The whole thing starts when Hitler’s nephew walks up to the clown and challenges him to a staring contest. The clown accepts but doesn’t realize what he’s getting himself into. The kid is, after all, Hitler’s nephew. Hitler, in this case, isn’t a last name but a first name, as in Hitler Wilcox, who was taken from his now deceased parents shortly after birth because they were neo-Nazis and thought that Hitler was both a strong and appropriate name for a child. The name was legally changed to Ronald, and Ronald was eventually returned to his parents after a number of court-ordered terms were met, but Hitler stuck. Hitler, the name, apparently could not be held down. Hitler grew, and depending upon your definition of prosper, he prospered but never reproduced. His sister, plain old Jane, has. Jane has two kids. A boy and a girl. The boy, who at this point is still enamored with Hitler, is now locked into the staring contest with the clown.

Hitler’s sitting in a lawn chair about ten feet away. It’s crystal clear to him that the clown has every intention of letting the boy win. Part of being a clown is building the little ones up, but when the clown blinks, Hitler’s nephew calls him on it. “You did that purposely, you bastard,” he says. Hitler, who is not so much an anti-Semite as just an all-around dickhead, calls everyone a bastard. The habit has rubbed off on his nephew.

“Now that’s not very nice,” the clown says, before adding a whacky clown laugh.

“Rematch,” Hitler’s nephew demands.

“Why don’t we do it after cake?” the clown suggests.

“No,” the boy says, “I want a rematch right now.”

The clown, who’s been squatting, stands up, casting a serious shadow upon Hitler’s nephew, and says, “I’m sorry, buddy, but I have to go get ready for the magic show.”

Hitler’s nephew huffs. “I’m not your buddy, you bastard,” he says. “I want a rematch.”

Hitler sets his can of RC Cola down and maneuvers himself into a standing position. Jane’s boy is his favorite. The other kid, the girl, doesn’t give a shit about him, but the bastard, who really is a bastard in the true sense of the word, is a good kid. Hitler walks over and asks his nephew, “What’s the deal?”

After the boy explains, Hitler turns toward the clown. “That the truth,” he asks, even though he already knows it is. He wants to give the clown a chance. Hitler the uncle, unlike Hitler the historical figure, can be reasonable.

The clown shrinks back. It’s not that Hitler is a big dude or anything. It’s just that what with his smashed-crooked nose and homemade tattoos, Hitler gives the impression of someone who doesn’t have a whole lot to lose. “No,” the clown says, “I mean, yes, I did say I didn’t have time for the rematch, but I didn’t let him win.” The clown turns to Hitler’s nephew. “You won fair and square, buddy.”

The other people in the backyard are starting to pay attention. Similar to the clown, they don’t want anything to do with Jane’s brother. Jane’s the one person who might be able to stop what’s about to happen, but she’s in the house trying to remove a stain from some kid’s shirt.

“This doesn’t make sense to me,” Hitler says, meaning he doesn’t agree. He actually feels pretty solid about the basic facts of the situation. “Why don’t you have time?”

The clown is slouching and generally looking submissive, which with Hitler is what you might call a bad idea. “I have to go get ready for the magic show,” he repeats, and smiles his big, goofy clown smile. With the face paint, it ends up looking like two smiles, one inside the other.

“How long you think a rematch would take?” Hitler asks.

“Not very—” his nephew starts, but Hitler silences the boy with a wave of his hand and says, “I got this, hoss.”

“I don’t know,” the clown says.

“Why don’t you know?” Hitler asks. “You some kind of idiot?”

The clown takes a deep breath and says, “I’m not an idiot.”

“I think you are,” Hitler says. “In fact, I’m absolutely certain you’re the biggest sack of shit I’ve come across all day.”

“Take it easy, man,” the clown says. “Think about the kids.”

Hitler looks around at the kids and other assorted adults who’re looking right back at him. Later on, when it’s too late, he’ll realize this moment was his chance to back off. He doesn’t back off though. Hitler works his gaze back around to the clown and says, “I do, I think you’re a giant sack of shit.”

“Well you’re wrong,” the clown says.

The backtalk is what Hitler considers the final straw, and in a lot of ways, it is. The boy’s third-grade teacher has already explained to him that Hitler the historical figure wasn’t a really great person, as far as people go. The fight with the clown is what will start him on the path to realizing that Hitler the uncle isn’t a real stellar guy either. In rapid-fire succession, Hitler delivers an arm bar, another arm bar, and a rabbit punch, then pauses to assess the damage, but the clown surprises him with a judo chop to the bridge of his nose, which starts gushing blood. Hitler’s eyes tear up and the last thing he remembers is the clown saying, “You asked for this,” and then a floppy, red clown shoe flying toward his face.

Wayne McMahon

Wayne McMahon

The best advice Wayne McMahon has ever received, the advice that inadvertently transformed him into a storyteller and eventually led to the creation of the story you hopefully just read, was also the worst advice he has ever received. Wayne was fifteen and selling weed at the time. This guy everyone called “Boomer” found out that this girl had told the police Wayne had sold her the pot she’d just been arrested for possessing, and Boomer sat Wayne down to have a serious talk about the future. “You know what you do now?” he asked. Wayne was expecting Boomer to tell him to quit selling weed, maybe at least encourage him to stop, but Boomer said, “You become the star of your own movie and just smile in those cops’ faces.” Instead of becoming the star of his own movie, Wayne started watching the people around him starring in their movies and ultimately started trying to tell their stories.
Wayne McMahon

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