The Clown

Here’s a story I wrote back in January before Covid began to bite. Kidults will love it.


On The Verge of a Breakfast Tantrum

The President of the World slowly opened one morning eye. He blinked a few times then stared a long one-eyed stare at the world from under his thick presidential duvet. 

The sun was shining. It was a lovely day and he was the President of the World and he could do anything he wanted, and this morning he didn’t want to get out of bed. Presently, the President opened a second presidential eye and was just wondering, how to stay in bed all day and rule the world at the same time, when, suddenly his presidential stomach started rumbling.

“I’m President of the World and I want my breakfast.” He declared, just loud enough so the Presidential butler in the next room could hear him.

The presidential stomach rumbled louder and louder like a tin can in a tumble dryer.

“I’m president of the world and I want my breakfast” thundered the president, on the verge of a breakfast tantrum. Presently there was a polite, measured, courtly knock on the presidential bedroom door.

“Come in” shouted the President. Yippee! Breakfast!”  He squealed. “Have I got Choccy pops and bacon and pancakes and maple syrup and … “

The butler bumped the door open with his bum, backed his way into the presidential bedroom, labouring under the weight of a heavy breakfast tray, He turned to look at the President. He drew a short, shocked butler breath and collapsed. The silver breakfast tray went flying, sending Choccy pops, piles of pancakes, and rashers of bacon high into the air into the air. The tray fell to the floor with a silver clatter and a loud crockery smash.

Oh My Frogs!

The crashing and clattering, was enough to bring the Presidential personal secretary running into the room. She took one look at the President. She screamed and fainted. In rushed the Presidential personal secretary’s personal secretary, she too screamed and fell to the floor. It took several secretaries all screaming and fainting before it dawned on the President there might be something wrong. He climbed out of bed, clambered across the multiple secretaries strewn all over his bedroom floor and went to look at himself in the mirror above the mantel piece.

“Oh my Frogs!” he declared staring at his reflection. Gone was his uncontrollable, impossibly blonde bouffant hair. Gone was his permanent orange pallour, instead he had spikey green hair, his face was yellow, his nose was turning red and worse still he could feel his face muscles contorting into a huge, wide smile. 

“Help!” hollered the President. 

In rushed a legion of security guards. As they burst in, brandishing their guns. The President turned to face them. They stopped dead in their tracks. They stared in consternation.

“Get the vice President!” ordered the chief security guard.

In rushed the vice President.

“Get the Presidential doctor,” yelled the Vice President when he had seen the President

In rushed the presidential doctor. He stared at the President and then started to back away.

“Everyone get out the room” he boomed.

The security guards dropped their guns, turned tail and fled, carrying the Vice President and the presidential doctor with them. They slammed to door shut and locked it.

“Seal the room. Bar this door,” ordered the Presidential doctor. “No one must enter or leave the Presidential bedroom.”

The Virus

“What is it?” demanded the Vice President?

The presidential doctor, wiped his brow, drew breath and then pronounced the words “clown virus”. 

“Clown Virus” repeated the Vice President, who had never heard of this before

“Possibly the worst case of clown virus I have ever seen.” Added the Presidential doctor.

“Clown Virus? Are you sure?” queried the vice president.

Now, the presidential doctor was the chief doctor of all the doctors in the world, he was also the best doctor in the world and if he said that the President of the World had clown virus, it was sure that he had clown virus.

“Has the President been in contact with any clowns recently?” asked the doctor presently

“He meets clowns everyday” laughed the Vice President.

“I mean real clowns,” asserted the Presidential Doctor, more than a little annoyed at the Vice President’s attempt at humour.

“Well …” began the Vice President, 

“Well …” he began again

“Yes” probed the Presidential doctor.

“Well yesterday was the President’s birthday and he had a small party. A few  friends with balloons, jelly, cake, party games, a magician and a few clowns. It was a quiet affair. Not even the President’s closest advisers were aware of the party until some of the guests got lost whilst playing Hunt The Bomb.”

“Hunt the Bomb” repeated the Presidential Doctor, more than a little surprised.

“Yeah, not a real bomb, just a neutralised nuke. Hey this place is too big for thimbles. Bombs are easier to find.”

“Did the President touch any of the Clowns?” Asked the Presidential Doctor.

“I guess so,” replied the Vice President, “he took part in balloon-sculpting and face-painting and then he shook everybody’s hand before they went home with a slice of cake and a balloon.”

“Who was at the party?” demanded the doctor adding that he’d need a full guest list.

The Vice President frowned the kind of frown that Vice Presidents frown when something is impossible. We’re it known that the President of the World, had invited all the military Chiefs of Staff, foreign ambassadors, financiers, and many other very important people who could not be named for security reasons, to a party at the Whitehouse with clowns and magicians and face painting, the President of the World, and the World’s ruling elite, would be a laughing stock. 

The Briefing

That evening there was an official medical briefing from the Presidential doctor.

The briefing room was filled with important Presidential advisers and secretaries and security experts and all their various advisers and secretaries and medical experts and more advisers to advise the other advisers on the advice they should give.

The Presidential Doctor cleared his throat.

“Ladies and Gentlemen” he announced. “We have a serious problem. This afternoon following close examination and testing The President of the World has been diagnosed with extreme clown virus. He has been put ino isolation for a few weeks and we are currently working on a cure. In the meantime he is not to be approached. As far as we know there are two ways of contracting clown virus, the first by physically touching a clown, the second by being in close proximity to a clown when they laugh.”

A presidential adviser raised his hand to field a question.

“Sir, what are the symptoms of Clown virus and who can catch it?”

“Potentially no one is immune” said the Presidential doctor, “though I would like to clarify one point, only those with a clown-like disposition are most at risk.”

There was an audible shocked murmur around the room. Surely the Presidential Doctor was not suggesting that the President of the World was a clown?

The Presidential Doctor continued, raising his voice to silence the murmuring

“The symptoms Ladies and Gentlemen are the following. In a serious case like the President, there will be physical clown like manifestations such as a change of hair and skin colour. The muscles of the face will contract into a clown-like smile for the duration of the virus. Over a few days a person’s voice may change into a more squeaky clown-like mode. At the most serious stage of the disease , and this is why we insist on isolation and lockdown, the victim will indulge in clown-like antics, anything from a need to perform second rate magic tricks to more serious incidents such, tripping people up, pulling chairs from beneath them as they go to sit down, thrusting custard pies into other peoples’ faces or  throwing buckets of water or paint at them. This is why for your own safety, you must avoid the President.”

“That sounds no more stupid than what the president already does” muttered the Vice President under his breath.

“It is my medical opinion” continued the Presidential Doctor,(Ignoring the very audible muttering of the Vice President) “ that in his current state, the President of the World cannot carry out his full presidential duties and responsibilities and therefore it must befall the Vice President, to assume the presidential mantle until such time as the President of The World make a full recovery.”

To be continued

bobo the clown

It was a week since the President of the World had contracted clown virus and been put into isolation. His hair was greener and spikier than ever and his face was now bright yellow.  He didn’t seem to care though. While the Vice President ruled the world, the President of the World was clowning around and improving his clown skills. He could now juggle three balls without dropping any. He had started learning magic tricks and his custard pie-throwing skills were second to none. Every morning the Presidential chef would send a hundred custard pies to the President, who would then spend the rest of the day throwing them at the busts and portraits of other former presidents that decorated his bedroom.

The President of the World was attended by security guards in clown proof hazmat suits.

“Mr President … Here’s your breakfast sir .”

“Don’t call me Mr President” said the president in jovial voice. “Call me Bobo. That’s my new name, Bobo the Clown.”

And from that day on, the President of The World would only answer the name Bobo.

All the while, the search for a cure went on. All the nation’s secret defence labs and research facilities had stopped developing big bombs and deadly poisons and death ray guns and monstrous missiles, and were working 25 hours a day 8 days a week to find a cure. All the world’s mad scientists, potty professors, insane inventors, eccentric engineers, fuzzy physicists and crackpot chemists were called in to work on a cure.

it happened at teatime

Then it happened, one Tuesday around teatime, a wild and joyous scream was heard to echo around the deepest of the deep secret science labs deep within the Pentagon.

“Eureeka!” screamed one of the, mad scientist potty professor insane inventor eccentric engineer fuzzy physicist crackpot chemist persons “I think I’ve found the cure for Clown virus.”  

Suddenly everyone dropped their test tubes and ran over. Standing there, smiling a broad smile and holding aloft a test tube of green and purple brew, was Dr Professor Stan Bonkers, 

“This, Ladies and Gentlemen” announced Stan, pointing to the test tube he was holding, “this is the cure for clown virus.