World-Class Clown

Eulogy of the nonsense

Clowns are terrific. Oh wait, no, clowns are horrific. It looks like I’m surrounded by nothing but false friends lately.

Charli Carletto has recently been in my town. No, I had neither heard of him before but apparently he’s the winner of the Silver Oscar, an award granted by no other than José Mª González Villa, director of the World Circus. Not that I had heard of him either, yet the poster arises an endless number of questions and unlikely yet real images.

Every time I think of a world clown award an image strikes me, the vision of a crowd of clowns perfectly lined up and made-up, white-faced, red-nosed and wearing all kind of props ranging from plastic saxophones to flowers sized R for “ridiculous”. I can picture them in the seats of an impossible theatre, chewing the fat and waiting for the prizes to be awarded; tension and excitement can be felt, mixed with the usual reek of desperation and loneliness that follows even when in their civvies; everything has a dreamy quality in an abject Troma way, not the tiniest detail to be considered irrelevant or out of place, neither the elephants among their ranks nor their coming out of shiny, tiny limousines by thousands or the neverending pie throwing.

The most powerful image comes from the “Sad Clown” category, my TV set split in four almost identical and awkwardly named faces trying to conceal the thrill and envy. When the winner is finally announced three of them smile and applause and one becomes even sadder, irony and paradox reaching previously unexpected heights as the time for the thank-you speech comes. Winning sad clown reaches the stand without having decided yet whether smiling is better than being plainly and straightforward depressing, as he fears showing joy will make him clearly unworthy of the honour.

The ceremony keeps on for hours until the absurdly huge climax arrives and paroxysm passes on to the millions of spectators, sitting on their couches wearing a flag with the name of their favourite clown in their hands, perfectly still and dressed up as clowns themselves, their emotions and mine drowned by an unfinished ocean of fake laughs.

Nevertheless, a fine Google search reveals there is no such thing as the Circus Oscar Awards, topping the whole issue with a delicious frosting of irony and nonsense.

Número de familiares en el extranjero: 1. Chetyre.

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