1585. Survival
© Bruce Goodman 8 August 2019






Poodle Jerkin was a clown of questionable talent. He snorted cocaine. Who wouldn’t if you worked day in and day out for a circus that hardly paid for nothing? And his wife had left him and taken the kids. There was no hope, so he snorted cocaine and got the sack. Yeah, he wasn’t good enough even for a fuckin circus.

He got a job as a clown at a transgender nightclub, where he gyrated up and down on the bar top, dressed as a clown and wanking while patron stuffed dollar bills down the front of his jock strap. The smile was painted on his face, but underneath the makeup he was crying. Then at the end of each night, Jolie the manager or owner – he didn’t know which but who gives a shit? – would take all the bills out of his jock strap and finish off what he’d started on the bar top. He’d leave each night with a couple of bucks and somehow he was meant to have a life.

One night, on the way back to where he slept, he walked past an appliance store. On a big television screen a politician was spouting:

We’ve got to get rid of all these no hopers sleeping on the street. There are needles everywhere. There’s human excrement. We should round them up and do something about it.

Poodle Jerkin picked up a nearby laptop and threw it at the television screen. He’s in prison now. What the fuck? It’s survival.




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