Written by: Lizzie Pangallo, Brandy Bohm, Lori Hicks, Diane Passero, and Jim Master
Ted always knew that he was going to commit suicide, but he didn’t think that there would be a clown in the room when he finally got around to doing the deed.
“Why the long face fella?” Inquired Yahtzee the Clown. Running away from his wife and kids to join the circus was a horrible idea, but Ted still could not even consider going back. Death was the lesser of two evils. But he couldn’t help but think about what he’d be leaving behind. He had found love with the bearded lady, after all. Something he hadn’t felt in years. Ted had always held a special love for beards and the women that wore them. If Freud was still around, then he would have presumed that Ted’s mother also rocked a beard. Maybe that was why Ted was attempting suicide by jumping off the high wire.
To his dismay, he realized in midair, that the trampoline was directly under the tightrope. It seems that Ted can’t even kill himself right! Yahtzee applauded as Ted safely landed. “That was a great jump. You should do that in the show.”
Ted was brought to tears by his failure to off himself, but the bearded lady Mina threw her arms around his scrawny neck and shouted, “My brave little acrobat!” He ended up crying, but his sobs were muffled by the heavy wool of a beard his beloved wore. Suddenly, the rest of the circus crew had come into the ring. Ted hadn’t realized how close it was to show time. Elephants painted pink were being herded into the ring.
Mina kissed Ted and told him to “have a good show” as Ted begrudgingly trudged off to apply his make up and sequins. He starred into the mirror and thought, “Why, oh why did I tell the boss that I wanted to be an elephant showgirl?”
“You’re on in five,” the stage manager barked as he whizzed by. Ted took one last look in the mirror, adjusted his long pink wig and his fake breasts, and headed to the elephants. Elephants Daisy and George looked like they wanted to kill the stage manager. Ted knew how they felt. They were more painted and shimmering than he was. Ted was lined up with all the other show “girls” as they waited to prance out in front of the elephants to end the show on a high note. Ted looked around for his bearded love or for Yahtzee, but couldn’t find them anywhere. He was a little disappointed but knew they’d already seen this show too many times. Hopefully, they’ll wait for him before they crack open the boxed wine.
Little did Ted know, Yahtzee and Mina were off doing more than just drinking that wine.
“Mina, are you sure this spot is safe? It seems a little odd to be making out under the monkey cage. And the smell is awful.” Yahtzee asked.
“No dear,” replied Mina while slipping off her beard.
Meanwhile, Ted nervously mounted an elephant. The elephant sensed Ted’s tension and flared his trunk, swinging it wildly, knocking Ted’s breasts onto the circus floor, trouncing them until they were as flat as pancakes. The crowd went wild, believing his sudden elephantal mastectomy was all part of the show. Ted stood up, dusted himself off and ran out of the big top in total embarrassment. Running toward the trailer he shared with Mina, he thought about how he should just ask her to run away with him. They could leave it all behind and start anew. Mina would never have to wear that furry, although somewhat sexy beard again and Ted could be shimmer free. Almost to the trailer, he could hear a strange yet familiar sound. It was coming from the monkey cage.
The monkeys were going crazy in the menagerie tent. Ted debated whether he should investigate or not. He really wanted to just wash the filth of the horrible day off of him, but then he thought of how the monkeys had always found a way to cheer him and were the closest things he had to friends. He headed toward the menagerie tent reluctantly. He paused and recalled the day he had held a tiny baby monkey, Jimmy, in his arms and fed him a bottle of formula. This made him reflect on the day his daughter was born. She was so tiny and perfect. Why did he ever leave her?
As Ted got closer to the cages he noticed another sound intermingled with the monkey’s chatter. It was the sound any father would know well, the sound of a baby burping. “Wait” he said aloud to no one, “that burping sound was the sound Mina always made when she was eating hot dogs. Aw Mina, my love.” Ted walked into the monkey cage. He was beginning to recall why he left his nagging wife and his dear children. None of them could hold a candle to his bearded wonder of a lady.
And then he saw Yahtzee standing there looking at him in panicked shock. He was stuffing Mina’s fake beard in his giant yellow pants in a hurry to cover up their tryst, but Ted knew what it meant if Mina wasn’t wearing her beard. He’d taken it off many times.
“What is going on here?” Ted asked the partners of crime. The scene that had unfolded in front of Ted was one of carnal carnival passion. Mina’s face was speckled with white clown paint and as her cheeks grew a bright red, she bore resemblance to her fellow adulterer. Mina stood up from the peanut shell and banana peel littered floor half naked.
“Ted my love, you mustn’t lose your head. He means nothing.” Hearing her excuse, Ted grew a pair of balls, and for the first time in his life he got into a fist fight. He dove for Yahtzee and ripped off his large bulbous nose. Then he punched Yahtzee so hard that the clown landed in a pile of monkey poo, face first.
Mina, mortified to be naked and beardless, got up from under the monkey cage and ran toward the trailer she shared with Ted. That boxed wine was sounding really good. She locked the door behind her, got her wine glass, and tapped open the box. It was then that she started to really think about the situation. Ted was a great guy. “Why, oh why did you cheat on him?” She thought, “They were going to run away together. They were going to start a family together.”
While Mina was reflecting on her indiscretion, the fight between Ted and Yahtzee had escalated. Yahtzee, with a crazed look in his sad clown eyes, was now holding a knife to Ted’s throat. In the first time in his wretched life, Ted knew what it was like to be alive and he was going to live damn it. So he looked into Yahtzee’s crazed eyes and not knowing what else to do, kissed him square on the lips. Yahtzee, startled by this unexpected but welcome gesture on Ted’s part, dropped the knife and kissed him back.
A few glasses of cheap wine and thirty minutes later, Mina decided to go out and find Ted with the goal of apologizing and begin him to taker her back. What she found in monkey cage wasn’t carny fight she’d thought she’d find. Instead, the now grown monkey, Jimmy walked up to her and handed her a banana. Mina, confused, took the banana from Jimmy and examined it and found a note tied to the fruit. She unfolded the piece of paper and read out loud.
“Mina, my love, I am truly sorry. Yahtzee and I are running away together, never to live the carny life ever again. I know that this might be hard to comprehend, but we found love and we won’t give it up. I hope you don’t try and find us. I want to thank you for all the precious moments we had together. I know now that my love for bearded women was, in its self, a beard for my homosexuality. Loving you, just not in that way any longer, Ted.”
Mina sobbed all the way back to her trailer, drank the rest of the wine, and passed out unceremoniously.