excellent pieces of work, and yet he claims that he does not like this prompt. I implore you your honor, does not actions speak louder than words why if you do not like something would you do it more than once? There is no reason, I submit that we cannot believe what this man says and therefore I am calling for a mistrial… A MISTRIAL…

      ….Sorry got carried away

    2. cosi van tutte

      Hi, jhowe!

      Kudos for bringing in the boom box playing the “Insane Clown Posse”. That was unexpected and totally perfect for that moment. 😀

  13. SkyFox

    Helllllllooooo! Now I personally dont really like this prompt to much. SOOOO heres another snippet!
    I hope you like it *Starts sweating*… Anyway. Enjoy. Critque. Rinse and reapet!

    A feeling of dread crept through my body and a rock settled in my stomach. It was the same box as before, the same latch, the same engraved initials. I flicked the latch open and a necklace was sitting inside. Made out of rough leather, with a metal eagle mid-flight, its talons outstretched. Another note was inside, curled around the necklace. I picked and set it on my palm.
    It’s for you.
    A dull clatter bounced around the walls and I whipped my head around, expecting to see someone crouching behind me with a knife or a gun. Instead I saw I screw driver spinning on the floor in the circle. Crouching I down and picked it up, and tossed it on my palm. It was new, not like the other tools I had found, most of the snapping when I tried to use them. I tucked it into my pocket and crouched down to grab the box. About to tuck it in my jeans I saw another note, tucked into the corner. I grabbed at and unrolled it.
    I told you. Nothing about this is an accident.
    The not fluttered to the ground. Grabbing at my pockets I examined the screw driver. It was yellow. Turing it I saw something on the handle. A smear of something. It was dark, like midnight, yet oddly translucent. I touched it. Still wet. I began to sweat as I glanced up at the vent. The screw driver had fallen from it and I am betting it wasn’t an accident. Yet one thing was sure. I wasn’t safe here.

    ____________________________________________________

    TA DAAAA. Now I am going to give you a litle bit of a more background on this MC.
    Name: Ace …. Carter
    Age: 17
    Home: Lives on the streets
    Gender: Its a him

    Anyway thanks for reading!

  14. apennell21

    This is what my husband came up with on the fly. Please know that he doesn’t read or write for fun, but his creativity never ceases to amuse me. I think this is genius!

    ——————

    President Honkers, Vice President Bonkers, distinguished guests and alumni of laughter it is my honor, nay, my privilege to stand before you today as the valedictorian of the University of Clownery. My journey to the top of clownery has not been an easy one. Abandoned by my parents at age five I was grafted into a family of gypsies who toured with the circus. It was here touring with my surrogate gypsy family and the veteran clowns of Barren & Billy’s Circus that I learned to fall in love with making people laugh. I was taught the finer points of clownery from a young age. I made it my life’s ambition to attend the University of Clownery. Students, we have all known the pains of balloon animal examinations, our squirt gun flowers not working, makeup done for the children’s hospital by a roommate who had a little too much to drink the night before, but it’s these moments of striving that we find the true essence of being a clown. It is to spread joy and laughter in simple ways all around the world. Now some may say that we are scary or degenerates or alcoholics and I say NO! We here at Clownery University have learned the finer points of being a noble and majestic clown that stand for the three pillars of clowndom: laugher, foolery and self-depreciation.

    To my gypsie family, mama and papa, thank you for taking a chance on a little orphan and supporting my dreams of being top clown at UC. Faculty, thank you for pushing me into small little cars even when I thought I wouldn’t fit. Professor Buffoon thank you. If it was not for your delicate fingers I would have never learned how to make a perfect Weiner dog. Professor Ignoramus, if it was not for your finer points of cyclery my feet would not have been able to pedal the tiniest trike known to man. Thank you all for being here. May your make up lines always be straight, may your noses always be red and shiny and may laughter always fill your cup.

    To the class of 2016!

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Good job including so many iconic clown images. My husband suggested I write about a self defense class for clowns with the advice, When attacked, go for the juggler.

      1. Penney

        Sometimes it’s the spouses that sit next to us as we flush out ideas that help come up with the best. Thanks for listening to us read to you our drafts, thanks for proofing, and thanks for the breaks when your little oddities fill the writers blocks.
        Please let him, them know they are appreciated and we enjoy even their rare ideas. Good job

  15. cosi van tutte

    Oh, and one more just for the fun of it….

    ***

    Valedictorian Clown Francois Pierre made his way onto the stage. He knew his speech backwards and forwards and upside down and in English and in French. He had tried to learn it in Swahili, but he had run out of time.

    Francois stopped before the microphone, which was shaped like a rubber chicken’s head. He looked down at it. It looked up at him with its rubbery yellow eyes. It was hypnotizingly awful.

    He tore his gaze away from the microphone and gazed out at his fellow students. “Class of 2016! We have come here today to bury Caesar not to eat him.”

    *Crickets*

    “I said, we have come there today to eat Caesar not to bury him. Oh! Tch. I meant, bury Caesar not to donate him. Donate? Wait. Where did that come from? Uhhh, uhhh, uhhh…”

    *Loud crickets*

    Francois cleared his throat and decided to abandon that joke. “So, yah. Here we all are. Clowns, clowns, clowns and for our next trick we’ll all be clowns.”

    A skinny blonde afro in the front row broke the cricket monopoly. “What the heck? What kind of joke is that?”

    “Well, it’s because we’re all clowns, see? And it’s funny because our next trick will be us being clowns. See? It’s the same thing. Funny, right?”

    “Wrong.”

    “Uhh, so anyway. Uhhh…Class of 2016! We have come here today to bury Caesar not to eat him.”

    The audience groaned.

    “And, uhhhh, here we all are. Clowns, clowns, clowns and for our—-”

    Blonde Afro stood. “I can’t believe you’re a Valedictorian. Why, my Grandmother Nellie Pie Mae is a whole lot funnier than you.”

    “—next time we’ll…uhh bury Caesar and uhh, no. I mean.” He cleared his throat. “Class of 2016! We have come here today to—”

    A large shepherd’s hook floated out from the right side of the stage and snagged Francois around his waist.

    “Wait! Wait! I can do this! I can do this! Class of 2016 we have come today to bury Caesar not to eat him clowns clowns clowns and for our next trick even more clowns clowns with crowns and ach! No! No, that isn’t how I memorized it. Ahh, let me start again. Class of—”

    The hook whisted him off stage right.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Pure vaudeville slapstick. Especially the dreaded ook, oh yes, the dreaded hook. Me things he might be better off eaten rather than praised. After all a mouth in the front is worth more than oops!!!!

  16. JosephFazzone

    “This is stupid.”

    It’s not my fault. We have to roll with the punches.

    “A clown speech? Really? That’s what we have to do?”

    Well, we don’t have to.

    “You’re going to back and forth to find a fun way to do the prompt, and we both know that this one totally paints us in the corner. A stupid clown speech? Didn’t we have a clown that worked at a bank awhile ago?”

    Yeah, that one was pretty lame too.

    “What do you have time for?”

    Not much.

    “So a clown speech is what we are spending our time doing?”

    I think, right now, we’re just whining about doing a clown speech.

    “Oh. Well, that’s even worse.”

    I’m thinking so, yes.

    “So what should we do, a double jointed mime, or maybe a slutty clown who ties latex prophylactics into various animals shapes?”

    Well this clown was to be the clown of clowns, and duly appointed the title of Valedictorian.

    “So, essentially, the clown that is the best at clowning around, the clown to end all clowns?”

    Seems to be the case, although I’m reading clown so much, I feel like we’re misspelling it.

    “Yeah, still not feeling this.”

    We have to do something.

    “I see no gun pointed at our head.”

    It would aid in the motivation. This prompt is pretty stupid.

    “Whining!”

    Sorry. So what then?
    “We’ll give him a name, and back story. Let’s elevate this clown’s stature.”

    Like this is the clown to raise a clown army and start the Clown Apocalypse?

    “A bit too dark, and/or silly.”

    The prompt is silly.

    “Whine!”

    Okay, Mr. Picky Pants. Let’s make this the clown to end all clowns. The anti-clown, the clown vigilante, and the leader of the Harbingers of Joyous Degradation!

    “So this is his Independence Day speech?”

    Yeah. We can do this.

    —–

    Parenko the Pallaso stood in front of the collected mass of white painted faces, red noses, and squeaky shoes. “Echo the deeds of the past, and we are doomed to repeat them.”

    Various honks, whistles, flatulence, and other assorted noises ring out in the cool evening air.

    “We are clowns, we are the men and women who given up any sense of the normal in order to bring a smile and/or terror to another soul,” Parenko continued. “But we are reminded of our responsibility to Clowndom.”

    Crickets sing out. He’s lost them.

    “Clowndom,” he repeats, “is my word. The whole philosophy of being a clown is to remind people to laugh and smile, and not take themselves so seriously.”

    Two honks and a shrill whistle echo his sentiments.

    “So remember, we are clowns! We are clowns! Thank all our bad decisions, we are clowns!”

    —-

    Clowndom?

    “Yeah, lost the motivation.”

    We should just point to something to the left, and disappear to the right.

    “We could fake a leg cramp, and awkwardly amble off into the sunset.”

    Good idea. Ow! Ow! My leg!! Ow! I have to walk this off! I’m sorry. I will be back next week. Ow! Ow! Ow!

    1. cosi van tutte

      Hi, Joseph!

      This cracked me up from beginning to end. Especially this line -> “So remember, we are clowns! We are clowns! Thank all our bad decisions, we are clowns!” And I loved your whole “Lost the motivation” ending. 😀

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hello Joseph, I see you rising, see you rising, not from a clown prompt but perhaps memories of your clown initation ritual. Take four clown girls, redhead, brunette, blonde and raven haired. Stack one left, one right, one front and the last rear to kick ass. See how long you can stand all the attention before the drool starts. .

  17. Kerry Charlton

    ASS BACKWARDS

    The year was 2060, an elderly woman led a young girl across the campus of Trump University toward the school of Liberal Arts.

    “But Gran, why are we here?”

    A precocious girl of nine with her curiosity in high gear, kept in step toward a large bronze statue centered on the campus.

    “There is a famous statue of your grandfather you need to see.”

    “Why is that, Gran?”

    “Wait and see child, we’re almost there.”

    She started to giggle,

    “I see it now. Pop Pop’s riding a donkey backwards. Is that his clown outfit?”

    “Don’t be disrespectful child, he was valedictorian of his clown class of 2020.”

    “Giggle—snort. Can’t help it Gran, the donkey’s doing a number on the ground.”

    “That’s part of his mystic child, his ass was full of it.”

    “Gran , that was naughty.”

    “Can’t help it child, snicker, snort.”

    “Was Pop Pop in the circus?”

    “He would have been if he had made it off campus after his address.”

    “You mean he’s still here Gran?”

    “Buried under the rear end of the donkey.”

    “I’m so sorry Gran, what happened?.”

    ‘‘His Valedictorian address, was a parody on President Trump.”

    “Did the president shoot him Gran?”

    “Oh no, President Trump thought your Pop Pop was magnificent and joined in the
    conversation as ‘Lying Ted’ and ‘Little Rubio‘, playing both parts. Your grandfather choked to death in laughter. He died, grinning ear to ear, humming a tune from a James Bond Movie, ‘No one does it better.’

    “Gran are you pulling my leg?”

    “Sort of, do you notice how green the grass is under the donkey?”

    “Are you going to tell me, Pop Pop‘s ‘you know’ is fertilizing the grass.”

    “I thought I might. Are you buying that?”

    “Hardly Gran, I am nine you know. And I have a surprise for you.”

    “What is it child?”

    “I’m not you granddaughter?”

    “What?”

    Dad didn’t bring me home from the hospital, I’m adopted. He decided not to tell you.”

    “Why is that.”

    “He wanted to break the chain of insanity.”

    “Oh dear. There’s nothing wrong with me, girl.’

    “That‘s what you think, Dad says you’re a top drawer lunatic.”

    “Oh dear.”

    “Gran?’

    “Yes child.”

    “I love you anyway, I want you to be my Gran.”

    “The joke’s on your father child.”

    “How Gran?”

    “I’m transferring a twenty million dollar trust fund and leaving it with you.”

    ‘He isn’t going to like that Gran.”

    “I know dear. But no one should mess with a certified lunatic.”

    :

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Joseph, what a monster, beast of a prompt. I had no clue on how to handle it. Maybe this week’s will be better. The old brain is tired of far out prompts.

  18. cosi van tutte

    Bruce stood in the shadows and watched the clown prance about the stage, cracking jokes to his fellow clown cadets.

    Sometimes Bruce loved the fact that he was born into money. It simplified his lifestyle in so many ways. Other times…Well. Other times, he had to attend society functions that bored him into a state of deep grimness.

    This was one of those other times.

    “And then when nobody’s looking, you go and pull out a rubber chicken! AHH-HAHAHAHAHAHAA!”

    He set his mouth into a straight grim line.

    His butler droid ambled over to him. “What do you think, Master Bruce?”

    “I think he’s trying too hard.”

    “To be The Joker?”

    “No. To be funny. This is a waste of my time, Al. I should be out on the streets, solving crimes and stopping evildoers.” His expression turned grimmer. “I should not be watching The Joker’s teenaged son give a speech to a bunch of clown graduates.”

    The clown walked over to the table at the far end of the stage and picked up a fluffy looking pie. “And remember, boys and girls, what should you do when life gives you a lemon whipped chiffon and marshmallow cream pie?”

    His audience chorused, “Throw it at Batman!”

    Bruce clenched his teeth. “Why am I even here?”

    “Bingo! Too bad he isn’t here. Look at this pie. So lovely. So fluffy. It needs to be thrown at someone. It demands to be glopped onto someone’s face.”

    “When can I leave?”

    “According to my calculations, he should be finishing soon.”

    “I can only hope.”

    “Ohhh, but who to throw it at? Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Eeeeeny. Miiiiiney. Moe!” He set the pie down on the table. “I have found my mark and I am ready to LET HIM HAVE IT!” He pressed an oversized red button right next to the pie.

    The table warped and whirled and transformed into a cannon with a caricature of The Joker’s face on the side.

    The clown pulled a lever next to the cannon. “ANNNNND FIIIYAAA!”

    The pie shot out of the cannon in one long straight line and fwoomped Bruce right in the face.

    “AHHH-HAHAHAHAHAHA! TARGET HAS BEEN HIT!”

    And the crowd went wild with cheers and horn honking and generalized tomfoolery.

    Bruce schluffed the thick layers of cream off of his face and gouged it out of his eyes. “That’s it. I’m going home.”

    “But, Master Bruce—”

    He gave the droid a look that was as serious as a cement block in the middle of a busy highway. The bits of cream sticking to his face and hair failed in their comic relief. “If I stay here any longer, I will have to throw my robotized shuriken at him and make a scene.”

    “Very well, Master Bruce. I will speak to the dean and have you excused from attending the remainder of the day’s festivities.”

    “Thank you, Al.”

      1. cosi van tutte

        Thanks, Teserk!

        It’s funny that you should mention Mark Hamill’s Joker. When I wrote this, I was imaging Batman from the animated series with his flat but angular face.

  19. ShamelessHack

    “OK, everyone settle down, you don’t have to stand up and applaud.

    I said, SIT DOWWWWWN!

    That’s better. Now this is a very important day—HEY! You in the third row! Stop waving around that rubber chicken!

    All right, now let’s get on with this. I want to tell all you that—HEY! Who gave me that Bronx cheer? Was that you near the back? Cut it out! Ugh! What’s that smell? YOU! You in the front row—you can’t moon me! Put your pants back on!

    Jeez, can’t anyone here act like an adult? OK. Good. Now, as I look out at this sea of faces I want—YECHHH! What WAS that, a tomato? You got it all over my suit, you jackass! My wife’s going to be very—OUCH! OK, which one of you jokers has a slingshot? I ought to call securi—OOPS! Who put that banana peel under the lectern? OWW! My butt—NO! Stop throwing those eggs, don’t—AUGHHHH!”

    Washington Post, Jan 21, 2016:
    Last night’s State of the Union address went as expected as the President and Members of Congress went through the time-tested ritual of American politics and governance. At one point the President’s tie caught fire and (continued on pg. 6)

  20. Pete

    Well here we are. The few. The distinguished. The silly. We sit here today with clean bibs, loaded bowties and our shoes polished. So what now? For two years now—three for some of my friends in the back, we’ve slogged through Clown College with our futures in sight but just out of reach. And now, well, now we take what we’ve learned and apply it to the world.

    I see some diversity out there. Some color among all the traditional white faces and red mops. I see carnival workers and circus freaks, birthday parties and yes, in the back again, I see some horrendous B horror movie actors. We all have our plans, and now we have our means. But let’s remember this…
    The world out there is more than just what we wear, the color of our wigs and noses. It’s about more than labels and tiny hats and commercial deals and big grand prize games. It’s about laughter folks.

    Laughter.

    Don’t tell me how you came to clown college seeking the money or the fame. Don’t don’t try to feed me a line of you arrived with hopes of making your folks proud. And ski-da-bee-bop-boo don’t waste your breath and claim that you came here for any reason besides that sweet joyful sound that tickles every clown’s heart.

    Laughter doesn’t judge. Laughter doesn’t put the whiteface clown in front of the character clown. The Auguste clown ahead of the tramp or the Hobo or the bag lady. No, no, laughter doesn’t judge or segregate. Just the opposite, laughter brings us all together.

    Some of you don’t agree with me, and that’s fine. You can take your degree and go pile in your little cars and drive off in search of the next Chuckie Cheese for all I care. But for the true entertainers, those of us who have spent three years studying and honing our craft. Well for this is for us. It’s our time now. And I say, let’s give them a show.

    Clown College has taught us more than procedure. Sure, we know how to correctly use the gadgets. Not to drink on the job. Well, except for Barney. But let’s be honest, most of us already knew how to toot our own horns.

    Please, hold your applause…Oh come on! That was gold. Anyway, where was I? Oh, we didn’t come here to learn how to, no, okay, props…skip….technique…yeah…um…I seem to have lost my notes, here….

    Oh, right. Laughter. That’s it people. The degree is in our hands, and now it’s up to us. Do with it what you will. But follow the laughter. Laughter is what’s in our hearts. Stand up, Class of 2016.

    Happy Clowning.

    1. cosi van tutte

      Hi, Pete!

      This was a lot of fun with a lot of good lines. Especially this one: “And ski-da-bee-bop-boo don’t waste your breath and claim that you came here for any reason besides that sweet joyful sound that tickles every clown’s heart.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Not only did it sound case on, but the speech could be adapted for any graduation, regardless of the degree. A really nice job Pete and I know it took time and care to write this way.

  21. ReathaThomasOakley

    The Valedictorian Speaks

    Here we gather
    one last time,
    faces bare, no
    artifice, no mask,
    no paint to hide
    behind. Tomorrow
    we become
    what “others”
    expect us to be,
    jesters, jugglers,
    harlequins,
    fools. Make the
    crowds laugh,
    take all your bows,
    honor the past,
    the noble tradition.
    But, remember,
    you must never,
    ever, allow them
    to see you cry.

  22. SkyFox

    Straight up I am going to say… Not my favorite prompt. So this will probs be not to good. Anyway Enjoy.Critque. Rinse and Reapet 🙂

    *Honk* *Honk*
    I looked at my smiling fellow clowns.
    “Today we come together! For the world will fear us!”
    They erupted in cheers, squeezing their noses, and honks ran out in the small room
    “We planned this! We have trained for this! We gave everything to this!”
    Another round of applause. A hat sailed towards the sage and I caught, popping on my bright red wig.
    “Will won’t be laughed at any longer!” “We will rise up, glorious and proud!” “No longer will people be running, screaming in terror”!
    “We will be the clowns of the generation!”
    They screamed in agreement, stamping there spotted feet against the floor, rocking the floor.
    “Who are we?”
    “CLOWNS!”
    “I said… WHO ARE WE?”
    “CLOWNS!”
    I grabbed my AK-47 off the ground where it was lying, the cold metal pressing into my arm.
    “Now we strike into the hearts of the clown haters,” I yelled, waving my AK-47 over my head.
    Their excited whoops filled the room as they rushed to the weapons rack.
    I looked at them all, my heart swelling with pride at their creepy masks.
    “Now remember!”
    “We are not lame versions of the Joker!”

    Hi guys! Now I would love you to read this. I am writing a short story. SO I am including a small snippet of it here! I would LOVE FEEDBACK! Any! If you think it bad say it! I want every angle!!!!!
    I love your little foxy faces. Now Enjoy. Critique. Rinse and repeat! 🙂

    My arms screamed into protest as I hung there, suspended in the semi darkness as my vision swam. I peered up into the vent. I couldn’t go back up. I twisted my neck to the side. A rusted chain hung from the ceiling, dangling above the stained machine below. I smiled through my gritted teeth. Luck seemed to be holding for me. It was close enough to jump and grab onto it halfway down. Except I was facing the wrong way. I couldn’t hold on much longer and already my arms were beginning to shake, the metal biting into my palms. I had jump backwards and hopefully be able to twist in mid air. I closed my eyes. If I was meant to die, then I would. I slowly swung myself back and forth, like when I use go on swings. I went faster and faster, until I could barely hold on. In a slow arch I let go, flinging myself into the empty air. I felt my body turn into a slow back flip. A small part of my brain lived in the thrill, while the other screamed at me this was the shittiest idea I had ever come up with. I back slammed into the rusted chain, sending it flying. I opened my mouth to scream. It wouldn’t come back in time. A dull metal clang echoed through the factory and I saw the chain fly back. I reached out grabbing it, as my palms were shredded. I slowed, holding onto that chain so hard my knuckles were white. I cracked an eye open. I made it. I made it! I wrapped my legs around the chain. “BOO YEAH BABY!” I yelled to the empty factory as I slowly swung back and forth.

    1. jhowe

      I also didn’t care much for the clown prompt. Too specific.

      I did like your little narrative excerpt of the person swinging precariously in the factory. You portrayed fear and hardship very well. I liked the part when the MCs brain somehow reveled in the thrill while also admitting it was a shitty idea.

    2. cosi van tutte

      Hi, SkyFox!

      Those are clowns to be reckoned with, for sure. 🙁

      As for your story snippet, I loved how suspenseful it was, especially when she bumped into the chain. I’m not sure how she got into that predicament or where she’s going after that, but I would definitely read more. 😀

      1. SkyFox

        Thanks for all your lovely comments. *Hugs herself* Now back to business. Since you all wanted to see more I am posting more. Here comes another snippet!

  23. cosi van tutte

    “Heeeellllooo, all you bozos! Heh-heh-heh! I’ve been wanting to say for some time now. Well! Look at us. You. Me. He. She. Us. No it, though. Which is just tooooo bad. All of us are bozos and, darn a May mouse! We are proud to busting buttons about it. We all worked real hard to make fools of ourselves in the classroom, during lunch, during recess, and during shopping extravaganzas!

    And now. Now, my fellow bozoians! We have passed the test. It was hard. It was irritating. It was like getting Jar Jar Binks on speed dial. Hooooo-wheeee! Now, we can all go out in the world and show them all what we’ve got.

    Some will laugh. Some will cry. Some will run away, screaming in stark, gibbering terror. But! And this is very important. So, Tiffany! You wake up, girl and heeeed my words of dooooooooom. Heh-heh-heh. Ahh, I’m just kidding you. My words aren’t doomful. But you still got to pay attention.

    Some will see us as an inspiration. That precious, odd-minded some will see us and say, Yes! I can do that. I can riiiiise above my boring 9-5 welding job and become a regular bozo just like them.

    And who knows? If we inspire enough people, we can take over the world and those who are not clowns will be our captive audience! Mwa-heh-heh-heh. Heh. Ahh, just kidding.

    Or maybe I’m not.

    It’s hard to really tell with all of this white cake paint on. But yeeeowzas! Do I taste good!

    And that, my dear bozos in crime, is the end of my speech. Let’s go eat some cake! Hooo-wheee!”

  24. UnclePizza

    I’ve lived a long and wonderful life, but now it’s nearly over. Unable to leave my bed, I spend what time I have left simply remembering. But the memories are wonderful, and I’m at peace.

    Today I told the nurse about that afternoon in 1962. It was the best day of my life. I was graduating from a secret Navy training program at the top of my class, and was about to join the most elite fighting force that history had known. As valedictorian, I gave a speech at our graduation, and I remember the ceremony like it had happened only moments ago.

    “Classmates”, I shouted to a round of cheers. “I am honored to have spent the last twelve weeks with you as we lived through hell. Most of those who entered this program did not make it to the end, but those of you with me in the room today did. I am proud to march arm-in-arm with you as we enter the ranks of the Clandestine League of Warrior Nautical Seamen. We, my fellow soldiers, are the CLOWNS”!

    More cheers erupted, along with foot stomping and the honking of handheld horns.

    “Where twelve weeks ago we were simply sailors, we have now been trained in skills that others cannot even begin to imagine. And we will use our skills to defeat those who dare to threaten our freedom and our way of life. Imagine the face of the enemy when they see eighteen, yes eighteen fearsome warriors emerge from a single one-man submarine!”

    The auditorium erupts again in cheers punctuated by the melodious shrieks of pennywhistles and the honking of horns. I let the crowd calm down before continuing.

    “While we are all honored today, this is also a solemn occasion,” I say, bowing my head humbly in the way I’d rehearsed. “We will never forget our comrades who died during training. Yes, I speak of Seaman Kaperski and Ensign Franks who were fatally injured on the pie-in-the-face course. And also CPO Meyers who died when a hand buzzer discharged prematurely during night training exercises. Let us take a moment of silence to honor our fallen comrades.”

    I paused for a few moments while we paid our respects to our fallen classmates, and I know that I was not the only one to shed a silent tear. It could have happened any of us. But we all knew the risks, and now it was time for move ahead. So, after a suitable interval, I looked back up at my comrades and shouted, “Who are we?”

    They shouted back as one, “CLOWNS!!!”

    “Who are we?”

    “CLOWNS!!!” Honk! Honk! “CLOWNS!!” Whhooooieee!

    The cheering went on for several minutes, but eventually came to an end as everything will. And, now, it’s my turn to fade into nothing more than a memory. Ah ,yes, I have lived many, many fine days, but that was the best day of my life. I will die a proud and happy man.

      1. UnclePizza

        Thanks Reatha. I almost skipped this week because of the prompt, and then the acronym angle came to me on the treadmill. Now I just need to think of how to come up with the next chapter to the psych/suspense story that I started to serialize last week. I’m afraid it’s just gonna have to be a glancing wink at the prompt like yours was!

  25. thejim

    Soon I will stand before an auditorium filled with my fellow students who have just graduated from one of the most prestige clown colleges in the Kingdom. As I stand behind the curtain getting ready to make my speech I am terrified of what I am about to say. Right now there are clowns to the left of me and jokers to my right, but yet, like the proverbial cheese, I stand alone.

    Fellow Jesters, clowns and all around funny people, I stand before you honored that you have chosen me to be the King of Merriment and that I can give this address to you. Thou we are considered just lowly support. We do bring enjoyment to those around us. Even though we constantly have the anxiety of disappointment and dread any consequences of failing.

    I know that some of you once leaving this fine place will not pursue a path of laughter but will go make a family life for yourself and even if your wage me be meager or you may be a peasant or a commoner, you will have a safe and happy life. There will also be those who will have a long and glorious life, bringing smiles to sadden faces. Then there will be some of you that one day you will be juggling at the most un-opportune time and have your head lobbed off for dropping a ball or thrown into the dungeon shackled for life next to a crazy old man, who goes on and on about cabbage.

    That is why I have already made my choice and have decided Not to be a Jester but to become a Heralder. Of which the common saying is: Hear Ye Hear Ye, and of course, please don’t kill the messenger.

    Both professions do come with a bit of danger. I have recently come to realize I am not that funny. Sure, I can get all A’s in juggling and interruptive dance. But, my Lute skills are lacking and even if I do know every line in the Jester manual,
    Why It is called the dark ages; because of all the knights – Everything a new Jester should know.
    It will not help me with thinking on the spot. And everyone knows the saying that has been around the campus since the Mid 7th century – if ye can’t be funny then ye can be dead.

    With that I say good bye, good luck, stay funny, and don’t get caught on the wrong end of a sword.

  26. jhowe

    not my favorite prompt. Language warning: The character demanded it, but it is pretty bad.

    Chris Rock sat in a leather arm chair across from his agent. The two men eyed each other speculatively.

    “Clown school! Fucking clown school?” The comedian’s eyes bulged as he spoke.

    “It’s a great opportunity Chris.”

    “You’ve got to be shitting me. Clown school?”

    “If you don’t want it, I’ll get someone else.”

    “Why don’t one of the clowns do it? Don’t they have valedictorians or some shit?”

    “They do, yes.” The agent got up and poured a small glass of limoncello with rocks and added a Marciano cherry. He raised his glass and his eyebrows, rattled the ice. Rock shook his head.

    “You see,” the agent said. “Clowns…. they’re not big on giving speeches.”

    “Can’t they just honk something out on their fucking horn or something?”

    “No Chris.”

    “Pantomime?” Rock raised his hands. “Can’t they act something out? They’re fucking clowns.”

    “They want a big name.”

    “Hell, have them get Bozo, you don’t get much bigger than that.”

    “I’m pretty sure Bozo’s dead.”

    “Who the fuck would know? Put a big nose on and some makeup and shit… anybody could do it.”

    “Do you want it or not?”

    “Fuck no I don’t want it.”

    “Fine, I’ll call Gaffigan.”

    “Gaffigan! Fucking Gaffigan?”

    The agent picked up the phone.

    “Ok, fuck it. When is it?”

    “Saturday.” He hung up the phone.

    “Saturday! Fucking Saturday?”

    The agent picked up the phone and hit a speed dial button.

    “Fine, what time?”

    1. cosi van tutte

      Hey, jhowe!

      I can see why you said the character demanded the language.

      I could totally hear Chris Rock’s voice while I was reading it. Great job! 😀

  27. dustymayjane

    They always say, start with a joke, so here goes nothing.

    “Hello Ladies and Germs!”

    Oh that stinks, can’t I be more original than that?

    “I just flew in from Toronto and boy are my arms tired.”

    BA-DUMP-BA!

    (chirping crickets)

    Oh brother, and to think I graduated valedictorian?

    Let’s try again. “What do you call a Smurf with his pants down?”

    “…a blue moon!”

    (Uproarious laughter)

    That’s more like it.

    “It’s good to know you’re alive out there.”

    BOI-OING!

    I never thought I’d make the grade. But here I am, in front of all of you, my fellow graduates and our esteemed guests, in my big shoes and red nose. We worked, we played, we annoyed people, we even scared children. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t easy, getting pied in the face or beaten with rubber chickens, but we made it! Crying babies and angry mothers, boy, we’ve paid our dues. We’ve earned our noses and our water squirting flowers. Use them, my friends, use them well, for we are the future. We, the 2016 graduates of Clown University, are the future of the Clown community!

    (Donald Trump supports this message!)

  28. ReathaThomasOakley

    West Augustine
    1955
    Part 5
    (With a tiny nod to the prompt)

    “Hey there, Annie.”

    “Oh, hey there, Miss Jimmie Mae.” She was on her front porch, crochet basket next to her rocker. “Didn’t know I walked this far.” Some times my feet and my brain don’t talk to each other, ‘specially Saturday afternoons.

    “You out sleuthin’ again?”

    “What?” I walked up to the porch steps. “What’s sleuthin’?”

    “Detectin’, like Mr. Sherlock Holmes.” Miss Jimmie Mae pushed the hook into the yarn ball.

    “Oh, I’m kinda off that this week. Seems some folks don’t like other folks watchin’ or listenin’, ‘specially listenin’.”

    “Yeah, I heard ’bout Sunday dinner.” She laughed. “Kinda wish I’d been there.”

    How could she’d a heard…

    “Annie, what on earth are you eatin’?”

    “Peanut butter and barbecue sauce sandwich. It’s really good. You want half?”

    “No, dear, I do not. Ain’t you worried you gonna spoil supper?”

    “No, mam, Mama’s brownin’ down meat for a big ole perlo, won’t be ready for hours. I just needed a little somethin’ to help me think. Guess I am sorta detectin’, I got somethin’ to figger out.”

    “Well, you finish up that thing you’re eatin’ and come on up here.”

    “It’s like this,” I said after wiping my hands on my dungarees, “you know my cousin’s cousin, Rebel? Well, we got an invitation to his college graduation, he’s gonna be somethin’ special, valley somethin’…”

    “Valedictorian?”

    “Yeah, that’s it, gonna make a speech, but Mama said she ain’t gonna go, that Rebel’s Daddy’s kin…Why’re you laughin’?”

    “Annie, don’t you know he’s at clown college?”

    “That’s why I wanna go, it’d be funny, get it, funny?”

    “Yes, Annie, I get it, but, uh, I think there could be somethin’ else…”

    “Me, too. That’s what I gotta figger out. Last night, I was on the back porch, Mama and Daddy were in the kitchen and she said, ‘Only reason he’s gonna be a clown his mama found her girdle and lipstick under his bed and he had to say somethin’,’ then Daddy said, serious-like, ‘Don’t go judgin’, Rebel done good at that school and already got a job with the circus.’ Miss Jimmie Mae, what do you think?”

    “Annie, I think you gotta try harder not to listen, and I think your daddy’s a wise man.” Miss Jimmie Mae picked up her yarn. “Now, how’d you like that first crochet lesson you been askin’ me for?”

  29. apennell21

    Salutations class of 2016. Jim Morrison said that, “I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments.” I think we can all agree that’s why I’m standing here today. Who better to become the valedictorian than the biggest buffoon in the class? We’ve managed to step onto a path of life that no one but eighty-five year old women with porcelain collections of us in their china cabinets will appreciate. We will swindle the kindergartners of their peaceful sleep and be mocked by the drunkards of the circus. We will terrify the youths of america and get paid to do so. So to all you pranksters, jokesters, wags, wits, comics, jesters, fools, and ignoramus’ I salute you.

  30. socialleper

    My fellow jesters, fools, harlequins, buffoons, and Puchinellos; today we achieve all that we have striven for these long months. No longer will we be just be shiftless drunks. No longer will we be convicts that need to hide our appearance. No longer will we be friendless borderline psychopaths. Today, degree in hand, we are clowns, with all the literal and figurative meaning that entails.
    Let’s get out there and scare the fuck out of some kids!

    1. socialleper

      Thanks.
      I read the prompt and thought for a second. The last sentence was really all that was needed, but the rest made sense.
      I ain’t gonna lie. I giggled a little while I was typing it. I’m not not even afraid of clowns.

  31. Hiba Gardezi

    “Hee-haw was a dream, my friends that, not I, but my parents discovered lay within me. How did they do it?”
    A curious glance replaced each clown’s expression.
    “They took me to a student councilor.
    ‘He only jokes all day! ’ My mother shouted.
    ‘All he can do is make me angry.’ Dad said
    Quiet whining and wailing began to emerge from among the crowd. Behind every humor filled lens lay eyes that had spent years soaked in tears. They had all made great sacrifices to come here to a clown college.
    “ ‘The doctor said. Not to worry. I’ll find out his real aptitude in a moment.’ He took out a feather… and tickled my funny bone!”
    Clowns clad in colorful shirts and red noses fell onto the ground rolling, laughing, tears in their eyes.
    “Anyway, once they found out I was a clown; they began to treat me like one.
    ‘No clowns at the dining table’ so I dined with Amy instead.
    Amy was our dog.
    ‘STOP BEING SO CLOWNY!’
    ‘You’re an embarrassment’
    ‘Just don’t tell them you’re my brother’
    ‘Why don’t you go and live with some homeless weirdos or something’
    And so I did.
    I had been living with hipsters my whole life.
    Daddy and Mommy and my little brothers.”
    More roaring erupted. I was about to open my mouth to start my next line when I saw a familiar face, not a clown face in the crowd.
    “Dad?”
    “Huh?” confused clowns stopped laughing.
    “Dad?” I asked again.
    “You’re not going to tell them you ran away? And that your ‘Daddy and Mommy and little brothers’ were teenaged hobos you’d adopted when you ran away”
    More puzzled looks.
    “I -da-”
    “I love you ,son”

    Those are the last words I hear before dreams are replaced by reality.
    I sit up in my bed, head still aching with last night’s frustration over not knowing how to end the speech.
    Now I know.
    I pick up my phone and tentatively dial a number still etched in my mind.

    ‘Don’t forget this. If you’re ever in trouble’

    Someone picks it up.
    “Dad?”

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