More Clowning Around
Hi-de-ho, Zippo the Clown here, with this news round-up from the Clown News Network (CNN).
Red Nose Massacre
Police are still attempting to unravel the sequence of events that resulted in the 11 March riot that erupted in Ringling Downs when participants in the Red Nose Day parade encountered a group of nuns from St Ethel the Put-upon Convent who were out for their morning constitutional. Evidence gathered at the site of the kerfuffle suggests that members of the Red Nose Brigade, a radical group of clowns gone bad, may have been responsible for the violence. Witnesses said that a clown made a rude comment about the nuns' habits, whereupon an elderly nun smacked him with a ruler and the situation degenerated into a fistfight, with wigs and wimples flying. Bystanders quickly jumped into the fray and, by the time the police arrived, several clowns had taken over the Cream Puff Bakery and were holding a custard pie fight with a couple nuns outside. The police attempted to arrest the miscreants but were injured by flying pie plates and the chief of police was knocked unconscious by a rosary-wielding nun. The violence apparently fizzled out as quickly as it had started and the guilty parties all slunk away before the police could manage to arrest anyone.
Bank Robberies Continue
Police say that they have a suspect in a string of daring daylight bank robberies that have plagued the area of Whyte-on-Ryce. The robber, who dresses up as Ronald McDonald, strolls into the banks just as bold as brass and demands money from startled tellers. Not content with larceny, he adds littering to his crimes by scattering empty Happy Meal containers and ketchup packets on the floors before making his get-away. Both McDonald's and the International Union of Clowning Professionals (IUCP1) expressed concern and outrage at any suggestion that the perpetrator could be one of theirs and a policeman, who spoke off the record, confirmed that the suspect was not associated with either organisation.
However, the suspect remains elusive and at large, despite his recognisable yellow suit and bright red hair. Police declined to give any further details for fear of alerting the suspect. Nonetheless, they hope that an arrest is imminent.
Computer hackers broke into ClownPoint Inc.'s databases last month and walked away with sensitive personal information of more than 5,000 of the world's top clowns. ClownPoint maintains information about clowns' personal tricks-of-the-trade, suppliers and details of their acts. Access to this information would allow the hackers to impersonate professional clowns. Persons who are interested in hiring clowns are advised to check prospective hires' credentials and to keep a close watch on them during their acts. This is especially important for those who hire clowns to perform at children's birthday parties, as the performers will have access to their homes and personal belongings.
So far there haven't been any reported attempts at clown impersonation, but the IUCP2 has hired a team of private investigators to attempt to locate the hackers and prevent them from using the stolen information.
Flying the Friendly Skies
Clowns everywhere are in an uproar after hearing that they will no longer be permitted to carry seltzer bottles, squirting flowers or bicycle horns on airline flights. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided that the bottles and flowers can be used as weapons and that the new electronic horns can possibly interfere with a plane's electronic equipment. Security experts also note that the horns can be used to detonate explosive-filled balloons. Spokesclown Harpo of the IUCP told CNN that a clown's seltzer bottle is his bread and butter and that union members will no longer fly on commercial airlines if the ban remains in effect. On Wall Street, shares of various airlines rose at the news, but shares of Greyhound Bus fell.
In a related story, the miming community has failed to react to news that airline officials are looking into permitting cell phone use during flights.
The world of competitive clowning is heating up, according to Buffo, self-proclaimed World's Strongest Clown. Several clowns who wish to remain anonymous have contacted CNN about Buffo and have suggested that CNN investigate Buffo's adult parties with 'optional surprise ending'. (This reporter insists that he knows nothing whatsoever about any 'surprise endings' and suspects that this is just sour grapes on some people's part.) It is obvious that Buffo has raised the bar for the clowning profession. Why should anyone settle for balloon animals and custard pies when they can watch Buffo eat fire and rip phone books in half? Buffo's Web site notes that he also does educational programmes for children and has visited the White House three times3.
There apparently is no truth to the rumour that the World Wrestling Federation is courting the clowning community. There is also absolutely no evidence of steroid use by clowns.
Shares of Chuckles Brothers Circus (CBRC) continue their slide after accounting irregularities came to light last week. Vice President Chuck Chuckles was arrested Tuesday morning after confessing to shredding financial records and using the mulch to line the elephants' pen. Meanwhile Smiley Chuckles continues to plead ignorance of his brother's activities, but sources close to the investigation say that Smiley's girlfriend Lula the Bearded Lady is getting ready to sing in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Securities regulators have charged the Chuckles Brothers with looting the company's coffers to finance a lavish life style and issuing fraudulent financial statements in an effort to keep the stock's price high. The Chuckleses together own 92% of CBRC shares, and most of their personal fortunes consist of CBRC stock. CBRC closed at US$2.38 yesterday.
In other financial news, red nose futures rose on speculation of a world-wide latex shortage. Shares of Bike Horn International (BYHI) fell after news of the horns being placed on US airlines 'banned' list.
Easter sunrise services will be held under the big top at Pie in the Sky Circus in Ringling Downs on Sunday 27 March. Following the services, there will be an Easter egg hunt in nearby Ring-a-ding Park, followed by an Easter parade along the town's main road. The Clowns-on-Wheels Precision Tricycle Team and Nuclear Wigs Dance Troupe will perform.
In an effort to prevent problems, police advise participants to avoid nuns, convents, churches or groups larger than two people. Police further suggest leaving the seltzer bottles at home but figure this is probably too much to hope for.
- What is Krusty the Clown's middle name?
- When you shoot a mime, do you have to use a silencer?
- If a tree fell on a mime in the forest, would it make a sound?
Q: Why was Sunshine the clown staring at an orange juice can?
A: Because it said 'Concentrate'.
And that's the news. This is Zippo the Clown signing off and wishing everyone a happy and clownish Easter.