“If you would just put that damn thing away, we could talk.” The clown rubbed his groin with a gloved hand. Not his own hand, strangely enough. Little Mikey Nitrous (to be known to the world one day as Mr. Michael Nitrous of West 43rd Street) kept his miniature crossbow trained on the clown. This was not the first time he had used his little miniature crossbow to enforce justice, but it was the first time he had used it on a clown.
“Just you quit your jaw-flapping,” said little Mikey, “I'll have no more of your parley. You were snoopin' around my mother's zucchini patch, weren't you?”
The clown stared silently at the ground. The ground pretty much just stared right back. He glanced nervously at the little, miniature crossbow in Mikey's hand.
“I need a kohlrabi,” said the clown.
“A likely story, whiteface. If you needed a kohlrabi, then what the heck were you doin' in the zucchini patch?”
“I got confused,” said the clown. “I don't see that many zucchinis. Not that many kohlrabis, either, to tell the truth.”
“I likely story,” said Mikey again. “Do you think I just fell off the melon truck?”
The clown fell silent again.
“Okay, floppy-shoe,” said Mikey, “I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll make you a deal. If you can make up a poem for me, I'll let you go without plugging you full of bolts. Kapiche?”
“A poem?” asked the clown.
“A poem,” said Mikey Nitrous.
“A poem,” said the clown.
“In heroic couplet.”
“In four-line stanzas.”
“With good, solid rhyme scheme. And it's gotta' be about kohlrabi.”
“Kohlrabi?” asked the clown.
“Yeah,” said Mikey, threatening him with his little, miniature crossbow, “you got a problem with that?”
“No, no,” said the clown. “Can I go, then?”
“Heck no!” cried Mikey Nitrous, pulling a pad of paper and a pencil out of his back pocket and handing it to the clown, “you sit down right there in the kohlrabi patch and get to work. I'm gonna' sit down next to the gazing ball and keep an eye on you.”
TO BE CONTINUED...