You Know You're Getting Old When...
At 42 years of age I'm not taking this ageing thing too well. I have been clowning for nearly 13 years. In those 13 years I have gone from a spry wrinkleless mom clown, to a mature grandma with a sprinkling of wrinkling due to the effects of old age. There other things I have noticed happening with the effects of old age and clowning. Some of these things are obvious (to me anyway) some creep up and are a little more subtle.
This weekend for example, I was at a party for a sweet little boy named Jesus. *pronounced hey-sus* Jesus was 4 years old and very smart and good natured. He was surrounded by many adoring relatives and I could tell the family was proud of this little guy.
At a Pom Pom party the kids are all treated to a balloon animal or hat, their choice, but when there are 15-20 children present I like for the kids to put their balloons in a safe place as they are made so I have the kids deposit them into a large bag that I have supplied to be retrieved after I leave the party. This tends to save me from having to re-make balloons for children whose first balloon do not survive the first 15 minutes in their possession. I always write the kid's names on their balloons so that they know which one is theirs. I make choosing a "helper" to hold the bag of balloons a part of the show. The helper I choose wears a silly hat and I tell the other kids that my "helper" is now named Knucklehead or some other silly name.
At this party there were 15 kids so I was in the middle of my hour program and I start looking around the room for a receptive teen or pre-teen young lady to be my "helper". I choose a cute little gal wearing one of those little princess t-shirts that are so popular right now. The girl does not hesitate and allows me to put a chicken hat on her head and then poses while family members laugh and photograph her. After I pull the funny hat gag on her and tell the kids my helpers new name I proceed to make the kids their balloons which my "helper" places into the bag.
When I am finished making balloons for the little ones I tell my helper not to be too sad that I will take the hat back because I will make her one from balloons! I do this at this party and it's all good, classic, funny stuff.
Once the party ends the birthday mom or dad will usually follow me out the door to pay me, sort of out of the view of the other kids at the party. I don't know why, It's just what happens.
At this party I go out the door and put my things down on the front step to wait for the birthday mom or dad to come out and pay. Imagine my surprise when out of the door comes the little helper girl with a checkbook in her hand!
I am standing there at a loss for words not knowing whether to apologize or keep quiet or what. Finally I stammer, "You're the birthday mom?" "I thought you were one of the party guests!"
I knew it would be O.K. though when she laughed and said it was alright she knew that she looked young.
I was relieved and very envious.
Ah well they don't call me a clown for nothing!