What Others Are Saying:

Steve Case, through his emersion into the story, reminds us that the presence of the divine surrounds us continually and he teaches us how to tap into that presence.

 - Mary Beth Howe, Author:A Baptist Among Jews


Bobo The Mistake Clown

Once upon a time...

 ...there was a clown whose name was BOBO THE MISTAKE CLOWN.  Bobo had a big blue floppy hat and a matching blue “squeak-squeak” nose.  His hair was long and curly and he wore a tuxedo six sizes too big for his frame and in a neon green so bright it practicallly hummed.

 He lived in the closet of a man named Ken Norbert.  Mr. Norbert had created Bobo the Mistake Clown from his own imagination.  Every time Ken Norbert was about to do something stupid Bobo would jump out of closet and yell “MISTAAAAAAAAAAAKE!!”  He would then squeeze his “squeak-squeak” nose and disappear back into Ken’s closet.  Bobo also lived in Ken’s school locker, his glove compartment and occasionally the refrigerator.  As a result, Ken didn’ t make a whole lot of mistakes because he always had Bobo the Mistake Clown there to warn him of impending stupidity.  

 One day Bobo started to get a little mean.  He not only warned Ken of possible mistakes but he also would get a little snarky about it.  As if he were saying, “You idiot.  I can’t believe you even thought about that.”  Sometimes Bobo the Mistake Clown would hide until AFTER Ken did something that wasn’t so smart and then Bobo would jump out of his hiding place and dance around pointing at Ken singing “Mistake Mistake Mistaaaaaaake” 

 Ken started to get pretty sick of Bobo.  One time Ken was on a date with a pretty lady and he messed up the cork in the wine bottle.  Bobo jumped out from the pantry and sang his newest version of the mistake song.  The pretty lady didn’t go out with Ken after that.  

 One time Ken was buying a cup of coffee and found he had left his wallet in his car.  Not a very big mistake but enough for Bobo to leap out from behind the counter and point at Ken and sing “MISTAAAAAAAAKE”  and everyone laughed.   Bobo followed Ken all the way into the parking lot. 

 Pretty soon, Ken’s coworkers and even some people he thought were his friends began to hang around Ken because they knew as soon as Ken screwed up the least little bit, Bobo would jump out and entertain everyone with his “Mistake Song.”

 It got to a point where Ken didn’t even leave the house anymore.  Everyone saw every little tiny mistake and every great big giant mistake and then all laughed.

 Then one day, Bobo brought along his friend Agnes.  Agnes was a mistake clown too and she started to hang around Ken’s co-worker Tom.  After awhile Tom wasn’t laughing any more.  Then along came Taffy, Petunia, Artie, Wallyhoozle, and a parade of other clowns who followed people and did nothing but point out their mistakes. Even little things like dropping a quarter or reaching into the wrong pocket when you are looking for your keys or dialing the wrong number.  It seemed nobody liked a clown pointing out their mistakes to the world.

 Then one day, Ken was walking down the street with Bobo openly following him and waiting for the chance to burst into song.  He saw an older lady step in some gum on the sidewalk and immediately a clown in pink pigtails and an orange smile  and a bright yellow dress with matching heels burst into a falsetto version of Bobo’s mistake song.  The older woman just couldn’t take it anymore. She put her hands over her face, her shoulders shook and started to weep..  Ken went up and hugged the lady as if to say, “I know what it’s like.”  The woman hugged him back and immediately the clown in yellow shut her big orange mouth.  

 The next day, Ken went out and as soon as he heard a clown start singing he followed the voice and found a little kid who had dropped his ice cream cone.  Ken bought the child a new cone and the singing clown shut up.  A few days later Ken saw a man pull on a door marked “Push”.  Before the clown could start singing, Ken held the door open for the man. 

 The idea caught on.  Soon almost everyone was ignoring the clowns and helping each other fix things when they made mistakes instead of laughing at them.  Pretty soon, the clowns were rare and hard to find.  People stopped laughing at each other.  They still made mistakes but those were immediately overlooked or someone would come along to help. 


THE MORAL:  Remember if you laugh when someone else’s clown starts singing...there’s one more over your shoulder just waiting to sing for you.  You can shut them up before they even begin.

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