November 21, 2004

pictures of a clown

This one goes out to Dave Adams, a good friend and a fellow Spontaneous Combustian, from back in my good ol’ Duluth days.

A number of years ago I was rambling incoherently on my website. This was back in the days when I was still resting on a server somewhere at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and using the internet for purly narcissistic and exploitative purposes. Not much has changed since then, except that this site is now hosted in Pennsylvania. I’ve never been to Pennsylvania. I’ve never even been through Pennsylvania. I have friends in Pennsylvania, but as far as my experience goes, the state of Pennsylvania could just as well be in Cuba, or be lost under the sea, or be a really big basement in some guy’s house.

Unlike now, back then I was babbling. I was babbling and eventually I got bored with it, so I wrapped up the day’s entry with a picture of a clown. I said, “And here is a picture of a clown,” and then there was a picture of a clown.

I didn’t think much of it. It was late and I was bored and tired. But Dave “Jazz Cramps” Adams thought it was so funny that he made the clown the desktop background on a computer at work. Dave worked at the UMD Bookstore and many people thought he was a bit off, because this computer was right at the cash register, would occasionally double as the cash register, and was in plain view of anyone walking by in the hallway.

Dave and I had a tradition that we called “Friday Afternoon Loiters.” Friday afternoons were pretty dull on campus, because UMD was a school for slackers and by 10:00 am Friday most people had already left for the Twin Cities for the weekend. Thus, Dave was left working in a ghost town, under a boss that expected him to act busy up until the bookstore closed. As soon as I would get out of fiction class every Friday afternoon, I’d go to the bookstore and spoil the ruse by completely wasting Dave’s time.

Now, neither Dave nor I have a knack for subtlety, so there was no question that we were completely goofing off. I’d grab the price scanner and shoot at people walking by in the hallway. Dave would crack jokes. Occasionally I would get thrown backwards in great peals of laughter, and run into innocent bystanders. I would apologize profusely, and as soon as they were gone Dave and I would fall to the floor laughing. If the Bookstore boss wasn’t present, Friday Afternoon Loiters could last an hour. If the boss was there, we’d typically fit all our antics into a concentrated fifteen minutes of dirty looks and zaniness.

Whatever. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Friday Afternoon Loiter, and these days I am so over clowns. I do not have any more pictures of clowns. The clowns and I are so done. No clowns.

And here is a picture of an awesome shirt:

Awesome Shirt