Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Clown and a Funeral

Mervin Potts always thought that his family was a bit quirky. His parents died when he was young and along with his brother and sister, Marvin and Mervina, were raised by their paternal grandfather who operated a bootleg joint. Marvin, the oldest, is trying his hand at being a professional bungee cord jumper - despite the fact that he has multiple body fractures from jumping too close to the rocks and using a cord that was way too long. Mervina, the youngest, just divorced her fifth husband and lives in a house without electricity. She's waiting for the next "good" payday to have her power restored. Her dog, Mimi, decided to live with the nice couple down the street until Mervina's next "good" payday. Merv, as he is affectionately known, always struggled to fit in at school and then on the social scene. The women he encountered all had the same reaction, "You stink! Did you take a bath? Where are your teeth?" And all of the reactions are true. Merv does suffer from body odor even with repeated bathing, and there are only two visible teeth in his head at the age of forty.

Unsuccessful in all of his part-time career endeavors, Merv had a great idea. He decided to enroll in clown college and then runaway to join the "Greatest Show on Earth." Actually, Merv is a black history moment. He is the circus' first black clown. All of Merv's previous dates had all called him a "clown", as well. So, what a fitting career option, Merv had thought. For the next several years, he was known as "Mervin, the Clown." The children in attendance called him, "Mervin, the Stinky Clown." He toured the seven continents entertaining those from ages one to ninety-two. Merv severed contact with his grandfather and siblings while he found his rightful place in the world. Merv's life was now great in his opinion. He was the best clown the circus had ever seen.

When the circus began its American tour, Mervina and the fractured Marvin tried to contact Merv. They had heard through some of his friends that he was a clown in the circus. Automatically, Marvin and Mervina contacted the only black-owned circus in the Universe and was surprised to learn that he was not working for them, but instead for the "Greatest Show on Earth." Marvin and Mervina needed to inform Merv that their grandfather had died and that the funeral was scheduled within the next couple of days.

So, the day of the funeral had finally arrived. Marvin and Mervina were unsure if Merv had received their messages. They stood at the church doors ready to stroll side-by-side down the church aisle to say their final good-bye with Marvin in a cast and standing on crutches. Suddenly, they heard a horn blowing. The brother and sister and all of the mourners turned toward the direction of the horn and noticed a clown car parking next to the hearse. Merv, emerged from the tiny car dressed in a purple and yellow wig, red shoes, a polka-dot one-piece outfit and a red nose - much to everyone's amusement. He didn't have time to change for the funeral because he had just finished a performance right outside of town. Mervina clutched her pearls as though she would faint. Marvin almost fell from his crutches.

When the initial shock had passed, the siblings walked down the aisle with Merv in the middle as all of the guests and clergy laughed and giggled. Approaching their grandfather's remains, Mervina flung herself on top of their grandfather's remains and released a loud cry. "Take me Lord!" she exclaimed as Merv tried to pull her off of the bronze casket. The church laughed hysterically as the clown repeatedly pulled the grieving woman with her girdle, slip and pantyhose showing off of their beloved grandfather.

After a few moments, a clown troop from the "Greatest Show on Earth" entered the church as everyone in attendance laughed uncontrollably. The clowns wanted to support Merv during his time of bereavement. They did not have enough time to change clothes, either. So, the clowns sat several pews behind the family as the mourners continued their laughter.

Moved by the support from his co-workers, Merv deeply believed that he made the right decision by joining the circus. Following the comical service, Mervin returned to his rightful place in society. Even though he thinks that his siblings are a couple of oddballs, he had promised to stay in touch with them more often.

Surprisingly, the above story is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, and I even took some creative licence in retelling this story.

Until next week...keep praising His name!
Sir Charles

My novel and ebooks are available at - Charles Carroll Lee.

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