Clowns, Motorcycles and Laughter



As an introvert, I like clowns!  Surprise? There are quite a few reasons for this.  But first let me say this all really began for me some years ago when I was about to leave for a year of so of travel in Asia.  While talking about this with my colleague, friend, medical doctor and professional clown, John Glick, he encouraged me to take a clown nose and some kind of crazy colorful hat along.  Among other things he said not only does it help in connecting with folks, but it can also get you out of some rather tight spots.

I took his advice, got a few noses and a funky hat that easily folded up and would fit in my small pack that I was taking.  I will always be thankful to John for this. I discovered it opens all kinds of doors, people laugh and friends are made.  On top of that, with some clown gear you can be anything you want to be with no need to protect some kind of image or identity.  You just stop caring about such nonsense.  I’ve enjoyed getting monks, soldiers, policeman, children and others to put on this nose and get a photo.  While living in a Buddhist monastery in India for a time, one monk put it on, started laughing, turned, walked away and refused to give it back.  Every time we encountered each other he just smiled!  As did I. Turkey!  Since that time of travel, I’ve always taken my noses and hat with me.

This story comes out of an encounter with a true blue Mexican clown in Oaxaca City.  Back in February 2018 I was walking around Zocala Square at night.  Zocala is the primary drawing point of central Oaxaca for all kinds of activities and food.  Of course, as is typical of Mexican cities, it is rather dominated by a Catholic church.  Every evening and into the night, it is bustling with activity.

I also like motorcycles  and found my 2016 Harley Davidson Softtail Slim S, my Black Madonna, the most difficult possession to give up! While walking around that evening in Zocala Square, I heard the sound of a motorcycle, not your typical 125cc or 150cc which is real common and useful here, but the sound of one which makes more of a statement! It got my attention.  I saw it being parked close by.  As I walked toward it I saw that the guy riding it was all made up as a clown. Well, what could I do but reach in my little Guatemalan bag and pull out my nose and hat, put them on and keep walking.  What better way to begin a conversation and perhaps gain a friend.

That is how I met Turin, a professional clown.  He was doing some clowning that night so we spoke briefly, exchanged contact information, said we’d make contact and keep in touch. We did and would periodically communicate through FB.  We also followed each other’s posts.  Now I’m in Oaxaca again and we met up one night in Zocala Square where he and several other professional clowns were doing their thing.  It was a delight to see Turin again and see him and his colleagues in action.  Turin said that each evening throughout the year for several hours, different clowns, all friends take turns for an hour entertaining a crowd of folks, both adults and children – I guess that means big and little children!  Those adults who haven’t completely lost their inner child.  It is quite a lot of fun just to watch how people respond to the clown and his way of connecting with the people.  Lots of laughter.

Turin is very skilled as a clown and pulls you in and grabs your attention.  Personally, I found him to be absolutely delightful and full of life, one who enjoys every minute of his profession.  For Turin, as a professional clown, that means a full time job.  That is his life and he rides his motorcycle, his Chopper as he calls it, throughout the country of Mexico doing what he does best.  I think that is called dedication.  I can only imagine the joy he has brought so many people, how many immune systems have become stronger and healthier as a result of the laughter.  With this kind of medicine, it raises the question of who cares about health care plans? Probably wouldn’t be much needed except for special cases or conditions. This clowning is not always done alone but as part of a troop of clowns when occasions call for it.

Apparently, there are over 100,000 registered professional clowns in Mexico, I’m told the largest number in any country. I thought of suggesting they all join the ‘invasion’ north to the border and bring some hilarious sanity to that chunk of land north of the Mexican border and south of the Canadian border!  Now that would be a challenge, would it not.  There is a gospel tune running through my head right now: ‘Joshua fought the battle of Jericho’. Maybe whatever wall is there might just disintegrate with all the clown craziness. I think I’ll leave that alone.

In any case,  I am inspired by Turin and his fellow clowns that I have been privileged to meet here in Mexico as a result of Turin’s kindness.  We continue to keep in touch. I will continue to carry my clown noses and hat with me. In fact, hardly a day goes by without several people joining me in laughter as they put on the nose.  While walking done the street today, a little boy and his brother were with their mother.  The littlest one was not very happy and showing his displeasure in rather unpleasant ways.  I turned around, made a face at the cute little guy, put on my clown nose and made another face.  That got the little guy’s attention and in a short time he and his brother both had that nose on, just pleased as punch. The clownish puppet named Punch, that is. After a little playfulness and laughter, they walked on down the street rather happily with their pleased mother.  Thank you, Turin and John for your encouragement, inspiration and being such fine models. You just made life a little more pleasant, loving and joyful for a mother and her two adorable little boys.  At least a little more adorable now than a few minutes before.

Now……Let’s dance!

Oaxaca, Mexico


Categories People, Personalities and Characters, Uncategorized

4 thoughts on “Clowns, Motorcycles and Laughter

  1. mahlonstanleyking9998 January 13, 2019 — 5:23 am

    I’m going along in the spirit of adventure in seeking things not known.


    1. Welcome aboard, Mahlon. I sent you an invitation to follow my travel blog and to receive an email each time I post a new piece..Just accept if you wish to receive a email notification. No obligation. thanks for your comment. Be well!


  2. Love your story Wayne


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