Allison Nance and Lisa Eldridge

Nance R

Allison Nance
I Never Wanted To Be A Clown
Mixed Media/Collage – graphite, conte crayon,
oil pastel, parchment paper, cardboard, thread, 4×6″
Created using Lisa Eldridge’s story (below) as inspiration

Requiem for a Clown
By Lisa Eldridge

I’m the kind of clown who never liked the circus. The hustle and bustle of the big top always threw me for a loop. I had an ulterior motive for becoming a clown.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking I was some Bozo Come Lately. I might not have loved it, but I took my clowning around seriously…at first. I hauled the broken stretchers, threw the buckets of confetti, and was first in line for the tonsil baths when the seltzer bottles came out. After a few years I could throw a cream pie for distance if not for accuracy. Still, I never fooled myself into thinking I was anything more than second-rate. Let’s just say my balloon animals wouldn’t have won any prizes.

What drew me toward the limelight? It was the little cars. I loved working on those tiny clown cars, man. Most people assume it’s an illusion. Some of the smarter ones figure maybe the clowns themselves are somehow able to manipulate their atoms in order to squeeze inside. But little kids come closest when they guess it’s done by magic. But it’s the true heroes, the clowncanics, who work that magic. To get 10 or 15 clowns into a car the size of a golf cart, you got to understand cars, but as I have finally come to believe, you really got to understand clowns. You wouldn’t think it, but the cars are the easy part. It’s the clowns you have to work for. The whole thing can blow up if you lose the trust of even one clown. If only I’d learned that lesson sooner.

All clowncanics are clowns, but very few clowns ever get to be clowncanics. I spent every minute I wasn’t on stilts down in the pit. I stopped focusing on my basics, and my fellow clowns started to mutter behind my back. They lost all respect for me the day I went out for the group pants drop without realizing I had forgotten to wear the oversized novelty polka-dotted boxers. But I was too big for my britches (literally). I kept begging Skittles, the Big Klownhuna, to take me out of Clown Alley and put me on the cars full-time.

Finally, I got my chance. There was an opening for a journeyclown on the pit crew. Cupcake and Mr. Smirky left unexpectedly to open a medical supply store, and Glitterbug went on sabbatical for a year to finally finish her Ch.D. I worked my ass off and became a senior clowncanic within the first year. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I have to admit that my cars were things of beauty.

Most of the other clowns still didn’t like me much, and being that clowns are naturally suspicious, anyway (obviously, they’d have to be), it took a while for them to come around. I wasn’t too diplomatic when the others sneered at me; I’m embarrassed to admit I was often rude to the point of being clownfrontational. But clowns also believe in results: the day 23 clowns exploded triumphantly from my bright-red miniature school bus, the crowd went insane and my reputation was made. Suddenly even the clowns who’d hated me started looking at me like I was the golden-wigged hero of the big top.

You probably can see where this is heading. There’s always got to be a clownfall, right? I got too ambitious. I pushed the clownvelope, and tragedy struck.

They won’t let me near the clown cars anymore, not since the day Smarty Pants lost his pelvis and Li’l Stinky, well, he never came out at all. If they had just given me one more chance, I know I could have brought Stinky back. But I’ve finally accepted that the clowns will never trust me again. Sorry about that, Li’l Stinky. I’ve learned my lesson, finally, but it’s too late for you. I know it’s only a gesture, but at least I want to thank your family for letting me be here today to offer my clowndolences.


Nance I

Allison Nance
Inspiration piece provided to Lisa Eldridge

I’ll Always Remember the Things We Never Did
By Lisa Eldridge

I’ll always remember the things we never did
Like that time we held hands and dove off a cliff
We had so much fun that day when we didn’t do that
Or when we followed those people who were on acid through the woods and Convinced them we were druids

I love thinking back on that even though it never happened

Such romantic trips we took together to Italy and Bali
And the lost city of Fresno
I love that picture of you in those Bermuda shorts
Next to those Japanese tourists (in Bermuda)
Remember when they never invited us to eat fugu?

We always said someday we’d sail around the world–
Remember that? We never did it.
We didn’t strike it rich
Or write great works of literature (or read them)
You never got your pilot’s license
I never finished my degree

I’ll never forget when we didn’t do any of the following:
–Say “To hell with everything!” and move to the woods
–Pretend to have whiplash to get money from the government
–Shoot each other out of a cannon filled with confetti
–Lie to each other for no good reason
–Believe in long engagements
–Have children
–Go to bed angry
–Forget to say “I love you” even when we didn’t mean it
–Get divorced

We never fought in front of the kids
We didn’t have any kids, remember?
We used to say we would have kids “someday”
But we did never did

Someday has arrived
We’ve gotten a little old and we’re not too happy about it
But let’s never forget we have each other
And we saved a little money
And we bought this little motorbike
Now let’s hit the road and make some more memories.

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