Enter: My Father’s Clown Shoes

image of a mustard jar with a man's face on it

They say walk a mile on top of your father’s clown shoes, so you can avoid the tears of a clown, when there’s no one around.

The place was Shakey’s Pizza in Westmont, on or near Ogden Avenue, I think.  The time, thirty-two years ago.  When Joe was the size of a toenail.  When he was still biting strangers on the ankle.  We, kids and Dad, went out for pizza while Mom stayed behind to be bask in the silencio.  Amy ‘claims’ she did not come on this trip.

Just minutes before leaving for Shakey’s, I was watching a television show that involved two bad comedians: one guy who told jokes while wearing a bag on his head, and one guy who stuck nickels up his nose.  Because I liked the way that sounded, the 2 n’s, nickels and nose, I made sure to remember it so that I could use it at a moment’s notice around other like-minded individuals.

We walk through the door and into the smell of dough.  When you first enter, you can’t miss the plastic partition that separates the pizza makers and ovens from the population at large.  I blink with disappointment at the two guys snapping towels at each other, not living up to their entertainment potential.  Their entertainment mandate.  Only once did I ever see a guy throw a pizza up in the air and spin it with his hands, thus forever ruining me in the disappointment that  Continue reading “Enter: My Father’s Clown Shoes”