Just about a month ago, the small burg of Fernwood, California noticed the arrival of two-dozen clowns in its streets. “It was hard not to notice them,” says Mayor Clint Yumpin. “I mean, they’re clowns. Red noses. Face paint. Colorful gear. Shoes the size of submarine sandwiches. They just stood in the center of Main Street.”

According to the Mayor, the clowns stood silently in a group just taking in the town and communicating with each other. “They made these weird little noises, little ‘peeps.’ Spooked me out. They were like baby birds or something.”

After peeping for a good five minutes the clowns split up.

“And that’s when their reign of terror began!” he says.

When asked to define the reign of terror, the Mayor licks his parched lips. “It was horrible. They waddled everywhere, just ‘peeping,’ pulling endless bouquets of phony flowers out of nowhere and forcing them on citizens, yanking endless scarves out of people’s shirt sleeves, making balloon animals at will, squirting people with enlarged boutonnieres, taking pratfalls and handing out stuffed animals. And the confetti….always with the confetti. You’re afraid of opening the mail box because of the confetti bombs.”

Weekly World News suggested that behavior didn’t quite amount to “terror.” “I haven’t gotten into the drive-pies. Imagine going out to get the morning paper and have one of these bozos pedal by on a unicycle lobbing a custard pie at you.”

The Mayor’s cheeks redden. “All right, it’s not like their chasing us with machetes or anything but they can seem pretty threatening wielding rubber chickens.”

WWE gives him the dreaded ‘stank eye.’ The Mayor seems chastised. “Okay, okay. The kids love them. They search the clowns out and laugh themselves silly.”


Has the Mayor attempted to find out where the clowns came from? “Oh, yeah. We called every circus within a 500-mile radius. We found an alarmingly large number of them, but all their clowns were accounted for. We’ve been in contact with all the local and state police and we came up with zilch. Even the Feds were puzzled.

“The Feds sent out a two-man team to investigate. It turned out it was on one of their birthdays. The clowns threw him a party. He was happy as hell. He even volunteered to be pied. They left, not seeing any real threat.”

In a last ditch effort to solve his problem; he called the local scientific community in a nearby lab. It wasn’t just any lab, however, it was a huge international complex owned an operated by billionaire Elton Zotz and dubbed Spacey Stuff.

“That’s why I called Weekly World News,” the Mayor says. “You know what a reclusive character Zotz is supposed to be. Well, he picked up my call almost immediately. He told me not to worry. He’d take care of our problem himself. He said he’d be arriving today.”

As if on cue, a stretch limousine followed by four armed military vehicles, enters town. Three of the military machines peel off towards the outskirts of town while one remains behind the limousine. Emerging from the limo is a sweaty fellow dressed like one of the founders of Kraftwerk, Elton Zotz. He is accompanied by his wife, Garbo, and his infant daughter z#*72e@fazoozle aka “Betty-Lou.”

He isn’t pleased to see Weekly World News at the scene. “I requested no press!” he says, his cheeks puffing out like an albino hamster.

“Get over yourself, sweaty-pants,” WWN advises him. “Now, tell us about these clowns.”


“Okay,” he replies, giggling like someone who’d just been kicked in the head by a horse. “The clowns escaped from our lab. We were trying to create clone drivers for our Messla auto-autos for people who didn’t trust our super-IQ cars to guide themselves.”

He’s greeted by silence and “so?” expressions.

“Well, I entrusted one of my in-laws to supervise the task.”

His wife Garbo narrows her eyes. “If you say anything bad about my father, I’ll rename our daughter ‘Karen.’”

He shrugs. “Anyhow, instead of ‘clones,’ he entered ‘clowns.’ He refuses to buy eyeglasses.”

At that point, flash grenades and tear gas erupt on the outskirts of town. We stand for the longest of minutes before the clowns, confused, mewing and peeping, emerge and, frightened, huddle together in the town square.

As the whole town watches, the clowns cling to each other, peeping, terrified.

“What are you going to do, now?” WWN asks.

Six militarized-to-the-max enforcers, armed with flame-throwers emerge from the military vehicle behind the limo. Zotz smiles. “We’re going to eliminate our mistake.”

The townspeople, gathered on the streets, seem stunned. The children begin to weep. WWN turns to the Mayor. “Get the kids out of here.”

Zotz orders his men to move forward and incinerate the clowns, a twisted smile on his face.

Without warning, the sun is blotted out by the arrival of a massive flying saucer. The entire town gasps as it hovers over the scene. Comes a voice from within the saucer. “We are the Gnah-Gnah-Gnahs and we have a galaxy that depends on humor. We revere clowns.”


“Well, I didn’t expect this,” says Zotz.

“I am ‘Nyuk,’ leader of the Gnah-Gnah-Gnahs. You Earth people don’t deserve your clowns. Do you know how many people from broken homes, from battered childhoods become clowns? Just to make you laugh? Just to give you the sense of fun they never have had? And you mock them. You demonize them. You deride them.”

“I didn’t know that,” the Mayor whispers.

“Oh, yeah,” Weekly World News responds quietly. “I went to clown college as a kid.”

Before we can do anything, Zotz runs into the street. “Ignore this massive flying saucer,” he screams at his men. “Sizzle them! Sizzle them all!”

At that point, a ray emerges from the saucer enveloping the clowns. As the crowd of townspeople cheer, the clowns are slowly lifted up into the saucer.

Zotz begins to scream, while running up and down in the street. “They’re my property! Give them back! I own them! One day, I’ll be master of the world!”

“Master this, you pasty-faced putz,” intones Nyuk.

At that point, Elton Zotz is hit by the biggest custard pie ever baked, dropped from the saucer. The saucer takes off. The townspeople cheer.

I turn to the Mayor. He says nothing, ashamed.

At that point, a little girl runs up to him. He bends down to greet her. She pulls a bouquet of phony flowers out of his sleeve and squirts him with a flower, laughing.

The Mayor finds himself laughing, as well.

“It’s good to laugh,” he chortles. “I guess I’d forgotten that.”

The little girl smiles and kicks him in the shin before running off. “Don’t let it happen, again, you old fart.”

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