I am the other kind of clown.
I am the clown that honks.
I am the white face of your nightmares.
They call me Traitor, and I can live with that.
I was killing time in my usual watering hole, The Dropped Banana, enjoying the ambiance and the whiskey. Then she walked in, and my day took a turn for the even stranger.
She was short, but statuesque, if you like your statues short. Perhaps four feet tall, or a touch more. Dressed well, tailored, classy. Hair in a braid, and at that it hung past her knees. She paused in the door to let everyone notice her, then strolled over to the bar and glared at the barkeeper until he poured her a mug with a head on it as large as hers.
She surveyed the room, then singled me out.
I didn’t know where this was leading, but I was beginning to anticipate trouble.
“I need a bomb. I’m told you can provide and deliver,” she said, and not particularly quietly at that.
This was actually the right approach in the Banana where pretty much everyone knew my story, and simply turned back to their conversations where they had left them rather than waste time trying to listen in. I was beginning to wonder who had sent her this way and briefed her so well.
“No small talk, I see. I like that,” I said. She glared at small talk, then realized I wasn’t intending anything other than poking her back for the bomb line. Bombs are a bit of a sore subject with me. Especially when concealed in a cream pie. Don’t ask, you’ll live longer.
“Why would you need a bomb, and why would you think that I could provide an illegal entertainment like that?”
“You will find that I don’t answer questions that begin with why,” she said.
“Bombs are not art objects,” I said. “They explode. And if you are skilled, they only explode when and where you intend. If not skilled, or are unlucky, then the bomb picks its own time and place.”
“I have my reasons. They are not entirely mine to share, so I will to guard them closely. At least, if I do spill it won’t be in a public place like this.”
“You will have to reveal who, where, and when.”
“Of course, and in due course.”
“Well. There would also be the matter of payment. The first sample might have been free, but a clown has to buy new floppy shoes from time to time, and clown shoes aren’t cheap.”
“Payment in full, in advance. Go see Joe. Tell him the short stack sent you for the spatula special. He will provide the rest of the details.” She winced at the hokey pass phrase.
“And your name?”
“Is not important.”
“Ok. I can live with that.”
And with that, she turned on a heel and sashayed back out of the bar. Her exit would have been perfect if it weren’t for the bar’s namesake in her path.