A Summa cum Laude graduate from the top university in his major. A successful businessman operating in the top 1% of his field. A passionate artist who has dedicated his life to his craft. Imagine a man who is all of these things and more; do you think he deserves to be laughed at by children? No doubt, any reasonable person would agree that such a successful, well-rounded man could safely expect the esteem and respect he is owed. And yet, this Thursday, I found myself being laughed at, mocked, by a herd of children who have no respect for my work.
“But you’re a clown,” you, the hosting parents told me. “Your job is to entertain the children.”
First of all, where do you get off telling me anything about clowning? My consultancy, Bonko Concepts, LLC, has received acclaim from several leading clown publications for transforming the neighborhood clown trade in the past decade. I have become an agent of change in a very traditional industry, leveraging my experience and knowledge to transform the very idea of what it means to be a clown in the 21st century. Where do you get off thinking you have the right to tell me what my job is?
Second, I don’t deal in simplistic “antics”. When you want a buffoon, look for a buffoon; they are not in short supply (might I suggest looking in the mirror?). When you want a clown who takes his work seriously, who has 28 years of experience and a 4.9 Yelp score, you turn to me. Here’s a snippet of a review from my recent engagement at the Markusson Center for the Circensian Arts:
“His performance is transcendental art, in the grand tradition of Commedia dell’Arte; it tugs at the heartstrings, with political and social commentary that reminds us what it is to be human, that very little separates the businessman in his high tower and the bum lying drunk in a gutter. Poodle Doodle is truly a visionary in his field.”
Does this sound like a man who was anything less than entertained? And yet, he didn’t feel the need to interrupt the sanctity of the performance with guffaws and demands to squirt him with water. He simply allowed the performance to wash over him, like waves gently lapping on a shore, and found himself refreshed. Your braying brats, on the other hand, saw fit to disrespect my performance, to insult my chosen profession, and, worst of all, to violate my basic dignity as a human being, by sneaking up on stage and throwing a pie, right in my face. What makes you think anyone has the right to do that to another human being? How would you feel if I came into your accounting firm and placed a “whoopie cushion” in your office chair, in front of a client?
Simply put, this kind of treatment is unacceptable. I abide by a personal code, which I take very seriously: I will not be stolen from, I will not be lied to or about, and I will not stand by while someone robs me of my dignity. Your children forced me to violate this final rule. I hope you realize that parents who raise their children to disrespectful of their elders is what has left the world in the sorry state it is today.
PS: If you know anyone who is interested in hiring a serious clown, please refer me to them. My business thrives on recommendations.