She showed up quite without warning today. Maybe it was because we have a hair appointment, or maybe it was because she was just sick and tired of hiding in the cupboard under the stairs between a big box of jelly jars, the ironing board, my rarely used gym bag and the vacuum cleaner. In any case, she suddenly appeared in her massive, striped pyjamas, her giant, candy apple red shoes flapping as she paced back and forth across the lino. I was pulling hubby’s freshly dried shirts from the dryer.
My Inner Comedienne was clearly feeling peevish. “WHAT is your problem, anyway?” she demanded without preamble.
I sighed and continued shaking out shirts, draping them across the back of a kitchen chair where they would no doubt reside for the rest of the week, clean, yes, but without the benefit of ironing. “And good morning to you, too,” I replied tiredly. It was 8 a.m. and neither of us had yet had coffee.
My IC rolled her eyes and stopped her pacing, hands on hips. “Where has all the laughter gone? Hmm?” she asked. “Our blog is all about comedy, and I haven’t seen my bowling pins or unicycle for like a month… what have you done with them?”
“Did you check the closet under the stairs?”
“Of course!” she snapped. “Where do you think I’ve been all this time? I ask you,” she said, stalking to the coffeemaker and pulling a pod out of the cupboard, “how is anybody expected to be funny around here without props?” She set the cup under the Tassimo nozzle and hit the start button.
“Well, to be honest, I haven’t felt very funny lately,” I explained, pulling the milk jug out of the fridge. “It’s been a rough month, actually.”
My IC was having none of it. “Yeah,” she said, “you try living in a closet for weeks on end, surviving on meagre scraps of a dying sense of humour, overshadowed by all these pictures of pretty landscapes and depressing stories about crazy people and works of … FICTION.” She literally shuddered. “You have got to drop that game, or I am out of here for good,” she said, pouring the milk into our mug. “If you’re going to write fiction, for heaven’s sake, why don’t you let me give you a hand? You’re way funnier when you talk about us, and people are depressed enough without your help.”
She was right, actually. We took our first sip of coffee. “Well, my mum did have a stroke earlier this month,” I explained, feeling a wave of exhaustion at the very idea of recapping my disastrous October. “And then Little Man spent 5 days in hospital with asthma and I couldn’t visit him on account of having cats… that’s KIND OF a big deal.”
“Yeah. Completely unfunny,” she agreed. Though there were eggs on the rack ready for cooking, we instead reached for a half empty box of Malteser chocolates and proceeded to finish them off together. Malted milk balls for breakfast. (As you do!)
“I miss those cats,” said the IC. “They were always, always funny…”
“Me too.” We were nearing the bottom of the chocolate box, and I was still hungry. Go figure. “And then on Saturday morning, I discovered one of my hens had been killed. There are few things less funny than discovering the crushed body of one of your best hens, partially cannibalized.” I chewed my Malteser slowly and washed it down with coffee. “Not. Funny,” I said.
Inner Comedienne reluctantly agreed, a black painted tear forming below her left eye. “And then you had to kill Logan…”
“Yeah. Nothing like having to chop the head off of a beautiful rooster to make you feel pretty unfunny.”
She picked up the now empty box of Maltesers and peered inside hopefully. “We’re out of chocolate. That is even less funny than dead chickens,” she said, her black teardrop growing and another one forming below her right eye. Oh, good Lord. She was going to have a meltdown, I could feel it coming. Sad clowns are the most unfunny thing in the whole world!
I rolled my eyes and pushed our coffee mug aside. “Alright,” I said, firing up the computer, “I think I might have seen your unicycle behind the door in the dining room. Right next to your bowling pins, your tiny hat and umbrella.”
My Inner Comedienne brightened visibly. “You mean…”
“Yes,” I said. “You can come out to play. We’ve got a hair appointment today, remember?” By the time I opened my browser, my IC was happily cycling across the kitchen, a bright red smile painted from ear to ear.
Mission accomplished: Meltdown averted.
“Oooooo!” she cried, excitedly. “I just LOVE hair appointments!”
“I’ll be good,” she said sweetly, “I PROMISE!” Setting her tiny hat at a jaunty angle, my Inner Comedienne began laying plans for her next routine. After all, she takes her job of clowning very, very seriously…
- coffee photo: thedesigninspiration.com
- Maltesers photo: theguardian.com
- tearful clown: Pinterest.com
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