“I creep from out the woodworks, where they can't run
Jumpin' out a clown car, with a paint gun
95 rappers deep, and we still coming
Make you want to grab your heat, or maybe keep running
Yo baby keep it runnin' we about to regulate!
If I ain't back in five minutes, evacuate
Blow up the place 'cause I'm sho' 'gon blow the spot”
-Sung by Slappy the Killer Clown
(“Slappy the Killer Clown”)
It was nicely, unusually usual that no one was standing waiting to kill me as we got off the train. It had been so long since that had happened, but we weren’t about to take it for granted.
They could be waiting at our offices. Or might there be a troop of murderous clowns outside the arena?
Our ride was parked in the long term lot by Driscoll, so we all took our places and headed to the offices. We had taken over an old insurance building at the top of a hill overlooking the city.
The view was spectacular, and I had spent many an hour just watching the city shift for sunshine to the spotted lights of night. There was a TV station just across the street, and a junior college in the other direction. I put us there because it was right in the middle of life. When I was interested in news, the station gave me access to their news service feeds. When I was just waiting for something worthwhile to learn, the agency had a standing student registration at the college and we could sit in on any lectures that looked interesting. Amazing what you can learn in an idle moment.
That may have explained my thoughts about life. Jack of all trades didn’t really mean master of none. It might just mean full of interests, to the exclusion of none. Not everything sticks, but when you get in a hot situation it’s amazing what can bubble back up and let you use it.
I will always be grateful for every scrap of knowledge I have waiting for the moment it is needed.
That was why I was so glad to remember a story I read about a Viet Nam era soldier who hated bowling. I think was called “Down the Alley,” but I could be wrong. It has been a long time, and it was in a magazine that isn’t around anymore.
In this story a Viet Cong strung trip wires in railroad stations to set off bombs, but, since soldiers were wary of such things he also brought bowling balls with him while he watched at a safe distance. They were not bowling balls as we know them, more like bocce balls. He would roll the balls across the flat surfaces of the station as his targets approached. The ball would hit the line and have the same effect as though the man had hit the wire.
Today I heard the ball rolling before I saw the wire. I was holding a suitcase and used it to push everyone else back as I shouted, “Duck! Bomb!”
We were lucky. His timing was bad, as was his math.
We were able to get out of the direct range in a couple of steps, but the angle was just right to blow up the man holding a bag of bocce balls.
The balls were shot through the windows behind him, but no one but he was hurt.
This guy was not a professional. He was one of the religious murderers. He didn’t care who he killed as long as he got me.
I wondered if he missed the press conference.
© C. Wayne Owens