Last night I spent a few minutes slapping the butts of five different women. And one man.
The was all a function of the Seattle Clown Jam, a small group that meets once a month to practice the art of clowning. These aren’t your typical balloon twisting birthday clowns. These clowns have taken actual classes in clowning. I didn’t even know that there were classes in clowning. And apparently these classes involved butt slapping. So… why weren’t these classes offered at my university?
The classes were held at a place called Theatre Puget Sound, which isn’t actually a place. It isn’t the easiest place to find. If you use Facebook maps, like I did, it plops a pin right at the Pacific Northwest Ballet. I arrived feeling a little intimidated among the clean architecture and the fresh faced little bunheads arriving to practice at the balance beam and what not. Fortunately a kind security guard showed me that the address applied to the entire Seattle Center complex (which is huge, by the way). He directed me to the Armory, the place next to the Space Needle I knew primarily as the stop for the World’s Fair Monorail and the default food court where you take out-of-town visitors when they want to the Seattle’s number one tourist trap.
Even then, the building made no sense. It was full of arrows and staircases that led nowhere. Eventually, I discovered that Theatre Puget Sound was actually a bunch of rooms rented out on the fourth floor. And yet, even then, I was completely lost. The first room I encountered, which had its doors open, had a bunch of tough, tattooed, dark clad people playing around with kendo swords and an assortment of weapons. Either I’d stumbled into the local ninja club, or clowning had taken a very dark turn. (One of the ladies in the club did have purple hair, so it was possible.) I turned my attention to the closed door of room B, where people were laughing. It may have been the Seattle Clown Jam, but I felt a little silly asking a bunch of strangers, “Hey, is this where the clowns meet?”
I may be shameless, but not that shameless.
Eventually, I discovered that Room G, where the Seattle Clown Jam met, was located behind a white door I’d assumed to be the maintenance room. It lead to a narrow brick corridor. I found the sign labled “G”, I opened the door, and everyone died.