Mindscanner #63
Bonk , the Klown
by Christine Francis < [email protected]>

The idea of a Klingon clown is ridiculous, isn't it? But being ridiculous is the duty of a clown, and none takes his duty so seriously as Bonk.

Part magician, part stuntman, part lunatic, he is only one in a long line of clowns dating back before the time of Kahless. Here begin the chronicles of a man dedicated to the often deadly art of entertainment.

A clown's life is not easy, I tell you. The weapons we use are trickier than any warrior's, and must be wielded with more skill than that of even the most talented of assassins. The very worst, I suppose, are children's parties. Of course adult festivals are more risky and require considerably more research and preparation time, but I would rather fight an entire clan of fat drunken sows at a bridal shower than face the mind-numbing frustration of a crowd of stoic faced (or worse, whining) children. They ooze out of nearly every orifice, their voices reach tones and pitches not entirely safe to the adult ear, and their appetite for targ-back rides is insatiable.

I was at one such party, a celebration of a birth actually, when I sustained an injury that nearly ended the long lineage I am proud to be descended from.

The alleged parents of these hell-spawn (and I refuse to believe so many children could have possibly issued forth from one female, no matter how insistently fertile) had thought it a good idea to hire me to amuse the siblings of the new arrival, thus keeping them from underfoot and allaying through distraction the usual thoughts of infanticide that naturally are inspired in children's heads at such times.

I never got an accurate count of how many offspring were in attendance, as they refused to stand still long enough to be counted. I do know I had at least six hanging off me at one time, and the level of noise at the time led me to believe there were at least three more capering about. But on with my story.

I opened with my veqlargh routine, very popular at all occasions and an established routine both in tradition and personal repertoire. I have been told many times that my veqlargh is exceptionally fierce and quite acceptable, however these jaded spoiled little brats did not even so much as flinch. Nor did they take up the party-favor swords and attempt to slay me. Rather, they stood around, feet apart and arms crossed, and JEERED at me!

What is a self-respecting clown to do? My only options were to kill myself on the spot, or find some way to redeem the situation. This second I did in a timely manner. Would that I had chosen the first. But I digress.

With no indication that their jeering effected me in the least, I hastily snatched up the youngest female and threw her over my shoulder and took off at a brisk pace. Did they chase me? Did they scream for my blood? Did they hunger to avenge such an insult upon their sister's person?

No, they did not. They laughed. LAUGHED! Well, I wasn't about to stand for that.

I took the small female, climbed to the highest part of the house, and hung her from the chimney by her feet (using, of course, the standard rope approved by the Guild of Clowns). There she screamed and struggled most satisfactorily. At this point my veqlargh costume was getting very hot and the makeup was running, but I persevered. I climbed part of the way down, and with a mighty yell I leaped into the midst of dreaded offspring.

This they cheered for, and I had a moment of vindication. Just one moment. For soon after, they grabbed me by my clothes and demanded I do it again. All this while their sister still hung shrieking and ignored. I do not know what passes for parenting these days. Was I going to allow mere children to take the upper hand and have a say in my routine? I most certainly was not.

I grabbed the youngest male and proceeded to treat him as I had his sister. Now two wretched whelps hung screaming and whining. Did their siblings rise up in indignation that an heir to the family name had been forced to suffer such treatment? Again, they did not. In fact, they began to dare me to EAT their siblings, and went so far as to suggest the best way to prepare slain children for consumption. My mind reeled, and again I considered Heghbat.

But no, no, that would be the easy way out. It was time to pull out the big sword. Under the auspices of running around in a rage, I returned to my supply trunk and changed into my yellow-haired demon costume. The facial appliance was even more uncomfortable than the veqlargh face, but I was dedicated to my cause.

With newly smoothed brow, pointed ears, and yellow hair I proceeded to caper about and mince and sing "ditties", in a most demonic fashion. The act did cause them to pause. Even the two unfortunates hanging from the chimney ceased their wailing and watched in stunned silence.

Then the eldest female accused me of trying to pretend to be a human, and the caterwauling resumed. But along with the noise, the children finally did take up their swords. Now here was my dilemma. I could stand the idea that a perfectly good portrayal of a demon was mistaken for a hackneyed portrayal of a human, but did I redeem the mistake by changing my act to a GOOD portrayal of a human? I took no time to decide. I turned and ran. Now.

As I was wailing and running and causing my ancestors much consternation by pretending to be an honorless cowardly human, I had completely forgotten about the two smallest children dangling from the roof.

Things seemed to be going smoothly, the children were amused and engaged, and the client seemed most satisfied (the father kept yelling at his spawn to catch me and slit me from stem to stern, whatever that means). I was too busy to deal with minor details like possible casualties.

But they were not casualties. Oh, no. They were clever little fiends in Klingon form. Dangling as they were with not much to do but scream and wriggle, they hit upon the idea of swinging till they could grasp on to each other, and proceeded to gnaw through their ropes (which, if you look at the package, are GUARANTEED to be gnaw-proof. I have not decided whether I should take the matter to litigation).

Unfortunately, their cleverness (and the ropes) only went so far. They forgot that once they gnawed through, there was nothing left to hold them up. As the pair tumbled down the roof, you guessed it, I just happened to be capering below. They have me to thank for breaking their fall and probably sparing their miserable lives.

The blow to the head stunned me momentarily. That was all the time my pursuers needed. They fell upon me with no regard for their injured siblings, raining upon me ineffectual blows with the flats of their blades.

Ah, well, I was pretending to be human. I suppose I was just asking for it. Through the melee I could see a fire-leaping pit was being prepared, and my relief in anticipating a break from my duties distracted me long enough to render me vulnerable to the afore mentioned injury. As I righted myself, fending off blows and thinking how good it would be to get rid of these little targlings and have a little something to eat, the littlest female gained her feet and fetched me a fearsome kick to the groin.

As I rolled, covering myself protectively, the littlest male plunged his blade into the back of my thigh, missing my vital parts literally by a hair.

Luckily, at this point the pit was ignited and the children were instantly distracted. Alas, they did not throw themselves into the flames to be consumed, hence ridding the galaxy of their evil for all time. I did, however, gain my anticipated break- spent dressing my wound and recovering from my injury.

I have done children's festivities many times, and much more successfully. This was merely an example of the worst. I am however, as always, a professional. I would face those minions of iniquity again, should duty demand it. With any luck at all, though, I will not have to. I will be left with only a scar that inspires embarrassing questions and a memory that, alas, time will not fade. I still have my pride as well, and shall ever hold my head high as a dedicated member of the Clown Guild.

I am Bonk, and I endure.