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I wasn’t bombarded by cosmic rays. My parents weren’t shot and a clown didn’t fly through my window as I was calculating revenge. I like clowns, though. They aren’t scary or menacing. You make them that way, when all they want to do is make you smile. They don’t care if you’re a Muslim or emo or President of these United States. You could have the codes to all the nuclear weapons in the world, and all a clown wants to do is make you chuckle. That’s why he scares you – he’s unhinged from your forced habits. I like that.
I wasn’t a clown. I was a pharmacist. Used sugar and food coloring to put smiley faces on lollipops for kids who didn’t want to take their medicine. That’s my story. Day after day. Lollipop after lollipop. The child comes in crying and leaves happy, sucking on grape or lime. Mom comes in frowning, fakes a smile for the pharmacist, puts up with his antics, then, when she’s paid and thinks she’s out of eyeshot, goes back to frowning. Mom’s smile isn’t real, kids, no matter how much sugar and food coloring you put on it. You’ve got to follow her into the parking lot, climb into the back seat, catch her by the scalp and dig in there with a straight razor if you want to give her a smile that won’t go away. That’s my story.
But that’s also small scale. Eventually a clown’s got to play to bigger audiences. You’ve got to put money away. 401K – not for retirement, but terrorism. A pharmacist can make a lot, especially when he does his shifts alone and tampers with the billing. And he has access to so many handy chemicals – wholesale!
Adults will pay anything for their drugs. It helps them fake things. I handed them their Rx lies, and rang up the bill. That’s what I’m serving everybody now. Grape, lime, and the bill. This isn’t a trench coat – it’s a lab coat dyed purple! I want to see you laugh, Gotham. I want to see your smile. Not the one you put on when you walk by security guards and bar tenders. You just insist on turning back into pumpkins at midnight when your fairytale fix of alcohol wears off. And if you’re going to insist turning back into pumpkins, then I’m going to carve you like a Jack O’Lantern. I’ll find that smile in there somewhere. That’s my story.