Tears of an (Evil) Clown

by pjmcbride

Rom and I heard a song called “Tears of a Clown” which opined that said tears were the saddest thing in the world. Rom said, “Actually, I think the tears of someone whose child had died would be sadder than the tears of a clown.” I said, “Now, the tears of a clown whose child had died–that would be the saddest thing of all.” Yes, I used the tragedy of a child’s untimely death in a facetious context. I might not say something smart if someone pointed a gun at my head, but that theory has not been tested.

Speaking of Rom…


They are actually one and the same! Allow me to explain. (“Why do you speak to us in parables?” they ask.)

Rom acquired the sobriquet Dogbite McBride after he reached over the fence to pet the neighbor’s dog, which (who?) promptly bit him. The mild-mannered, bespectacled DogBite McBride then terrorized the West Side with his deadly Red Shirt Gang. (You might wonder how he could terrorize if he was mild-mannered. I haven’t worked out all the glitches yet, OK? It’s not everyone who can give you these lame-ass stories.) BUT…Dogbite had cataract surgery, and, as a side-effect, he doesn’t need glasses anymore. The eye surgery turned him into… ONION MAN! His superpower? The power to make people cry! Whenever he calls or talks to a business to resolve a complaint, he ends up yelling until they cry. I think his best work was with someone at Waterworks. You know those people are hardened. Another memorable occasion was on our 8th wedding anniversary in ’95. We stopped by the old Rose Optical on Main Street, and there was some problem with Rom’s new glasses, and he became so irate I was afraid he’d be spending our anniversary in jail. Luckily, he did leave when they told him to, because Onion Man believes in the rule of law. (“We thought you said he didn’t need glasses anymore,” they object. I promise to pay more attention to continuity when they option the screenplay, OK?)  And, because it’s unfair just to tattle on him, I give you…


Rom and I had an argument the other day about whether Procter & Gamble had changed the formula of Dawn dish detergent. I ended up kicking over a table that he’d made, and it broke. (“Why is it OK when you do stuff like that?” he asked. Because it’s not scary when a white girl has a tantrum, OK?) Luckily, Rom was able to fix the table. Otherwise, I’d have had to sue Procter & Gamble.


How old am I? (Well, first of all, older than plastic–I remember when shampoo bottles were made of glass. {Admittedly, I was a small child then.} I said that at work once, and someone said, “Shampoo bottles made of glass?? What a stupid idea! They might break in the shower!” I said, “We didn’t have plastic for shampoo bottles back then!” and was promptly called “older than plastic.”) “But why is this for ladies only?” say the gentlemen, reluctant to leave the room. OK, guys, stop reading beyond this point…

I remember when adhesive-strip feminine pads were introduced, when I was about 14. What did we do before then? An elastic-strap contraption with metal hardware. The visual effect was kind of like an athletic supporter for women. You can see why the new technology would be embraced with open…arms. Guys? Are you sorry you kept on reading after I told you not to? Not yet? Well, then…

I was in the feminine-care aisle at Walgreen’s (right across from the baby-care aisle, showing an admirable grasp of cause and effect), and noted that Carefree panty liners (or “pantiliners,” as they prefer to be called) still featured what they call the “Original” style (why not “Classic”?). Their “fresh scent” was the flowery one I remembered (ah, nostalgia). The new model Carefree, also billed as having a “fresh scent,” more closely resembled vanilla. Interesting how the definition of what constitutes a “fresh scent” (“have you used up your quota of quotation marks yet?” they want to know) changes over generations. Well, interesting to me, at any rate. Yes, I was sniffing packages of feminine-hygiene products at Walgreen’s. No, I don’t know why they haven’t called the cops on me yet. Are you sorry yet, guys?

I’m beginning to think this post should have been titled “Read At Your Own Risk.”