Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yet Another Clown Story

Ahhh....Tommy White is at it again. He sent me this story about his earlier "Clown Days" when he and Mario Piva were in business together. After reading about their exploits I am still in awe that they continued to book event after event. So, for you 'older' guys....get out your depends; you're going to need them : ) The following is in Tom's own email that he sent to me.

Hi Jack

Remember our discussion at the banquet about Piva, well here are the stories I promised for Christmas.

Somehow I had been expelled from the clown team, so Piva and I started Sparky and Banana's...our own team. We got fairly busy at Christmas and most Saturdays we did two shows.

Well one fateful Saturday our first show was for the South Windsor K of C. Piva had decided we should have a new finish to the show. Instead of us singing jingle bells with the kids to usher in Santa, Piva wanted to do a grand illusion. He had rigged a mayonnaise jar lid with gun powder. He had cut the end off an extension cord and soldered the ends to each side of the lid. Then a fine wire was soldered inside through the gun powder. At the precise time I would plug in the extension cord and puff Santa would magically appear out of the smoke.

I was leery but the stage was set perfectly, Santa entered stage right, at the front by a podium and the stairs to the stage.

The show came to an end and it was time for Piva's big trick. Sparky waved a big cape and mumbled magic words and I plugged in the extension as Santa opened the door and made his grand entrance. Santa stepped right into the explosion ( I think Sparky put too much powder in the lid) Santa started to cough and scream obscenities as he fell down the stairs and the kiddies started to cry and panic for fear the clowns had killed Santa. It was mass confusion as the smoke filled the room.

It was time for us to leave after showing them about ventilation practices. (I remember Piva getting interested in PPV ventilation after that)

We hurried to the next gig and I warned him all the way to the new Caboto club that we were doing the old finish. We got there and were amazed at the size of the new addition. I know some Italians like cement but let me tell you the wood in the new part sparkled.

The floors went on forever. No dividers and miles of new wood. This place was ginormous. Sparky looked at me and said these were his people and in a place this big what could possibly happen. The show was for the members' children and was the first event in the new addition. All the good old boys were there.....

So the show went off without a hitch.......... and then it was time to bring in Santa.... Sparky had explained the trick to him and there I was again getting ready to plug in the extension cord. Little did I know Sparky had added more gun powder to offset the size of the building. I plugged in the cord and kaboom the biggest darned explosion you ever saw. Santa was ok, he was far enough away this time but through the smoke I could just make out the scorch mark and hole in the floor. The new floor.... with all the members watching.... Well here's another fine mess you got me into. The smoke got really thick and we were packing up and leaving when the screams started and the old guys went nuts.

In one day he ticked off the Knights of Columbus, all of Italy and I think even the Pope.....

For months we were worried someone would make a new pair of cement clown shoes for each of us and throw us in the river.

Well we both made it to retirement...... can you believe it???

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Grease Fire Extinguished

This is a great video of the dangers of kitchen grease fires. Too many people are injured every year due to these types of events.

Fire Find

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