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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Clown Town

It seemed like an imminent possiblity that as I traveled down the dark Texas highways yesterday that my face would get eaten off if I stopped the car. I was driving to yet another art fair called The Find in downtown Houston yesterday to sell dresses.I do not like these art fairs, I hate preparing my merchandise for them, driving to them, or being at them. I do like making money at them and the opportunity to run around trading merchandise with the other vendors at the end of the show when you're giddy and exhausted( I have a lot of jewelry now)
The day before every show I have a mini nervous breakdown. I decide it's too much. I don't want to go. I invade my husband's office and interrupt his phone calls.
"I'm not going. I don't want to go anymore. I'm staying home."
"Okay. Not to say I told you so, but...."
"Shut up. Okay I'll go.But I'm not doing any more work for this show. I'm going to watch the Law and Order marathon."
Some people should not watch crime shows. I am one of them. Once it enters my brain it plays like a loop, Vincent Dinafrio's voice narrating every move I make.

"She sat down on the couch here, see? And ate this entire bag of chips like this....Then, somewhere between getting up to get some cookies and checking her email the killer forced his way in...right....here!" He is kneeling on my kitchen floor, pantomiming my strangulation with nylon ligature wire. Why do I know about ligature wire? Because I watch Law and Order.
So every move I made as i got up at 3:00 to drive to Houston was being chronicled by detectives Eames and Goren, and it is a little creepy being up that early, but I still felt fairly lighthearted as I picked up my friend Kaylan and got on the road.
She fell into a deep sleep immediately, mumbling something about having gone to a giant dildo play late the night before. I drove in the dark,down the most deserted highways with no signs of life for miles and miles.After about thirty minutes I realsied that I am almost out of gas.
" At three thirty they must have been here...they must have run out of gas, and that's when the killer pulled over his truck and found them on the side of the road.See the pattern of the blood spatter?" Because we all know that lots of truck drivers are serial killers, right? Every time i go into a truck stop I feel their glances all over my body as they stand there, completely out in the open(next to the chips!) flipping through the hardcore porn racks.What could be a more perfect job for a wandering serial killer than a truck driver. The vehicle is great, lots of room in the back for torturing, and plenty of places to dump bodies without slowing you down for your deliveries.
I drove for a very long time, watching the needle fall, getting more anxious with every mile that went by in the deep dark south.
Then Jeff called.
"Guess what? Can you talk?"
"I'm running out of gas."
" Emily's friend had this crazy thing happen to her last week."
"Did she find a gas station between Austin and Houston? Because if she did then I'm really interested in your story"
"No, check this out. She went out to a bar,RIGHT HERE IN AUSTIN, had a few drinks,and made out with this guy. He asked her to go home with him and she said No but she gave him her number. Then she woke up in the middle of the night and went into the bathroom-"
I do not like where this story is going-
" -and discovered this crazy rash spreading out from her mouth--"
Oh my god she got mouth clamydia!!
" -so she went to the hosptial, but they were pretty nonchalant about it, ran some tests, sent her home. Then they called the next day and told her to come in right away and when she got there the FBI was waiting-"
"What happened!?"
" They told her that the rash was caused by a bacteria that could only be contracted by EATING HUMAN FLESH!"
I scream, waking up Kaylan who mumbles, did we run out of gas? and then turns over and falls back asleep immediately, leaving me alone again.
" Did they catch him? Where is he?"
"They caught him. Don't worry.But if she was slutty like you and Emily she would have gone home with him and been that guys dinner."
"Hey! Emily's not slutty!"
It is at this point that I see a gas station, which is desrted but full of light. The pumps are on, allowing you to pump gas with your credit card. In the dark. Surrounded by an infinte space of empty farmland.
"I have to go, I see a gas station. Thank you so much for that story. Really appreciate it."
As I pull into what will surely be the last gas station I ever see, Vincent Dinafrio is by my side again.As Kaylan sleeps I pump the gas.
" Credit card reciepts show that they stopped here for gas, and it looks like the killer jumped out of the darkness to subdue the jumpy one and eat her face off. Apparently the friend slept completely through the entire thing."
Since I am officially paired off with a stable male, shouldn't I get a reprieve from this kind of anxiety?Because it does seem like, at least on TV, it's only the single girls who go out drinking that get murdered or get the zombie face virus. Unless the husband kills them, but he was miles away at that point and passed out by that time for sure, so no danger from that.
I decide that there is no way I am stopping again, for any reason, until it gets light outside. I'm obsessed with the story now. RIGHT HERE IN AUSTIN. It keeps echoing through my head. It could have been me. I could have passed the people eater in the convienience store and not even have known it.
About an hour later I begin to pass stores that are now opening up. I have to go to the bathroom, and my legs are mummy stiff from tensing them at the gas pedal on 80 miles per hour without slowing down.It is still dark. I am not stopping.

" Here she stopped for coffee and made out with a truck driver. That's when she contracted the cannibal face rash." No way am I stopping.

I drive past gas stations and truck stops, even the friendly Golden Arches seems threatening.Ronald Mcdonald is exactly the kind of clown who would make the McRib out of people parts. Have you seen the McRib? It looks like it came out of Hannibal Lector's freezer for sure. Besides -clowns, as everone knows, are all either perverts or killers. We all know it.The makeup and the big red nose, not funny yall!Everyone, no matter what their age, sees a clown and thinks "That motherfucker is really creepy."
" It looks like she stopped at McDonalds to deliver a poo baby, that's when the killer snatched her. He somehow managed to fashion a McGriddle out of her face. The friend slept through it."
When we finally arrive in Houston I exit onto Mckee street. Kaylan awakens, refreshed from her long nap.
" What time is it?" she yawns.
" It's time for you to dig in my purse and find my Xanax"
"What's going on, why are you gripping the steering wheel so hard?"
We head down MCkee street to nance and as we turn onto Nance. We are greeted by a giant sign that says Welcome to ClownTown. I am not joking.There is some kind of clown festival going on right in front of our classy art show.The portapotties I need to use are directly across from that bouncy thing, where you go into the clown's giant air filled mouth and jump around.
" I don't understand it when adults go into those jumpy things." she frowns.
" I think i'm going to lose it."
Then it occurs to me that i have a cousin who is a sherriff in a little town outside of Fort Worth. She can tell me if the killer was really caught, more details about it. That might ease my anxiety a little. I call her.
" Jennifer! What is the deal with the human flesh eater guy? "
" What are you talking about?"
I tell her the story and she begins to laugh at me.
" That is totally an urban legend." she says" Besides if anything like that happens it shows up on the police blotter and they email it to me."
" OH."
"Surely you didn't believe that story?"
I am quiet.
" Um no, not really. Hey--can you run the liscence plates of some suspicious looking clowns for me?"