The clown wakes up, gets up. He struggles to get up, but a few cat stretches shakes off the lethargy. He zips his suit, paints his face. The clown then grabs his heavy trunk filled with the silliest tricks and sweetest tricks. More importantly, it’s filled with happiness. Or at least that’s what I think it is. He proceeds to drag his trunk with the handle provided. Did I mention it was heavy?
Thank goodness for wheels.
No car for this clown. Clowning is certainly not for those who seek such indulgences. This clown walks all the way to the party. 10 miles. This clown walks. Or takes the bus. Or maybe a cab if the previous gig tipped extra.
And there he is. He hears the children screaming, laughing. Not for him, of course. He just got there. They haven’t seen him yet. Must be a dog. Or a water gun. Or water guns. Wait. No. This time around, it could just be a game of tag.
Our clown knocks on the door. RAP! RAP! “I’ll get it! Oh finally you’re here! Hey kids, look who’s here?!” The door swings open, “Hey! Hey! Hey Kids! It’s me! S…” You could barely hear the clown’s name be said with all the shrieking. The kids go berserk. Have you ever met Jesus in real life? No? Too bad. That’s what these kids are feeling like right now.
Pandemonium! The clown plops his trunk on his stage, which is usually some open space in the backyard or living room. He opens it and brings out uninflated balloons. Huff! Puff! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! A dog! More tricks here and there. Confetti all over! Pie on face! A joke here, some slapstick there.
Of course, not all goes well. Sometimes there’s that really annoying kid. The one you usually hate. But can we blame the little tyke? Certainly not! We blame the parents! Spoiling that child, who, by the way, just gave our clown a kick to the shin. The kid laughs, thinking nothing is wrong with having a little fun. Besides, clowns get hurt all the time right?
The clown winces, but you can’t really tell coz there’s a smile painted on his face. He rubs his shin for a bit, and gives the kid a giraffe. Yes, an actual giraffe. Yes, I’m kidding. It’s a balloon giraffe. A giraffe wouldn’t fit in the trunk.
The show goes on. The kids laugh, stare at amazement. By the end of the show, they all clap, children and adults. But wait! He’s not done yet. He has one last surprise. He opens his trunk one last time and pulls out… some glowing cube, no bigger than your usual children’s blocks. He hands them out to everyone, children and adults. A sense of comfort fills them as they receive these little treats.
Ah! Payment! Few bills here and that’s it. No extra tip. The parents apologize, they did not have any cash with them. The clown smiles and says thank you nonetheless. But the clown does get to eat some of the cake. The cake looks this time around. Yum!
Sometimes, the adults are usually quite old and no one seems interesting to the clown, but once in a while, someone does catch his eye. A lady, who, given a clown’s deduction through observation, has no one “significant other”. He gathers the courage to talk to her and they hit it off. Some witty comment here, a funny story there.
Just as our clown-turned-casanova is about to ask for her number, a latecomer arrives and drapes his arm over her shoulder. Introductions here and there. Hopes washed away. Oh and look! He has quirky anecdotes and everyone loves him. A funny guy! Of course, not all funny guys are clowns. Then again, not all clowns are funny.
And that’s our clown’s cue to leave. He packs up and exits unnoticed. No tip, no cab. It’s walking time. Or bus. There’s still the bus. That said, carrying a trunk full of balloons, spray bottles, horns and blocks of glowing… stuff… is no fun even with the bus ride. But those are the breaks.
He gets home, wipes the paint, unzips the suit. Wait. What’s this a message on his answering machine. “Hey you there? Anyway, I got you another gig. Rich kid’s birthday party. Lots of people, and I’m guessing there’s gonna be some good tipping.”
The clown smiles, opens his trunk, opens his chest. He takes out a block from his chest, one at a time and places it in the trunk. He closes his chest, closes his trunk and goes to bed. Simple life, simple smiles. This must be great!
“I’m on my way home. You want anything? You sure? Okay.”
I dropped the phone and took my usual route home. The one thing about “having the usual” is that you’ll always notice when there’s something new or out-of-place or, well, unusual. As you can probably predict, the unusual came by and I should just get to the point.
There was a wall. A white one. Okay, that’s not the unusual thing. Not saying that walls cannot be unusual. No, far from it. If a wall were to change color everyday, or were to phase between universes, then certainly that would be highly unusual. But not this wall. It was pretty much your standard cement wall: hard, cold tangible, fixed, and could very well be impregnable without the use of a large object or explosives.
However, the man who stood in front of it was a different story. As I approached him, I realized he was banging his head against the wall. I came up and tried to stop the silliness because, last I checked, wall beats head about 99.99999999999% of the time. But the man resisted my help, pushing me back each time I came closer. At that point, I thought the best thing to do was to ask questions.
Questions like… why?
“Because I have to get to the other side of this wall by breaking it.”
…what’s on the other side?
“What’s on this side?”
… (what did that even mean?)
… why use your head?
“Coz I don’t have tools. Can’t afford them. And my body is all the force I need”
… why not your hands?
“I don’t want to break my hands! Duh!”
When I ran out of questions to ask, all I could do was stare. It was oddly captivating. Trying to stop him would have been a futile exercise so I just stood there, and forgot that I was actually on my way home. His forehead, naturally, began to swell up until, finally, blood starting gushing out of the gash, painting the immaculate whiteness of the wall red.
And then he stopped. He turned his head and gave me a piercing look
“Are you just gonna stand there or are you gonna help me?”
So yeah, I helped him. I still am. I’m bleeding now.
Our most endearing heroine, Tall Tara, covered her ears in hopes of ending the pain of the awful music that defiled her aural senses. She could not concentrate on her work; the sound drove her quite batty. Despite the door to her room being closed, the noise resonated loudly as if the source sat right beside her. There were deadlines to be met! Something must done!
I know what you, dear readers, are thinking: ‘What does Tall Tara do for a living?’ The answer is quite simple: she is a Tallicity Analysis Expert, in short, a T.A.E. Tallicity is the study of being tall, which has been deemed ‘the greatest scientific field to be created since quantum mechanics’ by pundits.
Now, where were we? Ah yes! Deadline!
The deadline must be met by Tall Tara! With that in mind, she stood up and marched towards the source of the music blaring, invading her senses. The madness needed to end for all life depended on it!
Well, not really… BUT THERE WAS A DEADLINE!
She opened the door and marched down the hallway of the apartment (Yes! Tall Tara lives in an apartment! Aren’t you glad that you are getting to know more about her?) The music came from the room at the end of the hallway. As every step brought her closer, the sound became more and more unbearable. “I do not understand why anyone would want to listen to this awful crap!”
Oh, you’re curious as to what kind of music was being played by the villainous villain, I see. Well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. After all, we all have differing musical tastes. However, here are some suggestions in case you are unable to come up with any:
Afroman – Because I Got High
Oscar G & Ralph Falcon – Dark Beat
Crazy Town – Butterfly
Anything by Eiffel 65
I understand that there are more contemporary and obvious choices. You can use those as well. And if anyone uses M2M, I’ll kill you. M2M’s awesome.
Tall Tara reached the entrance to the room. The music was, at this point, quite unbearable. Our heroine felt that she had suffered long enough and that the evil emanating from the other side of the door had to be sent back to Satan himself. Tall Tara clenched her fist and began knocking loudly which she realized was futile given that the music drowned the sound of her fist banging wood. She took a step back and kicked the door down.
There they stood, staring at Tall Tara with an evil grin… THE SINISTER SPEAKER SIBLINGS! And yes, they are speakers with faces. The villains brimmed with confidence as they had caught Tall Tara off-guard and felt that they had the upper hand. In that instance, they raised the volume to the most extreme levels, prompting the already deafening music to become lethal.
She attempted to get closer, but the vibrations were too much and Tall Tara’s ears were nearing their threshold. The gods of battle seemed to have sided with the Sinister ones. “Our” “Victory” “Is” “At hand” “Tall” “Tara” said the siblings alternately.
Little did they know, of course, that Tall Tara knew that the battle would end to her favor. In fact, Tall Tara was simply being merciful for her triumph would result in death. Their death. As the siblings screamed louder, it was time for Tall Tara to unleash her killing blow.
It ended in a flash. The Sinister Speaker Siblings had suddenly exploded. While their casings remained in tact, their speaker cones were severely damaged causing systemic damage to their internals. Inner wiring sparked madly, loosened connections and all. Tall Tara walked over to their defeated bodies writhing in pain.
“”I was born with de-technologizerism, the ability to destroy technology without even trying. I’m sorry. I did not want to do this but you left me no choice.” Tall Tara stared at them with an unforgiving look. Her eyes spoke to the siblings, blaming the villains for their own deaths, for the blood in her hands, for the guilt.
The siblings spoke.
“Do.” “Not.” “Look.” “At us.” “With.” “Those eyes.”
“We.” “Won’t.” “Be.” “The last.” “That.” “You’ll.” “Have to.” “Face.”
“That will.” “Push.” “You to.” “The edge.” “Of your.” “Humanity.”
“She.” “Is.” “Coming.” “Tall one.”
Tall Tara asked, “Who? Who is coming?” but with their spirits hanging by a thread, the Sinister Speaker Siblings could not mouth out the words. However, they began to grin, finding humor in the fate that awaited her.
“WHO?!!” deamanded Tall Tara
“…T-t-toddler…” “…F-f-faccccceeee…” And with that the siblings faded.
Finally. It was quiet.
The sedative began to wear off. William woke up attached to a machine that had yet to be turned on. There was movement all around: metal clanging, people talking, the PA requesting for a certain ‘Doctor Gonz’ who was wanted in the auditorium. William realized he was in the infirmary.
William, however, was still a bit catatonic from the sedative the doctors gave him. Despite the bustling scene in front of him, he stared into the nothingness of the spaces between the activity and movement. The nurse approached the machine and turned some knobs. It lit up and began whirring. The nurse looked away and began talking to a colleague.
Meanwhile, as the machine came to life, William began writhing in pain. The pain was unlike anything William had ever felt. He has had all sorts injuries: broken bones, cuts, trauma to different parts of his body. But this was different. When asked to recall how it felt, William would simply state “It felt like fornicating the entrance to hell.”
And there he was, standing across the room.. Mr. Cash. Mr. Cash pulled out a pack of cigarettes and fed a stick between his lips. William watched him light the cigarette, still with the pain coursing through his body. William, of course knew who he was, just as Mr. Cash knew who William was, perhaps moreso than William himself. Mr. Cash looked at William’s eyes which were begging for the end.
The nurse realized that he had made a mistake with his his calibrations and quickly adjusted the machine’s settings. William settled down as the pain subsided, after which he passed out. Mr. Cash simply walked away.
The bus began swerving. William woke up being tussleed left to right by the inertia. People were screaming, holding on their armrests; the bus driver struggled to take control of the vehicle. It’s been years since that visit to the infirmary. This time, however, there was no pain, only the feeling of the end.
It was then that William, who was seated on one side of the aisle, looked to his right and saw the collected Mr. Cash, who was smoking a cigarette. William wanted to utter a question, but the situation rendered him speechless. After taking another drag, Mr. Cash spoke to William “I’m not here for anyone’s convenience.”
William looked away feeling helpless, unable to do anything but stare at the eternity of the moment unfolding in front of him.
This is part of the Tall Tara Versus series. It is a diversion from the usual standard that write and is meant to be expressed in a more visual medium (i.e. comic) but since I have poor art skills, I decided to just write it. If anyone is willing to make a comic version of this for kicks, let me know. Now, on with our story.
It was a Monday. Our beloved heroine, Tall Tara, protector of that which is good and magnificent and master of the power of tallness, emerged from her deep slumber. She stretched out her arms and began her attempt to be productive for that day. She consumed her breakfast… or perhaps it was brunch… or lunch. She consumed her first meal of the day. As Tall Tara began contemplating what needed to be done for the day, she realized something: there was a mountain of dirty clothes in her laundry basket.
“Eureka! That will be my task of the day!” exclaimed our protagonist. Tall Tara was to bring her dirty laundry to the laundromat. So she gathered every piece of used clothing that was lying on the floor and hanging around wherever clothes can be left hanging and dumped them in her giant basket, consolidating all of her dirty laundry.
Yes I did say giant. You see, being tall means that one is a giant and when one is a giant, that means one needs giant things. Tall Tara has a giant basket for her giant clothes.
Finally, Tall Tara had all of the clothes in the basket and proceeded with her quest to deliver the dirty laundry to the laundromat. Little did our heroine know that things would not be so easy. That there were those who sought to hinder and stop her from completing her quest. As she exited the front door, she felt a presence appear behind her. You could say that Tall Tara felt the aura of a great evil suddenly apparate. Tall Tara’s senses heightened as she heard a voice utter the words,
“TALL TARAAAAAAA! IT IS I! THE WEATHER WITCH!!!”
Indeed, it was the Weather Witch. She wasn’t very tall. In fact, she was pretty short. No, wait. She was short. Her dwarfish stature was almost laughable had it not been for the fact that she was an insidious villain. One dared not laugh at her sinestry if one chose to stay alive. Her hair was short, pixie cut. It symbolized the shortness of her temper, but did nothing to augment said disposition.
“I shall prevent you from completing your quest with my wizardry! You will not be able to deliver those clothes to the laundromat! See how I make it rain!”
Only a person with so much evil intent, such as the Weather Witch, could laugh like that. Now, let me clarify to you dear reader that the Weather Witch cannot exactly control the weather. She is more like a weatherman/meteorologist except for two things. One, she is evil. Two, she can’t predict or forecast the weather. She can only tell you that it is raining or about to rain when she sees a large formation of cumulonimbus clouds and rain begins falling from the sky. Perhaps we should name her Captain Obvious instead, but I would not want to cross such a nefarious antagonist. Tall Tara, being a great heroine, is aware of all this.
And so the rain began. Drops fell from the sky, rushing towards the earth as if they were running away from the sky, only to plummet to their death. Tall Tara wanted to curse the Weather Witch but there was no time for complaining. She needed to quickly come up with a plan if she wanted to avoid getting wet.
“This is the end of the road for you, Tall Tara! Your powers of tallness cannot defeat me!”
I did say that Tall Tara needed to come up with something. Lo and behold, she did! On her left hand, our protector held the laundry basket. But on her right hand she was holding
“A GIANT UMBRELLA?!”
“Yes, Weather Witch! In case you weren’t paying attention to the narrator, I am tall! Being tall, I have giant things! Giant clothes, giant basket… GIANT UMBRELLA!!!”
The Weather Witch fell down on her knees, broken in defeat. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
As the rain drenched the villainous villain, Tall Tara walked away triumphantly with minimal wetness.
TALL TARA! YOU ARE VICTORIOUS!!!
Forgive me, I was just reliving something that happened to me awhile back.
It was 1999, high school for me, maybe college for you, maybe elementary for others, and, for some, well, you get the idea. The time was somewhere between 10 pm to 2 am, I can’t quite recall but I do know that it was past dinner. I mentioned ‘past dinner’ because my friends and I were hungry once again. It was the usual midnight snack routine for us. “Star Mart!” was suggested by one of my comrades. That night, I fancied Star Mart’s hotdog on a bun.
If you have never been to the Philippines, then I must inform you that our hotdogs are special: thick, juicy and red. And no, I was not throwing some sort of sexual innuendo. They really are red.
And so, I rushed back to my house and gathered every single loose change I could find. Being in high school, I wasn’t exactly very liquid with my finances. This was further compounded by the fact that it was summer vacation, or at least I think it was, and my funds weren’t easily replenished by my parents then. I serached underneath my mattress, inside my cabinets and drawers, consuming about twenty minutes of my time.
Finally, I was able to scrounge twenty-six pesos, just enough for one sandwich. The moment itself was glorious, even if it only lasted for a few seconds, but such trivialities are worth the inner-celebration. Successful, I placed them all in my pocket and made sure that they were all safe in there. I could imagine each coin singing high praises to their lord and master. That would be me, in case you were unaware.
“Thank you o lord! We shall be more than willing to oblige you in your quest for a hotdog!”
I marched outside and saw that my friends were waiting in the car. I hopped in and we drove off. We shared the usual friendly banter and stories. More importantly, we shared a common goal: to satisfy our stomachs with food. And we shared a common sentiment: that we were going to be able to do just that. Star Mart was a mere five minutes away, so we got there rather quickly and advanced to the entrance.
There it was. The hotdog that I so longed to consume, in all its thick, juicy and red glory. I brimmed with excitement which I had to hold back. I did not want to be looked upon with bewilderment by the store’s employees. My coins, on the other hand, jingled inside my pocket, already sensing the triumph that awaits them. I walked over to the counter with overflowing confidence, looked the clerk on the eye and said.
“One jumbo hotdog, please!”
Just like that, he, or she, I don’t remember, grabbed the tongs with his right hand and a bun on his left. The tongs then took hold of one of the hotdogs and let laid it in between the bun. Meanwhile, I had taken every single coin out of my pocket and counted every single one. My worry was that maybe one of the coins had fallen astray. If that happened, then my quest for a hotdog would be a failure and all my efforts moot, futile.
“Twenty-six!” I said. I shoved the coins, which were placed on top of the counter, towards the cashier. She, or he, punched in the necessary code. “Ding!” and the receipt began printing. The wonderfullicity (Yes, I enjoy adding over-the-top suffixes to my words. Hah!) of that sound signified my victory. I grabbed the hotdog and made my way to the condiments to add some ketchup, after which, I walked out of the store and towards my friend’s car.
The hotdog gazed at me with its loving redness and juicyness. In that brief moment, that piece of meat on bun began reciting Shakespeare’s 18th sonnet to me. “Thou art more lovely and temperate” struck me to my core and demanded that I satisfy my desire to consume this magnificent creation of the gods. And so, it began, the meeting of the hotdog and my mouth. Closer. Closer.
Farther. Farther. I realized that, despite having the bun in my hand, the hotdog began slipping, falling, subject to the evil whims of gravity. I could hear it screaming in despair. I, on the other hand, could only give out a monotonous “Noooooo…” as if I cared little of the fate the hotdog. But I cared. I did. The shock was just too much. I could feel the emptiness from the bun in my hand as if embodying the void that suddenly opened up inside me.
And it laid there. The hotdog drowned in a pool of motor oil. It gasped, asking me to pick it up. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to eat it anymore. It had lost all its worth. All I could do was stare and whimper silently. My friends laughed, unsympathetic to my loss. I ate the bun in hand in hopes that, maybe, it would fill the aforementioned emptiness. It didn’t. I walked away from the hotdog and into the car defeated. Goodbye, hotdog. Goodbye.
Pretty funny, eh?
There once was a goose who found a small, quiet pond, with just enough fish and just enough sunlight. I do not know the name nor if it is a he or a she. I just know that a goose is a goose. “All is good here.” said the goose to itself and felt no need to mention it to the gaggle. Upon returning to the flock and asked “Where have you been?” the goose would simply reply “Just by the cotton field.” It had been well-known that this particular goose liked cotton fields. It was also known that this goose was a bit disconnected with its own flock.
Of course, the goose’s secret would not be that much of a secret for long. Just as the goose was enjoying a quiet afternoon, a crane flew in, partly attracted to the pond, partly curious as to why there was only one goose in the pond. Again, I do not know the name of the crane, nor do I know if it’s a boy or girl. “Where’s your flock?” asked the crane. “By the west side of the lake, as they should be. I have no intention of telling them about the pond, and I suggest you do the same with your flock.” The crane looked around and understood why the goose wanted to keep it a secret. “Can I, at least, join you here?” The goose nodded, enjoying the idea of companionship.
A few days passed, and the goose and the crane got along quite well. They would talk about the pond, they would talk about the fish. The goose would talk about cotton fields while the crane would talk about life as a crane. Little did they know that another would join them.
“What ya doin’? Where’s your flock?” It was a lone duck. There are just too many ducks in this world and they all look alike to me, hence I do not know the name nor the gender of the duck. The crane obliged the inquiry “Just enjoying the pond. Well, the gaggle of geese are by the lake while my flock of cranes are standing within the reed beds, as they should be. We have no intention of telling them about the pond, and I suggest you do the same.” Despite the discomfort of not mentioning the pond to its flock, the duck agreed …”but only if I get to come here as well.” The goose and the crane agreed and, somehow, the goose had a feeling that the circle was complete, that “This is it. These two will be here with me for a long time.”
For a time, things were good. Fishes were as abundant as stories shared, which for these birds can be a lot since they do talk a lot. Well, maybe not the goose. The goose went on talking about cotton fields. The crane discussed the myriad complexities of crane life and the duck constantly talked about duck escapades “…or as we ducks call ’em, howards.” People worry about big things like politics, religion, social sciences, mathematics, quantum mechanics, relationships, and, therefore, might find such discussions to be trivial, for but for birds, they are a source of bewilderment and wonder, talking constantly for hours about cotton fields, crane life and howards.
Personally, such simplicity is quite enviable. But not all is simple in the animal world. A goose is still a goose and is obligated to the flock.
The gaggle had caught word of another lake further out west, one with abundant fish but lesser shareholders to the lake’s stock. Also, it was general knowledge that the new lake had the most maginificent cotton field, one that would make any admirer of cotton fields cry with joy. Our goose, naturally, wanted to stay but duty and desire called and so, visited the pond one last time. “No matter what happens, stay true to the agreement.”
And so, the goose joined the flock in the new lake, and did as goose would do. But the goose’s mind would simply wander off, wondering about his companions and the pond. Our goose missed the oddness of it all, how three different birds with nothing in common shared moments in the pond. More importantly, our goose missed the escapism of the pond, the comfort it gave. In this new lake, the fishes were abundant, but the fish did not seem to taste so good. The other geese would disagree so perhaps our goose’s opinion was somewhat tainted.
Alas, the goose remained in the new lake. Over time, the goose eventually came to appreciate the new surroundings. The fish started to taste better, the air started to feel fresher. And while there was nothing that would talk about the ways of the cranes, nor the howards of ducks, there were other geese who had eccentricities of their own. Some geese, apparently, would enjoy looking at cloud formations through the reflection in the water. While others would re-enact the popular goose classic acts like “Mon Goose: The Snake-Killing Goose”, “There It Goose Again” and “Duck Ducked Goose”.
I do not exactly know the details about these things for I am not a goose.
Months passed and the goose had set aside his thoughts about the pond. That, however, did not exactly mean that they were forgotten nor would these memories choose to be forgotten. The goose found a cotton field to admire, and would gladly visit it everyday. It reminded the goose of the pond and the crane and the duck, and what they told the goose before leaving.
“Tell us about the cotton fields when you get back.”