Let’s just get one thing straight. I don’t really like clowns. The only clown I can stomach is Pennywise and that’s only because my best friend and dearest darling, Stephen King created him. I tried everything to work through this aversion to white-faced, forced smiles. I even took “Clowing” in 4-H when I was a kid, where I developed a character that spent the bulk of her time feather dustering trees. It was performance art, dammit. Anyhoo…I’m not a fan of clowns.
I do, however, like Eric. A lot. So when he said
he Le Clown was going to brave the Chicago Snowpocolypse of 2013 and come see me, I guess I was kinda’ happy about it.
See that guy up there in those red circles? That’s Tom Skilling, the 2nd most famous person in Chicago*. I wasn’t sure if they had WeatherCelebrities in Canada or if there was just a running ticker at the bottom of televised hockey games that told them whether to wear fur or flannel that day (that’s going to be my only offensive Canadian stereotype joke…probably), but I was pretty sure the only reason this particular clown was paying me a visit this week was to experience all the weather…at once…in the home town of the greatest Meteorologist that ever lived.
As it turns out L.C. didn’t give two shits about Tom Skilling and just wanted to come to Chicago to watch TV with me. Imagine my astonishment when he arrived at my door, arms heavy with snacks, clad in Star Wars pajamas and Basil slippers ready to take Chicago My Couch by storm. He came prepared. He was probably a Rover Scout or something.
We spent the first hour or so fawning over each other’s brilliance and getting to know the person behind the blog since this was the first time we had met in “real life.” I’ve had numerous dreams where KJack and I were hanging out with Sara, Eric and the rest of their brood, but this was totally different because in my dreams L.C. has a Jamaican accent. His actual accent (think Tim Curry…with a Jamaican accent) took some getting used to, but it didn’t matter.
He wasn’t here to talk
Before we got down to our activities he did express some interest in visiting the birthplace of Harrison Ford. He sounded super excited but I can’t really understand him when he talks. Something about being a big fan of Regarding Henry I think. I showed him a Google map of Park Ridge with a childhood picture of Ford and his dog. He seemed satisfied with that.
“Seriously? I come all this way to see you…my very first time in Chicago…I packed my most adorable pj’s and brought you snacks and all you can say is ‘Where’s Sara?’”
“You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m super totes glad you’re here and we’re going to have the most fun………..where’s Sara?”
“She’s at home. This is about ME! ME! MY TIME! WHEN LORD IS IT GONNA’ BE MY TIME?!?!”
“You have a lot of rage. Let’s calm the beast with shitty television.”
We started at the beginning (a very good place to start) and watched 1 ½ episodes of 2 Broke Girls. Half-way through the second episode (I think it was about how Max had to make a bunch of cupcakes in a really short amount of time for an event Caroline coordinated and then something wacky happened and then someone kissed a boy and then someone made a joke about a penis), I went out to smoke.
“Can I come?”
“You want a cigarette? Sure.”
“No, I just want to watch.”
“Ok…that’s not weird at all.”
“Calm down I’m not judging you. I love you.”
One time, a few years ago, I spent two weeks in Moscow and no matter where we went, when people found out we were from Chicago a glimmer of recognition would cross their eyes and then they’d respond with “Da! Al Capone! Michael Jordan!” Eric was kinda’ like that although he was grumpier and smelled more of grease paint and less of vodka.
“You know Gillian Anderson smokes.”
“She’s from Chicago. Do you know her?”
“Yes. We’re best friends. We put on giant red shoes and throw pies at each other while we smoke Marlborough Reds and honk each other’s noses.”
And that’s how Le Clown died. His head exploded.
I kid. He’s fine.
“Eric, you know that Vince Vaughn* is usually found wandering about the city. He smokes too. I bet he’d let you watch him smoke while he leans up against the outside of a dive bar trying to look cool while his douchebag entourage bullies everyone in sight.”
We went upstairs and continued to watch television until we’d watched it all. We watched 90210 and L.C. couldn’t figure out why these teenagers owned bars and were having babies and didn’t have any parents either. We watched Survivor and we both wept when that one guy everyone hates won immunity. We watched Face Off, which was particularly exciting for L.C. since he does his own make-up everyday. We thought it would be fun to pretend we were having our own challenge and try to use our combined skills to create a fantastic and amazing work of creature effect art, but we were full from eating all the snacks and decided to take naps instead.
When we woke up, I had a message from KJack saying that it wasn’t very nice to have a new friend in a new city and not at least take them out to see something. He suggested we come by the shop, he had something to give Clown. L.C. agreed, but mostly because I told him we were going to a comic book store. We arrived via bus, train and feet. I vetoed the cab as when you’re with someone as magnificent as Le Clown, you show that fucker off!
We almost didn’t get inside ‘cause when we got there Darth Vader and some other dudes were standing in front. L.C. peed his pants with joy and then used the Force to move them out of the way so we could get his presents.
By now it was super late and I thought we should get back because L.C. looked tuckered out. He’d had a big day. Before we left, I asked him if he wanted to look around downtown for Oprah. Maybe she was outside smoking or something.
And that’s how CJack died. Le Clown killed her for mooshing something he loves with something he hates.
I kid. I’m fine. But seriously, don’t fucking bring up Oprah around this guy. Shit.
When we got home, we headed back to the couch and ordered a pizza. Since it was L.C.’s first time in Chicago and we’re famous for our deep dish pizza, we ordered from Pizza Hut. Because that just makes sense. I hadn’t practiced my ukulele in three days ‘cause of all the prepping and planning for L.C.’s visit, so I suggested we have some music time. Since L.C.’s a super-hipster and I’m a hipster-in-training we played some She & Him, Fun. & Death Cab For Cutie and then we played the theme song to
X-Files Downton Abbey Downton X Abbey Files. It was rad.
We finished our evening watching the Great American Classic Lifetime Movie, Liz & Dick, starring the darling of
stage courtrooms & screen prison, Lindsay Lohan. No stranger to crap television and a huge fan of Mean Girlz, Clown was super stoked.
I think that meant he really loved it.
The next morning he bid us adieu and disappeared into a cloud of purple smoke.
Because that makes sense.
Come back soon,
Eric Le Clown L.C. Friend.
I miss you already.
Bring Sara next time.
You loved this post didn’t you? There’s more of me over at Come On, Mr. Sunshine.