By an Idiot | Episode 6: In the Stars


Good evening, denizens of the asylum. This delightful summer evening has come to its quintessence: I return to you after my sojourn. It is once again time for, By an Idiot. I am your idiot, Mr. Clown.

Outside, up there in the dark blue sky, the stars align, and if we are to listen to the schizophrenics, this is a momentous event. One says it shows a soon coming end of civilization, another that a new empire will arise, and still another that we’ll have clam chowder next week. I shudder to think of it. And yet, I learned on my trip, not all of us look up to heaven with the same transported wonder I’d supposed universal. No, some look up there and they see home.

Last Friday you poor souls were bereaved, for I was taken away to an inconsequential hearing regarding the deaths of some children I’d fostered. And though I’ve a reputation for my ability to make these broadcasts despite ardent opposition, I’m no magician. I cannot at once be here and standing before the court explaining that it was a vampire that had sucked the life-blood from those poor innocent kids.

But while awaiting my hearing, I was able to gain the confidence of another defendant. He was a small bald man, hunched over like a rat on its hindquarters, and draped around his shoulders was a tan raincoat. He wore little else, and was quite exposed.

And he told me: “It’s a special day on my planet. We’re not to wear anything today.”

He told me all about Zarphoon, and his people the Chaddi—that soon he’d be going home. Now, if any of you are wondering, we can see his star if you look to the big dipper, and those two fish Pisces: Somewhere between those constellations he said he kept his eye, looking for flying bowls to return to him.

“They’d be coming,” he told me, “After today.” If he could just make the news, he explained, then the battle would be half won. Today was a perfect day. Everyone on Zarphoon knew you don’t wear clothes today, and any streaker would be pegged instantly as someone keeping with the Chaddi tradition.

He rocked back and forth, saying, “They’d come. They’d come.”

And so I remind you, before those orderlies make it through the door to return me to my cell, that you yourselves should look up, for whatever is out there, whatever meaning can be found, it seems a good tradition of man to look for it.

This has been, Mr. Clown.


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