* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds

2 June 2003
Never mind three years of writing. Victor's little brother turned eight last week.

Ce-leb-rate good times, c'-mon! The big thing in Damien's class is to have a football party at the YMCA. A local leisure centre with a mission, the YMCA puts on training, five-a-side mini-matches, chicken nuggets, chips, coke and vanilla ice cream. Everything else - cake, balloons, party bags - has to be provided by the birthday boy's parents. Saturday morning found my mother and me in the dining room of her house, she pushing Subbuteo goals down into icing, I sorting bouncing ball, balloon, party blower and themes plastic bags x 13.

Small, bashful faces started arriving about fifteen minutes after we did. Shedding presents and coats they transformed forthwith into rampaging minimonsters. The three girls - Molly, Katie and Hannah - sat chatting at one of the tables as if nursing caffe lattes in a Hertfordshire cafe-bar. These are Damien's bitches: Katie was his first girlfriend; Molly is the current one; Hannah is the one he's in love with. Distressingly for Damien, Hannah is the only one of the three who doesn't love him. Katie is plain; Molly is a bit of an old slapper; Hannah is a stunning brunette. When you're eight, it seems, you can be in this situation and still talk to each other.

As expected, the lads all turn up in England or ManU strips - except for Tim, that is. Nick and Tim are identical twins. You can tell them apart by their glasses: Nick's are black, Tim's gold - or is it the other way round? Nick arrives in 2002 England training kit, Tim in the orange of Blackpool FC, favourite team of notorious estate agent and sex pest Owen Oyston (not libellous given that he was sent down for it). Nick is fairly good at sport, Tim not so. At Damien's 6th birthday at the Wacky Warehouse, Tim threw a bowling ball out of the window (he missed the alley). Malcoordination and the suffering of supporting a duff football team appear to go hand in hand. It seems a high price to pay.

While the kids went off to play football I stayed in the bar drinking lager subsidized by Christians. When they returned to the foyer there had been a bit of a to-do with Oliver. Oliver used to be Damien's best friend. Alex K is Damien's new best friend. When Alex K tackled Oliver, Oliver went and sat at the side of the hall saying that he had hurt his leg. Sulking, more like.

I like Oliver: he's smart and funny and has the tendency for being a little bit dangerous. In the past he used to hit Damien when he didn't give him enough attention. One of my fondest memories is of Damien and Oliver in the back of Mum's car, singing along to Busted's "Year 3000" and shouting that their "willies were up". He seemed to cheer up in time for his chicken nuggets. In fact, he cheered up enough to be able to do chimpanzee impressions behind my back. I floored him by kneeing him in the nuts.

It is often said of children's parties that there is always one who has to go and ruin things for everybody else. At Damien's there were two. Damien tells me that Bradley has already had four full detentions: he looks like a thug. Alistair looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth - gappy and freckly. Suddenly I found myself cornered by two boys brandishing teaspoons loaded with ice-cream. I didn't know what to do: I certainly didn't feel that I had the green light to manhandle and disarm them. I told them very firmly to leave off. Bradley did; Alistair didn't. While Bradley was happily distracted running round and round the table, Alistair flicked his spoon: vanilla ice- cream flew past my left ear, hitting home on the dance studio mirrors on the far wall. Bradley I could have excused: as my mother keeps pointing out, he comes from a disadvantaged background. Alistair, on the other hand, is posh - and pure malice.

Damien's friends really are small grown-ups. That's not a trite and sanctimonious prescription on how we should treat them with the same respect we would accord an adult, etc. Rather, what struck me was the extent to which their personalities are already fixed. They all have their distinct roles in their community, and predictions at this stage about their future will probably hold. Damien says he will be a footballer: I say he will be an accountant; Oliver will either be an actor or a mental patient; Bradley will be in prison; Hannah will be a model; Tim will be a frustrated Blackpool supporter; Molly will be a slapper; Katie will be a doormat; Alistair will be a cunt.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
27 October 2003. Victor writes: Our Tune
6 October 2003. Victor writes: Sucking face (in a public place)
15 September 2003. Victor writes: You got any ID?
25 August 2003. Victor writes: Blood on the Boulevard
4 August 2003. Victor writes: In (paren)theses
10 July 2003. Victor writes: Island Fling
19 June 2003. Victor writes: Back (back) and forth (and forth)
2 June 2003. Victor writes: 300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds
12 May 2003. Victor writes: The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune
21 April 2003. Victor writes: ...just sitting there quietly contemplating suicide
31 March 2003. Victor writes: Victoria
6 March 2003. Victor writes: Relevant experience
17 February 2003. Victor writes: You will eat chips and go nowhere
27 January 2003. Victor writes: A bushy fish for fishy Mr Bush (after Juvenal)
6 January 2003. Victor writes: The Accidental Voyeur
16 December 2002. Victor writes: Gripper goes bang
25 November 2002. Victor writes: Bediquette
4 November 2002. Victor writes: Where have all the spastics gone?
14 October 2002. Victor writes: An Immodest Proposal
23 September 2002. Victor writes: Fastscan masterplan
2 September 2002. Victor writes: Dry Humping Social Club
12 August 2002. Victor writes: Beat the Mongol
22 July 2002. Victor writes: What life is not
1 July 2002. Victor writes: Stupor heroes
6 June 2002. Victor writes: Dry
13 May 2002. Victor writes: Muppet Suite
18 April 2002. Victor writes: gingermingeninja
25 March 2002. Victor writes: Sodomize with Pukka Pies
28 February 2002. Victor writes: Dave's problem
4 February 2002. Victor writes: King of the Aisles
10 January 2002. Victor writes: Here come the decorator gimps.
17 December 2001. Victor writes: Make war, not supper.
22 November 2001. Victor writes: Cough
29 October 2001. Victor writes:
4 October 2001. Victor writes: Green Gauges
10 September 2001. Victor writes: Blind weed
16 August 2001. Victor writes: Snout!
23 July 2001. Victor writes: You're not going to put this in a clown are you?
28 June 2001. Victor writes: What is a droll?
4 June 2001. Victor writes: Burt Pakamak
10 May 2001. Victor writes: Board to Death
12 April 2001. Victor writes: Tricolon with anaphora?
22 March 2001. Victor writes: Point of View
26 February 2001. Victor writes: Goth's Dinner
1 Feburary 2001. Victor writes: Les Miserables
4 January 2001. Victor writes: Flat-packed furniture
14 December 2000. Victor writes: Deliverance
20 November 2000. Victor writes: Bottomry: Exorcising Ghosts
26 October 2000. Victor writes: Body Art
2 October 2000. Victor writes: Disney must die
7 September 2000. Victor writes: Ice-cream in Offworld
14 August 2000. Victor writes: I like sweets that taste of medicine
26 June 2000. Victor writes: I've seen the future, and it's feathered

Let meeeeeee entertain you

We are all Upsideclown: Dan, George, James, Jamie, Matt, Neil, Victor.

Material is (c) respective authors. For everything else, there's

Never come here again

And weeeeeee can entertain you by email too. Get fresh steaming Upsideclown in your inbox Mondays and Thursdays, and you'll never need to visit this website again. To subscribe, send the word subscribe in the body of your mail to (To unsubscribe, send the word unsubscribe instead.)


... On this page: ... Archive ... About ... Subscribe ... ... Upsideclone