Urgent consignment

When you've lived in Hebden Bridge for as long as I have, you become accustomed to seeing peculiar things. But, on occasion, you can still be taken by surprise.

I was taking the high, narrow back-road from Halifax on Friday morning, and pulled over to let a car coming the other way pass by. As the car approached, I was somewhat astonished to see it was being driven by a clown. I'm not talking metaphorically. I don't mean the other driver was acting like a clown; I mean the other driver actually was a clown: white face-paint, red nose, sad mouth, unlikely dress-sense, the whole Grimaldi. I think she might have been a clown-woman, but I'm not entirely sure: sexing clowns is notoriously problematical.

This unlikely brief encounter has preyed on my mind ever since. What on earth would a clown be doing taking the high-road to Halifax early on a Friday morning? I have thought about it long and hard—far longer and harder than I should, in fact—and have come to the conclusion that she—if, indeed, she was a she—must have had an urgent consignment of buckets of water to deliver.

I'm not entirely convinced she was a genuine clown, however, as her car remained resolutely in one piece as it squeezed past and headed off towards Midgley.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. You do realise there were a dozen other clowns hidden away inside the car, ready to pile out at the end of the journey!

    Or maybe it was something to do with Red Nose Day?

  2. Yes, I worked that out later. I so studiously avoid Red Nose Day that I was labouring under the misapprehension it had already taken place the previous Friday.

  3. I saw a car sticker that said 'THIS VEHICLE DOES NOT CONTAIN CLOWNS'
    and do you know what?...it didn't!

  4. "sexing clowns is notoriously problematical"
    I'll say! You know what they say about people with big feet...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *