Monday, May 27, 2013

Of Freak Mojo and Dead Clowns

This weekend we visited an annual event called the Great Glebe Garage Sale. For those of you unfamiliar with Ottawa, the Glebe is a very wealthy urban neighbourhood within spitting distance of downtown. Once a year, the entire 'hood gets together and throws a massive garage sale, with almost literally every house for blocks participating.

This being a rich neighbourhood, you'd think folks would generally have good stuff to get rid of. But I spent three hours cruising sales that, as far as I can tell, were mainly unloading Debbie Gibson CD's, used inkjet printers and other items for which there is no market whatsoever, anywhere.

Okay, one man's trash is another's treasure, but seriously--how did you get rich enough to live in the Glebe if your business sense isn't acute enough to tell you that literally no one has any use for a how-to-use-the-Internet book from 1997?

All right, I'm just being pissy. Sorry. The thing is, my garage-sailing skills are mediocre at best. I'm really jealous of people who have that seventh sense that directs them to where incredibly weird and awesome finds can be had.

People like my friend Beau, who for as long as I've known him has been tuned in to a whole other Luck Plane of finding bizarre shit. When we were in high school, there was this idea that late-night TV was full of weird cheesy old B-movies and forgotten, unloved cultural ephemera. (This was before capitalism, having for years made the uncharacteristic mistake of overestimating people's intelligence,  figured out that people will indeed sit through an hour-long commercial.) But when I turned on the TV at 3 am, I was never able to find The Prisoner or Godzilla Versus Mothra. Kitch and bulldada evaded my best efforts to find it.

But pull an allnighter at Beau's drinking coffee and eating chips, and turn on the TV, and wham--there is what appears to be a camcorder video of a guy eating grass, goat-style, which appears to be growing on another guy's head. Yes there is.

What I'm saying is--dude's got some major freak-magnet mojo.

Anyway, as it happens, Beau was cruising the Great Glebe Garage Sale the same day and came across this. It's a cheesy paperback mystery from gotta-be-the-fifties about a business magnate who joins the circus (!) as a clown (!!), and turns up dead of an apparent suicide a few days later (!!!), but it's awfully suspicious (you think?) and the maybe-murder has to be solved by a retired reporter who spends his days writing angry letters to the editor about how inept the cops are (!!!) It's called "Unhappy Hooligan" which--okay, look, I haven't read it, maybe I should, but as far as I know "hooligan" does not mean "clown." Are there gangs of violent soccer fans in this book too? I don't know, but at this point it wouldn't surprise me.

Knowing of my perverse fascination with dead clowns, he snapped it up for me.  If you can't have the weirdo magnet mojo yourself, next best thing is to have a friend like Beau who will find the stuff for you. Thanks pal!




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