A Very Mad Clown

 

Kankakee slumlord, sociopath and Vaudeville clown Madeline Topolla-Teirant struts into a busy Buckstars hoping to score some free java. “Welcome to Buckstars, what can I get started?” the friendly coffee clerk in the green apron asks a towering 5’10”, 300 pound Madeline. “I don’t have time to wait. You guys are horrible people, childish little girls and boys. Get my drink right and make it fast or I am going to go to the cafe down the street.” 

“Okay, what would you like?” the barista replies with a smile.

“Get me a pink drink and make it fast. Not the orange drink like you screwed up last time.”

The barista cashes out Madeline; the bulbous clown and slum manager walks off to the side, away from the long line of thirsty customers.

Regular customer Kitty Bortolotti, the tall, curly haired, mixed-race beauty with the star earrings is next in line. 

“Can I speak to the manager?” a confident Kitty asks with her hands on her hips.

“Sure.”

Kitty winks at the team leader. “I don’t need anything, I just want to help you. Don’t let your staff be afraid of certain customers who try and intimidate your staff, if you know what I mean. I have experience; she’s all talk.”

“Customers like you are the best,” the supervisor says to Kitty.

“Glad to help.”

The two exchange smiles and a nod, then Kitty orders a drink alongside her best friend.

Kitty waits patiently for her drinks, meanwhile an obviously agitated Madeline storms over to the counter and screams at the barista, who has better things to do than listen to a screaming Madeline.

Kitty’s drinks come back. “We made you an extra one because we love great customers like you.”

“Awww thanks! You guys are the best.” Kitty takes a bill from her lime-green wallet and places it in the tip jar.

Kitty lifts the cup carrier, walks off to the side and chats with her best friend forever, Lana “LTL” Tolstoy Levitsky.

A bunch of names are called out: “LaWanda! Marigold! Damien!” but not Madeline’s. The happy customers grab their cups of joy and walk out the door.

“Abby!” 

Madeline turns to Abby and asks “What drink is that?”

A confused Abby looks over to Madeline.

“A pink one.”

“Oh I thought you had mine, we got the same thing.”

“Yeah sure.” Abby gives Madeline a dirty look and walks out the door.

“Madeline!”

“I hope they’re not clownin’ around with my drink!” Madeline thinks aloud.

“We made it just how you wanted it,” The barista says with a smile.

Madeline takes a sip and then reads the cup: “MADWOMAN”.

The entire cafe full of customers starts giggling and the room roars with laughter.

Madwoman storms out the cafe and walks behind the strip mall, where she is again greeted by the site of her best friends, the cafe dumpsters.

 

Konrad Cooks the Books

“Get back in the kitchen, this pot is about to boil over!” Madeline Topolla-Teirant calls out to her husband, Konrad “Kon” Teirant who is reading the CRASS company ledger in the washroom.

Kon washes his hands, flicks the water on the floor (a trick he had learned from Teirant Cinema-13 clerk Damien Hurlbutt) and struts into the kitchen. He sets the ledger atop a shelf in the cupboard.

“Madeline, I can do this myself. No need to tell me how to cook. Go on and watch the kiddos.” Konrad gestures Madeline to leave the room.

Konrad stirs the pot of his turkey soup. He made sure to put in loads of veggies because they cost less than turkey. Konrad hears a loud banshee-esque squeal come from the living room and dashes out.

“Bratley? What are you doing?” Konrad walks over to him.

“Waaaaaaaaaah! I want my toys!”

Konrad yells at Bratley because he has little patience for children. He only had them because he can. He usually leaves the parenting to his wife Madeline because he would rather make money. Meanwhile chaos unfolds in the kitchen.

Chanel # 5 and * climb up the kitchen counters, tear up the CRASS ledger into a confetti mess and put the flakes into the soup like they are special spices. They hear their daddy coming so the close the cover of the book back up and place it back on the cupboard shelf so they do not get in trouble.

“I told you kids not to play on the kitchen counters! Now go do your homework or you are going to bed without any supper!”

Kon begins stirring the pot.

The next morning, all of CRASS is sent a company email to announce the new CRASS initiave:

From: Teirant, Konrad (konteirant@crass-llc.con)

To: CRASS, LLC (all-crass-l@crass-ll.con)

Subject: Food for everyone!

Dear CRASS employees:

It is with great pleasure I announce the newest CRASS publicity initiave: Triple down on each call to raise money for the new CRASS Stage! If we raise enough money to name the Kankakee Senior Center stage after us, we can help promote CRASS, LLC as a community leader.

To help celebrate our new publicity effort, I brought in turkey soup, enough for everybody this time! Enjoy! Be sure to only log off during your designated 15 minute breaks to enjoy my cooking.

Most importantly, remember to ask each debtor for three times what they can afford to pay! Submit a Form 5 for each triple-down. Each bonus will go toward the stage-naming initiative to make CRASS look good, instead of your paycheck. You do want to keep your job, right?

Happy Monday!

Konrad Teirant

“Want some soup?” Dale asks Sybil. “I’ll spoon feed it to you,” a hopeful Dale says with a grin.

“Go away, Dale. I have work to do,” Sybil snarks as she downs a dog biscuit at her desk.

Dale slurps his soup at his desk before he logs onto the autodialer.

Operations Manager Mike Philps helps himself to two bowls while he watches the collectors stress out over asking for three times what the debtors can afford.

“Why aren’t these folks making production?” a stern Tara Bull asks Sybil Kibble as Tara sips some greasy turkey soup.

“I will keep on pushing for those Triple Downs and Form 5s.” Sybil tells a beleagueured Tara.

Kon sits in his office surfing Fakebook Flat-Earth pages as well as the Qannon droppings. He feels his belly begin to rumble. “Must be a quake of this flat planet,” Kon says to himself as he gets up.

A line forms outside the CRASS washrooms. Tara Bull joins the queue. “Why are people taking so long?” Tara mumbles under her breath.

A stench wafts from the mens’ room. Konrad emerges.

“Did I do that?” Kon slyly asks. The lined-up employees giggle.

CRASS Chief Mack. E. Avelli walks over the the office of Mike Philips to order fixed the toilet Kon clogged.

Since Kon’s idea failed miserably, he took the rest of his greasy, tainted turkey soup to Teirant Cinema-13 to “treat” his employees there.

“Ooooh, thank ya boss! Well actually, I just constipated myself by eating six antacids in a row so I do not have to use the toitie all night!” a certain clerk named Damien Hurlbutt excitedly tells Kon.

“Thanks for the information. Enjoy and get to work.”

Damien drinks the soup right down.

“Ahhhhh.”

“Puttt” goes Damien’s butt.

“Pardon me. Pheeeeeww!”

Damien’s stomach begins to grumble, really grumble. Damien gets up, ripping more farts as he walks and does the Scoot-And-Poot to blast as much gas he possibly can.

Konrad looks for Damien and he is not at the ticket counter.

“Where are you Damien? People are lining up and they need to buy their tickets. Imma gon fire you if you do not come back!”

A stench wafts from the men’s room.

“Nevermind…”

A Very Moronic Concert

“Ma, would you like a dog food wrap?”

“No thanks, Sybil. I’ll take a raincheck.”

“I wrapped them up in toilet paper, Mother!”

JK shakes her silvery coiffe.

“Are there squirrels along the boardwalk?” JK asks her daughter, who is busy munching away at her doggy bag.

“Mmmnnnpf” a hungry, occupied Sybil replies in the negative.

“Speaking of squirrels, where are our tickets to the squirrel petting zoo?” JK inquires.

Sybil digs around her black-and-white striped purse, and pulls out the envelope Robbie gave her.

“Coupons? I thought they were comping us. These only give us a dollar off! The admission is $20 a pop! And where are our hotel keys? They said they were getting that, too!”

“Ummmm…” JK’s jaw just hangs.

“I have a plan.”

“Are we still going to the show?”

“Aw yeah, we are going early, in fact.”

6:00 PM rolls around and Sybil has already gotten to the bar with her mom, JK. The two were a bit delayed by their detour to the novelty store.

“Where is the ladies’ room?”

The bartender points in the general direction.

Sybil and JK each take a stall and begin blowing up the inflatable women. Sybil applies makeup, a blonde wig and readers to hers and JK applies a short, gray wig and round glasses to her doll. They walk out the restroom and place their dolls in two seats toward the back of the bar.

Sybil and JK leave the bar, giggling as they exit. They head to a casino where they spend the night.

The Moronic Half-Assets (MHA) Vaudeville act begins. Konrad Teirant tells his awful puns, then his wife, Madeline Topolla-Teirant, the colorful clown, juggles and attempts to balance on a large ball. Robbie Hurlbutt, mediocre Elvis impersonator, sings and dances like the fool he is.

PJ Hurlbutt cheers on her son Robbie, who she thinks is the greatest singer, meanwhile Pat Splatt sits there in his seat texting.

The show ends and Robbie takes a head count.

“We’d like to thank our fans Pat, my Mom PJ, and our buddies Sybil and JK!”

“Encore! Encore! Encore!” the lone fan, PJ, shouts.

“Did you say encore? We aim to please. Robbie is going to serenade a special fan who came all the way from Kankakee, Illinois!” Konrad announces.

Robbie comes down from the stage, toward the back of the bar and begins to sing “Burnin’ Love”.

Robbie is in shock that the “person” to whom he is singing does not react, nor move at all. “She is not a sincere fan.” Robbie says into the microphone after his number.

“Robbie, you moron. That’s a blow-up doll!” Madeline shouts.

Robbie jumps back in sheer embarassment.

“Elvis has now left the building.” Konrad announces.

The Moronic Half-Assets pack up, ready to leave. “That was a bust. I got really flustered up there.” Robbie sighs.

“We did not return much on our investment, did we?” Konrad gripes.

“Time to pack up and leave. If we drive home in our clown car, and make it home without stopping, maybe we can make up for our losses. Time to go!”

Robbie is in the Men’s washroom, wizzing away.

“Robbie, why do you leave the door open? I tell you about that time and time again!” Madeline screams.

A loud slam is heard.

“Rrrrrrrrgh!”

“Robbie, you are not Elvis, and you are not going to die in there.”

The MHA members pack up their stuff, and Robbie follows them into his clown car.

“I wonder what act is up next?” Robbie asks.

“I guess we’ll never know. Step on it Robbie!”

An announcement is barely heard from the purple clownmobile as Robbie pulls away, and rolls up his window, Kankakee-bound:

“Next up, from Manteno, Illinois: Gothic Diana and the Midnight Supremes!”

“Rrrrrrgh—I love her! My dreamy—“

“Shut up and drive, childish little boy,” Madeline commands as the rain pours down and the moon shines down on the Moronic Half Assets.

Moronic Half-Assets Sounds the Alarm

Kon Teirant

Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) Accounting Chief Konrad “Kon” Teirant is having trouble balancing the assets against the liabilities, even after having cooked the books to a carbonized mess.

Mack E. Avelli

Chief Executive Officer Mack. E. Avelli calls in Konrad to hold a meeting.

“Kon, if we cannot make ourselves look good to our investors, we are going to fail as a company. I don’t need you to be honest about it, I need you to make us some more money. Just get it done.”

“I’ll think up something. You won’t be disappointed.”

“Good,” the fifty-something Mack says to Konrad and starts texting his 22-year-old wife Judithann, who ignores his message because she is too busy flirting with daemons.

It is midnight here in Kankakee.  

The fire alarm sounds for the third time this week at the Kankakee’s Best Low-Budget Apartments, complete with strobe lights, sirens and a man’s voice repeating the same message over and over again.

As the residents of this sorry apartment building wake up and use the washroom, Moronic Half-Assets (MHA) takes the elevator up to each floor in the tower. 

“It is midnight and you know what time that is! Come on, guys, let’s all dance! Didn’t you see that four-page flyer we left on all of your doors telling you to exercise more? We knocked on your doors because we had nothing better to do! Resident deejay Konrad is on the ones and twos!” exclaims property manager, half-wit and sociopath Madeline Topolla-Teirant.

DJ Konrad Teirant picks some records out of his crate, and begins spinning and scratching, rapping over the music.

Resident Tyrell Fowler — out in the hall wondering what the racket is about — explains to Konrad “dude, you cannot scratch 1950s love songs,” and walks back into his unit.

“Let’s get out the glowsticks everybody!” Madeline says as she pulls them from the fire-hose compartment on the wall.

Robbie sings Elvis tunes as he dances away, doing moronic martial arts moves on the in-between.

Robbie Hulrbutt

The MHA troupe packs up their party-gear and heads upstairs to the next floor in the tower.

When the crew are all done waking up their residents, they head downstairs to the office and turn off the alarms. Finally those poor residents can get some sleep.

“Here is your check, Kon. We will write it off as a business expense here at the complex.”

“Great, I will bring it to CRASS tomorrow,” Kon tells his wife Madeline and they head home in Robbie’s clown car. Elvis has left the building.

“Oh good, I got it,” a resident says sitting in her bed, as she reviews the video she recorded on her phone.

Konrad Teirant heads into the CRASS office, strutting along the halls with a turd-eating-grin across his face as he makes his way over to the office of his supervisor, Mack E. Avelli.

“Kon! You have a great smile! You should smile more often.”

Kon hands Mack the knife…errrr…check.

“Oh good! Now you can keep your job!” Mack tells his subordinate Konrad.

Kon says nothing and heads back into his office to cook more books.

Meanwhile, the CRASS phones light up like a Christmas tree. However the increased call volume is not from debtors calling back the CRASS collectors.

“I saw that video on the news, your accounting dude and his buddies woke some poor folks up in the middle of the night hosting some hokey rave party? What were you thinking?” 

Beep.

“Hey, this Trisha Cobb, better known as Gothic Diana Ross. You know, from The Midnight Supremes? We saw what you did when we watched the news. That’s not cool.”

Beep.

“Hello, this message is for Mr. Avelli. I am Geoff, an auditor with the firm Deltoid & Tush. We were asked to contact you about your accounting records. We are stopping by in an hour.”

“Kon, how do we cook the books now? Ya better cook them good this time,” Mack shouts to an empty room. Since he was up half the night, Kon took the rest of the day off to go home and now he is fast asleep, sawing a forest. 

Tears of a Clown

Madeline walks behind the strip mall, past the dumpsters, to hide from a client who turned her in for illegal activity at Kankakee’s Best Low Income Apartments, which she manages.

“Madwoman!” a male voice calls out.

“Who called me?” a terrified Madeline asks.

A slender, young, dirty-blonde male wearing shades, a hoodie, and ripped blue jeans walks up to Madeline.

“I am Brandon Dixon. I own Brandon’s Imbecile Machines in Kankakee. I hear you are a clown.”

“Ummm, yeah…”

Madeline shakes even more.

“I am one too. I would like to try out for your touring Vaudeville act.”

“Maybe I can use an understudy.”

“You bet. Call me.”

The two shake hands and part ways. Madeline heads back to work, Brandon home.

“Hi, is this Wally Green?”

“Speaking.”

“This is Madeline Topolla-Teirant. I need to order a case of some half-ply toilet paper. That’s the kind that breaks off one square at a time right? I need some really cheap supplies for our community centers here at our low income complexes and I am not going to pay a lot. Ohh, hold on I have a beep.”

Madeline switches calls.

“Robbie?”

“Hey babe. Moronic Half-Assets has a gig coming up tomorrow in Gary, Indiana. I was totally thinkin’ I would rock the joint as Roy Orbinson.”

“You’re just an Elvis impersonator and not a very good one,” Madeline insults Robbie.

“Well honey, I can also pull off a crazy cool Mike Mesmith.”

“Get outta here with that.”

“Peter Tork? “Johnny Cash?”

“NO!”

Madeline slams down the phone.

“Riiiiiing!”

“Yes.”

“This is Wally. You wanted to order toilet paper?”

Madeline sighs…

The next afternoon, a Wally Green’s truck shows up to the low income housing complex where Madeline works.

“Beep beep beep beep.” The truck backs in.

“A whole case of half-ply toilet paper, just like you ordered. Just sign here on the sticker.”

Madeline scrawls her name.

“Here you go!”

“Ouch!”

“Whoopsie!” says the driver.

“You dropped the box on my foot. I think you broke it!”

Madeline drives over to the nearest 30 Second Clinic.

“It’s a bit bruised but you will be fine. Just ice it for two days while you are at home. You can go back to work now.”

“But doctor?”

“Your thirty seconds are up. We have other patients out there in the waiting room. Our medical office assistant will walk you out and take your copay.”

An angry Madeline begrudgingly pays her bill and heads home. There is no way she can make the gig tonight.

Madeline gets on her mobile phone.

“Hey Brandon, this is Madeline. I know this is short notice. I have a clown gig tonight I cannot make. You see I broke—“

“I’ll do it!” Brandon says with a smirk only he can see on his face, as he is looking at himself in the mirror.

“Gary, Indiana. Lapolla Theater.”

“Oh, I will be there, makeup and all.”

“I knew I could count on you.”

“Thanks.”

Madeline hangs up her phone and takes a nap.

Hours pass and Madeline thinks about how happy she is that she has another clown. Deep down inside she really does not want to do that gig in Gary. She falls asleep while thinking up a scheme to get out of paying Brandon.

A series of dings wakes a sound asleep Madeline.

From: Konrad

“I did not know you were sending us a juggalo. The crowds booed us! What were you thinking, Mad?”

From: Robbie

“Man this clown is weird and he looks funny. He reminds me of people my father hung out with. He keeps asking me to buy him Faygo. Our gig sucked because of him, not because of me. Just saying.”

A series of photos came in of Brandon, Konrad and Robbie on stage.

Needless to say, Madeline was up all night, and it was not because of her foot hurting.

Madeline Thinks She Is Really IT.

Black-and-white cartoon featuring a large, white, female clown at a cafe getting thrown out by a Latinx barista,

Manager of Kankakee’s Best Low-Budget Apartments, Vaudeville clown and sociopath Madeline Topolla-Teirant sat down to study for her clown-school SATs at the Bourbonnais Buckstars after screaming demands at the friendly cafe staff, hoping to score herself a free drink. Madeline, known as “Madwoman” to her peers and tenants, thinks she can get her way by barking at people and calling them names like a schoolyard bully.

“I need you to leave and never come back” part-time barista Fernando T. Perez asserted. Of course, Madwoman threw a Karen fit, calling it “illegal” to throw her out, hurling racial slurs and colorful language. That’s IT!” Fernando called police and pointed at Madwoman.

Needless to say, the mad clown was hurled out, and banned for life.