Friday 18 July 2014

Everyone Loves a Clown

The Great Suspendo

Everyone loves clowns, don’t they? I remember as a kid in the 1960’s going to see the circus at ‘Tipton Fields’. This was the good old days when they actually had animals: performing elephants; a horse which could count to six, and this was before calculators. I was absolutely, fucking, mesmerised. The star of the act was the ‘Great Suspendo’, the trapeze performer. He emerged from a great height in a sequined leotard and to stupendous applause. He seemed to whizz through the air with the greatest of ease. My bright, upturned, blue eyes withheld wonder. How could a poor boy from the Black Country not be enthralled? Anyway, seems some daft local boy, employed on day’s wages, had forgot to secure one of the ropes and the ‘Great Suspendo’ fell 30 foot into a pile of elephant shit. As if on cue/poo a claque of clowns emerged. All bright, frantic and full of noise. They seemed to detract from the drab stage hands who rushed to collect the supine form of Suspendo. They even had someone raking sand over the blood spurge. Now that’s what you call professionalism.  

Well, Suspendo spent the next 12 weeks in the Dudley Royal Infirmary. The medics patched him up according to their relative skills. However somewhere, either individually or collectively, they fell short. Suspendo was never quite the same. He developed a limp and a speech impediment. He would never take to the high wire again.

Circus folk look after their own and he ran his course as a clown, until he drunk himself to death circa 1972.  

Now if you don’t find this inspiring, then you ain’t no clown.

Here are some clowns which everyone should see occasionally, if only in his/her dreams. Arse.

Kid, c'mon see my Big Mac

A Clown best relegated to experimentation with all things psychedelic

The REM sleep clown, but only if you are lucky

But this one is my personal fav

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