I have this habit of sometimes not really listening to people when they are talking to me. Someone might be telling me about their serious medical problem and I'm looking at them and thinking about how would life be different if Eve had told the snake to just "Shove Off!" or if the first natives Columbus encountered had been cannibals. When I hear a key work or phrase that draws my attention I ask them to repeat the story. I call it "speed listening" and it works much like "speed reading". My wife hates it.
Sometimes I happen upon a real gem. Such was the case when I overheard an employee mutter something about "getting his ass chewed by Bozo the Clown" Wait a minute. Stop the presses! What did you say? THE Bozo the Clown? Tell me more.
Well it turns out that this employee (Gary) a guy that was in his sixties and someone I would describe as having that matter-of-fact dry sense of humor and attitude that I associate with most people from "up north" had been a little kid of six years of age or so when his mom scored tickets to the live Saturday morning taping of "The Bozo Show" at the old WGN-TV studio in Chicago in the early sixties. A man named Bob Bell had made the clown somewhat famous at that time even though Bozo the Clown was actually a franchise character and there were Bozos all over the country in various T.V. shows, but the Bob Bell Bozo was the one I saw on live T.V., he was the one most associated with the name. Bozo would dazzle and entertain the little kids with his antics and prizes while they sat attentively, dressed in their Sunday best, many of the young boys in ties, the girls in church clothes. they hung on every word the clown uttered......except for Gary. Gary had completely blown off the pre-taping instructions and only cared about ransacking Bozos' "Chest of Toys" during the taping. His single-minded focus on this had apparently kept Bob Bell (aka Bozo) distracted and concerned during the first half of the show (after all, it was live T.V.) and so at the first opportunity, which occurred at the mid-taping break ran over and chewed Gary a new ass hole.
I had to know: Do you have lingering effects from this? Are you scared of clowns now? Have you tried to look Bob Bell up and tell him what you think? Come on, there has to be a follow-up story to this. Maybe you went to see him in a nursing home and put a pillow over his face? Maybe you winked and said "Hey clown, remember me?" as you entered the room and reached for the pillow. Come on, tell me more. You have my attention!
Turns out that there was nothing like that. Gary just responded with that same dry detached humor: "Nah, it knew it was just some dude in a clown suit. Screw what he thought. I just wanted to play with the toys"
And as Bozo would say "Wowie-Kasowey! Remember kids "Keep laughing!"