The Tale of Dander Claus, cont.

2. Dropo

One way I knew I could get back at Dander Claus was through his enemies. I looked into the lumpy, stuttered brown mirror that was my bowl of Cocoa Pebbles and thought "Who?" I knew the only answer was a human cotto salami named Dropo: Dropo, the Hungarian clown who, after lurching to his feet one day and festooning a birthday cake with an epaulette of green vomit, was blackballed from the Child's Birthday Party circuit and forced to live on Toast-Chee™ and sour milk.

Dropo followed Dander Claus around like a mint sock, hoping beyond hope that the destroyer would leave behind something he could use: a stray, ass-cheek-raddled crystal from my mineral collection, say, that Dropo could then sell back to me or to one of the crummier Rock Shops on The Hill. He didn't find much.

There were numerous scenes, famous in our district, when Dander Claus would sense Dropo whinnying back behind him in his grit-wake, and he'd turn with his cheese and his great bear-roar: "You! Gypsy! Poughkeepsie! You! Gypsy! Poughkeepsie! You!" Then he'd advance on the boring clown (whom cheap beans had rendered largely immobile) and make a great fuss with his hands in the air, as if scimshawing recipes for enchanted pierogies above the clown's head. This would never fail to collapse Dropo, right then and there. Dander Claus would run away, and next day the scene would lather, rinse and repeat.

If Dropo had been only an old drunk, an old pathetic Hungarian clown, it would have been easy to dismiss him, to regard Dander Claus' attacks as justified. But Dropo had unusually deep roots for one so redolent of stale nougat: at one time in his pee-colored past, Dropo had been a terror clown. And that was why I sought him out now.

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