Oct 11, 2009 by

Tess’s Round 7 Challenge: Incorporate a Homicidal Clown (taken from Omar’s Story). Word limit: 600

Read TESS 6 here (see “Similar Posts” at the bottom of this post for any earlier entries)


Incorporate a Homicidal Clown

I’ve never been one for the poet type of boy, at least not the stereotypical kind who wants to discuss “Rimbaud and Verlaine” over absinthe (not because he likes their poetry but because he likes the thought of liking it) (and same goes for the absinthe) and who doesn’t know how to dress up or dress down for occasions because all he wears is shabby old brown jackets because that’s what he thinks poets should wear because that’s what they wore a century ago, which is only because that was their best clothing back then.

Not that we girls are any better. Whether it’s Amy Winehouse with her silly beehive hairdo or the burlesque comeback or whatever, it’s all about copying the past. Our only cultural contribution is tattoos on our lower back (and even tramp stamps have been passé for a decade). Either my generation is really insecure or really boring or really unimaginative because we’ve got nothing of our own. It’s sad.

Though I was rearing to hear Ryan, I didn’t expect a poetry lecture to do much for me. Boys had tried explaining poetry to me before but I never got it, probably because they didn’t get it themselves. Reading poetry made me feel just as dumb as when I couldn’t get a “smart” joke. But Ryan was so eloquent and clear that he gave the poetry legs. As he stood at the lectern with his lazy eye reciting lines I felt that *he* was the poem.

After class his fan club of undergrad girls (of course) bum rushed his desk. He fended them off one by one until the two of us were left talking alone in the lecture hall. I pulled a bright red apple from my sling bag and put it on his desk. I said, “Thanks professor” and winked.

He said, “Trisha, have you ever read IT?”

I nodded.

He said, “I don’t know how you feel about Pennywise, but there’s an off-Broadway play performing this week called ‘Deconstructing Psycho Killer Clowns.’ It’s based on the cultural critic Mark Dery’s theories on the archetype of the Evil Clown and has received great reviews from reliable critics. I was thinking of going Friday. Interested in joining me for some carnivalesque Friday night evil?”

So just like that I had a date with the prof in four days (which still ended up not being enough time to read IT…). Double exclamation mark.

The red apple was key. Passivity gets you nowhere. Guys might have gone for that Goodie Too Shoes type who stands shyly in the corner with blinking eyelashes back in our grandparent’s day but that’s all gone now. If we girls all stood around waiting, the species would die off. Back then you didn’t have to hunt. Boys did the hunting.

Now it’s the boys who stand around, lacking confidence, not even opening a door for you, mumbling at their feet about the equality of the sexes and how there’s no differences between them, etc. They’ve turned generosity and gallantry into a women’s rights issue. Until they start shaving their legs and wearing lacy thongs with pink hearts they should lay off their penny-pinching excuses about the lack of differences.

Not that Ryan was like that. He opened doors for me, paid for dinner, paid for the play, paid for drinks, and paid for the cab ride back to his place afterwards. After that, it was my treat.

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  1. mmmmm, dessert. rather risky to pull such a stunt with one of your own students, obviously this guy lives dangerously – but then again your character gave him a foot in the door… and thats all a guy needs to allow the primal to cease the reins

  2. lol. technically trisha isn’t ryan’s student. she was just sitting in on the class :)
    love the new challenge idea! maybe this time i can actually not start writing while hungover on the day it’s due! *headdesk*

  3. doh! i totally did know that… i should have re-read last weeks post to avoid the noob mistake

  4. Love it, love it, love it! I wish I could open this well with a hangover.

    The social/cultural commentary comes across with ease, rather than the self consciousness it was prone to in earlier and doesn’t sound like a rant (well not to me!)

    You have also artfully wound the the psycho killer clown into it well. Aren’t the Insane Clown Posse full of psycho looking clowns singing bad metal music?

    And the ending is wonderful. You’ve really capitalised on the vingette style we were discussing earlier on in the comp.

    My only crit is the overuse of the word “that” … if you can get by without it in a sentence – do it! It allows the end part of you sentence to carry more punch.

    Congratulations Tess on the wonderful maturing of your writing over the contest. You deserve to be here at the business end of the comp.

  5. :) you’re right about insane clown posse. i had to youtube them. sounds like hip hop meets horror (hiphorror?)
    i just read what i wrote again and you’re totally right that i use that too much. wait, let me try that again… you’re totally right i use that too much lol!

  6. Jay

    “As he stood at the lectern with his lazy eye reciting lines I felt that *he* was the poem.”

    Beautiful! This is my favourite passage of yours yet, Tess.

    • favorite yet… really?! :) i liked it too but i was positive everybody else would find it super corny!

  7. Not as impressed as the others Tess but I think you might scrape through this round. Still think the writing and style is improving but the story lacks something; it needs more energy. Your’e up against some quite stiff competition of a perhaps more traditional nature, in some cases, but competition that might be best described as more dramatic.

    • more energy? hmmm, should i have them do jumping jacks? 😉

        • Yes! Pity submissions for Round Eight challenges are closed… (c:

          • i don’t think ryan is the type who does jumping jacks lol!

            loved the vid as usual. great idea with the panoramas at the museum of natural history (but some of the best ones were left out!!) it’s the most amazing museum

            three cheers to host for getting it to us before the 16th this time! or make that four[th] cheers 😉 good luck with your motorcycle. i want one too (but one that works) lol

  8. “video video on the screen who’s the timeliest host of all?” 😉
    now i just need to get it to rhyme… lol. where’s omar when you need him!

  9. Oh Tess – you got me all excited the vid was up … I’ll go back to boring old editing!

  10. You’re right, Tess, that I left out some of the best exhibits from the Natural History Museum. I forgot my extra memory card. I didn’t even get the T-Rex in there. I was also running late and I didn’t want to be up all night editing. So much for that.

    As for the motorcycle, maybe you were joking, but if not, I’d think it through first. I actually get around faster on my bicycle than on the motorcycle. On a motorcycle, you have to obey road rules. On a bike, you don’t have to deal with traffic lights, one-way streets, or parking hassles…

    • lol i was totally joking. i’m dangerous enough on a bicycle. the last thing i need is more power! (x_x)

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