Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Tragic Comedy (aka Comedic Tragedy)

The Pentagon, Washington D.C., 0430 hours

An agitated military official paces back and forth across a large room. The room has maps of all sizes on the walls and a large table in the center of the room covered with official documents and blueprints. The pacing official is a highly decorated general. He chomps on an unlit cigar as he walks back and forth with his hands clenched behind his back. At the table, a sergeant watches his movements carefully appearing to wait for some sort of response. The general abruptly stops pacing and walks to the table addressing the sergeant.

“Are you sure?” the general growls through teeth clamping down hard on a cigar.

“General, there are no options here. We are pinned down in the valley. Alpha Team is all but wiped out. Air superiority is non-existent. Bravo Company is too far away to do any immediate damage. We must withdraw! We have no choice.”

The general turns away for a moment looking at nothing in particular. He turns back to the sergeant with a barely suppressed sigh and a grim look of determination.

“Send in the Clowns.”

The sergeant’s eyes widen momentarily. “Sir?”

“Send in the god damned CLOWNS!”

The sergeant nods slightly. “Yes sir; right away sir.”

“And may God help us all,” the General mutters under his breath as the sergeant picks up a red phone and speaks in hushed tones.

Slobodov Valley, 30 miles south of Moscow, 0500 hours

Amidst explosions and screams of dying men, Sergeant Richardson tries to rally his troops.

“Men, this is our last stand! The Pentagon doesn’t have any more help to give. Bravo Company is too far away. It’s now or never!”

Over the din of war, plane engines are heard in the distance growing louder. Sergeant Richardson turns to the north holding binoculars to his eyes. “Oh my God, you did it. You crazy son of a bitch, you did it!” he says out loud to himself.

“What is it Sarge?” A young private asks Richardson. A few of the remaining soldiers turn hopeful eyes towards their sergeant as Richardson turns towards them.

“Men, we may just have a chance after all. We may just have a god damned chance after all!”

High in the sky over Slobodov Valley, a tight formation of 12 planes veers towards the battle in perfect unison. The planes are decorated in bright primary colors. This is Clown Squadron, an experimental group of soldiers that have yet to see battle. Per the General’s orders, they are embarking on ‘Operation Clown Car’. From out of each of the 12 planes, small figures are seen jumping from opened doors in their fuselages. What seems like never-ending streams of paratroopers descend into the valley. A cheer arises from Alpha Team’s base camp as word spreads of the reinforcements.

Sergeant Richardson loads his weapon hurriedly as his camp bustles with newfound energy. One of the soldiers notices the paratroopers landing and pauses. He stares out as members of Clown Squadron begin landing and wipes his eyes in disbelief. “Sarge? SARGE!” he waves Sergeant Richardson over to the opening of their tent pointing out to the battlefield. “Is that- Are they- Am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?”

“Yes, private, you are. The Clowns have arrived. The Clowns are here to save our asses.

The scene on the battlefield that day was one unlike any soldier had ever seen before. Thousands of circus clowns were high-stepping all over the fields; their giant red clown shoes paddling over the dirt and blood of war. Through the cutting sound of gunfire and explosions, the sound of loud honking horns could be heard as the clowns entered the fray. Discarding their brightly colored parachutes, the clowns immediately went on the attack, throwing pies left and right. One set of clowns set up a slingshot, firing a fellow soldier high into the air and over the barbed-wire fences of the enemy. Hastily constructed cannons were erected and another clown soldier was seen climbing into one wearing a brightly colored helmet and flashing a thumbs-up at his clown brothers. He was fired directly into an advancing enemy tank unit while clowns and non-clowns alike all cheered and waved and danced.

One of the Russian soldiers broke ranks and ran at the clowns only to be met with a hail of pies in the face. He screamed and wiped at the white foamy material covering his entire body. Then he paused and tasted some of it. “Banana Cream!” he screamed in Russian as the enemy roared and advanced.

U.S. Air Force Base, Munich, Germany, 0600 hours

“This is BOZO-One requesting clearance to land.”

“That’s affirmative. BOZO-One you are cleared to land.”

“Roger that.”

The lead plane from Clown Squadron landed safely at its home base. The pilot was met on the tarmac by many high ranking officials. BeBo the clown pilot stepped off the plane and was met with a barrage of questions. He had a short statement prepared:

“You sent a group of 1000 clowns into a war against Russian tanks and machine guns. We were armed with Banana Cream Pies and human clown cannons; they had bullets and grenades. We had giant red clown shoes; they had boots engineered for the frozen mud of Siberia. What a circus. What a circus! War is Hell gentlemen. War is Hell.”

With this last statement, BeBo squeaked and honked his way into the infirmary with his giant oversized shoes slowly smacking on the pavement. The military officials all conferred and agreed that the General in the Pentagon who ordered this attack was a fucking idiot.

Alpha Team and the entire Clown Squadron were killed in less than 5 minutes that day. The Russians advanced through Banana Cream, balloons, brightly colored streamers and thousands of discarded red noses. They were not slowed for an instant, and brought Hell to the entire region. Russians who served in the Army during this time would recall “The Battle of Clown Valley” with hilarity and disbelief as they remember the time that the Americans tried to stop them with pastries, dancing costumed men and clown projectiles wearing little pointy hats and oversized clothing.

BeBo spent 3 months in the infirmary mourning the loss of his fellow squadron members and feebly honking his big red nose which also served as a horn. He was released from the infirmary and discharged honorably. He returned to the circus and to this day vomits uncontrollably whenever he smells bananas. When the dust settled after The Battle of Clown Valley, it was found that the General who ordered the attack had disappeared without a trace. “Acrobat Company B”, “Lion Tamer Brigade Bravo Division” and “Tightrope Walker Company A” were disbanded and the American Military in general became significantly less silly.

The Ringling Brothers could not be reached for comment.

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