Written by Trayla Trash
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Topics: british, Clown

Friday, 12 August 2005

image for No Clowns Please, We're British...
Cheeky Chops and Buttons: On League Hitlist

Glastonbury Tor is being used as the global headquarters of a bizarre cult which aims to eradicate clown activity in the UK by 2015.

To further promote their own staunch views, the League Against Cruel Clowns gave Spoof unprecedented access to its thriving national command centre.

Housed several hundred feet below the Tor, the centre has been home to the League for the past 15 years. It is where the 856 members co-ordinate their campaigns and dream up ingenious new ways to rid Britain of what it calls the "Slapstick Mafia".

The organisation was founded in 1985 by left-wing militant Jeb Braithwaite (58) and his wife Caroline, both originally from Hull but now living full-time in the Tor.

Speaking from Cell 12 of the covert complex, retired Flock of Seagulls roadie Jeb said: "Clowns are generally not nice people - they terrify children and cause neurosis in adults. I always say behind one mask lies another - what do these people have to hide - it's not normal."

"It's our sole aim to eradicate clown activity on these shores by 2015, through tactical manoeuvres nationwide, exactly 30 years to the day from when their irresponsible antics led to my descent into my own personal hell."

Jeb's complex psychosis - which centres around clowns being the minions of Satan - began 20 years ago when he encountered Cramp the Clown at a Skegness funfair. To this day he lays the blame for his failed pop career firmly and squarely at the feet of the Geordie comic, now a cashier at McDonalds in Harrogate.

He had decided to take a break from rehearsing with his band - The Lycra Leggings - and headed off to Skeggy just prior to the group's appearance at the Tetley tea sponsored outdoor festival "Tea in the Dark" in Leeds.

Jeb went on: "Caroline and I visited the funfair to relax before the gig. We went into the big top to see the performing seals and before we knew where we were five clowns - led by Cramp - flew into the ring on a motorised cart."

They then darted into the crowd using fake buttonholes to squirt water at stunned patrons before throwing flour bombs up in the air to bring the curtain down on their act. It was then, according to Jeb, his terrifying journey into coulrophobia began.

He explained, "Cramp was wearing a jester's outfit and his face was covered in white make-up. He came right up to me and said 'May the Devil be your eternal bedfellow' before grabbing my nose, laughing maniacally and heading off into the crowd again. I was bloody terrified."

Once back at the band's caravan, Jeb claims the experience caused temporary paralysis and ruined his chances of appearing on stage with the "Leggings".

While Jeb lay helpless the band proved a hit at Tea in the Dark and went on to land a summer season at Butlins in Ayr. They've since gone on to record with heavyweight performers such as Ralph McTell, Tony Christie and Rose Marie.

Shortly afterwards he set up the LACCM in his modest semi-detached home in Hull, only moving into the Tor when a surge in membership forced him to seek larger premises.

Now recording enormous leaps in membership - partly due to anti-clown films such as Steven King's "It" and Wes Craven's Carnival of Souls" - the League has so far succeeded in having 37 clowns struck off the International Clown Register.

Cramp, real name Rodney Cassock, laughed off rumours he was responsible for spawning the militant underground movement.

"The man needs to get a life," chortled Cassock, juggling a McChicken Sandwich and a Crunchie McFlurry, "This is the same man who lobbied Johnny Depp's home in France for taking inspiration from the Devil for his Willie Wonka character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - he'd see Beelzebub in his own granny if he felt like it!"

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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