Iron Maiden—“A Matter of Life and Death”
I heard the music, that happy clown music.
I saw nothing.
I kept hearing the music getting louder and louder.
I still saw nothing.
The music was quite loud now, so loud that geese flying overhead were
Finally I saw it, a van turning onto my street.
The music was obnoxiously loud at this point, so loud that a kid running
in circles in his front yard suddenly stopped and screamed while blood
burst from his ears.
The van came to a stop in front of my house. “Spunky the Cereal Clown”
was spray painted on the side of the van in a half-assed sort of way and
I kind of got the feeling that I really had scraped the bottom of the
clown barrel with this one.
I walked up to the van and found a nicely painted clown in the driver’s
seat. He really looked like a clown, a really good clown.
I waved as I walked around to the driver’s window. No response from the
clown, but I figured he wasn’t in full-on clown mode yet.
I knocked on the window and when he rolled it down, I almost fell down.
“Holy shit! What in the hell is that smell?”
He quickly rolled up the window and jumped out of the fan. “Dude, I’m
sorry about that. I have a side business and….”
“Hold on,” I interrupted when I saw another neighborhood child pedalling
his bike down the street. “Just forget the smell thing, do some clown
stuff to that kid.”
He went to the back of the van and pulled something out and then ran to
the kid who was so intent on keeping the bike upright he didn’t notice a
clown barrelling down on him.
“HEY KID!” screamed Spunky. “WANT TO SEE SOME MAGIC?”
And with that he reached into the box of cereal he was carrying and
started pelting the kid with handfuls of oaty goodness. This broke the
kids concentration and he toppled headfirst off the bike onto the
A SUV turned onto the street and I watched in horror as the driver
concentrated more on their cell phone then on what was lying on the
Spunky was still throwing cereal at the prone body when one of the front
wheels of the SUV ran over the neck of the fallen bicycler causing the
head to pop off and roll away. Luckily, both back wheels missed the
remainder of the body.
The SUV skidded to a stop and I sat down in the street sobbing as I
rocked back and forth.
A man jumped out of the passenger side of the SUV and ran to the
decapitated body. Spunky threw some cereal at the man and then walked
over to the head which had come to a rest in the gutter.
“Holy shit Doris, you’ve really done it this time!” said the passenger
as he gently prodded the body with his foot.
“You child butcherer!” I screamed, while still rocking back and forth.
“This is not how my party was supposed to start!”
Doris got out of the SUV with the cell phone still attached to her ear,
yelling “Child down! Child down!” to whoever was on the receiving end.
COMING NEXT: The Block Party: Part 4