The Clown
by Jim Salisbury


I recently traveled to Los Angeles to visit my old friend Lenny. I rented a car at the airport, drove to his house and before I even unpacked, we set out to visit the land where dreams come true - Hollywood. I was as anxious as a little kid going to Disneyland while Lenny, having lived here for years, simply sat back in his seat and chuckled at my giddiness.

We were just about to enter the city when we came upon a red light. As we sat and waited for the light to turn green I saw a very strange sight. It was a clown. Not just your run of the mill, kid’s birthday party type clown, but a full-out giant shoes, colorful costume, full rubber mask type clown. This was definitely Hollywood.

The clown stood directly in front of my car and waved. He then pulled a spray bottle and a squeegee out of a red cloth bag and indicated that he would be washing my windshield. I waved him off and said no thanks and giggled at his marketing scheme.

But, to my surprise, the clown ignored my wishes and went to work cleaning my windshield. I protested several times but the clown simply ignored me and kept on with his cleaning.

Once the clown had finished, he came to my driver’s side window and put out his hand for payment. I tried to be civil and explained to the clown that I had not wanted my windshield washed and would not be making a payment. Then the clown did something that I had not expected. He reached into my car and slapped me in the face. Hard.

Lenny looked at me, yelled, "Holy Shit!" and jumped out of the car at the exact same moment that I did. I tackled the clown and had punched him squarely in the jaw three times before Lenny even made it around to the other side. I then held the clown’s arms above his head to subdue him. As I held him, Lenny reached down and pulled off the rubber mask. What we saw at that moment made us both step backwards in shock.

It was Julia Louis-Dreyfus!

I helped her to her feet and said "Julia Louis-Dreyfus! What in the hell are you doing dressed in a clown suit and cleaning windshields?” She then began going on and on about how Hollywood had turned its back on her, had typecast her, she couldn’t find work, yada, yada, yada………

After what seemed like hours I said "Hey Julia, I’m sorry for all that you have gone through but I really have to go. Here’s a buck." She thanked me, picked up her squeegee and went her separate way.

Lenny and I got back into the car and drove without speaking for about 20 minutes, reflecting on what had just occurred, when he broke the silence by stating, "Damn, she missed a spot."

© 2004 Jim Salisbury, All Rights Reserved
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